4th: Suggs All About the Shad Spawn

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>> Day 3: 5, 10-10 (14, 47-01) The shad spawn has been crucial for Suggs all week and it was again today, but it happened on different spots from where he’d been catching fish.

"I was in a struggle today,” he said. “I wound up going back trying to find the shad spawn and I found a huge one. I had some blow-ups, but only caught one keeper. I moved to another location and found another shad spawn and caught three there.”

He has one deep spot that he started on today and he plans to start there on Sunday because of the quality that he’s caught there.

“I feel like I have to start there because I’ve weighed in three around 5 and a 6 off of it,” he said. “It’s just a high shell bed on the river ledge and the shad are spawning on it. They weren’t there today or Friday so that spot may be done, but I have to go see.

“I didn’t have a great day today, but I am fishing tomorrow. They didn’t pull any water and it really stunk for me.”

Still, he’s happy to be fishing the final day for the first time since Beaver Lake in 2013.

“I had some days in practice that I felt decent about and some I felt terrible about,” he said. “To catch what I’ve caught so far, it’s been a shot in the arm. I’m pleased.” Read more

 

3rd: Wind Wrecked Suggs’ Stuff

> Day 2: 4, 15-02 (9, 36-07) Suggs knows he’s around the right quality of fish. He just needs the conditions to cooperate in order to target them effectively.

“The wind got me,” he said. “It may be calm in the morning and I might not catch anything. I got there this morning and it was rolling whitecaps and already mud. I caught a 6 off my first place, but I had to sit on it and thoroughly pound it.”

The rest of his shallow areas where he’d been catching schooling fish chasing shad to the surface were unfishable and he opted to move offshore. He adjusted his boat position and caught three more, including a 4-pounder.

“I never had an opportunity for the fifth,” he added.

He said current has been critical to the areas he’s been fishing and he’s hoping to have some moving water Saturday.

“On Thursday, they were pumping water in and letting a little out so the water was coming up and there was a little current,” he said. “I was able to fish my areas. The wind can be dead, but if I have no current, it’ll stink. It all depends on whether they run current or not.” Read more

 

4th: Suggs Got ‘Em Early

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Photo: FLW - Day 1: 5, 21-05 Much like Canterbury, Suggs caught the lion’s share of his weight before 9 a.m. He headed back toward Florence around 10:45 when the lake started to get bumpy. He caught a 4 1/2-pounder not far from the ramp to account for a key upgrade later in the day.

“It was just one of those deals where everything went perfect,” he said. “There was a little wind where I started and I caught three between 4 and 5 (pounds) in succession. That gives you the momentum and ability to settle down.”

He picked off another good fish at each of his next two spots.

“I ran around to some other stuff that was wind-protected because I wanted to check them in case I needed it tomorrow,” he added.

The shad-spawn bite was crucial for him, but he fears it’s a diminishing pattern.

“I think they’re leaving me every day,” he said. “When we got here, it was stupid (good) and it’s gotten worse each day. I think they had done a lot of spawning before we got here and while we’ve been here and we’re seeing the tail end of it wrapping up.

“I’m going to find out. I have a long day tomorrow. I’m going to chunk and wind.” Read more

 

Suggs First Select to Win MLF Cup Event

2015 Summit Cup Champion Scott Suggs (MLF/Jeff Phillips photo)

By: Dan O’Sullivan, MajorLeagueFishing.com Select Qualifier Scott Suggs, the first angler to ever win a million dollars in a single tournament when he won the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup, became the first Select angler to win a Major League Fishing Cup event. His 25 keepers weighed 46 pounds, 14 ounces and earned him the title of Jack Link’s Major League Fishing 2015 General Tire Summit Cup Champion.

The 2015 Summit Cup was the first Cup event with an increased field of 30 anglers, which included the original 24, plus six qualifiers from the 2015 Summit Select. When the Summit Cup Championship Round started, the angler mix was rather historic; three were original Cup anglers, three were Select Qualifiers. The final day was contested on China Lake, nine miles to the southeast of Waterville, Maine.

While the day began with historic changes to the field, it also began with changes to the conditions. The majority of the week featured comfortable temperatures with light winds, but this day had strong winds, overcast skies and decreased temperatures. To make matters worse, the wind blew out of the southwest, which was directly in line with the lake.

Seeing that the weather had turned the water a little dirty, Suggs picked up a vibrating jig and proceeded to run away from the field fairly quickly. That early decision put him in the driver’s seat in route to first place.

Placing second was another Select angler, Ott DeFoe, who weighed in 37 pounds, 2 ounces. Third place went to Michael Iaconelli with 21 pounds, 7 ounces; fourth went to Brent Ehrler with 19 pounds, 10 ounces. Aaron Martens weighed in 16 pounds, 13 ounces to finish fifth, followed by Chapman with 7 pounds, 15 ounces.

That wraps up the Jack Link’s Major League Fishing 2015 General Tire Summit Cup in Waterville, Maine. Congratulations to Scott Suggs for becoming the first Select angler to win a Major League Fishing Cup event.

2015 Summit Cup :: Championship Day Results
Angler Weight (lbs) Total Fish Avg Weight (lbs) Biggest Fish (lbs) Last Fish (lbs)
Scott Suggs 46 lb 14 oz 25 1 lb 14 oz 5 lb 02 oz 1 lb 13 oz
Ott DeFoe 37 lb 02 oz 19 1 lb 15 oz 3 lb 08 oz 2 lb 03 oz
Mike Iaconelli 21 lb 07 oz 11 1 lb 15 oz 3 lb 14 oz 1 lb 13 oz
Brent Ehrler 19 lb 10 oz 11 1 lb 13 oz 4 lb 00 oz 1 lb 03 oz
Aaron Martens 16 lb 13 oz 11 1 lb 08 oz 2 lb 09 oz 2 lb 02 oz
Brent Chapman 7 lb 15 oz 7 1 lb 02 oz 1 lb 10 oz 1 lb 07 oz
 

Skipping Frogs and Toads Under Dark Docks

A lot of the guys in the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray caught fish by skipping buzzbaits under docks. A buzzbait i sn’t a lure that you would normally associate with skipping docks, but you can’t argue with success. The only rule is that the flatter the bait, the better you can skip it – like a flat rock skips better than a round one.

Most of the guys skipping buzzbaits at Murray were removing the skirts and adding a toad or swimbait for action. I’ve had good success just skipping a toad or frog under docks. Because they’re flat and light, you can really get them back in the dark places that others might miss.

My two favorites are a SPRO frog or a Zoom Horny Toad rigged on a weedless hook. I fish them on braided line with a rod in the 7-foot range and an Abu Garcia Revo Premier. I like that reel because it has a magnetic brake and a centrifugal brake and I can really get the spool speed adjusted right. Even if there is a line overrun once in a while, which is going to happen if you’re skipping, it’s easy to pick out.

If a fish blows up on a frog, but doesn’t take it, I’ll skip a shakyhead with a 5-inch finesse worm back there. Here again, you want to use the lightest weight possible – say, an 1/8-ounce head – because the heavier the bait, the more it will dig in to the water as soon as it hits. You want it to hit and keep going.

I fish a lot of boat docks in August through the end of September and skipping a bait under them is the best way to reach the bass that are hard to get to. You can fish a row of docks fairly fast, but slow down if you get to one that has a channel swing close by, or a lot of bait coming and going, or anything else that gives you confidence a good fish is under there. Fish it from every angle, shallow to deep and deep to shallow. Take your time and really cover it before moving on. The best fish are usually the hardest to reach.

 


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