How-To

Day on the lake: Bernie Schultz

“There is nothing new under the sun!” King Solomon first said it around 950 B.C., and veteran pro Bernie Schultz, a passionate collector of antique lures, knows that where bass baits are concerned, Solomon’s statement still rings true today. “Today’s lure manufacturers constantly strive to come up with something new and different, but in reality, almost every bait we fish bears striking similarities to lures built decades ago,” Schultz explained. “For example, frog fishing became a so-called ‘hot new trend’ within the past decade, but bass anglers were throwing the hollow-bodied Hastings Weedless Frog way back in 1895. Swimbaits have taken over the Elite Series lately, but their basic design is reminiscent of the 1904 K&K Minnow. Shallow crankbaits are a huge lure category today, but they’re all descended from the Creek Chub Wiggler, dating back to 1916. And those noisy ‘plopper’ surface baits? They’re just like the vintage Mudd Puppy topwater plug your great-granddad used to throw.” So what “hot new” lures will Schultz use to tempt bass during his day on Lake Q? Stay tuned to find out!  <br><br> <b>6:42 a.m.</b> It’s 48 degrees and breaking daylight when we arrive at Lake Q’s deserted boat launch. The forecast calls for sunny skies and a high in the low 70s. Schultz arranges an assortment of Shimano rods and reels on his rig’s front deck. “Judging from the time of year and weather conditions, bass should be starting to move to the banks,” Schultz predicts. “I’ll start out shallow with moving baits like a swim jig, bladed jig and crankbait. This region has had massive rainfall recently, but the lake level looks stable and the water’s not muddy. It’s cloudy now, but hopefully it’ll clear off quickly so the sun has a chance to warm the water a few degrees and get the bass in a spawning mood.” 	<br><br> <B>7 HOURS LEFT</B><br> <b>7 a.m.</b> We launch the Caymas. Schultz checks the water temp: 58 degrees. He cranks the Merc and makes a short run to Lake Q’s dam. <br> <b>7:06 a.m.</b> Schultz digs through a storage locker and extracts a small box containing an assortment of hard baits. “These are Shimano lures that will be introduced to the U.S. market at this summer’s ICAST fishing tackle trade show. They’ve been available in Japan for some time, but American bass haven’t seen them yet.” He selects a Macbeth squarebill in a red craw pattern. “This is a hollow plastic crankbait that’s as buoyant as a balsa plug. It’s got an intense wobble, and you can cast it a city block.” He makes his first casts of the day to riprap lining the dam. “The water’s clearer here than at the ramp. I might have to try a jerkbait.” <br> <b>7:15 a.m.</b> Schultz cranks an overflow structure adjacent to the dam. “I’m seeing a ton of bait around that overflow on my electronics.” <br> <b>7:20 a.m.</b> Schultz switches to a ghost shad Shimano Rip Flash jerkbait. “This jerkbait doesn’t suspend; it rises slowly after you jerk it. This is actually the first time I’ve fished this lure; it looks amazing!” <br> <b>7:29 a.m.</b> Schultz moves to a shallow pocket (minicove) near the dam and tries a white 3/8-ounce ChatterBait bladed jig with a Zoom Fluke trailer around laydowns. <br> <b>7:35 a.m.</b> He switches to a white 3/8-ounce V&M swim jig with a Yamamoto Zako swimbait trailer, making short casts to brushy cover and shaking his rod during the retrieve “to activate the skirt and trailer.” <br> <b>7:42 a.m.</b> Schultz exits the pocket and makes a high-speed run to the upper end of the lake. He stops at a big flat with abundant shallow wood cover, replaces the trailer on his swim jig with a generic boot-tail shad and begins combing the big structure while moving along at a moderate clip. <br> <b>7:47 a.m.</b> Still covering water with the swim jig. “It’s a little murkier up here, which I like because shallow bass don’t spook as easily in off-colored water.” <br> <b>7:55 a.m.</b> Schultz spots a bass cruising near the bank; he pitches the swim jig at the fish and it skedaddles. “That was a male, probably looking for a place to fan out a nest.” <br><br> <b>6 HOURS LEFT</B><br> <b>8 a.m.</b> Schultz is running the shoreline, pitching the swim jig to shallow wood. “A swim jig is a good choice for covering shallow water fairly quickly; you can steer it around cover with your rod and, depending on what color you throw, it mimics either a shad, a bluegill or a crawfish.”
