Fog Foils Johnson’s BASS Nation Championship

Strong Day One, Halted by Fog on Day Two

Going into the BASS Nation Championship, Tadd Johnson was hoping to find a strong pattern up the river on Lake Hartwell where he could fish to his shallow water strengths of fishing a jig or spinnerbait and over the first few days of practice this is what he looked for.

“It seemed like the shad were not fully settled into the coves, there were some there, but just little pods of them,” commented Tadd.  “But even those little pods were key, as places without bait, didn’t have bass in them.”

On the final day of practice, which is the official practice day, Tadd began by fishing near take off in the clear waters of Hartwell and quickly figured out a little spot that was holding both largemouth and spotted bass of good size.  “I went from fishing up the river in the shallows where the bite was not consistent to drop shoting in 30-40 feet of water and able to get bites regularly.”

Tadd got his electronics dialed in so he could see his drop shot and the fish on the screen and was ready to go after the finicky Hartwell bass.  Tadd fished a drop shot with a ½ oz weight and an 18” dropper, as that gap between the hook and the sinker was key to being able to see both his hook and sinker on his electronics and their position to the bass.

Tadd and Greg Ruff with Skeeter Pro Brandon Paulinik at the awards banquet/rules meeting.

Drop shoting a Zoom Finesse Worm in Sour Grape was Tadd’s go to lure and by 9:00 on the first morning, he had a decent limit in the boat and had him sitting in 12th place with 9 lb 11 oz.

The following morning fog greeted the anglers and BASS instituted a fog delay, which left Tadd idle at the dock while the prime feeding window in his area was occurring.  “The morning bite was definitely the deal and I knew as I sat at the dock, things were going to be tough once I got to my spot,” said Tadd.

Once Tadd and the other competitors were sent out, Tadd fished his prime area for over two hours without a bite, so Tadd went to his shallow water fish and manage two keepers on a spinnerbait.  Tadd’s two fish gave him a two day total of 12 lb 8 oz, which put him in 36th place.

The overall experience for Tadd was a good one and now Tadd has the opportunity to fish the BASS Open’s, of which he is giving serious consideration to!  “I can’t thanks BASS enough for putting on such a great event, the handle all the small details, so you just need to worry about fishing!  I also greatly appreciate the MN BASS Nation, my club, the Prior Lake Hooksetters, Classic Bass, All-Terrain Tackle and my family all the support not just for this event, but all season long…it means the world to me.”

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