March 30, 2012 10:09:44 AM
Will Dupler knows how to fish in tournaments.
Dupler, who lives in Columbus, has been fishing since his early years in Florida, and he knows the saying "nothing beats time on the water" holds true in the tournaments.
Dupler proved that adage correct March 10 at the Bass Fishing League's first Mississippi Division tournament on Pickwick Lake in Iuka.
Dupler posted a five-fish limit weight of 30 pounds, two ounces to win the boater division by five pounds. His weight in the single day event was anchored by the big bass of the tournament that weighed 12 pounds, nine ounces. It is believed to be the largest bass weighed in at a BFL Mississippi tournament. BFL is a division of FLW Outdoors. Dupler earned $5,089.00 for his efforts.
Dupler, who is retired, spent five days pre-fishing for the tournament, and had a good feeling when he registered for the tournament.
"I could hardly sleep that night," Dupler said. "I knew I was on good fish and had a few different spots that were producing. I was on one spot and caught a nine-pounder, a six-pounder, and a five-pounder in five casts, and on tournament day I never went to that spot."
Dupler said he caught all of his fish using an Alabama Rig. He said he tried to use a Carolina Rig and a big Jig, but he said the fish wouldn't touch them.
"These fish were moving along ledges following schools of shad," Dupler said. "I had to move with them or I would quit getting bites."
Dupler was disappointed he was boast No. 147 out of 157. Despite being at the tail end of the blast-off and knowing all of the anglers would be on all of the spots he wanted to fish, he adjusted after a slow start.
"I got to my first spot at 6:30 a.m. and there were four boats already sitting there," Dupler said. "I fell in with them and noticed they were sitting still. I knew I had to follow the shad, so I moved around the other boats and started catching fish. In 30 minutes, I was culling three-pound fish. I was sitting in 20 feet of water and casting to six feet. I moved out to 25 feet of water and was casting to 10 to 12 feet. I started catching four-pound fish. My co-angler, Jimmy Tisdale, of Ellisville, had only caught one fish, but it was a seven-pound fish. I gave him a pack of lures I was using on my A-Rig and he was culling in 30 minutes."
Dupler moved into 40 feet of water and casted to 20 feet when he had his chance to land the big fish of the tournament.
"When she hit the rig, she hit it like a truck," Dupler said. "I had been swinging the fish into the boat until this fish. I told my partner I needed the net and he was stunned. Tisdale grabbed the net and finally got the fish into the boat. I was tired at this point; I had caught some 30 fish and they were all over three pounds."
Dupler said the Alabama Rig might work in local water if anglers can find clearer water. He said Pickwick Lake is a much clearer body of water than what anglers in this area typically fish, so he feels an Alabama Rig "won't work as well, if at all" in local waters.