|Browning Goes Overboard|
That first morning on Lewisville Lake, near Dallas, Browning opened the action with a solid 3-pound largemouth. Soon, however, an interesting challenge would emerge. “Four casts later, I hung my JackHammer on a piece of cover in 2 feet of water,” he recollected. “But I didn’t want to disturb the spot, so I broke the lure off, intending to return and find it later. Of course, when I came back later, I couldn’t find it. Then, I went into another pocket with standing timber, and a gar sliced my line. Retied my third JackHammer and somehow managed to hang the lure on another tree.”
Having started the day with exactly four white 3/8-ounce ChatterBait JackHammers, Browning now faced a dilemma. “The water was so shallow up in this pocket, I couldn’t get my boat in there to retrieve the lure. I recalled that MLF rules allow you to get out of the boat in certain instances. So, I pulled my shoes off, rolled up my jeans and bailed out. Wasn’t going to lose another one of these bad boys—even though I’m sure seeing me out there wading through the shallows in my blue jeans provided some of the anglers with a good chuckle. Happy to say, I successfully retrieved my JackHammer and was back in business pretty quick after that.”
Back in business, indeed. For Browning would go on to win his group’s Elimination round with thirteen bass for 23.04-pounds.
Then on day two—the so-called Sudden Death round—the remaining anglers found themselves on nearby Eagle Mountain Lake. “I tied on the same 3/8-ounce JackHammer and went to work,” said Browning. “Eagle Mountain has a lot of cattail lined banks, where I caught quite a few bass before fishing my day one pattern, working the back ends of pockets. My last two fish of the day came off the same type of cover I’d fished at Lewisville, which gave me even more confidence entering the Championship round.”