DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

IT'S ALL PALANIUK

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 04/21/2012

Story by Matt Pangrac and Dave Rush - Photos by Dave Rush

Bull Shoals, AR – After 98 out of the 99 Elite Series pros brought a limit to the scales at Bull Shoals Lake on Friday, there was little doubt that another round of limits would be paraded across the weigh-in stage by the 50 remaining competitors on Saturday. 

Out of the 49 who managed a limit, it was Idaho’s Brandon Palaniuk who again stole the show, bringing in another impressive limit weighing 19-10 to increase his lead to an almost insurmountable 12-pounds, 15-ounces heading into championship Sunday. 

Even though a limit was almost a foregone conclusion heading into the day, Palaniuk stated that his primary areas, which had surrendered the tournament’s heaviest limit weighing 24-4 on Friday, had cooled off considerably over the course of the colder night which saw  temperatures dip into the high 30’s. 

Brandon Palaniuk

“It died off today even though I still caught 19-10,” Palaniuk explained.  “It was a grind, and I was fortunate enough to get the bites that I got fairly early because it slowed down considerably in the afternoon.”

Fishing clean with only one lost fish on Saturday that might have pushed his total weight to over 20-pounds, Palaniuk said that he again targeted several key areas, with one spot coughing up several of his biggest fish.  “I’m going to start there tomorrow and see if I can’t catch a few big ones quick and early,” he said.  “I’ve got about nine or 10 different areas that I’m fishing, but that one spot has yielded the most fish for me.  If things get slow, I’ve got a bunch of stuff that I haven’t hit in the last three days where I caught them in practice.”

On Saturday, Palaniuk said that one of the key factors to his success was his use of his HydroWave.  “When I turned on my HydroWave, the fish went nuts,” said Palaniuk. “It seriously made the fish bite better, and I caught couple big ones shortly after I turned it on.  They’re not a sponsor on my jersey, and there’s nothing behind that other than what I saw with my own eyes today.”

In search of his first Elite Series victory and holding a substantial lead on a lake that is surrendering quality limits but not coughing up giant bags, five decent keepers on Sunday will almost certainly be all that the second year pro will need to seal the victory.  It’s a fact that he’s well aware of, but after the near collapse of Ish Monroe on Okeechobee after Day Three, he’s not taking anything for granted. 

“I’m going to go out and try to sack up 20-pounds,” said Palaniuk.  If I have 20-pounds by 7:30, I’m still going to keep grinding it out until I have to make my run back to weigh-in.  After the first day, my goal was to gain a bigger lead each day.  I told Ish that I was trying to beat his 14-pound margin of victory at Okeechobee, so I still have to catch them tomorrow.” 

2nd Place: Britt Myers (52-8)
Kicking off the tournament tied for 28th Place with a respectable limit weighing 14-15, it wasn’t until Friday that Britt Myers knew that he might be on to something special this week at Bull Shoals.  With a Day Two limit weighing 20-4, Myers jumped up to 4th Place heading into the weekend. 

While he wasn’t able to crack the 20-pound mark again on Saturday, Myers moved up in the standings with a limit weighing 17-5 to boost his three day total weight to 52-8. While he’s a distant 12-pounds, 15-ounces behind leader Brandon Palaniuk, Myers is the angler with the best chance of chasing him down should Palaniuk stumble on championship Sunday.

Britt Myers

Employing the same strategy that he used on Friday, Myers spent the morning catching a decent limit and then spent the rest of the day targeting areas that he though held bigger fish.  “The strategy worked again today,” he explained. “I had a shot at two more really big ones and just wasn’t able to capitalize. Hopefully, I’ll have one of those miracle days tomorrow.”

Fishing a reaction bait, Myers said that the presence of wind is critical to turning on the fish in his areas. “I heard the wind is going to blow tomorrow, and I hope that it comes true – I’m going to be praying for wind,” he said.   “Today, I was like a kid out there having fun.  I’ve got a giant area, and I’m fishing fish that aren’t resident fish.  I may go out tomorrow and catch 5-pounds, or I may go out there and catch 25-pounds.   

