Day Two: Top Twelve Breakdown

The top twelve will fish new water

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The top 12 will fish new water on Saturday. But Bassmaster.com wanted to know what they did to get to the semi-final round. Here are the keys to their success:

 Gerald Swindle

 Hometown: Hayden, Ala.

 Weight: 21 pounds, 12 ounces

 What was your most successful pattern? "I was flipping grass with a 4-inch Zoom Creature bait and 20-pound fluorocarbon. Every thing I'm working in has been in one to three feet of water. In the mornings I would pitch about eight inches inside of the grass and later on in the day it would be more like one or two feet inside of it."

 Where did you fish during the first two days of the Major? "I locked down one time and fished the first pool south of the launch. I fished in an area called the Case Bar area with lots of backwater and rocks."

 What was the key to having the success you needed to get into the top 12 cut? "Being confident and fishing slowly. Not trying to cover too much water and going over all the areas rather methodically."

 Scott Rook

 Hometown: Little Rock, Ark.

 Weight: 19 pounds, 5 ounces

 What was your most successful pattern? "I'm fishing soft plastics."

 Where did you fish during the first two days of the Major? "I was fishing pool 7 in the little Maumelle Creek. I fished that both days. I caught three yesterday really quick and had planned on hitting the river for a couple, but just stayed in there and ended up catching five. I went back today and figured I needed just one fish out of there and got three. There were brush piles and some lily pads in that area."

 What was the key to having the success you needed to get into the top 12 cut? "I think it may have been perseverance. I'm fishing really hard but really slow. Today, at 11 o'clock I didn't have a keeper. I made an adjustment and then caught two very quickly. They seem to be biting later today and I just ran out of time."

 Kevin VanDam

 Hometown: Kalamazoo, Mich.

 Weight: 18 pounds, 15 ounces

 What was your most successful pattern? "I caught a lot of them on a Strike King Series 3 Crankbait, flipping a Strike King Tube, and I caught some on a buzz bait."

 Where did you fish during the first two days of the Major? "I fished in the Pine Bluff pool anywhere from zero to seven feet of water."

What was the key to having the success you needed to get into the top 12 cut? "With only three hours of fishing time, I just really fished as fast and efficiently as I could. I had to pick through the very best spots because with a three hour time that's all I could do."

 Mike McClelland

 Hometown: Bella Vista, Ark.

 Weight: 17 pounds, 8 ounces

 What was your most successful pattern? "I really believed the buzz bait was the biggest key. That is what I found them on in practice and that's what I caught them on today. I did catch a few flipping but the buzz bait deal is what got it going."

 Where did you fish during the first two days of the Major? "I was fishing in a place called Casebar. There was some willow weed, stumps, and grass in the area. There isn't a tremendous amount of cover in Casebar, but the majority of the fish were caught in willow weed."

 What was the key to having the success you needed to get into the top 12 cut? "I think going through with my game plan I had developed in practice. I had planned to go to Casebar the first day of the practice but I got sidetracked and went to Brody. The second day I stayed in another pool and the night before the third day I was talking with my wife and I reminded myself that I needed to go to Casebar. I knew that if I didn't go I would be sorry so I think the biggest thing was just carrying through with the game plan I had all along."

 Greg Hackney

 Hometown: Gonzales, La.

 Weight: 16 pounds, 13 ounces

 What was your most successful pattern? "I caught them cranking on wood in two to three feet of water.

 Where did you fish during the first two days of the Major? "I was fishing south in the Tar Camp pool."

 What was the key to having the success you needed to get into the top 12 cut? "I just had a feeling that I knew where the quality fish were, and I just stayed there long enough for them to turn on and it happened."

 Brian Snowden

 Hometown: Reeds Spring, Mo.

 Weight: 15 pounds, 8 ounces

 What was your most successful pattern? "I was pitching a YUM 4-inch black neon tube with a ¼-ounce weight with a 17-pound silver thread line."

 Where did you fish during the first two days of the Major? "I was locking down to one pool. I was fishing river grass that was shallow."

 What was the key to having the success you needed to get into the top 12 cut? "I think I was just in the right place at the right time. I had shad moving with a little current through the area and they were feeding. That was one of those things were I made the right decision at the right time."

