Maiden’s Hank Cherry had a strange practice leading up to this weekend’s Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville, Ala.
“I had one pretty good day, and then I had two not-so-good ones,” Cherry said after leaving the weigh-in stage. “But after Wednesday I thought I was going to kill it;it was that good.”
Unfortunately, he was thrown a curve ball when a severe storm system rolled through the area and dumped inches of rain and kicked up high winds — a combination that turned all of Cherry’s spots to mud pits.
So he had to regroup and find new water that wasn’t as filthy. The result was a 15-pound, 9-ounce stringer that put him outside the Top 20.
“I missed two quick-disconnects early that cost me some weight,” Cherry said. “They just weren’t getting the bait good.”
He said he didn’t spend too much time in his primary spots before moving on because of the muddy water, but he also had to switch baits.
“I (had been) fishing a combination of (lipless crankbaits) and jerk baits,” Cherry said. “Today the jerk bait was out of the question; it was awful muddy.”
He replaced the jerk bait with a crankbait, but the pattern he had identified on the final day of practice was ruined by the changed conditions.
“It was a pattern I could run at a specific depth; it was a contour line at a specific depth,” Cherry explained. “Today that contour was muddied up — super muddy.”
The plan for tomorrow is more of the same, he said.
“It produced two big bites today, so I’m going out and doing the same thing,” Cherry said.
Competition continues tomorrow, with the Top 25 fishing the final day on Sunday.