Story by Justin Brouillard | Photos by Tanner & Travis Lyons
With stop two of the 2023 NPFL Season just over a week away, the anglers will make their way to Texarkana, TX this week to begin the official practice period on Wright-Patman starting Sunday. In 2021, high water throughout practice began to fall as the event progressed, and positioned bass on the edges of the flooded bushes where they could easily be targeted. Any local advantage went out the window, and this year’s tournament conditions will be realized by anglers when the event begins next Thursday.
Oklahoma angler Sheldon Collings was one angler in the top that increased his weights as the event went along. Collings focused on flooded bushes and targeted new water each day. His tactic dialed him in and his approach became more efficient each day. His final day showing of 21-pounds, 8-ounces moved him into the 3rd place spot.
“In 2021, we had the perfect conditions,” said Collings. “The water falling pushed the fish to the edges where the entire field could catch them and the advantage of folks being locals went away. This year, if the water stays up, those guys will know the little places they can get back into and that will help them.”
Collings focused on the edges of the bushes like most of the field, but spent his time learning key differences that allowed him to catch bigger bass and separate himself from the pack.
Bait WrX Key Baits:
Collings fished a one-two punch that consisted of a Black Blue Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver and a Yum Dinger both fished on a 4/0 flipping hook with a ½-ounce tungsten weight. Collings fished a 7-foot, 4-inch, Xtra Heavy Falcon Cara Casting Rod with 25-pound Sunline Shooter and Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon line.
Finishing in tenth place, Brian Hatfield also deployed a one-two punch approach to increase his daily weights as the event went on. He began with two bags in the 17-pound range, followed by a 19-pound, 10-ounce final day weight to finish the event.
Bait WrX Key Baits:
Like the others, Hatfield focused on fish positions along the flooded bushes and worked a combination of a reaction bite and flipping.
“I would start off throwing a reaction style bait – a spinnerbait with a Colorado blade,” said Hatfield. “After that, I would go and flip a homemade jig around the bushes to finish a solid limit.”
Hatfield fished his baits on Lew’s Fishing rod and reel combos spooled with 20-pound Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon.
Catch all the action from Texarkana, TX starting next Thursday through Saturday to see who unlocks the Wright Patman magic!