Beatin’ The Bank with Bernie Schultz —2017 Lake St. Clair BASS Elite

Beatin’ The Bank with Bernie Schultz —2017 Lake St. Clair BASS Elite

My main goal going into the Lake St. Clair event was to qualify for the Angler of the Year Championship (AOY). That and try to win, of course.

Having secured solid finishes in the three previous events really helped — I was now within ten spots of qualifying.

Card's Catch - Three Late Summer Largemouth Tactics

Card's Catch - Three Late Summer Largemouth Tactics

It’s that time of year again; time to head shallow for largemouth. Shad start to move shallow in late summer and the big bass will be right behind them. There are three ways that always seem to produce for me this time of year; fishing docks, flipping laydowns and fishing a topwater near grass. Let’s flesh these out.

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2017 Lake Champlain BASS Elite

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2017 Lake Champlain BASS Elite

After an exhaustive week of competition on the St. Lawrence River, I made the drive to Lake Champlain — site of our seventh Elite Series event.

Arriving in the village of Plattsburgh, NY shortly after sunset, I caught up with fellow Florida pro Cliff Prince and his family. They had booked a room for me at a low budget motel on the outskirts of town, and though it was rough, it would serve as interim lodging until we could move into our lakeside cabin for the remainder of the week.

Card's Catch - Chasing Northern Largemouth

Card's Catch - Chasing Northern Largemouth

Each year on the Bassmaster Elite Series we travel to some of the best smallmouth bass fisheries in the world. This year we went to the St. Lawrence River and Lake Champlain. Both have excellent smallmouth fishing and I love going to those places, but maybe not for the reasons you would expect, I like to chase northern largemouth. These waters are excellent for largemouth and they often receive far less pressure than the smallmouth. I have had success and failure this year chasing the green fish, but it is how I like to fish when I head north.

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2017 St. Lawrence River BASS Elite

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2017 St. Lawrence River BASS Elite

Whenever our tour visits the St. Lawrence River, I know my chances for success are strong. I’ve been fishing there for decades, and in that time I’ve experienced all types of conditions. I was looking forward to this event more than any other on the schedule.

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2017 Lake Dardanelle BASS Elite

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2017 Lake Dardanelle BASS Elite

Located near the town of Russellville, Arkansas is Lake Dardanelle — a large pool on the Arkansas River. It covers roughly 40,000 surface acres, and it’s full of prime bass-breeding habitat.

I love this lake because the fish stay shallow most of the year … and they usually bite!

Team Tales from the Trail: FLW Tour Mississippi River

Team Tales from the Trail: FLW Tour Mississippi River

The Tour’s sixth stop was The Mississippi River (pools 7, 8 and 9) out of La Crosse, WI. The Mississippi is well known for its plentiful cover such as wood, wing dams, vegetation, backwater pools and docks. Our first day of practice found Jimmy and me with no bites, so we decided to make a run. We quickly found ourselves on a sand bar, stuck high and dry. Luckily, fellow Yamamoto pro Darrel Robertson happened by and pulled us out. (Thanks, Darrel!)

Card's Catch - Deep vs. Shallow in the Post-Spawn

Card's Catch - Deep vs. Shallow in the Post-Spawn

After the bass spawn, some stay shallow and some head to deeper water immediately.  Knowing whether you should fish shallow or deep is the big debate for me and I have learned that it usually boils down to water clarity and shallow cover.