Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Destin DeMarion and partner Andy Full brought a massive 29.28-pound stringer of smallmouth to the scale to win a tournament sponsored by rod manufacturer Douglas Outdoors on Lake Erie out of Buffalo, N.Y. this past weekend.
The haul included a 6.88-pounder, a 6 1/2, one close to 6 and two just over 5.
"We targeted isolated fish so we wouldn't be in a crowd," DeMarion said. "We caught a lot of fish and culled throughout the day. We threw back a lot of 4 to 4 1/2-pounders."
Most of their fish were enticed by a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Flatworm on a dropshot rig. One weigh-in fish ate a blade bait.
"It's still not that cold yet," said DeMarion, a Pennsylvanian who resides about 3 1/2 hours from Buffalo. "The water temperatures were still like 57 or 58 on the main lake and the fish aren't really heavily grouped, but they will be soon. The best fishing is probably a week or 2 away."