Prior to the Basspro.com Bassmaster Eastern Open on Cherokee Lake, most agreed that we’d see a mix of smallmouth and largemouth bass. Spotted bass were likely to play little to no role because they typically lack the size of their two black bass cousins.
As expected, the larger two species dominated Day 1, but pro angler Davey May scored a full house — all three species in his Day-1 catch of 6 pounds, 8 ounces. In his view, bait diversity is what facilitated the diverse bag.
“I hadn’t caught a lot of spotted bass in practice; it was mostly largemouth and smallmouth,” May said. “I think that picking up a swimbait is what opened the options.
“I was fishing brush, and I knew all three species were in there. I was throwing crankbaits and topwaters, but the spots weren’t hitting those.”
May caught his keeper largemouth and smallmouth on topwater baits. His spotted bass ate a 4-inch swimbait, Texas-rigged on a 3/0 hook with a 1/4-ounce bullet weight.
“All three were within 50 yards,” May said. “This was a little cove off the main river channel so it could have been the bait that was in there.”