With day two of the Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees presenting very different conditions than the windy chill of day one, anglers that fared well were the ones with plenty of options. Just ask Idaho angler Brandon Palaniuk, who placed second. Familiarity with the region served him well in formulating a multi-layered game plan.

“I have a little bit of a mixture, which I feel plays to my advantage because I can make adjustments throughout the day depending on the conditions,” Palaniuk said. “That was my game plan coming in – to have several options. I knew that February in the Midwest you have a lot of variable conditions, so I wanted to take out as many of those variables as I could.”

Palaniuk’s strategy involved mapping out a set of spots that balanced big-fish potential with time management. “I have about seven or eight spots but each one is maybe 30 yards long. They’re very precise areas so I think that allowed me to jump around and try to get the timing right.”

Oklahoma pro Jason Christie noted that calm, sunny winter days often offer their best opportunities early. The fish may bite throughout the day, but the morning feed has make-it-or-break-it potential.

“A very important thing this time of the year when the wind’s not going to blow is that you have to catch a couple good ones early while they’re still up shallow,” Christie said. “You have to have a place where you can pull up and catch two or three 3-pounders, or a 5-pounder – the ones you want to weigh – because it’s going to be a long day after those first couple of hours.”

More on Brandon Palaniuk
Bass Gypsies: On the Road With Brandon and Brianna Palaniuk, Pt. 1

Bass Gypsies: On the Road With Brandon and Brianna Palaniuk, Pt. 2