Keys to Success

MONETA, Va. — Here are the patterns, lures and water depths that the final 12 anglers in the Blue Ridge Brawl presented by Advance Auto Parts used this week on Smith Mountain Lake, and the weight each man said at the launch that he'd need to win this Elite Series event:

Casey Ashley (1st place, 47 pounds, 9 ounces)

Pattern: "I'm fishing rocks and long points off the main river channel. Catching 'em early has been tough, but once they move into the rocks, I'm getting them."

Lure: Eakins finesse jig with peanut butter and jelly color. Also, a finesse worm in the rocks.

Depth: Twelve to 14 feet.

Weight: "I figure I'll need 12 pounds to take it."

Dean Rojas (2nd, 42-15)

Pattern: "I'm hitting lay-down trees and brush."

Lure: Signature frog.

Depth: Zero to 10 feet.

Weight: "I'm shooting for 20 pounds. Two to three big bites — 4-, 5-, 6-pound fish."

Boyd Duckett (t-3rd, 41-9)

Pattern: Deep water pattern

Lure: "Jigging today because I like this cloud cover. And dropshotting that 6-inch, hand-poured worm with PowerBait has worked."

Depth: Twenty feet.

Weight: Eighteen pounds of fish.

Skeet Reese (t-3rd, 41-9)

Pattern: "Different patterns for beds to docks to main lake points. I'm changing up what I'm doing."

Lure: Lucky Craft jerkbait, dropshot, jig, swimbait, grubs and frogs.

Depth: "Mostly around 10 feet or less."

Weight: Seventeen pounds to win.

Takahiro Omori (5th, 40-1)

Pattern: "I'm moving topwater before the sun comes up. After that, I go fishing points. Then, after 12 o'clock, I'm going to fish a bed."

Lure: Senko on the beds.

Depth: Five feet.

Weight: "To win? That's a good question. I'm not expecting to win. I just want to have a good day and catch the best I can."

Terry Scroggins (6th, 39-14)

Pattern: Topwater for two hours in the morning (longer on Sunday because of cloud cover) and deep structure (long points and ledges) the rest of the day.

Lure: Excalibur Zell Pop (topwater), dropshot with 6-inch Yum Houdini worm (structure), shaky head with 6-inch Yum Houdini worm (structure).

Depth: Zero to 5 feet for topwater pattern, targeting laydowns and other cover, and 14 to 15 feet for structure.

Weight: Twenty pounds.

John Murray (7th, 39-10)

Pattern: Sightfishing and deep structure.

Lure: Watermelon red Yamamoto Senko (sightfishing) and dropshot with oxblood Roboworm (deep structure).

Depth: Zero to 20 feet.

Weight: Twenty pounds plus.

Matt Sphar (8th, 39-7)
Pattern: Finesse fishing docks and dropshotting.

Lure: Finesse worm.

Depth: Two to 15 feet.

Weight: "It'd have to be pretty dang big. Well over 20 pounds."

Morizo Shimizu (9th, 38-8)
Pattern: In the morning, shallow and finesse fishing. Later, boat docks.

Lure: Topwater and shaky heads.

Depth: Three feet in the morning and 14 to 15 in the afternoon.

Weight: "A good 25 pounds."

John Crews (10th, 38-1)
Pattern: "I'm jumping around a lot, hitting a lot of one-fish places," especially brush and rocks.

Lure: Crankbait and "worms of all riggings."

Depth: Eight to 12 feet.

Weight: "I'm shooting for at least 20."

Dave Wolak (11th, 37-14)
Pattern: Uplake, hitting points for post-spawn fish. Downlake, looking for pockets and some points.

Lure: Spinnerbait, and pitching a worm.

Depth: Five to 12 feet.

Weight: "I need 20s."

Mike Wurm (12th, 37-10)S
Pattern: "I'm trying to key on main lake points that are pretty far out, to protect shad."

Lure: Shaky head or lead head, and a Strike King finesse worm on 8-pound line.

Depth: As the water warmed this week, it went from 6 to 8 feet to 10 to 15 feet.

Weight: "Twenty-something."

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