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Rapsody Recap with Bassmaster Elite Series Pro, Joe Sancho - Event 2

Posted by admin on March 24, 2014

steveBowman_joeSancho.jpg
photo - Steve Bowman

Elite Series Event #2, St. John's River, Florida

Rapsody Rods: Tell us how your practice went?
Joe Sancho: To be honest it was slower than I expected. Day One of practice was an absolute torrential downpour all day long. Torrential!! Although under the overcast skies I was able to catch some decent spinnerbait fish on the outside edges of eel grass. Day Two started out overcast; but then became bright in the afternoon. Once that happened I started looking for beds. I found hundreds of bass in Lake George moving up or spawning. The last day of practice, I wanted to search for something nearby to fall back on. Unfortunately I never got on anything else productive.

Rapsody Rods:  So how were you feeling going into the event and what was the plan?
Joe Sancho: 
I knew the area in Lake George had the right fish.  Problem was I also knew there was going to be a bunch of guys on it.  That was the best area I had, and outside of those spinnerbait fish in another one of the lakes, I didn’t really have anything else to go to.  What I didn’t plan on though was more than half the fields, 50+ boats, would all pile on to and fish the same flat.  I’ve never seen that many boats ever in one area.    

Rapsody Rods: Wow, that many boats in one area has to be nerve-wracking, what did you do?
Joe Sancho: 
The biggest issue with all those boats is you just didn’t feel like you could move around to try to locate bigger fish.   And if you find a fish, you had better catch it because if you don’t someone else will.  I caught 15 or more fish the first day, but never got any good ones.  Still I was only a couple pounds out of the cut.  Day Two, I started in the same areas and could tell the bite was definitely off.  It was windier and overcast.   Unlike Day One you weren’t seeing numbers of fish being caught.  With the overcast, I decided to move to another lake and see if I could get those spinnerbait fish to go.  I caught 7 fish on the blade but only three keepers and one that was touching the line.   I checked that one fish five times at the dock to see if it would measure, but decided I didn’t want to take the chance of it being ruled short.   

Rapsody Rods:  Tell us what worked for you and what equipment you used?
Joe Sancho: 
Sight fishing I was using a ¼ Texas rigged white tube, fished on the Rapsody Maestro RMBC701MHF with 12 lb. Hi Seas Fluorocarbon.  The fish would react to the white tube almost immediately and then judging by how they reacted, I was able to determine if the fish was catchable or not.  I also caught fish in practice and the event throwing a 1/2oz War Eagle Spinnerbait on The One from the Rapsody Hot Rod series with 15 lb. Hi Seas Fluorocarbon.  With the spinnerbait, I targeted the outside edge of eel grass, though in hindsight after talking to some competitors, I should have went shallower as many reported the bigger fish had moved up on the second day and were in 1 to 2’ of water. 

Rapsody Rods:  Are you heading back to New York?
Joe Sancho:  No.  I’m heading to Toledo Bend to get in 5 day of pre-practice before it goes off-limits. Then I go right from there to the 3rd Elite Series event at Table Rock.  All said and done, I’ll be on the road probably 5 weeks in a row, but I really need to do it.  These waters are all new to me; just learning to navigate them is time consuming.  I am looking forward to the Table Rock.  I was able to put in a couple days of practice before the off-limits and I think it will be more in my wheel house.