Fishing: Smith wins High Rock tournament

Published 3:56 pm Monday, June 17, 2024

BFL Press release

LEXINGTON — Boater Ronnie Smith of China Grove caught a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 5 ounces, on Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on High Rock Lake.

The tournament was the fourth event of the season for the BFL North Carolina Division. Smith earned $3,838 for his victory.

“I’ve been catching them pretty good for about three weeks out deep,” Smith said. “I fished deep. I caught them on a big worm and a jig in about 18 feet of water. They were set up on stumps, brush, high places in the mid-lake.”

Smith says a tip from a buddy led to his starting the day out in deep water, even though he’d been fishing shallow water in the mornings leading up to the tournament. After losing his first fish, he quickly landed three quality bass, including a 6-pound, 15-ounce kicker that earned him the Berkley Big Bass award on the boater side.

With those three in the box, Smith ran to another creek and caught a 5-pounder, then moved again and landed several more quality fish to solidify his limit early.

“They bit good this morning,” said Smith, who has decades of experience on High Rock.

“That’s the key,” he said of his experience. “I’ve fished that lake for about 40 years. Over 40 years. Fifty years, probably. So I’ve got a lot of seat time down there. And the fish aren’t everywhere. They’re just in certain areas.”

His key baits were a 3/4-ounce football-head jig and a 10-inch Zoom Ol’ Monster Worm.