Spohrer finishes in second at Bass Pro Shops Central Open

John Neporandny Jr.
Gonzales angler Gerald Spohrer. Courtesy of OutdoorHub.com.

A change in his practice methods for the Bass Pro Shops Central Open on the Red River paid off for Gerald Spohrer.

Last year, the Gonzales angler ran the banks in practice and tried to make a milk run of spots during the tournament. However, he found crowds on most of those spots and eventually finished 49th in the Open. This year, Spohrer looked for more offshore targets in practice, a strategy that helped him earn a second-place finish.

“I spent my whole practice fishing stuff where I thought the tournament would be won,” he said. “I know this river very well, and I have a lot of experience here. I gambled and found some sweet spots that were holding some big ones.”

Whenever he got a bite in practice, he marked a waypoint in the oxbows he was fishing, and each competition day, he has keyed on those waypoints.

The change in weather from clouds and wind to sunshine and a light breeze made it easier for the 32-year-old Spohrer to work his area.

“I had a problem with the wind yesterday,” said Spohrer, who had a 13-5 limit the first day. “It was blowing about 25 mph out of the south, and I was fishing the northern end of an oxbow.”

The rough water made it difficult to see the stumps he was trying to target but Friday, he was able to locate the stumps easier and caught a heavier limit (15-9) while flipping to the wood cover.

“The sun is positioning the fish on the stumps,” Spohrer said. Both days, he spends a couple of hours fishing the stump field to catch bigger fish and then moves to other spots to complete his limit.

Spohrer flipped to stumps with a Texas-rigged Missile Baits Tomahawk plastic worm in a lovebug color in the way to his second-place finish.

"I pretty much stuck with the same thing (all three days)," Spohrer said. "I didn't scramble as much today as I had been doing the last couple of days."

Overall, Spohrer finished at 40-12.

For the second straight year, Stephen Browning won the Open on the Red River. He finished with 44 pounds, three ounces.