Most competitors who fared even reasonably well at the recent Beaver Lake FLW Tour were aided by the powerful winds that blew on days 1, 3 and 4. For Colby Schrumpf, it was just the opposite.
The Illinoisan was in 143rd place after sacking a limit of 1-pounders on the first day. Then, when the wind died the following day, he caught 16 pounds to move up 110 places to 33rd and earn a $10,000 check.
"On the first day I headed up the river and I wanted to stop on some areas that had some spotted bass that I found in practice," he said. "It was so windy that I couldn't fish a lot of those areas and I wasn't able to catch many.
"I gradually worked my way up and then concentrated on largemouths, just fishing shallow cuts. I didn't catch any keeper largemouths the first day Ė I probably caught 20 that were between 14 and 15 inches."
He went with the same program on day 2 and achieved dramatically different results.
"I started in the spotted-bass areas, but the wind wasn't blowing and I could target them a little differently. And just over that one day or maybe a couple days, some bigger female largemouths had moved in and were staging.
"I caught them from 8 feet down to 20 feet. They were suspended and I got them on a 10-foot diving crankbait. I caught quite a few that day and I had one that was about 5 1/2 pounds."
He said his key areas were within 5 miles to the south of the Highway 12 bridge.
"If the wind hadn't blown, I might've gotten a few (largemouth) bites there the first day, but I don't think all those fish were there yet. The water warmed up 5 degrees from one day to the next."
The finish was easily his best of the season Ė he'd had two 120ths and a 143rd coming in Ė and second-best of this 3-year Tour career behind a 5th at the Potomac River in 2012.
The Sunline Strong Performer, which focuses on the angler who makes the most significant single-day move in the standings at each tour-level event, is brought to you by the great people at Sunline.