Photo: Don Wirth - “There is nothing new under the sun!” King Solomon first said it around 950 B.C., and veteran pro Bernie Schultz, a passionate collector of antique lures, knows that where bass baits are concerned, Solomon’s statement still rings true today. “Today’s lure manufacturers constantly strive to come up with something new and different, but in reality, almost every bait we fish bears striking similarities to lures built decades ago,” Schultz explained. “For example, frog fishing became a so-called ‘hot new trend’ within the past decade, but bass anglers were throwing the hollow-bodied Hastings Weedless Frog way back in 1895. Swimbaits have taken over the Elite Series lately, but their basic design is reminiscent of the 1904 K&K Minnow. Shallow crankbaits are a huge lure category today, but they’re all descended from the Creek Chub Wiggler, dating back to 1916. And those noisy ‘plopper’ surface baits? They’re just like the vintage Mudd Puppy topwater plug your great-granddad used to throw.” So what “hot new” lures will Schultz use to tempt bass during his day on Lake Q? Stay tuned to find out!

6:42 a.m. It’s 48 degrees and breaking daylight when we arrive at Lake Q’s deserted boat launch. The forecast calls for sunny skies and a high in the low 70s. Schultz arranges an assortment of Shimano rods and reels on his rig’s front deck. “Judging from the time of year and weather conditions, bass should be starting to move to the banks,” Schultz predicts. “I’ll start out shallow with moving baits like a swim jig, bladed jig and crankbait. This region has had massive rainfall recently, but the lake level looks stable and the water’s not muddy. It’s cloudy now, but hopefully it’ll clear off quickly so the sun has a chance to warm the water a few degrees and get the bass in a spawning mood.”

7 HOURS LEFT
7 a.m. We launch the Caymas. Schultz checks the water temp: 58 degrees. He cranks the Merc and makes a short run to Lake Q’s dam.
7:06 a.m. Schultz digs through a storage locker and extracts a small box containing an assortment of hard baits. “These are Shimano lures that will be introduced to the U.S. market at this summer’s ICAST fishing tackle trade show. They’ve been available in Japan for some time, but American bass haven’t seen them yet.” He selects a Macbeth squarebill in a red craw pattern. “This is a hollow plastic crankbait that’s as buoyant as a balsa plug. It’s got an intense wobble, and you can cast it a city block.” He makes his first casts of the day to riprap lining the dam. “The water’s clearer here than at the ramp. I might have to try a jerkbait.”
7:15 a.m. Schultz cranks an overflow structure adjacent to the dam. “I’m seeing a ton of bait around that overflow on my electronics.”
7:20 a.m. Schultz switches to a ghost shad Shimano Rip Flash jerkbait. “This jerkbait doesn’t suspend; it rises slowly after you jerk it. This is actually the first time I’ve fished this lure; it looks amazing!”
7:29 a.m. Schultz moves to a shallow pocket (minicove) near the dam and tries a white 3/8-ounce ChatterBait bladed jig with a Zoom Fluke trailer around laydowns.
7:35 a.m. He switches to a white 3/8-ounce V&M swim jig with a Yamamoto Zako swimbait trailer, making short casts to brushy cover and shaking his rod during the retrieve “to activate the skirt and trailer.”
7:42 a.m. Schultz exits the pocket and makes a high-speed run to the upper end of the lake. He stops at a big flat with abundant shallow wood cover, replaces the trailer on his swim jig with a generic boot-tail shad and begins combing the big structure while moving along at a moderate clip.
