Patrick Walters found it eerie he said some things five months ago that foreshadowed his blowout victory on Lake Fork, and he even nailed the final moments of his pursuit for 100 pounds.
Walters lapped the field at the recent Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife, catching 104 pounds, 12 ounces over four days. His comments in June proved prophetic as he said he loves tough events, the kind where bites are hard to come by, where figuring out the puzzle separates you from the field.
“I always love finding sneaky little hidden patterns. In tough tournaments, it gets you a bite and limits,” he said for Fall — the final frontier. “Those are the ones you remember most, because that’s when all the little tricks come out … the little stuff everybody is doing differently. You learn more.”
Walters was taken aback when told of his quotes.
“Did I say that five months ago? Are you serious? That gives you chill bumps,” he said. “What are the odds of that? I didn’t think I was going to separate like that.”
Walters taught the lessons in schooling the other 84 Elites, many of whom struggled to find answers in the fall transition tests. While limits were hard to come by for most, Walters unlocked a sneaky little pattern, using jerkbaits to entice bass from standing timber while watching the pursuits on his electronics. One of only four to catch five-fish limits each day, Walters topped 25 pounds the first two days to grab an 11-3 lead before his big bag of the event, 29-6, really turned it into a romp.
Going into the event, Walters said he was shooting for the big bass to win a Toyota Tundra. While his 9-1 early on Day 3 ended up a half a pound shy, the lunker gave him the feeling he might be able to win.
“I had no idea the potential was there,” he said. “I just wanted to go catch 15 to 17 pounds. Day 3, when I started with that 9-pounder, I thought, ‘We’ve got a chance. Let’s just go ahead and win it. This is real.’ At the end of that day, I never looked at the lead (25 pounds). I need one more day of hard fishing just to win.”
It was hard catching fish for many others in the field. There were only 113 limits out of 220 chances at Fork, and Walters even had to sweat out Championship Sunday. Not really the outcome, mind you. Just weeks after winning an Open, he pretty much had a blue trophy wrapped up. Walters didn’t even need to weigh a fish on the final day to win, but it became apparent how badly he wanted to top 100 pounds.