Prime time fishing at Clarks Hill


Michele Fanfani

Once again Jacopo jumps into a lake in which he has never fished before:

It’s the J. Strom Thurmond Dam on the Savannah River called also Clarks Hill lake.

For the second stage of the MLF Tackle Warehouse Invitationals therefore Jacopo invents a tournament strategy based only on the official practice.

Again, he found himself faced with changing weather conditions which in practice had presented the lake with muddy water, to be fished mainly throwing a Chatterbait (with excellent results), but which in the competition made him find clearer water, not so suitable for that technique that Jacopo loves very much.

On Day1, obviously, conditioned by the good results obtained with the Chatter, even if the best water conditions were no longer present, Jacopo fished intensely for at least one hour trying to move even just one big fish.

Not making any catches, he therefore decided to radically change his approach by “ skipping” a senko type lure, wacky rigged, near the tips of the bushes emerging from the water or casting to similar structures.

The presentation with the wacky rig, says Jacopo, was indispensable in order to not spook the fish that stationed in those patterns of rather shallow and clear water too much.

Fishing this way he immediately catches a 3 pounder followed by another 2.5 lb fish in a very short time frame.

Later during the day he closes the limit reaching almost 16 pound.

He also tries other parts of the lake, but always finds them manned by other competitors, so he decides to leave the field thinking about the next day.

This excellent catch takes him to 20th place in the standings, which bodes well for the second day .

So Jacopo starts Day2 by repeating the approach of the previous day.

But the conditions have changed a bit and fishing with wacky rig doesn’t seem to yield as hoped.

By the way after few hours , he closes his limit,but with really small fish that do not exceed 6 pounds.

He tries sight fishing on some nests he found in practice.

And in fact he finds a beautiful female who, however, is unable to bring in the boat.

Not satisfied of the performance of his tournament day, Jacopo then decides to go and look for muddy water to try the chatterbait.

The navigation is long and takes up precious time, so when he reaches the new spot he finds it already full of boats, he decides to go back to try again among the submerged plants. More lost time, and increasing tension.

It would be a shame not to take advantage of the 20th position to not qualify for the third day…

Then changing approach and fishing in heavy cover with a jig, he is therefore able to change 2 fish, but the limit doesn’t go up much.

The fish at that time preferred a heavy bait “shakered” on the bottom rather than an almost suspended worm. “Too bad I figured it out too late!”

At the last minute, already 100yds from the launch ramp, Jacopo casts to an overhanging tree, feels a good bite and strikes. But even this time it is not a fish that he needs.

So it weighs in at only 8-12 pounds, not enough to fit the 50 cut. And with a total of 24-08 pounds, he places only 69th.

Used equipment.

Chatterbait fishing: 13 FISHING “New Prototype” MUSE casting rod 7’4” feet long by 3/4oz., combined with a CONCEPT C2 7.5:1 casting reel spooled with 17 lb Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon. 

Wacky rig fishing: 13 FISHING ENVY spinning rod, 6’9″ power 3/4oz. Fast action, but also a little parabolic.

The spinning reel was spooled with 15lb Sufix braid (0.128 diameter) and 14lb Sufix Advance fluorocarbon leader.

BKK Predator/WG weedless 2.0 hook rigged with a 5” Senko type lure.

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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.