7:47 a.m. Still covering water with the swim jig. “It’s a little murkier up here, which I like because shallow bass don’t spook as easily in off-colored water.”
7:55 a.m. Schultz spots a bass cruising near the bank; he pitches the swim jig at the fish and it skedaddles. “That was a male, probably looking for a place to fan out a nest.”

6 HOURS LEFT
8 a.m. Schultz is running the shoreline, pitching the swim jig to shallow wood. “A swim jig is a good choice for covering shallow water fairly quickly; you can steer it around cover with your rod and, depending on what color you throw, it mimics either a shad, a bluegill or a crawfish.”
<b>8:11 a.m.</b> Schultz runs the swim jig down a big laydown and a good fish loads on. He swings aboard his first keeper of the day, a chunky 2-pound, 2-ounce largemouth. “I’d been keying on cover tighter to shore, but this fish was on a laydown farther off the bank. That’s useful input; maybe they’re staging on cover a bit farther from shore and waiting for the water to warm a few degrees before moving in tighter to spawn.” <br> <b>8:16 a.m.</b> Schultz moves farther uplake with the swim jig. His trolling motor is kicking up mud. <br> <b>8:29 a.m.</b> He moves to the back of a shallow pocket to try the swim jig in a muddy inflow. <br> <b>8:44 a.m.</b> Schultz bags a nonkeeper off an isolated stickup on the Shimano squarebill. <br> <b>8:48 a.m.</b> Schultz bangs the squarebill off a partially submerged metal pipe. “Clang! That ought to wake ’em up!” <br> <b>8:54 a.m.</b> Schultz hits an isolated brushpile with the swim jig and squarebill. No takers here, so he stashes his trolling motor and straps down his rods. “I’m going to look around the lake a little more.” <br><br> <b>5 HOURS LEFT</B><br> <b>9 a.m.</b> Schultz locates a submerged rockpile offshore and casts a brass and green Lucky Craft 2.0 squarebill around the structure. <br> <b>9:09 a.m.</b> He tries a watermelon Zoom Trick Worm rigged wacky style on the rockpile, then quickly switches to a Yamamoto Kut Tail worm in the morning dawn pattern on a drop-shot rig. ”I’m seeing a bunch of fish here on my forward-shooting electronics.”<br> <b>9:10 a.m.</b> Schultz catches a short fish on the drop-shot worm, then points to his graph: “Check it out; these fish are holding around what looks like a big tractor tire on the bottom!” <br> <b>9:19 a.m.</b> Still fishing the submerged tire. “There’s a bunch of fish down there, but they look pretty small.” He hangs the drop-shot sinker in some brush, breaks off and reties. <br> <b>9:26 a.m.</b> Schultz tries a shad pattern Rapala DT6 diving crankbait around the rockpile. <br> <b>9:34 a.m.</b> Schultz rigs a 4-inch watermelon/green pumpkin Yamamoto Senko stickworm on a 1/8-ounce shaky head and casts it repeatedly to the sunken tire.
Photo: Don Wirth - 8:11 a.m. Schultz runs the swim jig down a big laydown and a good fish loads on. He swings aboard his first keeper of the day, a chunky 2-pound, 2-ounce largemouth. “I’d been keying on cover tighter to shore, but this fish was on a laydown farther off the bank. That’s useful input; maybe they’re staging on cover a bit farther from shore and waiting for the water to warm a few degrees before moving in tighter to spawn.”
8:16 a.m. Schultz moves farther uplake with the swim jig. His trolling motor is kicking up mud.
8:29 a.m. He moves to the back of a shallow pocket to try the swim jig in a muddy inflow.
8:44 a.m. Schultz bags a nonkeeper off an isolated stickup on the Shimano squarebill.
