Crews’ thorough combing of the point has failed to produce a bass. He runs to Lake N’s dam and casts the Whopper Plopper to riprap.
He retrieves a white 1/2-ounce Z-Man ChatterBait with a matching Missile shad trailer parallel to the dam.
Crews hits a pocket near the dam with the Plopper.
4 HOURS LEFT
10:02 a.m. Crews cranks the Fat John around a rocky bank. It hangs in some old fishing line; he retrieves the plug to find a waterlogged creature bait tangled in the hooks. “It’s not one of mine.”
10:11 a.m. He tries the buzzbait in a shoreline pocket.
10:15 a.m. Crews flips laydowns with the jig. “I was going to run uplake, but I think I’ll stay put until this monsoon slacks off!”
10:18 a.m. Crews rigs a green pumpkin Missile Ned Bomb finesse worm on a 1/16-ounce jighead. “I fish this little bait with a drag/shake/drag retrieve. It’s a lifesaver when you’re needing a bite bad, like I am right now.”
10:22 a.m. Crews moves back to the rocky bank he fished minutes ago and hits it with the Ned Bomb. We’re in 14 feet of water; he’s casting to 2 feet. What’s his take on the day so far? “It feels like the rain front has negatively impacted the bite. There’s also no obvious pattern so far — I’ve caught fish on the shoreline and on offshore structure. I’m going to keep poking around a variety of areas with the lures I’ve been using because they’re all big fish producers.”
10:27 a.m. He gets a tap on the Ned Bomb. “Hard to believe they can tap this little bait and not get hooked.”
10:45 a.m. After what seems like an eternity of dragging and shaking, Crews catches his fifth keeper, 2 pounds even, on the Ned Bomb. The rain has momentarily quit. “OK, we’re running uplake.”
10:54 a.m. Crews rockets to a long point in the upper end of Lake N and cranks the mello yello diver.
3 HOURS LEFT
11 a.m. Crews catches his sixth keeper, 1 pound, 1 ounce, off the side of the point on the Baby D Stroyer. It’s no help to his weight total.
11:13 a.m. The upper end of the lake is fogging up as Crews drags a channel bank with the C-rig.
11:19 a.m. It’s raining again as Crews flips the jig to a submerged tree.
11:25 a.m. Crews idles back to the end of the long point and drags the Ned Bomb.
11:33 a.m. Crews rigs a Missile Fuse 4.4 craw worm in the pinkalicious pattern on a drop-shot rig. He drags it around an offshore rockpile and catches his seventh keeper, 1 pound even. No help there.
11:42 a.m. He tries the ChatterBait around a series of shallow docks.
11:45 a.m. A good fish smacks the ChatterBait but doesn’t hook up.
11:53 a.m. Crews blasts downlake to a short point that drops off quickly into a deep channel and cranks it with the mello yello diver.
2 HOURS LEFT
12:01 p.m. Crews changes D Stroyer colors to junebug and drags the fresh offering around the point. A 2-pounder follows the bait to the boat.
12:20 p.m. More dragging and cranking fail to produce a fish here, so Crews runs to a brushy ledge he previously sighted on his electronics. “It runs way off the bank 3 feet deep then drops sharply to 14 feet.” He casts the Plopper parallel to the drop and a good fish plasters it! Crews reels the bass across the surface, but it shakes free. “Crap, that was way bigger than anything I’ve caught so far!” Upon inspection, he finds the plug’s front treble hook has dulled; he replaces it with a treble from one of his crankbaits.
12:26 p.m. Crews tries a shad pattern Reaction Innovations Vixen topwater stickbait on the ledge.
12:29 p.m. He reverts to the C-rig on the ledge, hangs up in a brushpile and breaks it off. “No more Carolina rigging for me today; I don’t have any more C-rig components in my boat.”
12:36 p.m. The ChatterBait fails to produce a fish on the brushy ledge.
12:40 p.m. Crews rigs a junebug Missile Baits 48 worm on a 5/16-ounce swivel jighead. “This worm has a bulbous head and tail with a skinny midsection, which gives it a shimmying action when it falls.” He moves to a nearby point and drags the worm around submerged brush.
12:47 p.m. Crews moves to a channel bank leading into a stump-filled cove and tries the Plopper around shoreline wood.
12:49 p.m. He flips a submerged tree with the jig. As he picks the lure up to make another flip, a 3-pounder flashes on it. “Man, they sure are spooky!”
12:55 p.m. Crews moves back to the cove’s entrance and tries the craw worm. Nada.
1 HOUR LEFT
1:13 p.m. Crews speeds back to the hump where he caught three keepers and drags it with the craw worm. Even though it’s still raining, the sun is coming out. “Go figure!”
1:30 p.m. With a half-hour remaining, Crews moves to a nearby cove and tries the Plopper and drop-shot rig.
1:36 p.m. Crews catches keeper No. 8, 1 pound, 1 ounce, on the Whopper Plopper; it’s no help, however. “That fish was in 8 inches of water.”
1:41 p.m. Crews makes a blistering run back to the ledge where he lost the big fish on top and tries the Plopper without success.