Northern Open: Three on three

The Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open held out of the Detroit River has been a fishing slugfest. On a memorable day one, the 147 pros delivered 711 bass to the scales weighing a collective 2,369 pounds. Twenty-pound bags of smallmouth were the norm for the Top 10, but yesterday the double-digit bags were limited to the Top 5 anglers.

Based on the consistency of the weights and the superb fishing on Lake St. Clair, picking a winner from the top three finalists is anybody’s guess.

Here’s a look at how they fared going into the final morning and their expectations for the day.


1. Brian Metry (45-5)

Key pattern and strategy so far: In the morning I started out throwing crankbaits on the main lake. I caught my limit within a couple of hours. Then I moved up the river to upgrade to the bigger fish.

Game plan for today: I’m going to skip the lake and go right up into the river for the big bite, using the crankbait.

Biggest challenge in making the cut: It’s more personal than related to a fishing strategy. You’ve got to spend a lot of days on the water practicing, and it’s hard to be away from my kids.


2. Jason Christie (44-7)

Key pattern and strategy so far: This is only my second time on the lake. I’m only fishing one area. It’s made me better off because I’m not running around. There’s so many fish in this lake, so I’ve been better off sticking to one area. It’s got good quality bass and plenty of them.

Game plan for today: I’m going back to the same area. The fish are moving around but they’re confined to about a one-quarter-mile area. I’m using a crankbait and drop shot rig.

Biggest challenge in making the cut: Coming to a lake like this where there are fish practically everywhere you go. And then narrowing down the choices to where is the best place to spend your time.


3. Brian Ward (43-15)

Key pattern and strategy so far: I caught schooling bass that were following baitfish. I caught them on a drop shot rig. Game plan for today: I’m sticking with the same plan. There’s plenty of fish, plenty of bait. I’ll just go back out and find the school and go from there.

Biggest challenge in making the cut: In a multi-day tournament like this you’ve got to find the right combination of quantity and quality in the fish. You’ve got to have the number of fish to sustain your pattern. And here, they’ve got to be of a good size. 

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