8:48 a.m. Schultz bangs the squarebill off a partially submerged metal pipe. “Clang! That ought to wake ’em up!”
8:54 a.m. Schultz hits an isolated brushpile with the swim jig and squarebill. No takers here, so he stashes his trolling motor and straps down his rods. “I’m going to look around the lake a little more.”

5 HOURS LEFT
9 a.m. Schultz locates a submerged rockpile offshore and casts a brass and green Lucky Craft 2.0 squarebill around the structure.
9:09 a.m. He tries a watermelon Zoom Trick Worm rigged wacky style on the rockpile, then quickly switches to a Yamamoto Kut Tail worm in the morning dawn pattern on a drop-shot rig. ”I’m seeing a bunch of fish here on my forward-shooting electronics.”
9:10 a.m. Schultz catches a short fish on the drop-shot worm, then points to his graph: “Check it out; these fish are holding around what looks like a big tractor tire on the bottom!”
9:19 a.m. Still fishing the submerged tire. “There’s a bunch of fish down there, but they look pretty small.” He hangs the drop-shot sinker in some brush, breaks off and reties.
9:26 a.m. Schultz tries a shad pattern Rapala DT6 diving crankbait around the rockpile.
9:34 a.m. Schultz rigs a 4-inch watermelon/green pumpkin Yamamoto Senko stickworm on a 1/8-ounce shaky head and casts it repeatedly to the sunken tire.
<b>9:44 a.m.</b> Schultz moves to a nearby boathouse, where he tries the shaky head worm and swim jig. <br> <b>9:51 a.m.</b> Schultz hits another boathouse with the swim jig. “These docks are awfully shallow. Hopefully, I’ll find some with deeper water around them.” <br><br> <b>4 HOURS LEFT</B><br> <b>10 a.m.</b> The row of docks ends at a shallow point. Schultz probes a big laydown extending off the structure with the swim jig, squarebill and shaky head; all three haul water. “I can’t believe I didn’t catch one there!” <br> <b>10:09 a.m.</b> Schultz resumes cranking the point with the DT6. “I’m seeing fish here on my electronics, but I’m wondering if they’re bass.” <br> <b>10:14 a.m.</b> Schultz rounds the point and fishes a pocket with the swim jig. <br> <b>10:16 a.m.</b> He casts the DT6 to a submerged stump. A bass smacks it but doesn’t hook up. <br> <b>10:18 a.m.</b> Schultz moves back to the point with the big laydown and tries both the Lucky Craft and Rapala squarebills on the structure. <br> <b>10:22 a.m.</b> Moving back to the pocket he’d been fishing, Schultz bags a squealer on the swim jig. <br> <b>10:26 a.m.</b> Schultz moves into a tributary arm and tries the jerkbait around submerged stumps. <br> <b>10:28 a.m.</b> He ties on a blue and chartreuse Shimano Macbeth Flat flat-sided crankbait and casts it parallel to a shallow flat. <br> <b>10:39 a.m.</b> Schultz tries a 3/8-ounce chartreuse and white Hildebrandt Tin Roller spinnerbait on the stump flat. “I designed this lure specifically for slow rolling; it has a tin head and blades for a slow fall, intense vibration and realistic flash.” He catches a short fish on his first cast with the spinnerbait. <br> <b>10:44 a.m.</b> Schultz upgrades to a 1/2-ounce Tin Roller, “so I can hit those deeper stumps.” <br> <b>10:56 a.m.</b> Schultz can’t stand not trying the spinnerbait on the laydown point, so he zips back there, slow rolls it through the branches and gets a hard strike — but the fish doesn’t hook up!  <br><br> <b>3 HOURS LEFT</B><br> <b>11:13 a.m.</b> Schultz finally abandons the point and runs back to a flat he fished earlier with the swimbait. He now combs the structure with the Tin Roller. <br> <b>11:18 a.m.