Bobby Lane3rd Place: Bobby Lane (50-13)
Falling off his pace from the previous two days, Florida’s Bobby Lane managed only 13-6 on Saturday which was his smallest limit of the week by more than four pounds.  Lane who has been by his own admission “chunking and winding” this week on Bull Shoals failed to get the bigger bites in the boat on day three that are crucial to separate yourself from the pack. 

“I really thought I would have had the opportunity to catch seventeen or eighteen pounds today and try to make a move.  I think the cold front put a little ding on them today, it went from being easy to cull out three pounders to difficult to catch one,” said Lane.

Execution played a role as well today in Lane’s lighter limit, as he was unable to capitalize on several key opportunities that he had throughout day three.  “I had three good ones on today that I never got to see.  It’s just unfortunate when you get the right bites and that happens, but that is gonna happen every now and then,” Lane said.

Planning on switching things up a bit on the final day, Bobby is planning on narrowing down some of the areas he has been visiting and keying more on some of his better locations.  “It seems like the key to getting a bigger bite is just keeping your bait wet and maximizing your fishing time.  Today I may have run around a little too much and tried to hit too many spots.  Tomorrow I plan on spending more time fishing in a few key places and hope that will be the key for me to catch a bigger sack.”

Although it seems you can catch fish anywhere on Bull Shoals this week, there have been elements that Lane says are imperative to his success on the mountain fishery.  “There is definitely some dead water out there for me this week.  The shallow stuff has not worked out for me this week very well, I have some key deals that I am looking for in order for my pattern to work so that is what I plan on concentrating on doing Sunday,” Lane concluded.

Matt Herren4th Place: Matt Herren (50-9)
Starting day three in second place, Alabama pro Matt Herren had great expectations of what could be on Saturday.  Unfortunately for Herren, the cold front that blanketed the Ozark Mountains and Bull Shoals Lake, along with dropping water levels, had a negative effect on his bite.  Herren weighed in 12-12 on Saturday, which was his lightest bag of the event on so far. 

“I was scrambling today.  The water fell probably five or six inches in the area I am fishing and the fish just left.  I am fishing way up a creek, and I think the water falling out has really made those fish start to migrate back towards the main lake,” said Herren.

Looking to regroup for Sunday, Herren is planning on making some adjustments to his game plan which he hopes will help him improve his weight on day 4.  “I have an idea where my fish went, but really once I figured it out didn’t have enough time to capitalize on it today.  I am losing about two hours of fishing time by making such a long run, and also lost another hour today because of a broken trolling motor rope.  Hopefully tomorrow I can take advantage of what I figured out late in the day and move up a few spots,” Herren concluded.

5th Place: Scott Rook (49-10)
Coming off a massive day two, Scott Rook was looking to keep the momentum rolling on Saturday at Bull Shoals.  Rook who weighed 14-12 today had to make several adjustments to key in on what the fish were doing under the post front conditions. 

Scott Rook

“Today I really relied on the Smallmouth deal that I had figured out.  The Smallmouth have been out a little deeper than the largemouth I have been catching and seemed to be less effected by the front than the largemouth in my area.  I actually had to make some bait adjustments also.  I pulled out a jewel jig today for the first time and that was the key to my limit today, because it was really a struggle for me today with the largemouth,” Rook said.

Besides adjustments to his baits and the species he was targeting, Rook also made some moves to different areas to find his bites on day three.  “I had to move around a lot today until I could find some off colored water.  The water in the areas I had been keying on cleared up a lot, so I had to make some moves and chase down some dirtier water.  I am fishing a pattern, so I have confidence that if I can find the right stuff I can catch fish.  I don’t think I can catch Brandon, but I am going to go out tomorrow and give it my best shot,” Rook concluded.

