Brett Carlson

NWT Full Scoop: Pool 3 produces for Lydic and Heiser

By Brett Carlson

Allan Lydic and Corey Heiser finished the second NWT event of the season with the exact same total weight – 28 pounds, 3 ounces. Thanks to the heaviest single-day tiebreaker, Lydic officially finished 2nd and Heiser took 3rd. Both anglers spent their entire tournament in Pool 3 of the Mississippi River, which is noteworthy considering a good portion of the field locked down to 4. At times, the two could see each other as they worked the middle portion of Pool 3.

Allan Lydic wingdams to 2nd place

For Lydic, this event was all about cats and cranks. The 37-year-old electrician, who calls pools 10 and 11 home, said willow cats and crankbaits produced about evenly.

> “Both of my big fish came on willow cats, but it was about 50-50 overall,” said Lydic. “I was fishing rock structure and wing dams. Pepin is totally different, but when I decided to stay in Pool 3, it felt like home. Plus, the unders were fatter in 3.”

Lydic described his presentations as “pretty basic.” He would start each morning searching for overs, which he secured within 45 minutes both days of competition.

> “I do not own a LiveScope. When you’re on the river, the water tells you the picture. For the willow cats, I was using live bait rigs, like a heavier Lindy Rig. Depending on the current, I would use a 1/2-oz up to a 1-oz weight. The heavier the current, the heavier the weight. My leaders would be 2 to 3 feet.”

National Walleye Tour photo

Lydic would sit on each wing dam for approximately half an hour. He would throw upstream to the front. If the willow cat didn’t produce, he would throw Rapala DT10s and DT8s (Hot Mustard color) across the top.

> “As the late Tommy Skarlis would say, the backside of the wing dam is the bedroom, but the top and the front is where they go to feed.”

On day 1, Lydic had his four keepers by 12:30 p.m. The second day he had 3 fish in the box by 11 a.m., but then the bite slowed.

> “I was catching them regularly, but I was trying to get something 18″ or better, so I threw back some 17s. At 3 p.m., I was still sitting on 3 fish. We finally got a 16.5-incher to end the day.”

Lydic’s day-1 weight was 14-15. On day 2, he slipped slightly to 13-4. 

“It is a little bittersweet, because you’re so close to winning. I’m pleased with 2nd, but you never know when that opportunity to win is going to come back.”

Corey Heiser Money Badger’d his way to 3rd

With a strange 4-fish limit, no culling, and a strict slot limit, Corey Heiser knew he wanted to maximize fishing time and minimize distractions. This led him to an easy decision of sticking in Pool 3.

> “Knowing we could only have 4 fish, I wanted to handle as many as possible and not deal with other mental distractions of locking and who was going to be where,” said the West Fargo, North Dakota, pro. “That was a huge benefit.”

After a productive practice, Heiser started the tournament confident, especially with his unders.

> “My mentality was probably different from many others. I was catching giant unders. I mean giant, fat unders, and they were consistent too. I knew if I could get any decent overs I’d be in great shape.”

Heiser said he and Lydic were the furthest boats upstream in Pool 3. He spent most of his time fishing behind Prescott Island. To catch his fish, Heiser used three different approaches. His bread and butter was trolling #4 and #5 Berkley Money Badgers with three-way rigs.

> “I was trolling in super shallow water – like 2 to 6.5 feet,” Heiser explained. “I was moving at 1.4 mph against the current and 3.0-3.5 mph with the current.” 

Heiser also casted shallow railroad riprap with the #5 Money Badger. He did weigh 1 fish the first day rigging a creek chub. For his crankbaits, Firetiger and Purple Glimmer were his best colors.

His casting/spinning rods were 7’ 1” medium Fenwick Elites. When casting the Money Badger, he used 15-lb Berkley Fireline in Flame Green.

As it often does, his pattern evolved as the tournament commenced. The overs were more willing than anticipated, and the unders, especially the second day, were stingier.

> “The first day I caught 3 big unders, and then I went and got a 26.5-incher with a chub on a wing dam. The second day was much tougher. I was able to get a 29-incher casting the #5 Money Badger, but it took all day to get my unders. With 20 minutes to go, I had to box a 16.5-incher to get my fourth fish. Hindsight is 20-20, but had I known what I know now, I would’ve gambled.”

With better unders, Heiser’s day-1 weight was 13-11. With the big kicker on day 2, he weighed 14-8. Of the 8 fish he weighed, 5 came trolling, 2 came from casting, and 1 came rigging the creek chub. Forward-facing sonar was used while casting to rocks.

> “This tournament played out so weirdly,” reflected Heiser. “I can’t believe I couldn’t put 3 big unders in the boat on day 2. The overs were a blessing though. In practice, my unders were so heavy I was thinking of keeping 23″ overs. I’m happy with 3rd, but I’m also extremely disappointed not to come away with the win. I knew when I caught the 29-incher I had a legitimate shot to win. It’s disheartening to come so close, especially with the unders I was on. I feel like I let an opportunity to win one get away.”

To Top