</b> The wind is gusting 15 mph out of the southeast as Schultz tries the swim jig again on the flat. “The water’s dirtier here than on that stump flat. Maybe they’ll slide up shallower on this bank.” <br> <b>11:23 a.m.</b> The wind is blowing straight onto the flat, prompting Schultz to go back to the Tin Roller. “Spinnerbaits work best in windy conditions — the rougher, the better. Chop on the surface diffuses the flash, so the blades look like a school of fleeing baitfish.” <br> <b>11:30 a.m.</b> Schultz tries a chrome and gold Rapala Rippin’ Rap lipless crankbait on the flat. <br> <b>11:47 a.m.</b> Schultz comes to a series of shoreline pockets and pounds them with the swim jig, wacky worm and spinnerbait. No luck, however. <br><br> <b>2 HOURS LEFT</B><br>
Schultz has his trolling motor on high while burning the Rippin’ Rap around uplake flats and pockets. <br> <b>12:14 p.m.</b> Schultz has reached a point studded with submerged stumps and laydowns at the mouth of a feeder creek. He works the juicy-looking structure over with the spinnerbait, swim jig and shaky head without success. “This looks like the best dang spot on the entire lake, but appearances can be deceiving. I’m starting to think the bass in this lake just don’t like cover!” <br> <b>12:22 p.m.</b> Schultz ties on a 1/2-ounce green pumpkin/orange jig (brand unknown), adds a matching Yamamoto Fat Baby Craw trailer and flips it into the laydown. <br> <b>12:30 p.m.</b> Schultz enters the creek adjacent to the point and alternates between the flipping jig and jerkbait. <br> <b>12:44 p.m.</b> He retrieves the ChatterBait down a big, submerged log. <br> <b>12:55 p.m.</b> Schultz has reached the extreme back end of the tributary. He tries the swim jig and lipless crank here but can’t coax a strike.  <br><br> <b>1 HOUR LEFT</b><br> <b>1 p.m.</b> Schultz vacates the creek, then hits two boathouses near its entrance with the DT6 and jerkbait. <br> <b>1:15 p.m.</b> A bass “knocks the crap” out of Schultz’s jerkbait near a boathouse, again without hooking up! “As sharp as those hooks are, that’s hard to believe!” <br> <b>1:19 p.m.</b> Schultz blasts back to the offshore rockpile he fished earlier and casts the DT6 to the structure. <br> <b>1:24 p.m.</b> A big fish smashes the DT6 on the rockpile but comes unbuttoned!
Photo: Don Wirth - 9:44 a.m. Schultz moves to a nearby boathouse, where he tries the shaky head worm and swim jig.
9:51 a.m. Schultz hits another boathouse with the swim jig. “These docks are awfully shallow. Hopefully, I’ll find some with deeper water around them.”

4 HOURS LEFT
10 a.m. The row of docks ends at a shallow point. Schultz probes a big laydown extending off the structure with the swim jig, squarebill and shaky head; all three haul water. “I can’t believe I didn’t catch one there!”
10:09 a.m. Schultz resumes cranking the point with the DT6. “I’m seeing fish here on my electronics, but I’m wondering if they’re bass.”
10:14 a.m. Schultz rounds the point and fishes a pocket with the swim jig.
10:16 a.m. He casts the DT6 to a submerged stump. A bass smacks it but doesn’t hook up.
10:18 a.m. Schultz moves back to the point with the big laydown and tries both the Lucky Craft and Rapala squarebills on the structure.
10:22 a.m. Moving back to the pocket he’d been fishing, Schultz bags a squealer on the swim jig.
10:26 a.m. Schultz moves into a tributary arm and tries the jerkbait around submerged stumps.
10:28 a.m. He ties on a blue and chartreuse Shimano Macbeth Flat flat-sided crankbait and casts it parallel to a shallow flat.
