DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

2018 FLW TOUR PREVIEW: SMITH LAKE

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 04/24/2018

Jasper, AL - The fifth FLW Tour stop of the season kicks off Thursday morning on Smith Lake in Alabama.   This marks the second time since 2015 that the Tour has visited the 21,000 acre fishery.  In March of 2015, Dave Lefebre edged out Clark Wendlandt for the victory with a total weight of 65 pounds, 5 ounces.  

Things are a little different this year, as the lake level has fluctuated over the past weeks.  

For the 2018 season, The BASS ZONE has enlisted the help of FLW Tour pro, Jeff Sprague.   The Texas angler is fishing his fifth year on the FLW Tour and is coming off a 12th place finish at the fourth stop of the season on Cumberland.  

On the Wednesday prior to the start of each FLW Tour event in 2018, Sprague will check in with The BASS ZONE and give a candid post-practice report as he prepares for the first day of competition.  

WHAT ARE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF SMITH?  
“The conditions have been ever-changing since we got here – they haven’t stayed the same for more than an hour during the entire practice period.   I’m getting to see a side of Smith Lake that I didn’t get to see the last time that we were here.  

“The fish are smaller and there are fewer bites.  The fish are post-spawn and the bite is pretty funky so I’m getting a lot of random bites.  It’s just not what I expected coming into it.  The water was dropping every day leading up to the start of practice, but then we got ran and it came up over four feet.  There are some fish that want to be on the bank and there are a few fish that are trying to spawn still.  That being said, the majority of the fish are done spawning.”  

WHAT IS GOING TO BE THE X-FACTOR THIS WEEK?
“The x-factor is going to be a guy who can put together a mixed bag of spotted bass and largemouth.   There are lots of big largemouth in this lake, and if a guy can understand how those fish are positioning and figure out how to catch them, he’ll separate himself from the pack.”  

HOW MUCH OF A FACTOR WILL PRIOR EXPERIENCE PLAY THIS WEEK?  
“I think that having some history on the lake will help substantially.   I really feel like the locals will have an advantage as far as knowing which point they need to pull up on to get a bite or knowing a deep spot that will always hold one or two good fish.”

WILL THIS EVENT BE WON IN A PARTICULAR AREA OR WILL AN ANGLER HAVE TO MOVE AROUND TO HAVE SUCCESS?
“This tournament will wind up being won out of an area of the lake where the fish are either still spawning or really done spawning and have recovered from the post-spawn.   There will be some running and gunning going, but a lot of guys will drop their trolling motor here and just go down the bank.”  

WHAT IS YOUR ESTIMATE FOR THE WINNINGS WEIGHT?  
“I’m going to say that 14-pounds a day will get the job done this week, so 54 to 55 pounds will be the winning weight.  It will be a mixed bag with a few good largemouth.  I know that there are 17 to 18 pound limits of spotted bass in this lake, but I just haven’t seen enough of them during practice to think that kind of weight will be possible for four days.”