On Friday Eric McQuoid was heading out on day 3 of the National Walleye Tour Championships sitting in 1st place after throwing up a massive 23.72-lb bag on day 2. Remember in Minnesota that weight only includes 2 fish over 20" for the 2-person team, so they basically had the absolute perfect bag.
Well, he backed it up again! Eric brought in another 19.21-lb sack pushing his 3-day total to 58.55 lbs, besting 2nd place by a whopping 13.67-lb margin.
What's all that mean? Eric brought home a prize package worth $121,535 and of course ultimate bragging rights in ending his rookie NWT campaign with a massive bang.
Lots of competitors were catching their fish up shallow, but Eric said he couldn't get dialed on that program and instead slid out deeper with his go-to confidence bait: an Acme Hyper-Rattle.
Here's some excerpts from Eric's interview with the National Walleye Tour Insider Report:
"It was a 1-2 punch for me this week. #1 was using the Garmin LiveScope to find them. #2 was the Hyper-Rattle. One of my buddies at Bemidji State got me on to it. Ever since, it's been my go-to bait. My practice was terrible [only caught 7-8 walleyes total] so I just went back to what I had confidence in, and it's that bait."
McQuoid used the bigger 30 gram Hyper-Rattle, and he said his preferred color was glow perch. All but 1 of his 15 weigh fish came on the Hyper-Rattle, the lone outlier coming from his co-angler, who was rigging chubs.
Here's a look at the bait/color Eric used, the Acme Hyper-Rattle in Glow Perch color:
McQuoid was fishing the Acme Hyper-Rattle in a non-traditional way that even a lot of diehards don't try. Fishing in 8-16', McQuoid would identify the fish on his LiveScope, then position the bait 5' above their head.
"You rip it once and then catch it. Then you rip it again and watch their reaction. Sometimes I would let it fall all the way to the bottom just to get their attention. There were times they would chase it, but not grab it."
While his slot fish were mostly suspended, all but 1 of his overs came near the bottom.
"My biggest fish of the tournament looked like a giant rock on the bottom. I probably made 20 casts before she eventually bit."
"I want to credit my dad. I'm a rookie on the NWT, but I've been fishing tournaments with my father since I was 8 [yrs old]. I've learned a lot – especially how to stay calm and how to fish what your confidence is."
"It hasn't sunk in yet. It's just so amazing, it's hard to find the words for it. I couldn't have written a better script for my rookie season. I'm never going to forget this."
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