Horne’s shallow strategy

Elite pro Harvey Horne made a strong Day-1 showing with a limit catch of 15-14 that landed him in fifth place. Today, he’s hoping to secure another solid limit by again pushing into unpressured waters.

Running about 10 miles upriver, Horne started on a main river offshore spot where he caught fish on a swim jig. After that, he moved into a backwater creek with his 21-foot XPress aluminum boat, which allowed him to sneak far back into shallow habitat and catch fish on a spinnerbait. 

“The area I’m in has some stained water, it’s really shallow and it’s a little bit warmer than the surrounding water, so I think the fish have pulled back in that shallow water,” Horne said. “I have two pad fields, and I only fished one of them (on Day 1).” 

As far as fishing pressure, Horne said he believes he’s dialed in a group of untouched fish. 

“I’m not really going anywhere that nobody else has been, because I know that other boats have been in the (general) area, but I know those fish really weren’t fooled with in practice,” he said. “I checked it two or three times, and nobody was in there.

“I was able to get in there on Day 1 and capitalize. I have another area close by that’s really similar. I think there’s more fish in (the second area), so I’m going to see what’s there.”

Horne’s a largemouth specialist, so today’s pre-frontal conditions should help his cause.

“The morning bite was better (on Day 1), but I think with the weather coming in, they’re going to bite all day,” Horne said.

As much as he’s confident in the backwater bite, Horne notes that his main river area produced his day’s biggest fish — a 4-8. Good to have options.