2012 Bass Pro Shops Southern Open #3 Smith Lake - Jasper, AL, Oct 4 - 6, 2012

Smith Lake & Bassmaster’s Angels

Mark Powell, my partner on Friday, with his best of the day.Mark HicksMark Powell, my partner on Friday, with his best of the day.
Although Powell had walloped bass on practice days under a canopy of clouds, he managed only 9 pounds, 10 ounces for the tournament. Powell knows Smith well. We ran far up the lake and jumped from one point to the next.

Dog walking stickbaits were Powell’s primary weapons. Strike King’s KVD Sexy Dawg and the smaller Sexy Dawg Jr. are his workhorses at Smith.

“You can cast those baits a mile,” he said. And he did.

The surface feeding activity on Friday morning wasn’t as strong as it had been Thursday morning, Powell claimed. He caught one small keeper on a Sexy Dawg early. Then we struggled to get more bites.

The surface bite picked up around midday, when a breeze chopped the water. Powell put three more bass in his livewell after switching to a large stickbait that had a feathered tail hook. He walked the bait slowly.

I caught my spotted bass under a dock on a drop shot rig. My largemouth went for a Strike King Caffeine Shad in open water. Even though Powell was casting over expansive points, it was hard to get a bite on a topwater lure fishing behind him.

The water was so clear that the first cast with a surface bait would get the bite. Whenever I netted one of Powell’s fish, I could see other bass that had followed it in.  However, once they had seen the boat, we couldn’t muster another strike and had to move.