Shane Lineberger – Bull Shoals/Norfork

Bull Shoals/Norfork was a unique format for B.A.S.S. They set up this tournament so that we would fish Norfork on the first and final days while fishing Bull Shoals on Day 2 and Day 3. The uniqueness would require the field to be able to adapt to two different bodies of water for the same tournament.

While practicing for one tournament can be challenging enough, two lakes definitely changed the way I had to approach practice. My pre-tournament plan was to go to Norfork first in the mindset of all or nothing for one day. If things went well and I came back on Day 4, I would adapt and fish the day at hand. Basically I approached Bull Shoals in the same manner. The goal was to make the top 50 cut and then adapt and change as the tournament unfolded. Practice went pretty well. I was on a decent pattern of flipping and ripping a jerkbait! I just never felt I had found the right size.

Day 1 on Norfork was full of action. I caught approximately 30 fish but never got around the big bite. My jerkbait of choice and Smallie Beaver provided me with a limit of 7lbs. 5oz. A little behind the eight-ball so to speak.

I decided to stick with the same flipping pattern on Day 2 with the Smallie Beaver at Bull Shoals and let the cards fall where they may. I would leave it all on the water as I flipped every bush I could find trying to make the top 50 cut. I did have a better Day 2 but so did a majority of the field. Tournament ended for me with a 91st place finish. Bull Shoals was an impressive fishery with the quantity of bass it holds.

Sportsmanship and teamwork go a long way and in tournament fishing it is no different. Thanks to the help of another angler heading to check-in, my marshal, and quick work by the Yamaha service team, I was able get to the weigh-in on Day 2 and travel ready for the next event.

There is no break for us this week, so with the Skeeter in tow, I am off to Decatur, Alabama as we start practice Monday on Wheeler Lake. It’s still early in the season and I am ready for the next challenge. Thanks again to my sponsors who help make all this happen: Foothills Marine Center, Skeeter, Yamaha, Abu Garcia, Costa, TrueSouth Custom Lures, P-Line, Reaction Innovations, Bass Mafia, Bluewater LED, Brian’s Bees, Lowrance, and TH Marine.

Follow Shane on his Facebook page.