Indeed, competition was fierce among the 74 teams vying for a share of more than $30,000.00 in cash and prizes up for grabs on Pools 7 and 8 of the Mississippi. Westmoreland and Ansell’s five backwater bucketmouths tipped the Cabela’s NABC scale at 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Their closest rivals were one ounce behind, while third place was just three ounces back with 17 pounds, 11 ounces.
“We were one of the first teams to weigh in, and our nerves were really going as we watched everyone else come to the stage,” added Ansell, also of Moose Lake. “I was shocked that we hung on to win.”
The winners purse was $12,500 which included $11,500 in cash and $1,000.00 in Cabela’s Gift Cards for taking first. Their strategy centered on locating weedy backwaters with pockets at least four feet deep, and water temperatures from 80 to 82 degrees. Ultimately, though, finding unfished bass was key. “When people throw topwater frogs on the slop, it leaves tracks,” said Westmoreland. “We looked for areas with no tracks.”
Ansell explained that both standard and popper-style frogs produced fish. He noted that stout tackle was key in extricating the bass from their sloppy surroundings. “We used heavy rods and 65-pound braid,” he said. “When you got a fish, you pulled until you couldn’t pull anymore.”
CONGRATULATIONS TO AL & JOHNSTON! Thanks again for your help promoting Swamp Zombie Lures.