COUNCE, Tenn. — With two wins already this season, Drew Gregory entered the 2022 Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series Tournament at Pickwick Lake simply looking for solid limits in the two-day event in hopes of securing the Old Town Angler of the Year title.
The Ohio native found much more than a solid limit on Day 1, catching 94.5 inches of bass to take the lead. He anchored his bag with a 20.25-incher with four more measuring 18 inches or more.
“I felt like it was a consistent bite and honestly I was hedging a little bit,” he said. “I may not have the top-end largemouth or smallmouth, but I felt like I could get a solid limit for two days and I would probably lock up AOY. That was the goal and I was surprised to see that so far, I have myself in the running for the tournament win as well as AOY.”
Gregory entered Pickwick with wins on Grand Lake and Smith Lake as well as a seventh-place showing at the Harris Chain. That had him in 11th place in points. With four of the five tournaments counting toward the points race, another good day will likely give Gregory the title.
Texas angler Guillermo Gonzales is second with 86.5 and also claimed the Big Bass of the Day, a 22-incher. Brand Jackson is third with 86.25.
Gregory knew the area he was fishing held plenty of bass, but he was surprised by the size he caught on Day 1. He started the day with an 18-incher three minutes in on a topwater bait and then caught a quality keeper every hour.
He also used a Z-Man CrossEyeZ Power Finesse Jig paired with a Pro CrawZ trailer as well as a Z-Man Goat ToadZ. Every bass he caught came in 1 1/2 feet of water or less.
“I had everything I had by about 10:30 and didn’t know what to do with the rest of my day,” he said. “I wanted to manage fish so I took it easy the rest of the day. They were mostly in a 3 1/2-mile stretch. I don’t know if they are up there because they are chasing the shad up the creek or if they are up there for cooler water. I just found a zone where they seem to want to be.”
Anglers can begin fishing on Day 2 at 6:30 a.m. CT with lines out scheduled for 2:30 p.m. A winner will be crowned at 4 p.m. at The Lodge on Pickwick Landing.