- Cullman, Alabama

Top Sports

April 29, 2013

TOP ROD SOLO TRAIL: Chambers wins Open at Smith Lake


Daniel sight fishes his way to 2nd.

There has never been a better Smith Lake bass fisherman than Craig Daniel of Cullman, and there may not be a better sight fisherman anywhere in the country.

Everyone that fishes a tournament on Smith Lake  in April knows that Daniel is going to be hard to beat, and he has certainly won his share of Smith Lake derbies.

After winning a team tournament out of Smith Lake Park, Daniel had another solid bag of 15.02lbs to take home $488 for 2nd place. Daniel used his 30 years of experience on Smith Lake to find a mixed bag of spots and largemouths. There aren’t many visible spawners up right now, but Daniel will always find them if they are to be found.

Daniel used a variety of Zoom plastics to catch his spawners, with most falling for a green pumpkin finesse worm on a 1/4oz jighead. He threw it on a spinning rod with 8lb test P-Line flouroclear.

McGinnis also targets spawners.

Young Payton McGinnis of Jasper doesn’t have the experience on the water that many Smith Lake regulars do, but he is becoming a regular top ten performer whenever the Top Rod visits Smith Lake.

He had a solid 14.18lbs of spots and largemouths to take home 3rd place and $292. McGinnis also targeted fish that were spawning with a variety of lures, although he didn’t sight fish for all of them. He was able to catch some on a topwater and a swimbait that he reeled over areas that he thought the fish were on the bed. He also caught some on a shaky head with a Zoom finesse worm.

Hodle catches on his customs

In 4th place was Charlie Hodle of Hartselle with 13.78lbs of spots and largemouths.

He took home $195 for his finish, which he caught  on his own jigs and shaky heads. He used several different colors of his jig in 1/4 and 1/2oz with a Strike King Rage chunk trailer in 3-8 feet of water.

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