Share this Story

Tournament Analysis

Published: January 26, 2016

Montgomery Targets Shallow Largemouth to Win Qualifying Round

MLF angler Andy Montgomery reaches for a nice largemouth he hooked in shallow, dense-cover water. (MLF/Jeff Phillips photo)

By: Dan O’Sullivan,

2016 Summit Select QUALIFYING ROUND 4 Competitors

Scott Suggs

Andy Montgomery

Casey Scanlon

Kevin Short

Fletcher Shryock

Fred Roumbanis

Dale Hollow, the legendary smallmouth fishery north of Cookeville, Tenn., has proven to be a fairly stingy fishery for a most of the GEICO Selects anglers. For the first three Qualifying Rounds, some anglers have been able to string together fishing patterns for an impressive finish. For most anglers, the fishing has been an absolute grind.

The combination of Dale Hollow’s clear water, sparseness of shoreline cover and grass coupled with the unseasonably hot late spring conditions equaled less than ideal fishing conditions. While most anglers under these conditions would look to an early bite as their savior, there has only been one day – Round 1 with Brandon Palaniuk – it has worked for an angler.

However, tough it has been, each round of six anglers has one thought on their mind – catch fish and ring the SCORETRACKER leaderboard bell to put their competitors on edge.

Qualifying Round 4 of the Major League Fishing 2016 Bass Pro Shops Summit Select proved to be difficult for the anglers once again. Unlike Round 3, where only one angler scored in the first period, there were a handful of anglers with weights posted on the leaderboard heading into the second period. While the first angler to score in Qualifying Round 3 was not a future teller as to the eventual winner, Round 4 was a different story.

North Carolina pro Andy Montgomery the spent the first part of his morning looking for a topwater bite with a buzzbait. Though he caught the first fish of the day on the gurgling surface lure, it wasn’t the winning pattern for the day.

Montgomery moved around quite a bit until he found a stained, shallow backwater area with plenty of cover. Once he located the area, Montgomery picked up a flippin’ rod, a jig and a pair of soft plastic baits, and catch several fish from the tree-root systems and laydowns.

The approach resulted in Montgomery taking the lead fairly early and producing enough bass to never relinquish the lead. His seven keepers, weighing a total of 13 pounds, 7 ounces, was enough to hold off Arkansas pros Scott Suggs and Kevin Short.

Suggs finished in second place with 10 pounds, 4 ounces, while Short finished third with 10 pounds, 2 ounces. The final angler to make the cut for another chance in the Survival Round was Casey Scanlon with 7 pounds, 4 ounces.

Fletcher Shryock finished in fifth place with two fish weighing 3 pounds, 1 ounce. Fred Roumbanis, in sixth place, managed to catch one keeper weighing 14 ounces. Both were eliminated from competition.

Click here for complete standings.