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Corbishley triumphs in Hartwell NPFL derby

Corbishley triumphs in Hartwell NPFL derby

With a three-day total weight of 44 pounds, 1 ounce, Mike Corbishley of North Carolina claimed victory in the second event of the National Professional Fishing League season at Lake Hartwell in South Carolina with a three-day total of 44 pounds, 1 ounce. Corbishley turned in weights of 12-9, 17-7 and 14-1 en route to winning the $100,000 top prize.

He embraced a run-and-gun style for three days and compiled most of his final-day weight in the afternoon with the sun behind clouds.

"It was fairly bright out there until 3 pm and I was exhausted from running around, sitting down, standing up, over and over,” he said. “When the storms rolled in, I caught a second wind and went hard in the paint. I had nine pounds at that time, and culled up three times in the last couple hours.”

Corbishley fished a mix of herring patterns and brush piles throughout the event, but on the final day, he dedicated his efforts to his “best brush” and burned 40 gallons of gas running circles around Hartwell.

“I had a mix of piles,” he added. “On Day 1, I caught some on a herring pattern and some on brush/rock. On Day 2, it was mostly the piles. My practice was horrible; in the past, when I had a bad practice and could not get things going, I like to run and mark as much good stuff as I can and revisit it throughout the event with Lowrance Active Target 2, and it works out.”

When the action picked up in the afternoon, Corbishley’s first cull was a 3-pounder. On the very next pile, he hooked a 5-pound largemouth and lost it 10 feet from the boat. His hopes of finally getting it done diminished, but he stayed put and made two crucial culls before check-in.

“I thought I blew it; I thought that was how it was going to end and I was going to come up short again,” he added. “When I was in the weigh-in line, I weighed my fish; I knew what I had. It was unbelievable to finally make it happen after being so close so many times.”

Hunter Sales was the runner-up finisher with 43-8. His daily weights were 9-10, 16-0 and 17-5.
Staying versatile and adapting as things changed was key to getting his event back on track after a tough Day 1.

“Any time you have a tough day, it’s easy to look back and think about things you could have done differently,” he said. “You just have to roll with it; God has a plan for everyone. I found a topwater bite late on Day 1 and I wish I could have gotten on it sooner, but it was staying open to change that turned things around."

Kyle Welcher finished third with 42-9, Will Harkins was fourth with 42-4 and Richard Kee rounded out the Top 5 with 41-13.

Jason Burroughs paced the bottom half of the Top 10 with 41-13, followed by Trent Palmer with 41-11, Drew Cook with 41-9, John Cox with 41-5 and Bailey Gay with 41-4.

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