Team Toyota’s Brandon Lester isn’t having problems catching bass at the DeWALT Bassmaster Elite Series on lake Eufaula. In fact, he caught a highly respectable 19-pound limit yesterday to end Day 1 in 21st place.
Fact is, the easy-going resident of Fayetteville, TN with the beautiful beard tends to catch ‘em everywhere he goes. He’s made the last three Bassmaster Classics in a row, and cashes a check in nearly 70% of the B.A.S.S. events he enters.
Lester’s struggle at Eufaula is having to sort through a ton of peanut-sized bass to connect with the 5-pounders you have to catch to move way up the leaderboard.
“I think I caught 43 fish yesterday to end up with the 19 pounds I brought to the scales, and at one point I know I caught 15 little ones in a row before I caught that 5-pounder,” said a slightly perplexed Lester just before Day 2 began.
He and his wife Kim, and their two daughters are staying at a friend’s home about 30 minutes from launch in the town of Baker Hill, and you can bet he spent most of his morning commute to the ramp thinking about how to make the big ones bite Thursday.
“Typically, not always, but typically, the biggest fish in a school will bite a moving bait like a crankbait or a swimbait first, versus a jig or worm. So I’ll definitely keep winding this crankbait a ton,” says Lester.
He’s certainly not short on schools to wind his plug through. He spent roughly 38 hours practicing in three days, and only fished 2 of those 38 hours. The rest of the time was spent riding around looking at his sonar screens and marking schools of bass with waypoints.
“I’ve never fished Eufaula prior to this week, but it fishes really similar to the Tennessee River impoundments I feel at home on like Guntersville, so I’ll just keep cranking until I run into a big one,” says Lester.
“If I catch one of the 7 or 8 pounders that live here, I’ll be near the top of the leaderboard real quick,” he concludes.
Don’t bet against him. The top of the leaderboard is generally a pretty familiar place for Lester.