 Rick Clunn

 Hometown: Ava, Mo.

 Weight: 15 pounds, 0 ounces

 What was your most successful pattern? "I was alternating between a shad-colored RC 1.5 and 2.5 Squarebill. I catch so many quality fish on that bait at this time of the year and felt like I could catch enough to make the cut."

 Where did you fish during the first two days of the Major? "I was in the same place all week. Downriver where Snowden, McClelland, Browning, and myself. It is the next pool south."

 What was the key to having the success you needed to get into the top 12 cut? "Staying with the one bait that I knew would produce quality fish. I didn't worry about catching a limit or not. I felt like the normal five-fish limit would be good enough as a three-fish limit and thought that many each day would probably get me into the cut."

 Gary Klein

 Hometown: Weatherford, Texas

 Weight: 14 pounds, 15 ounces

 What was your most successful pattern? "What worked best for me was flipping and cranking in shallow water."

 Where did you fish during the first two days of the Major? "I was fishing down south in some backwater. All of the fish I caught were very shallow."

 What was the key to having the success you needed to get into the top 12 cut? "I found an area that had a few fish in it and no boats. I had it to myself and there weren't a lot of fish in there, but I was able to milk it for what is was worth. I surprised myself yesterday with the four keepers, but it was a factor not having other boats in the area. I worked everything over and over, very slowly."

 Dean Rojas

 Hometown: Lake Havasu, Ariz.

 Weight: 13 pounds, 14 ounces

 What was your most successful pattern? "I was using my Dean Rojas Spro Bronsi Frog. That is my go-to bait. When you only need three or four bites for quality fish, like a tournament like this, that is the thing I will turn to to get me that weight."

 Where did you fish during the first two days of the Major? "Down one pool. The same place Clunn, Snowden, and those guys were fishing in. It was all shallow water I was working in, and I mainly concentrated on shoreline grass."

 What was the key to having the success you needed to get into the top 12 cut? "Just a never-give-up attitude. I wasn't going to let the bass beat me today. I had the bites yesterday to do well and I just capitalized on those today and wasn't going down easy. Just fighting all the way through."

 Steve Kennedy

 Hometown: Auburn, Ala.

 Weight: 13 pounds, 13 ounces

 What was your most successful pattern? "I have been flipping the entire time."

 Where did you fish during the first two days of the Major? "I stayed right here in this pool and didn't deal with the locks. I was fishing anywhere from a foot to six feet in some grass."

 What was the key to having the success you needed to get into the top 12 cut? "I've just been very comfortable fishing around here. I was just looking for a couple of bites and knew I wasn't getting many, but hopefully would catch what I did get and hope that the other guys weren't catching them as well."

 Kevin Short

 Hometown: Mayflower, Ark.

 Weight: 12 pounds, 9 ounces

 What was your most successful pattern? "I was flipping matted grass all day with a Zoom Speed Crawl. I probably caught 30 fish but only would up with three keepers."

 Where did you fish during the first two days of the Major? "I fished in pool 6 yesterday and stayed in that area and played small ball. I had found some fish up in pool 7 but I knew one day of that would work and then I would be done. So I stayed in 6 all day."

 What was the key to having the success you needed to get into the top 12 cut? "I figured out two different patterns in a tough tournament so that was encouraging. Finding that one little school of fish was important too. I knew they were there and just kind of hoped that nobody else would find them."

 Shaw Grigsby

 Hometown: Gainesville, Fla.

 Weight: 11 pounds, 15 ounces

 What was your most successful pattern? "I was flipping a Strike Kind Wild Thing Jr. with a 1-ounce Penetrator weight. Quantum reel with a Gary Klein flipping stick. Today I also used Shaw's Baby Beaver and that worked out really well for me. After not getting a bite with the Jr. I figured I would throw something the fish hadn't seen and it worked."

 Where did you fish during the first two days of the Major? "I went up one pool to number 7. It has tons of mats in it and looks just like Florida, which was nice for me. You would have shallow mats in a foot of water and deeper mats in eight to 10 feet of water and I just stayed in those all day long."

 What was the key to having the success you needed to get into the top 12 cut? "Just being blessed because it was tough. I could have just as easily not gotten a keeper bite today."

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