De­spite slow start, Sch­lap­per takes lead At B.A.S.S. Na­tion Re­gional on Min­nesota’s Lake Ver­mil­ion

Big Spring Herald - - SPORTS - Spe­cial to the Her­ald

TOWER, Minn. — A picky ap­proach and a healthy dose of de­ter­mi­na­tion re­warded Pat Sch­lap­per of El­eva, Wis., with a five-bass limit that weighed 19 pounds, 4 ounces and gave him the Day 1 lead at the TNT Fire­works B.A.S.S. Na­tion North­ern Re­gional on Min­nesota’s Lake Ver­mil­ion.

Prior to the event, Sch­lap­per spent 12 days scout­ing his tour­na­ment wa­ters. That ef­fort, he said, en­abled him to es­tab­lish a good, bet­ter, best rank­ing of var­i­ous bot­tom habi­tat.

“I graphed a high per­cent­age of the lake and found some ar­eas that I thought were good,” Sch­lap­per said. “In prac­tice, I caught them on boul­ders, I caught them on chunk rock; I tried to re­ally fig­ure out mul­ti­ple dif­fer­ent things in case any­thing changed.

“Some­times, it’s an iso­lated patch of rock, some­times, it’s a boul­der, some­times it’s a cer­tain sec­tion of a long reef or point. What I’ve found on this lake is that ev­ery­thing looks good and it takes a lot of time to find the ar­eas where I feel like they live. Ev­ery­thing looks re­ally good, but not ev­ery­thing is good.”

Fo­cus­ing on the lake’s east side, Sch­lap­per had way­points in 3 to 25 feet of wa­ter. He started on a deeper spot he thought would of­fer quick re­sults, but the fish were not co­op­er­a­tive.

“I had sev­eral dif­fer­ent pat­terns go­ing, and I had to use all of them to­day,” Sch­lap­per said. “I started deep in an area that I thought was go­ing to be good and ac­tu­ally had a re­ally bad morn­ing.

“About 11 o’clock, I got into one of my other ar­eas that I knew

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Los An­ge­les An­gels Pitts­burgh Pi­rates Philadel­phia Phillies Bos­ton Red Sox Bal­ti­more Orioles New York Yan­kees New York Yan­kees Min­nesota Twins Chicago Cubs Mi­ami Mar­lins Oak­land Ath­let­ics Cincin­nati Reds Kansas City Roy­als Seat­tle Mariners Colorado Rock­ies Los An­ge­les Dodgers

Away Team

Seat­tle Mariners (12-19) @ Pitts­burgh Pi­rates (7-19) @ Los An­ge­les Dodgers (22-9) @ Cincin­nati Reds (11-17) @ Colorado Rock­ies (16-15) @ Seat­tle Mariners (12-19) @ Pitts­burgh Pi­rates (7-19) @ Oak­land Ath­let­ics (22-10) @ Philadel­phia Phillies (12-14) @ Bos­ton Red Sox (10-21) @ Bal­ti­more Orioles (14-16) @ Los An­ge­les Dodgers (22-9) @ Min­nesota Twins (20-12) @ Mi­ami Mar­lins (14-12) @ Cincin­nati Reds (11-17) @ was good. I caught my big­gest one — a 4-7 — and then caught a 3 1/2-pounder and an­other one close to 3 and then I just started ro­tat­ing through sim­i­lar spots. About 12:45, I stopped fish­ing hard, so I could save some stuff.”

Sch­lap­per trusted his day to slower drag­ging pre­sen­ta­tions. He mixed it up with drop shots, tubes and a fi­nesse jig with a craw trailer. The lat­ter pro­duced his big­gest fish.

“It seems like all they eat up here is craw­fish,” Sch­lap­per said of his bait choices. “Ev­ery one you catch spits up a bunch of craw­fish.”

Sch­lap­per thanked his co-an­gler, Min­nesota’s Adam Ed­wards, for the en­cour­age­ment that helped him through the day’s chal­leng­ing pe­ri­ods.

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