10:39 a.m. Schultz tries a 3/8-ounce chartreuse and white Hildebrandt Tin Roller spinnerbait on the stump flat. “I designed this lure specifically for slow rolling; it has a tin head and blades for a slow fall, intense vibration and realistic flash.” He catches a short fish on his first cast with the spinnerbait.
10:44 a.m. Schultz upgrades to a 1/2-ounce Tin Roller, “so I can hit those deeper stumps.”
10:56 a.m. Schultz can’t stand not trying the spinnerbait on the laydown point, so he zips back there, slow rolls it through the branches and gets a hard strike — but the fish doesn’t hook up!

3 HOURS LEFT
11:13 a.m. Schultz finally abandons the point and runs back to a flat he fished earlier with the swimbait. He now combs the structure with the Tin Roller.
11:18 a.m. The wind is gusting 15 mph out of the southeast as Schultz tries the swim jig again on the flat. “The water’s dirtier here than on that stump flat. Maybe they’ll slide up shallower on this bank.”
11:23 a.m. The wind is blowing straight onto the flat, prompting Schultz to go back to the Tin Roller. “Spinnerbaits work best in windy conditions — the rougher, the better. Chop on the surface diffuses the flash, so the blades look like a school of fleeing baitfish.”
11:30 a.m. Schultz tries a chrome and gold Rapala Rippin’ Rap lipless crankbait on the flat.
11:47 a.m. Schultz comes to a series of shoreline pockets and pounds them with the swim jig, wacky worm and spinnerbait. No luck, however.

2 HOURS LEFT
Schultz has his trolling motor on high while burning the Rippin’ Rap around uplake flats and pockets.
12:14 p.m. Schultz has reached a point studded with submerged stumps and laydowns at the mouth of a feeder creek. He works the juicy-looking structure over with the spinnerbait, swim jig and shaky head without success. “This looks like the best dang spot on the entire lake, but appearances can be deceiving. I’m starting to think the bass in this lake just don’t like cover!”
12:22 p.m. Schultz ties on a 1/2-ounce green pumpkin/orange jig (brand unknown), adds a matching Yamamoto Fat Baby Craw trailer and flips it into the laydown.
12:30 p.m. Schultz enters the creek adjacent to the point and alternates between the flipping jig and jerkbait.
12:44 p.m. He retrieves the ChatterBait down a big, submerged log.
12:55 p.m. Schultz has reached the extreme back end of the tributary. He tries the swim jig and lipless crank here but can’t coax a strike.

1 HOUR LEFT
1 p.m. Schultz vacates the creek, then hits two boathouses near its entrance with the DT6 and jerkbait.
1:15 p.m. A bass “knocks the crap” out of Schultz’s jerkbait near a boathouse, again without hooking up! “As sharp as those hooks are, that’s hard to believe!”
1:19 p.m. Schultz blasts back to the offshore rockpile he fished earlier and casts the DT6 to the structure.
1:24 p.m. A big fish smashes the DT6 on the rockpile but comes unbuttoned!
<b>1:28 p.m.</b> Schultz roots the DT6 down the rockpile and gets another savage strike! The fish surges for deep water, then Schultz works it close enough to see there is only one hook in the tip of its jaw. He races off the front deck, eases the bass toward him and grabs his second keeper of the day, a fine 5-11 largemouth! “Wow, that was close! If that fish had made one more run, I guarantee the hook would have pulled out!” <br> <b>1:32 p.m.</b> Back to cranking the rockpile. “I’ve had three big fish hit in the last 15 minutes and barely managed to land one of them. They’re getting more aggressive but for some reason they aren’t hooking up solidly.” <br> <b>1:44 p.m.</b> With 20 minutes remaining, Schultz rolls the dice and races a mile downlake to another offshore high spot he’s located with his electronics. <br> <b>1:53 p.m.</b> Schultz locates a wad of fish near the dropoff on the ledge, pitches the finesse worm to the school and shakes it repeatedly. “They’re suspended right over the drop in a tower formation, which makes me think they’re crappie.”
