The Fish the Fall Elite Team Trail had its two-day Lake Murray event on Friday and Saturday (March 6 and 7), and it was a good one. The father/ son team of Mike and Brian Tidwell won the tournament with a two-day total of 48.33 pounds, including a whopping Day 2 bag weighing 30.79 pounds! The bag featured a 9.11 pound big fish and set a new all-time Fish the Fall team record. Tournament director Dennis Landrum weighed the previous record bag (a 28- plus pound sack caught, interestingly enough, several years ago on Lake Keowee) and he described this limit as “unreal.” Someone told Dennis that Mike and Brian had a limit so big that they needed two bags to carry the fish, and sure enough they produced it! While the winning team wasn’t saying how they caught their fish speculation was that it came on Alabama rig.
2nd place went to the team of Wendall Ashley and Jimmy Crider with a two-day total of 43.99 pounds.
3rd place went to the the team of Roy Stuart and Jerry Hart with a two-day total of 37.84 pounds. They had the tournament 2nd big fish (and day 1 big fish) at 8.23 pounds, and Dennis pointed out that it’s not every day that an 8- plus pound bass only gets an honorable mention!
The most obvious story is the monster bag caught by the Tidwells yesterday, but the run that they are on is just as impressive. Last week Mike and Brian won the Fishers of Men Upstate Division tournament on Lake Greenwood with a massive 29.87 pound bag, and Dennis remarks that they are on the kind of run that everyone dreams of. He adds that the pair are good on every lake.
More generally, Dennis points out the quality of the Fish the Fall field. October was a little slow with bad lake conditions on Lake Greenwood that meant “just” a 16.73 pound sack was good enough for the win, but in November things picked up with a 19.42 pound bag caught on Lake Keowee! In December the (you guessed it) Tidwells pulled a nearly-20-pound bag out of Lake Russell, and in January it again took almost 20 pounds to win on Lake Keowee. And then in February it took 25- plus to win on Lake Hartwell – where Classic anglers mostly struggled only a couple of weeks later! It’s hard to argue with the fact that they have some very good anglers fishing the tournaments.
Finally, the next Fish the Fall event will be April 4 on Lake Jocassee, where Dennis says that truly anything could happen… 15 pounds could win it, or the winners could break the record set this weekend. Stay tuned…