Brandon Lester is doing what many anglers are doing right now on Lake Hartwell — spinning the roulette wheel and hoping it lands on the right cane pile.
Lester told me during practice that he spent most of it marking cane piles (see my earlier blog defining a cane pile).
"I'm trying to find something different near them, something that nobody else finds, so I have a place all to myself."
That's what Lester does back home when fishing another highly pressured fishery, Lake Guntersville. A skilled ledge angler, he looks for a drain or something secondary to the ledge that might attract bass nearby.
Back at Hartwell, Lester is spending less than 10 minutes on any given cane pile, looking for evidence of schooling bass. If they come up, it's game on with a topwater. If not, he moves on.
The good news is there is a limit of five bass in the livewell. The not so good news is those bass average less than 2 pounds apiece. What is likely to be seen is a wide margin between a huge number of anglers weighing limits in the 8-pound range, against those breaking the 10-pound mark or higher.