The one piece of gear that you'd never think of seeing this week on Cherokee Lake is in the hands of David Mullins. It's gear that will likely see use at the next event at Lake Okeechobee, not the deep, clear water of Cherokee.
In Mullins hand is a push pole. He used it to push his boat over shallow rocks to gain access to a pond. It's familiar territory. Mullins previously caught a 20-pound bag to win a tournament in this pond during this time of the year and under the same fishing conditions.
What makes it unique is the location near an island. Those are proving key for the top anglers, Jesse Wiggins included. The islands near ponds like those fished by Wiggins, and now Mullins, create current breaks for the predator smallmouth. They use the calm water to ambush baitfish.
Mullins planned to fish the spot now occupied by Wiggins. Instead, he's potentially pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the few hours remaining in the tournament. Saving this spot for last could be a wise move.