Catching the biggest bag of the tournament on the final day, Trent Palmer slams the door shut to earn his first NPFL victory with a three-day total weighing of 62-pounds, 12 ounces. Surviving the first day with a limit weighing 18 pounds, 8 ounces, he added 21 pounds and 10 ounces on day two, and a final day showing of 22 pounds, 10 ounces giving him the victory.
At the end of the day, Palmer knew his motor was on his last leg and called the tournament director to confirm he could call on his roommate for a tow back in if needed. When he got ahold of Walters, they made the long run back together and got back in time.
“I was praying my motor would hold together and once I got to my last spot, I knew I could make it,” said Palmer. “A big thanks to Patrick for automatically coming over to help me out as soon as I called.”
Palmer got off to a fast start this morning despite thinking the opposite. When he got to his first spot, the fish were biting and he went to work with his electronics and caught his weight.
“I don’t have a ton of experience here and I thought they would be slow first thing, but they were hammering until about noon,” added Palmer. “I had my weight by 11 AM and it was definitely a lot faster than I expected today.”
Owning Sonar Pros, Palmer does his own installs and had access and experience with the best technology and cleanest installs in the industry. The combination of all the major brands gives him an edge on new water and allows him to break things down quicker.
“My boat is completely dialed with all the best technology installed by my company Sonar Pros,” he added. “I have two Lowrance in the console, and all three brands – Humminbird, Lowrance, and Garmin – in the front. That combo, powered by X2 Power batteries, allows me to break down water extremely fast and fish extremely efficient during the tournament.”
Patrick Walters weighed in 15 smallmouth bass to narrowly miss his second consecutive NPFL victory at Saginaw Bay with a total weight of 62 pounds, 10 ounces. Adding 20 pounds, 6 ounces on the final day to his day one limit of 20 pounds, 4 ounces, and day two bag of 22 pounds even, Walters finished just two ounces behind his good friend and roommate.
His goal coming into the event was to earn some redemption from 2022 and put 15 quality smallmouth in the boat. After struggling on day two in the previous year, Walters spend some time in practice to locate some shallow largemouth just in case. On day two, he got going with three keepers before ultimately culling them all out with smallmouth as the wind slacked off mid-morning.
With the final day the calmest of them all, the smallmouth were easier to catch for Walters but the quality went away.
“My first spot this morning had some quality bass but that bite died at 10 AM,” said Walters. “I ran out further to another spot that had some bigger fish earlier in the week and that was mostly small fish too. I don’t know what happened today, but I had a tough practice and got redemption at this place.”
After a tough practice, he was happy to have a good finish and was thrilled his roommates all finished 1-2-3.
“I struggled in practice and made the best of that,” he added. “I got redemption, Trent got his redemption and we all fished how we wanted to fish.”
Putting five smallmouth bass in the boat on day three, Mike Corbishley finished in the third-place spot with a total weight of 52 pounds, 1 ounce. He started the event with 18 pounds, 8 ounces on day one, added 15 pounds, 9 ounces on day two, and caught a final day weight of 18 pounds. With the weather finally cooperating for the offshore anglers, Corbishley was able to get to his fish and effectively catch fish throughout the entire day.
“It was glass today, and you could actually keep the motor in the water,” joked Corbishley. “I wanted to make sure I got back in time so I had to leave them biting but overall, it was a great day.”
Getting off to a fast start this morning, he caught his first keeper within 15 minutes and it set the tone for the Showdown Saturday.
“I caught that one and it got me in a groove and a good mood early,” he added. “I did lose one good one, but in the end, it wouldn’t have helped. My goal based on last year was to catch 17 pounds per day and I accomplished that, but the house going 1-2-3 was unreal; we always joke about it but it actually happened.”
Fishing in the big water is not for everyone, and having the best equipment on the market was key to his success this week.
“I was making long runs in the Phoenix 920 and it handled amazing,” he added. “Even with the beating, my Boat Logix mounts, Lowrance graphs, and trolling motor worked flawlessly all week; it made a huge difference in this tournament. Those mounts do not move and my electronics were how I caught all my bass.”
Stu Martel finished in the fourth-place spot as Saginaw Bay with a three-day total of 49 pounds, 8 ounces. With mixed bags of 18 pounds, 3 ounces, and 28-14 on the first two days, Martel struggled on the final day with a limit of 12 pounds, 7 ounces but is happy with his event.
Martel fished an offshore area throughout the event and caught both smallmouth and largemouth rotating between tubes and drop shot baits.
Barron Adams focused solely on largemouth bass to finish the event in the fifth-place spot. His day one weight of 16 pounds, 11 ounces, and day two weight of 15 pounds, 5 ounces combined with a final round weight of 16 pounds, 4 ounces gave him a three-day total weight of 48 pounds, 4 ounces.
Rest of the Best:
Todd Goade 47-2
Will Harkins 47-1
Louis Fernandes 46-4
Sheldon Collings 45-8
Hunter Baughman 44-15