Catching a lot of bass wasn’t the problem this weekend for GEICO anglers Teddy Carr and Christiana Bradley. Landing Lake Norman’s monster fish was the issue at the second Bass Pro Shops Southern Open of the year.
“This lake is always a little crazy,” Carr said. “I caught some 13-inch (under size) fish that were heavier than the 14-inch fish I kept, but this place is weird like that.”
Carr caught his limit of 10 fish over two days and Bradley reeled in nine, but they were all relatively small, as Carr caught a total of 14 pounds, 8 ounces (105th place) and Bradley brought in 13 pounds, 7 ounces (125th place).
“I felt like being able to catch 9 pounds a day would have been enough to keep you in the hunt to make the cut,” Carr said. “Catching the limit wasn’t a problem for me, I just happened to catch the malnourished fish.”
Carr landed 8 pounds, 10 ounces on Day 1 and 5 pounds, 14 ounces on Day 2. The top 12 advanced Saturday’s final day of the tournament.
“I made good decisions in practice and in the tournament,” Carr said. “The first day, I had a spot where some post-spawn fish had grouped. I pulled some big ones out of there during practice, but the water warmed up and the fish moved out.
“I found a few grouped up at the next point, but most had scattered. I moved on to an area I wanted the save for the second day and culled to get the total I got.
“The second day, the limit was not as easy to catch. I had the biggest spotted bass I’d ever had on the line that second day. It was pushing 4 pounds, and I lost it – on a Carolina rig of all things, which is almost impossible, but I found a way to do it. It was a big blow, but it’s part of the game.”
Bradley said the shift in the weather caused her to scramble on the second day as well.
“Friday was tough,” Bradley said. “I know the cold front affected my primary pattern, so I abandoned it after the first hour. I tried many different things and different areas.”
Bradley caught 7 pounds, 12 ounces the first day and 5 pounds, 11 ounces on the second.
“I know I was around good fish, as my co-angler had a great day and made the cut,” Bradley said. “We had fun, and he enjoyed his ride in the GEICO Basscat. He said I drove like Greg Biffle.”