Shad Schenck's pre-tournament estimate of the average daily weight required to cash a paycheck at the Pickwick Lake FLW Tour was a bit on the light side. As a result, his name was a bit farther down the day-1 standings sheet than it probably could've been.
The Indiana pro pulled away from his main area at about noon on the first day. He had nearly 16 pounds in his livewell – well above the 12- to 13-pound "money mark" he'd formulated. He spent the rest of the day on a fruitless quest for a big kicker.
As it turned out, the Top 50 all weighed at least 15 pounds that day. He found himself in 40th place.
No real worries, though. He stayed on his primary locale throughout day 2 to move all the way up to 10th. Solid sacks in the 18-pound class on each of the final 2 days gave him a 9th-place finish – his best since 2011 and his third of 16th or better in the last four outings.
"I should've just stayed there and kept fishing on day 1," he said. "I was catching a lot of keepers, but I wasn't getting anything over 3 pounds."
When he returned on day 2, the big ones had moved off the ledge and were sitting in about 25 feet of water. He popped a 4-pounder on his second cast, he and his co-angler each caught a 7-pounder and the back-seater boated another one that was close to 6.
"They'd set up where I needed them to be," he said. "I could see them (on his graph) and I could catch them with a dropshot. I should've had close to a 30-pound bag – I had that on."
He thought the area would eventually peter out, but he lost a 5-pound smallmouth and caught a largemouth of the same size in the final half-hour of day 4.
"It wasn't a regular Pickwick ledge where you have a couple of hard places and a shell bed in 13 to 15 feet. It was a softer, rounded point and it wasn't a place that was real obvious on a map. I wanted to pick a place that was down the ledge that didn't stick out like a sore thumb.
"Between me and the two other anglers on there (plus all of their co-anglers), we probably caught 250 pounds worth of fish off that place."
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