Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2018 Upper Mississippi River BASS Elite

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2018 Upper Mississippi River BASS Elite

Entering this event, my expectations were high. The Upper Mississippi is thick with vegetation and other forms of shallow cover, perfect for my style and approach. In fact, my first trip to LaCrosse was particularly rewarding. The frog bite was off the hook, and I finished well within the money.

Card's Catch - Springtime Soft Jerkbaits

Card's Catch - Springtime Soft Jerkbaits

During the pre-spawn, my bait of choice is a jerkbait and during the post-spawn, I love to throw topwater. This is nothing out of the ordinary as just about every bass angler uses these techniques during those times of the year, but one thing I like to mix in during both of these periods is a soft plastic jerkbait like the Yamamoto D-Shad. I fish it as a complement to my hard jerkbaits and walking topwater baits.

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2018 Kentucky Lake BASS Elite

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2018 Kentucky Lake BASS Elite

I like Kentucky Lake, but my track record there is weak at best. It’s full of bass — nearly all species in fact — but it can be fickle at times. And it’s almost always due to fluctuations in water level.

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2018 Grand Lake BASS Elite

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2018 Grand Lake BASS Elite

After competing on Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees so many times before, I felt my chances were strong going into this event, especially since it was spring.

The lake offers plenty of prime spawning habitat; including pea gravel and chunk rock banks within protected pockets. Visual targets include laydowns, willows, docks, bridges and all forms of rock transitions.