June 4, 2022
June 5, 2022
PATRICK REIGNS SUPREME AT HOBIE BOS LAKE CHICKAMAUGA EVENT
Wins by nearly 20” with third-highest score ever on the Hobie BOS Trail.
OCEANSIDE, Calif. (June 9, 2022) – Leading wire-to-wire, Justin Patrick left the rest of the field battling for second place at last weekend’s Hobie® B.O.S. Series Anchored By Power-Pole® Lake Chickamauga event. Racking up an impressive 97.5” of bass for a five-fish limit on Day 1 and 102.75” on Day 2, his total limit of 200.25” for the sold-out, catch, photograph and release (CPR) tourney is the third-highest score ever tallied in Hobie BOS competition.
“What an amazing performance by Patrick,” said Tournament Director A.J. McWhorter. “He simply dominated a field that saw over 1,700 bass measured and submitted over the 2-day event. Our second visit to this famed Tennessee River fishery allowed anglers the opportunity to fish the lake at summer pool, focus on that special ‘ledge’ bite, and also take advantage of shallow water opportunities. All the conditions came together for a truly spectacular event. The right lake at the right time, mixed with incredible community support and the highest level of competition, made it a truly special weekend for our anglers.”
To be sure, Patrick’s lead was never in doubt despite solid performances by second-place finisher Ethan Jett with a 180.50” total, and 2021 Tournament of Champions, Grand Champion, Kristine Fischer’s 179.25” third-place score. The 35-year-old from Bartlett, Tennessee, took home a $10,500 check for finishing atop the leader board. Jett pocketed $5,500 and Fischer picked up $3,200 for third.
Bassin’ Big Bass honors and a $500 check went to Jimmy Davis of Whitesburg, Tennessee, for a 23.25” lunker caught on Day 2. Additionally, AFTCO Angler of the Year (AOY) points were awarded to the top 100 finishers in the field. Patrick, Jett and Fischer also punched their way to the 2022 Hobie Tournament of Champions (TOC) on Caddo Lake, November 11-13, in Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana. The TOC is a three-day 50-angler championship with a $100,000 payout guarantee and $45,000 first-place prize.
“It’s hard to imagine coming away with such a big win against the competitive fields that you always find at these Hobie events,” admitted Patrick, who fishes from a 2022 Hobie PA14 360. “It just goes to show what’s possible if you set up on the right stack of fish. I had six bass measuring greater than 20” in my total – including four on Day 2 that really helped me pull away from the pack.”
Patrick said he felt especially calm heading into the competition on the 36,240-acre lake. “I thought that if I could find some fish things would take care of themselves and I’d do pretty well.”
Focusing his efforts on a ledge area he discovered during Friday practice, Patrick keyed on stretches sporting bright green grass. “I was torn between ledge fishing and looking shallow because this is a very pressured lake with a lot of boat traffic,” he explained, “so I spent my three practice days scanning ledges while knowing I had a couple of shallow spots I could hit if those didn’t pan out.”
It was toward the end of Friday’s practice that Patrick pulled up to a nick in the ledge and reached for a drop-shot rig since larger jigs and worms weren’t drawing strikes. Right away, he drilled bass of 16” and 19” before dropping a 20” brute at boat side.”
Arriving at the launch ramp for Day 1 competition 90 minutes early to make sure he’d be first to his spot, Patrick hauled a limit in short order that included the exact same 20-incher he had dropped the day before. Deciding to manage his fish at that point, he left his hot spot and began sampling different creek channels along the ledge. That’s how he came across the perfect spot. “It had all the elements I was looking for – 15- to 20-foot depth, bright green grass, and it emptied out into the main channel,” he revealed. “I threw in there and started catching some real good ones, upgrading four of my earlier fish. At noon, I left that area to let it rest for Day 2 while I tried jigging some docks without much success.”
On Sunday, a bass boat was sitting on Patrick’s initial hot spot, so he headed directly to spot number two and immediately started pulling five-pounders. “My Hobie was critical to my success,” stated Patrick. “This is my first year with the 360-drive and it is incredibly responsive. Ledge fishing is all about making precise casts. You’ve got to put your bait exactly on that current break. Miss by three feet and you might not get bit. With my 360-drive, I was able to make quick adjustments to line up that perfect cast again and again even when the wind came up later in the day. That really was the difference maker.”
“My Hobie was critical to my success,” stated Patrick. “This is my first year with the 360-drive and it is incredibly responsive. Ledge fishing is all about making precise casts. You’ve got to put your bait exactly on that current break. Miss by three feet and you might not get bit. With my 360-drive, I was able to make quick adjustments to line up that perfect cast again and again even when the wind came up later in the day. That really was the difference maker.”
Jett, from Lewisburg, Tennessee, concentrated his efforts around isolated grass patches in shallow water for his first top-20 finish in Hobie competition. “I know there are fish out on those ledges in June, but there are also plenty of lunkers in shallow with the bluegill and mayfly spawns, so I was throwing a Rebel Pop-R and a bluegill-pattern Jackhammer with my Daiwa Tatula SV reel. That old-style popper still turns bass heads because most anglers are tossing frogs when they get around the grass. I love throwing it with my Tatula because that drag is super smooth when the big girls run yet you can also tighten it down and haul a beast out of heavy grass if necessary.”
Another key to his second-place finish, according to Jett, was his Hobie 14PA 180. “The stability on that boat is great,” he said. “It lets me stand and see my fish all day long – and being able to flutter kick really helps that Mirage Drive move easily through the grass. Nothing else comes close in that regard. Overall, I was really pleased with my results, especially since I caught a 22.5” brute on Day 1. That’s my personal best from a kayak. It was a fat fish. I’d bet it was pushing seven pounds.”
Fischer, from Weeping Water, Nebraska, pulled most of her catch from less than two feet of water. “I actually won a tourney here a couple of years ago and have a few backwater areas that normally produce well,” she noted, “But I figured with the lake seeing heavy pressure I’d be better off fishing by myself.”
To that end, Fischer set out in Friday’s practice to search for an area far enough away from any boat ramp that it was unlikely anyone in a kayak would give it a try. Roughly 12 miles later, her search paid off.
“I didn’t even cast once I got there,” she related. “I was just standing up, looking around. I saw an 8-pounder, a couple of 3-pounders, and brim everywhere. There were well-defined drains in the grass, several holes and deep wood leading into the area. I quickly decided that was where I’d make my stand and over two days of super fishing I saw only one bass boat that even came close.”
Fischer would throw a Berkley Choppo, half-ounce spinnerbait, bladed jigs and a Berkley Powerbait Maxscent The General Worm to finish fourth on Day 1 and 11th on Day 2, but it just wouldn’t be enough to take this event.
“Justin was absolutely remarkable in this tournament,” she said. “The amazing thing is I dropped several big fish but even if I had caught them cleanly, I wouldn’t have got him. He really earned this win. A 200” limit is remarkable, I’m really happy for him.”
Jett agreed. “Justin absolutely blasted us on Lake Chickamauga,” he said with a laugh. “There was just no catching him. He found the right spot at the right time and certainly made it count. That’s a great job on his part. He really got it done.”
The Lake Winnipesaukee Event, June 25-26, is next up on the Hobie® B.O.S. Series Anchored By Power-Pole® calendar. Registration remains open for this event, but spots are filling up fast. If you are hoping to enter, add your name to the roster soon.