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Tournament Analysis

Published: April 12, 2016

Shryock Strong in Third Period, Wins on Lake Milton Qualifier

Fletcher Shryock (MLF/Jeff Phillips photo)

By: Dan O’Sullivan,


Jacob Wheeler

Keith Poche

Kevin Short

Cliff Pace

Fletcher Shryock

Gary Clouse

Just about every Major League Fishing GEICO Select event to date has produced a fair amount of drama.  The tightness of the field has created a situation where there have been very few runaway winners.  While that wasn’t the case on day one of the GEICO Selects event on Mosquito Creek Lake when Andy Montgomery won fairly easily; the second day of competition presented a little different feel.

For this second day of qualifying rounds, the field moved slightly closer to the host city of Youngstown, Ohio, to Lake Milton, a 1693 acre watershed lake 15 minutes to the West of Youngstown.  Unlike the first playing field, Milton presented anglers with a plethora of visible targets to fish as the 22 miles of shoreline are dotted with boat docks and some grass beds as well.

The six man field let loose onto Lake Milton had to quickly dissect the lake and come up with a plan to keep posting catches to the SCORETRACKER LIVE Leaderboard.

While the anglers got a feel for their surroundings, it took a little while for things to get heated up.  A few anglers posted pedestrian catches to the SCORETRACKER LIVE Leaderboard in the early morning hours, but the results were hit and miss.

The highlight of the morning came when Poche ventured to the lower end of the lake to the tributary lined with reeds and grass.  At just after 7:00 a.m., Poche caught his second fish, a 3-pound, 10-ounce largemouth, which was the largest fish of the day.  While that certainly created a stir amongst the competitors, it would only give him the lead for a short period of time.

Despite his efforts with the floating frog, Poche got run down by the anglers who began targeting shoreline cover as the sun got higher in the sky.  Chief among that crowd was Shryock, a native Ohioan, who despite having never fished Milton, used his understanding of the fisheries in the area to tailor his attack to his benefit.

Shryock utilized a Texas Rigged finesse worm to target the shady corners and edges of main lake docks to stay in contention and take the lead in the third period, then withstand the charge of the field.  Shryock produced 12 keepers for 14 pounds, 13 ounces to eke out the win over a hard charging Wheeler, who finished second with 13 pounds, 11 ounces by pitching at shoreline cover in ditches and pockets.

Poche managed to catch enough at the bottom of the lake to finish third with 10 pounds, 3 ounces and Short grabbed the final transfer spot with 9 pounds, 10 ounces by throwing a jerkbait around the bridge supports at the middle of the lake.

Pace only managed to produce 3 pounds, 2 ounces and Clouse only managed to catch 2 pounds, 2 ounces, unfortunately completing the event for both anglers after their first day of competition.

For complete Qualifying Round 3 results, click here.

For GEICO Selects points race standings, click here.