Lake Murray, SC is Anthony’s home lake, and if his math is right this weekend’s $100K put him close to $1 mil in earnings on that one lake! EMOJ Did he have it wired this time? Should all major tournaments at Murray have an asterisk with “Gagliardi Family Fund event” in fine print? EMOJ Let’s answer the first one anyhow, here goes:
Going in and practice
> “Going in I knew that the fishing was gonna be good. I knew they would be spawning, and I was fairly certain there would be some post-spawn fish. I honestly didn’t feel like I was going to have a huge advantage there that time of year because the fish were shallow and were going to be on the bed.
> “I don’t have a whole lot of experience with post-spawn stuff [there]. The 2nd I got there on the Pro Circuit [April 2021] was really the first time I’d been there [in the post-spawn] to speak of…so I didn’t have a stockpile of places to go check….
> “I wasn’t real thrilled about the prospect of a full-blown herring bite because I don’t know it as well as I should.
> “I just wanted to have a good event…don’t bomb here on your home lake….
> “[In practice] I caught them okay – I found a couple places the herring were on…but I didn’t catch any good ones doing that and didn’t have a real good feeling about the herring stuff. I didn’t catch the size I knew you’d need.
> “I saw good many on the bed, and the first day of practice I kind of stumbled on the dropshot deal. From the beginning that’s the one that intrigued me the most because I caught some good ones on that in practice. I didn’t know for sure what do in the event.”
> “I would start on herring, catch a few on the dropshot, then go sight-fishing, struggle, and come back to the dropshot and save the day. That’s pretty much how the first 2 days went. It didn’t take long to realize that was the best thing I had going.
> “I was fishing points…anywhere from 6′ to 14′. Some of the points had grass on ’em a little bit, some of the points were rocky, some of them were clay – it really did not seem to make a difference.
> “All had stripers around – every one of them would have stripers breaking around. The stripers were not breaking up on the bank. There would be stripers breaking up on the shallow part of a point, the typical spot, but where I was fishing there’d be more singles and small groups of them…a lot of feeding activity around me.
> “…just fished around, I’d see an individual bass by himself or I caught a good many of them throwing to a group of fish I knew were stripers. They’d all follow it down to the bottom but they wouldn’t get it. If one would be on it, it would be a largemouth. I didn’t catch a striper on the dropshot.
> “…stripers and [largemouth] being close to them I think might have turned the bite on a little bit. …those bass have always have traveled with those stripers – they’re open-water fish.
> “The herring spawn…some of the better places aren’t even points, they’re just spots. It has to be hard bottom, usually some type of rock or clay or a combination of the two, but that’s pretty much it. None of my 5-fish limits had any herring fish in them.
> “The sight-fish stuff was just pockets, small pockets – short pockets….”
> Dropshot: 6″ or 7″ finesse worm (morning dawn), 4/0 hook, 1/4-oz tungsten weight, 10-lb Gamma braid to 12-lb Gamma fluoro, 3000-series reel, 7′ M Level Rod (“a little stiffer rod than I normally fish a dropshot with because of the size of fish I was fishing for”).
> “Electronics were obviously key. I was using Garmin LiveScope…having Perspective Mode on in addition to having LiveScope Forward.
> “…on the bottom left corner of my Perspective [the last day] I saw something. I turned the [regular LiveScope transducer] over there and looked. I didn’t see a fish, it looked like a rock, and I fired out to it. That’s where I caught that 8-lber the last day. Had I not seen [the rock], 2 seconds after that I never would have thrown at it.”
> “Lake Murray Country for sure. That’s the only place I can win a tournament, on that lake it seems like, so I have to give a bunch of credit to them for getting these tournaments there. I know they take a lot of pride in the lake and the region in general, and the lake showed out, – the weights were really good, the guys had a lot of fun, and a lot of good fish were caught.
> “Falcon Boats is a local company too….”