Jacopo Gallelli - Santee Cooper 2024 - Foto 3

Jacopo Adapts, Improves Result at Santee


Henry Veggian

When the first bass you catch weighs seven pounds, six ounces, you can be pretty sure your day has begun well and you would say it on almost any lake. But on the Bass Pro Tour, anything can happen. For example, you might land a giant bass and then not catch another, or you might find yourself surrounded by fish you only see in your dreams – or surrounded by gators.

Luckily, gator season was not yet in full swing at Santee Cooper for the second stop of the Bass Pro Tour, but the weather than kept the gators in their dens also kept the bass from biting at times. Jacopo noted that in the mornings he would find water temperatures around fifty degrees that rose slowly through the day to the upper fifties. With those cold temperatures slowing down the gators, Jacopo found that he also had to slow down the speed of his presentations in order to convince the lazier fish.

Jacopo figured out during practice that the bass were positioned around the cypress knees, and that he had to change his bait and the way he fished it. Instead of casting a chatterbait around the submerged trunks, he opted for a Neko Rig. Using a B.K.K. PREDATOR WG hook and a Senko-style lure, he would cast toward the trees and let the lure sit for up to ten seconds. Then he would shake it but without moving it much, waiting until the curious bass could no longer resist eating it.

With the forecast calling for cold mornings and warming afternoons, Jacopo hoped to catch a few good fish during the tournament. In fact, after he finished practice, he told me: “It will depend on how many anglers fish my area, and also on the weather….they were eating today, despite the cool water and I believe that they will be active tomorrow, too.”

Active, indeed. It was confirmed by Jacopo landing that first bass of seven pounds, six ounces. That bass remained the largest caught until around noon, increasing with it the hope to cash a check.

Unfortunately, another angler landed an even bigger bass, evidence of the class of fish that populate Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie. But as I noted earlier, anything can happen. In fact, Jacopo’s second bass weighed nearly six pounds. With two big fish on the leaderboard, Jacopo was in a strong position at fifteenth place overall. By the end of the day, he landed two more keepers, finishing day one with a total of seventeen pounds, seven ounces.

He had found the right presentation. And by fishing in an area that was protected from the wind, he had also found more stable water temperatures. But again a mistake cost him dearly. On that first day, Jacopo hooked a monster bass under a dock, a fish that was by far his biggest of the day. After coaxing the fish out from behind not one but two posts, the bass managed to take some line and bury itself in a brush pile. Tired and still, the fish had spent its energies in the fight, only to panic and get away just as Jacopo reached to land it.

Day two brought some more bad luck. Jacopo had ten good bites but managed to put three of them in the boat. “On day one, I might have landed thirty plus pounds [if I had fished clean]….on day two it might have been thirty-five pound sor more. It was a missed opportunity.”

But the day had its moments nonetheless. On day two, for example, Jacopo managed to land another giant bass, this one weighing seven pounds, ten ounces. And for a second time he found himself with the chance to score the big bass prize. And just as it happened on the first day, another angler managed to pass him late in the day (and then another).

Anything can happen at Santee. But Jacopo managed to adapt well, taking the challenge presented by the weather head on, and also modifying his lure choice to the water temperatures and the moods of the bass. He was in the right place, and he had a much better showing than he had at Toledo Bend, finishing in twenty-fourth place in group A at Santee.

Jacopo’s attention turns now to preparations for his next bass Pro Tour event, this one at Dale Hollow, a lake famous for its giant Smallmouth Bass. It’s the lake where the world record Smallie was caught many years ago. The record may not be broken, but you never know – anything can happen on the Bass Pro Tour.….

Jacopo Gallelli - Santee Cooper 2024 - Foto 2
Jacopo Gallelli - Santee Cooper 2024 - Foto 1
Jacopo Gallelli - Santee Cooper 2024 - Foto 3

Share this Post


Henry Veggian