CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Fish globally. Think locally. A Lake Wylie pro has his hopes on another local pro winning when the world's top anglers compete this week in the Bassmaster American, the second major of the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Brit Meyers, an Elite Series rookie, was disappointed he didn't qualify for the event on his home lake, but he has high hopes for another angler, Jason Quinn.
"It's only one rookie that goes, but me and Jason Quinn are best friends, so I'm hoping he wins," said Meyers, who gives Quinn a definite advantage. "My honest opinion, I think if Jason makes the top 12, it's over. He wins it hands down."
Quinn, 12th in the Elite Series Power Index, guided on the lake for many years and knows its every nuance, Meyers said.
"He's really spent a lot of time on this lake," Meyers said. "He knows Lake Wylie better than any other local knows their lake."
With the midsection of the lake off limits Thursday and Friday, Meyers said Quinn's extensive knowledge of Saturday's hole areas would make him the prohibitive favorite.
"There's good fish in these holes. People don't realize how well the local guys know their lakes. In Lake Wylie, you've really got to know where they're setting to find them. Jason, he's been fishing this lake his entire life. He's going to be able to adapt and catch them."
On the first two days, Meyers said anglers will be concentrating north on the Catawba River and on the South Fork off the middle of Lake Wylie. He said he would throw jigs and topwater baits early then shallow crankbaits the rest of the day.
"They've got a pretty big off limits," he said. "The big story of the fishing, it will be really good up north. I promise you this, 10 out of the top 12 will come from up top."
"The fish will get deep in the river, but they're hard to find. Now that the river is up about a foot and the color has come into it, the fish are going to go shallow and get up against the cover, underneath trees."
Meyers, who lives on the river, said those who choose to go south will find it difficult to catch the 13-and-a-half pounds a day he thinks it will take to make the Top 12 cut, which he puts at 27 pounds.
"You've got a chance to catch a 20-pound bag up the river," he said. "The fish are a lot skinnier here, just not as healthy. You'll have a lot of fish with 5-pound heads that will weigh 3-and-half pounds. There's a lot of fish in the lake that are just long and skinny."
That will make getting off to a good start crucial.
"You can't slip one day," he said. "There's not enough big fish in the lake to jump you from the bottom of the pile to the top."