Brandon Card Recaps Strategy Behind Fourth-Place Elite Series Finish

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The recent Bassmaster Elite Series event on the St. Lawrence River was a great event. I ended up with my best-ever finish in an Elite Series event and after all was said and done, I ended up in fourth place. This event was a prime example of why you should always fish in your comfort zone and trust your gut. The fish I caught in this event were in an area that I had found in our previous trip there in 2013, but I never fished for them then because I listened to dock talk and didn’t believe that largemouth could compete on these smallmouth-dominated waters.

Here is a recap of my practice days, decisions, tournament strategy and reflections from the event.

Practice Day 1

I went into this event thinking smallmouth would be the key and decided to start my practice looking for them. I found them pretty quickly and it seemed like everywhere I looked in shallow water held fish. I had a pretty good first day and was getting bites on a swimbait and jerkbait and could have had an 18lb bag if it was a tournament day. It had me feeling pretty good about what I had found.

Practice Day 2

I decided to expand on the pattern I had found on the first day and it just wasn’t working. I was having trouble finding more smallmouth areas and made the decision to take a look at the largemouth area I had found in 2013. As soon as I went there, I immediately started getting bites on my frog. I was in the bay for about two hours and estimate I had 30 bass blow up on my frog. I caught a few to check their size and they were not giants, but all solid 2.5 to 3lb fish. It gave me some confidence in the area and I knew I could go there if I needed to fill out a limit during the tournament. In my mind, I still thought I should be fishing for smallmouth as there are more big smallmouth in the river than there are big largemouth.

Practice Day 3

The final day was spent looking for more smallmouth areas and more similar-looking areas to my largemouth spot. Really nothing came of the day and I didn’t find anything new that would help me during the event.

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