This is the second installment in a five-part series retracing the steps that led Elite Series pro Scott Canterbury to his first Bassmaster Angler of the Year title in 2019. We pick back up at the third stop of the season.
With nothing but opportunity and optimism in his pockets, Canterbury rolled into Hartwell for stop No. 3, and with a heavy dose of history once again.
“I had been there that time of year several times before. I knew the lake really well and knew the fish should have been bedding and trying to spawn,” he said.
But Hartwell has a tendency to warm up in certain areas faster than others.
“I just picked the wrong area to really have a chance that week. I had a pretty good tournament and caught most of the fish I saw. But the biggest fish I found during practice, another boat started on. I mean we sat down at the same time, and he caught it on his second pitch, so that may have changed the outcome a little bit.”
A frustrating start for Canterbury, but not nearly the most frustrating part of the event.
“On Day 2 of that tournament I found a 4 1/2-pounder. I used to say I could catch every one that I saw on a bed. But that fish was just so aggravating. I fished for it for about an hour and 20 minutes and it never looked at my bait. I picked up a swimbait and just reeled it past the bed and she chased it out and swallowed the whole bait, but I missed her.”
The near miss convinced him to invest another 40 minutes into the fish, but it never bit again that day. A similar scenario also played out on Day 3 however.