T-H Marine Pro Angler Randall Tharp came away from the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Lake Guntersville with a big win. Although Randall will tell you that at least one lunker got away in a discouraging fashion, he was able to find some schools of fish, get back on track and give himself an edge.
When we talked with him this week, here's what he had to say about his big finish.
T-H Marine: What can you tell us about your practice before the tournament?
Randall Tharp: I spent the first day on Norfork. Then days two and three on Bull Shoals and back to Norfork for the final shortened practice day. I had a decent practice on Norfork but struggled on Bull Shoals until 3:00 on the 3rd day when I picked up my jig. I got a good bite within a few flips and it was like the light bulb went off. I located 3 creeks with channel swing banks in the back and stained water that afternoon. I took this plan back to Norfork and located three similar areas there.
T-H Marine: What can you tell us about your pattern?
Randall: I targeted channel swing banks in the back of creeks with stained water all four days on both lakes. All of the bites came in less than five feet of water on my signature series 4X4 jig. Isolated wood, stair step-rock ledges, and bushes were all good as long as it was isolated.
T-H Marine: Did anything change since practice time?
Randall: The water temperature went from low 60s to mid 70s by the final day. The fish were moving up in groups all over both lakes.
T-H Marine: How did you prepare before you left for Arkansas?
Randall: I always study maps and make sure all of my equipment is properly maintained, cleaned up, and ready to go. I also keep a close eye on the weather patterns in that particular part of the country so I know what to expect.
T-H Marine: What were your key baits and rod/reel combo's?
Randall: I fished a 1/2 and 5/8 ounce 4X4 Randall Tharp Signature Series Jig (Golden Craw). This was on a 16# Gamma Edge Flurocarbon, 7’6” Halo Twilite Series 2 Heavy action flipping stick, Team Lew’s Magnesium reel (7.5 to 1).
T-H Marine: What pieces of T-H Marine equipment were important and why?
Randall: My Atlas Hydraulic Jack Plate and Hot Foot are important everyday I am on the water but last week I would have to say my T-H balance beam and culling tags were a huge asset for me. I had 60 bites on day one with over 30 keepers. I culled all day - everyday for 4 days. I did it quickly, and efficiently with that setup.
T-H Marine: Looking ahead to Toledo Bend, what kind of preview can you give our readers?
Randall: I have only been to Toledo once and almost won finishing 3rd. It is a huge lake with an unbelievable population of big fish. I feel without a doubt, it is one of, if not the very best tournament bass lakes in the world. I can’t wait!
T-H Marine: What piece of T-H equipment could play the biggest role at Toledo Bend?
Randall: Each piece of T-H Marine equipment will be important but I hope I get to put a few 5 pounders on that culling beam. If that happens it will be a good week!
T-H Marine: We hope you do! Good luck, Randy!
For More Information About Pro Angler Randall Tharp
To learn more about Randall, his achievements, and his sponsors, visit his website by clicking here. You can also check out his favorite T-H Marine gear by browsing these pages:
Atlas Hydraulic Jack Plate: http://thmarine.com/th-marine-products/outboard-jack-plates/hydraulic-jack-plates/atlas-hydraulic-jack-plates
Hot Foot Top Load Foot Throttle: http://thmarine.com/hot-foot-pro-top-load-foot-throttle.html
G-Force Culling System: http://thmarine.com/g-force-cull-system-1.html