Ashmore Takes Late Lead, Wins Round 3
2016 Challenge Select Qualifying Round 3, Youngstown, Ohio
By: Dan O'Sullivan, MajorLeagueFishing.com
April 20, 2016
For the second time this week, the six man field of the Major League Fishing GEICO Select event returned to Mosquito Creek Lake, northwest of Youngstown, Ohio. With the first day of competition being held on Mosquito Lake, it was interesting to see if anyone would find the same patterns that the anglers used on day one of the competition in Youngstown when Andy Montgomery ran away from the field fishing a marina at the lower end of the lake.
However, with every day of competition a new field of anglers hits the water bringing their own styles, and one of the most interesting parts of any day of a Jack Links Major League Fishing event is the development of a game plan and the mental side of each angler’s skillsets.
Each day, six anglers venture out on the body of water intent on being the one angler to qualify, and each day the pressure of the competition affects them differently.
As with many summer fishing events, the day started slowly as the anglers posted sporadic catches to SCORETRACKER LIVE. Early on, it was Faircloth who showed the best chance of getting on a pattern when he posted several quick catches to the Leaderboard.
After Faircloth, Chapman found an area that had clusters of submerged grass in a bay. He managed to catch a couple on topwater early but turned to his flippin’ rod and a heavy tungsten weight with a creature bait to set the midday pace. However, his lead did not last throughout the day.
Ashmore factored into the race throughout the morning by throwing a topwater popper on the shady side of the lake. As that bite slowed, Ashmore searched for a backup pattern, and found his way into the same basic area as Chapman flippin’ and pitchin’ a creature bait to outside grass clumps.
The approach netted the Oklahoma pro the lead late in the third period allowing him to stay there, taking the win with 17 pounds, 9 ounces. Chapman managed to hold onto second place, producing 14 pounds, 13 ounces. Robinson found a frog bite on matted grass that lifted him to third with 11 pounds, 13 ounces, and Faircloth caught enough bass on outside grass edges to finish fourth with 8 pounds, 3 ounces.
Palaniuk and Day finished with 3 pounds, 5 ounces, and 14 ounces, respectively, failing to survive the round.