Leifermann Takes Aim at the All-American

Champions Tour Angler Looking to Unlock the Ledges of Pickwick Lake

Brad Leifermann, an Andover, Minnesota resident and Classic Bass Champions Tour angler has been fishing bass tournaments for over 26 years has quite the resume, including back-to-back wins of the Don Shelby U.S. Invitational and a Bassmaster Weekend Series Regional win, but Brad’s biggest tournament is coming up, the BFL All-American.

The T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) is operated by FLW Outdoors and is coined the working man’s circuit and for Brad, this is quite true.  “I don’t want to be a touring pro, who’s on the road all the time,” said Brad.  “With the BFL’s I can fish competitively against stout competition, qualify for the Regional and then hopefully the All-American each year, all while still working a full-time job.”

Angler’s fishing the All-American will be competing on Pickwick Lake June 1st through the 3rd, with the full field fishing days one and two and then the top ten fishing the final day.  The anglers could pre-practice the lake prior to the off limits and that is what Brad did, as he spent 12 days in Alabama.

During this time Brad’s goal was to unlock the ledges of Pickwick as he feels that this is where the tournament will be won.  “I forced myself to fish off shore and not let myself go to the bank, even if I got bored and frustrated,” stated Brad.

It has already been a fun experience for Brad as he caught his two personal best largemouth during his 12 days on the lake, a 6 lb 14 oz fish and one that was pushing 8 lb’s!  “Since this is a no entry fee event and an experience of a lifetime, I’m going to go for the win.  I may come in with 25 lb’s a day or zero, but either way it is going to be fun and I’m looking forward to it,” exclaimed Brad.

Having the most up to date fishing electronics is paramount for anglers when searching out bass holding on the ledges, whether they are side imaging looking for isolated brush piles or hard bottom spots on the ledges, or going over the ledge and using down imaging to actually see if a school of bass is located on that ledge.  For Leifermann, this is his first time using electronics like this, “since I fish the river mostly and know the lakes in Minnesota very well, I’ve never really worried about having units that can side and down image,” chuckled Brad.

After having spent 12 days on the lake before off-limits, Brad spent countless hours idling the ledges and learning how to read his graphs.  “I now feel very comfortable with them and know what each species of fish looks like on the screen,” said Brad.

This will play a major role for Brad during the lone official practice day that the All-American anglers get on Wednesday, as Brad will likely not make a cast.  He may spend the full day, just going over the off shore locations he found in practice and seeing if a school of bass is on them.

Another key piece of equipment that Brad is excited to be using this year is the Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor.  When fishing off shore, the reinvented Spot-lock keeps anglers locked on to a spot even better than before and will allow an angler to focus on fishing and not running the trolling motor.  This will play a big role in Tennessee River events from here on out, as the wind and current and easily make boat control a nuisance for anglers.  Now if an angler wishes to just move up or down the ledge in a short distance, they can use the Jog feature to move their boat in five foot increments, all while staying in Spot-lock mode.  “The new Ultrex is amazing and is definitely a game changer for anglers fishing off shore,” stated Brad.

Brad knows that the off shore bass on Pickwick could bite a wide array of lure offerings and it may take a full rotation of baits on the ledges to put together a quality tournament limit, but if Brad has his way, he would like to be throwing these three lures to target the bass holding on the ledges.

Rapala DT-20 crankbait

Football Jig

Finesse presentation on a spinning rod, such as a jig worm (Ned Rig), drop shot or Neko Rig

“For me, fishing the All-American solidifies my competitive fishing career.  If I can win it, or at least make a run at the top of the leaderboard, now that would be a dream come true.”

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