Photo: Don Wirth - 1:28 p.m. Schultz roots the DT6 down the rockpile and gets another savage strike! The fish surges for deep water, then Schultz works it close enough to see there is only one hook in the tip of its jaw. He races off the front deck, eases the bass toward him and grabs his second keeper of the day, a fine 5-11 largemouth! “Wow, that was close! If that fish had made one more run, I guarantee the hook would have pulled out!”
1:32 p.m. Back to cranking the rockpile. “I’ve had three big fish hit in the last 15 minutes and barely managed to land one of them. They’re getting more aggressive but for some reason they aren’t hooking up solidly.”
1:44 p.m. With 20 minutes remaining, Schultz rolls the dice and races a mile downlake to another offshore high spot he’s located with his electronics.
1:53 p.m. Schultz locates a wad of fish near the dropoff on the ledge, pitches the finesse worm to the school and shakes it repeatedly. “They’re suspended right over the drop in a tower formation, which makes me think they’re crappie.”
<b>2 p.m.</b> Time’s up! It’s been a bit of a grind today for Schultz, but his last-minute lunker provided a thrilling finish and boosted his total catch to 7 pounds, 13 ounces. <br><br> <b>THE DAY IN PERSPECTIVE</b><br>
“Catching that 2-pounder off shallow cover early led me down the wrong path for most of the day,” Schultz told <em>Bassmaster</em>. “With the water and weather conditions we had today, I expected a lot more fish to be moving up and staging on cover adjacent to potential spawning areas, but either they haven’t moved up yet or I wasn’t using the right lures to get bit where I was fishing. Going back to that rockpile late in the day proved to be the right move; I caught that 5-11 there and lost one that felt even bigger. If I were to fish this lake tomorrow, I’d spend way more time pounding deeper offshore structures with the crankbait and jerkbait — either that, or I’d dig through my antique lure stash and maybe throw a Creek Chub Wiggler at ’em up shallow!” <br><br> <b>WHERE AND WHEN BERNIE SCHULTZ CAUGHT HIS TWO BIGGEST BASS</b><br> 1: 2 pounds, 2 ounces; white 3/8-ounce V&M swim jig with generic boot-tail shad trailer; laydown on flat; 8:11 a.m.<br> 2: 5 pounds, 11 ounces; shad pattern Rapala DT6 crankbait; offshore rockpile; 1:28 p.m. <br> <b>TOTAL: 7 POUNDS, 13 OUNCES</b>
Photo: Don Wirth - 2 p.m. Time’s up! It’s been a bit of a grind today for Schultz, but his last-minute lunker provided a thrilling finish and boosted his total catch to 7 pounds, 13 ounces.

THE DAY IN PERSPECTIVE
“Catching that 2-pounder off shallow cover early led me down the wrong path for most of the day,” Schultz told Bassmaster. “With the water and weather conditions we had today, I expected a lot more fish to be moving up and staging on cover adjacent to potential spawning areas, but either they haven’t moved up yet or I wasn’t using the right lures to get bit where I was fishing. Going back to that rockpile late in the day proved to be the right move; I caught that 5-11 there and lost one that felt even bigger. If I were to fish this lake tomorrow, I’d spend way more time pounding deeper offshore structures with the crankbait and jerkbait — either that, or I’d dig through my antique lure stash and maybe throw a Creek Chub Wiggler at ’em up shallow!”

WHERE AND WHEN BERNIE SCHULTZ CAUGHT HIS TWO BIGGEST BASS
1: 2 pounds, 2 ounces; white 3/8-ounce V&M swim jig with generic boot-tail shad trailer; laydown on flat; 8:11 a.m.
2: 5 pounds, 11 ounces; shad pattern Rapala DT6 crankbait; offshore rockpile; 1:28 p.m.
TOTAL: 7 POUNDS, 13 OUNCES