Following are the patterns of the 2nd and 3rd place finishers at last week's Red River BASSMASTER.
2nd: Guy Eaker
Like Davy Hite, Guy Eaker fished in pool 5, close to the launch ramp -- "not 2 miles from the landing," Eaker said.
On day 1 he worked his way through half a mile of timber to reach a spot "way in the back of White Horse creek." He said he found a hole back there, after seeing a dyke. "I knew that dirt had to come from somewhere."
Eventually he found a 30-yard-wide grassy hole about 7-9 feet deep. "All the bass that were trying to get out of the mud were in that hole," Eaker said.
He caught two limits on a 6-inch Junebug-colored Riverside worm (1/8 and 1/16-ounce weight) fished on 10-pound Stren Easy Cast line. Once I caught a limit and culled, I let (Ohio pro) Joe Thomas have it. He was about to go crazy," Eaker laughs.
On day 2 he "made beeline right back there." That day he caught the bass on the worm and a citrus-colored Excalibur Fat Free Shad crankbait.
"I caught 3 limits," he said. "One fish sucked the crankbait in and busted a gill. I babied that fish all day but it died in line. It cost me 4 ounces."
He noted that during the last hour of day 2 "the wind kept blowing in on the hole. To the bass that silt is like smoke to you and me." That wasn't a good sign, and on day 3 he caught 25 bass in that hole, but only 2 were keepers. They weighed 2-04.
"I made mistake that day," he said. "About 500 yards straight in front of me was a spot where I caught a 4-pounder and 3-pounder in practice, and had never gone back." The final day he started at that spot with a 1/4-ounce Riverside Counter Attack spinnerbait (chartreuse/white, double Colorado blades, pearl/silver flake grub) and caught 15 keepers for 10-05.
3rd: Todd Faircloth
Texas' Todd Faircloth also fished in pool 5. At first he invested in a popular spot. "The first two days I had 4 boats within casting distance," he said. "It was terrible." So he ran his Skeeter around the corner and found a better spot.
"I ended up between two oxbow lakes," Faircloth said, "one on one side and one behind me with a flat between them." The flat "had 3-4 drains, or small depressions, which were about 8-9 feet deep." The depressions had a mixture of grass and wood. "I think that was the key," he said. "The grass helped filter the muddier water."
The bass were suspended: Faircloth said he was catching them in 2-5 feet. Most of his bass were caught on a Lake Fork Tackle Twitch Worm (Junebug) rigged wacky style with a 2/0 Gamakatsu straight-shank hook (no weight). He also caught a few on a tight-wiggling crankbait (shad pattern) that ran about 5 feet deep
An Erhardt Fishin' Stick (Illinois manufacturer), Shimano Curado reels and Berkley Big Game line (15-pound for the worm, and 12 for the crankbait) rounded out the rest of his equipment.
When Faircloth changed his spot on day 3 he had his best stringer of the week, at 12-02. But he followed it with his worst stringer on day 4. Here's what happened.
"On day 4 I went back to the spot where I caught the big sack," he said. "I thought I would really catch them in there. But the wind started blowing out of the east, and it blew across the flat and muddied up the drain (channel).
"I caught 2 there, then went to the spot I fished the first two days. I caught a limit, but then at about 1:00 I realized there had to be fish back (at the other spot)." So he went back, got his flipping stick out and fished under the grass) mats on the bank.
The result was that he culled two bass and lost a 3-pounder in the last 30 minutes. "If I had clued in 2 hours quicker, I might have done something," Faircloth said. He finished a mere 2 ounces out of 2nd and 5-06 out of 1st.