Chuck Hughes of Linwood and Jimmy Hughes of Lexington used spinnerbaits to catch their winning bag of 22.05 pounds at the Oct. 26 Yadkin Team Tournaments Fish-off at High Rock Lake. Their haul, worth $1,070, was anchored with a 5.08-pound bass. 

The choice of baits, coupled with frigid weather and a thick fog, played a major role in their victory. The two fishermen aborted a long run they planned to make  because of a heavy fog and bone-chilling temperatures that caused the inner workings of reels to groan and rod guides to collect ice.

Instead, they motored slowly to a small cove a short distance from Tamarac Marina where the field idled off at 7: 15 a.m. in a dense fog.

“We caught our fish early in the morning by tossing spinnerbaits at wood and brush,” said Jimmy Hughes. “If it hadn’t been for the fog and the cold, we would have been fishing elsewhere.”

Jamie Benton of Denton and Scott Eggleton of Salisbury stunned onlookers at the weigh-in when they plopped an 8.06-pound bass on the scales. The trophy fish struck a spinnerbait.

Despite the big bass, Benton and Eggleton had to settle for second place with 19.83 pounds. They received $500 for second place and $130 for the big bass.

Jack Vanderford and Lucas Hedrick finished third with 14.44 pounds, winning $270.

Most contestants caught their fish on small crankbaits and spinnerbaits, with spinnerbaits taking the larger fish. 

Though the spinnerbait bite is strong, it isn’t consistent.

“I couldn’t get the fish to touch a spinnerbait on Friday while practicing for the Fish-off,” said Benton. “I didn’t get many bites at all.” 

Spinnerbaits were the prime baits for Bobby and David Matthews of Durham, winners of the Oct. 19 Piedmont Bass Classics End-of-Year Bass Trail contest at Falls of the Neuse.

They had 22.81 pounds and the big bass of the day, a 7.99-pound fish. They collected $700.