Adventures on Eufala, and the Worst Co-Angler of All Time.


Michele Fanfani


Only a few days after the cursed tournament on Lake of the Ozarks, Jacopo found himself back in Alabama for the MLF Toyota Series (Southern division) tournament on Lake Eufaula.

Tired from the previous, stressful event, Jacopo has only two official practice days and does his best to use them well.  In the case of Eufala, he has experience on the lake, having fished it in 2021. He knew that brush piles would be hot spots, as well as ledges and also grass mats. And this time there was another factor – the shad spawn, which could possibly unleash huge bites from big bass. Jacopo used practic eto discern which of these patterns would produce the best keepers. Punching the grass mats doe snot produce results, prhaps because the lake was a bit low. Ledge fishing requires a very precise and time-intensive approach, and since Jacopo has little time he ditches the pattern. Jacopo locates the baitfish spawn but it does not produce the fish he wants to catch. Fishing submerged and semi-submerged brush piles does produce results, however.



Jacopo takes off on day one with the conviction that the the best approach is to use LiveScope and fish brush piles. But as it often happens, the fish that were there in the 18 foot range in practice are not there on tournament day. Jacopo must move shallow. Using a small BKK jig, he quickly puts three keepers in the livewell. But it is not an easy bite, and he has to sweat and change spots many times before he finds his fourth keeper. Because he lost a few fish, he finishes the day without catching a limit, for a total of little more than six pounds. It was a difficult first day for the entire field, however. With the information he gained, he could improve his result. On the second day, Jacopo has the option to repeat his approach to the brush piles with a chance to catch those difficult fish that insert themselves in the submerged branches that risk breaking his line. The anglers atop the standings had located their bites on the baitfish spawn, however, by intercepting the biggest bass there as they took advantage of the early bite. Jacopo decides to attempt the same. He quickly finds a baitfish spawn and lands two decent bass, but the buffet closes when the sun rises. The changing weather has brought a stronger wind and overcast skies, too, but with the baitfish bite having died Jacopo decides it is time to return to the brush piles. The weather has inspired Jacopo to switch to a casting a ¾ ounce spinnerbait to the brushpiles. It proves to be a winning choice, as he lands four important fish that bring his weight to around nine pounds. The wind dies, however, and the spinnerbait bite no longer produces…  Bass remained in deeper water, however, positioned on submerged brushpiles. Jacopo decided to change technique yet again, and give them a try.  Using a light drop shot rig, he landed his fifth keeper – a big spotted bass of roughly two and one-half pounds. His limit was complete. It wasn’t exceptional, but it was substantial. Jacopo continued rotating techniques, but with a bright sun at mid-day, he only landed non-keepers. Bringing a bag of nearly twelve pounds to the scales, he finishes in 43rd place and earns a check for two thousands dollars that certainly helps the cause.


Post Script The co-angler on day two merits a paragraph or two Jacopo recounts that he was a difficult character. They could not find harmony,  a quality that is needed when two anglers share a boat. As Jacopo noted: “I have competed as a co-angler in America, and I know that there is a precise comportment, with rules of “fair play” that determine that a co-angler must absolutely follow in order that both the professional and the co-angler can have success in fishing.” Accoridng to Jacopo’s account, the co-angler did not understand or follow the basic rules of proper tournament behavior.  By contrast to his co-angler on day one, who had a great attitude, the second co-angler ( we won’t name him) had called Jacopo attempting to impose his strategy on the tournament, something that is the baoter’s exclusive responsibility. Once aboard and fishing, he did not collaborate by helping net Jacopo’s first fish, which Jacopo was forced to land by hand. Looking past the smaller errors, or even the fact that the co-angler tried all day to make Jacopo fish as the co-angler would have liked, in the end the co-angler left without saying a word. What’s worse, he did not split the cost of fuel. It was a truly ugly thing, not so much for the money, but because it was a gesture worthy of a scoundrel. In sum, if you find yourself competing as a co-angler, be sure not to follow his example!  


Gallelli’s Gear


13 FISHING ENVY spinning rod, length 7’3”, 3/4oz. Extra Fast Spinning reel Sufix X8 braided line 15 lb. test) and a Sufix Advance Flourocarbon leader (10 lb. test) BKK Glide ‘N Shake jig #1.0 , weight 3/16oz. Molix Sligo 4” (Green Pumpkin).

Drop shot

13 FISHING ENVY spinning rod, length 6’10”,  3/8oz. extra-fast action. Spinning reel loaded with Sufix X8 brided line (15 lb. test) and a Sufix Advance Flourocarbon Leader (10 lb. test). 3/16 oz. tungsten weight. BKK Siren 1 hook tipped with Molix Sligo 4” (Green Pumpkin).


Canna da casting 13 FISHING ENVY SERIE 2 lunga 7’1” da 1 oz. azione extra fast Mulinello casting CONCEPT C2 con capacità di recupero di 7,5:1 Fluorocarbon Sufix Advance da 17 libbre Spinnerbait: Venator Molix da ¾ oz. colore bianco con palette doppio willow silver – lizard shad

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Michele Fanfani
Michele, 60 years old, Florentine like Jacopo, followed him during all phases of his sporting career in Italy and accompanied him to America at the start of his professional career. He achived several successes fishing along with Jacopo but above all he conceived and created the Italian magazine “Bassfishing” and the publication “The Secrets of Bassfishing”. He currently follows Jacopo along his career and is the creator and administrator of the “Curva Gallelli” Fans Club.