Walters watch

Patrick Walters is coming off a strong fourth-place finish on Sunday at the St. Johns River. And now here he is climbing up the BASSTrakk leaderboard, coincidentally in fourth place at 9:34 a.m.

This young rookie has lots going his way. First, he is fishing with great confidence, considering his practice got cut short by fishing Championship Sunday. Little time on the water? No problem. The reason is Lake Lanier is in the angling wheelhouse of Walters, who grew up honing his skills on similar lakes. Those include Lake Murray and Lake Hartwell, both in South Carolina. The key tie-in are the blue herring found in all three lakes.

Walters knows how to dial into deep fish with his electronic eyes. Reading a depthfinder is one thing. Knowing what to look for is another. This 24-year-old college champion knows the obscure, minute sweet spots to dial in on with the bite as it stands.

It’ll be fun to watch how he does this week in familiar surroundings, and on a mental high.