DAY 3 STANDINGS

Place PRO ANGLER Day 1Day 2Day 3 Total Fish Total Weight
FishWeightFishWeightFishWeight
1 Brandon Palaniuk 5 21- 9 5 24- 4 5 19-10 15 65- 7
2 Britt Myers 5 14-15 5 20- 4 5 17- 5 15 52- 8
3 Bobby Lane 5 17-11 5 19-12 5 13- 6 15 50-13
4 Matthew Herren 5 20-13 5 17- 0 5 12-12 15 50- 9
5 Scott Rook 5 14- 2 5 20-12 5 14-12 15 49-10
6 Mark Menendez 5 16- 1 5 15- 0 5 18- 4 15 49- 5
7 Keith Poche 5 16- 9 5 14- 2 5 18- 2 15 48-13
8 Brent Chapman 5 15- 6 5 18-15 5 14- 3 15 48- 8
9 Edwin Evers 5 16- 8 5 16- 6 5 15- 7 15 48- 5
10 Cliff Pace 5 19-10 5 12- 7 5 16- 1 15 48- 2
11 Derek Remitz 5 15- 5 5 14- 3 5 17-10 15 47- 2
12 Jason Quinn 5 17- 5 5 15-15 5 13-13 15 47- 1
13 Clark Reehm 5 17- 5 5 15- 7 5 14- 1 15 46-13
14 Randy Howell 5 16- 7 5 13-13 5 15- 9 15 45-13
15 Ish Monroe 5 14-15 5 16- 6 5 14- 7 15 45-12
16 Zell Rowland 5 13- 0 5 19- 8 5 13- 2 15 45-10
17 David Walker 5 13- 7 5 18- 6 5 13- 9 15 45- 6
18 Brandon Card 5 12-15 5 14-13 5 17-10 15 45- 6
19 Mike Iaconelli 5 16- 7 5 16-10 5 11-15 15 45- 0
20 Bradley Roy 5 18- 2 5 13- 7 5 13- 3 15 44-12
21 Rick Clunn 5 17- 6 5 15- 9 5 11- 4 15 44- 3
22 Travis Manson 5 17- 1 5 15-14 5 11- 0 15 43-15
23 Kyle Fox 5 13- 8 5 15- 8 5 14- 4 15 43- 4
24 Boyd Duckett 5 12- 8 5 20- 8 5 10- 2 15 43- 2
25 Bill Lowen 5 17- 3 5 13- 5 5 12- 4 15 42-12
26 Terry Butcher 5 13-10 5 16-15 5 12- 2 15 42-11
27 Russell Lane 5 15-12 5 11-15 5 14-14 15 42- 9
28 Alton Jones 5 17-13 5 13- 2 5 11- 8 15 42- 7
29 Kotaro Kiriyama 5 15-15 5 14-14 5 11- 9 15 42- 6
30 Chris Zaldain 5 11-14 5 16-10 5 13-11 15 42- 3
31 Dustin Wilks 5 13- 2 5 16- 0 5 13- 1 15 42- 3
32 Tommy Biffle 5 18- 2 5 12- 6 5 11-10 15 42- 2
33 Greg Vinson 5 13- 5 5 14- 0 5 14- 9 15 41-14
34 Rick Morris 5 14- 2 5 13- 8 5 14- 3 15 41-13
35 Mike McClelland 5 15- 9 5 13- 1 5 12-12 15 41- 6
36 Ott DeFoe 5 14-10 5 13- 4 5 13- 8 15 41- 6
37 Matt Reed 5 14- 2 5 15- 1 5 12- 0 15 41- 3
38 Keith Combs 5 15- 1 5 13- 6 5 12- 9 15 41- 0
39 Jonathon VanDam 5 12-13 5 14- 7 5 13-12 15 41- 0
40 Brian Snowden 5 16- 1 5 13- 7 5 11- 7 15 40-15
41 Gerald Swindle 5 14- 5 5 14- 9 5 11-13 15 40-11
42 Andy Montgomery 5 13- 0 5 14- 2 5 13- 9 15 40-11
43 J Todd Tucker 5 13-15 5 13- 5 5 13- 6 15 40-10
44 Casey Ashley 5 13- 7 5 15- 8 5 11- 9 15 40- 8
45 Kevin VanDam 5 13- 4 5 14- 3 5 12-14 15 40- 5
46 Russell Parrish 5 13-13 5 13-14 5 12- 8 15 40- 3
47 Mark Davis 5 12- 3 5 16- 4 5 11- 8 15 39-15
48 James Niggemeyer 5 12- 6 5 15- 1 5 12- 7 15 39-14
49 Jeremy Starks 5 12-12 5 15- 7 5 10-11 15 38-14
50 Scott Ashmore 5 17- 6 5 10-12 3 4- 9 13 32-11