BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Classic Bass Champions Tour recently wrapped up its 2022 season at its Championship on Lake Serpent in Crosby, Minnesota. Known as a great largemouth and smallmouth bass fishery, the fishing proved tough during tournament days with flat-calm conditions and high sun. Still, Waseca, Minnesota-based Classic Bass and Bagley Baits pro Noah Schultz was able to climb the leader board and take top honors at the event with a total weight of 42 pounds 3 ounces for a total of 28 fish weighed. Impressive to say the least, this was Noah Schultz’s third Classic Bass Championship win in four years. He also took first in 2019 at the event on Bay Lake and first on Mille Lacs Lake in 2021; besides prize money, he’s trailered home a new boat and outboard from each of these three events.
Familiar anglers know that late August and early September can be a tricky time to pattern bass. Water temperatures are still fairly high and for the most part there’s no sign of the fall feedbag just yet. It’s a transition period that should yield a variety of patterns, structures and depths—deep to shallow. But Schultz was able to pull it all together, largely by patterning the fish with a Bagley Diving Balsa B2 to find pods of fish.
“I was cranking deeper weedlines with the Bagley Diving Balsa B2 during pre-fishing to find groups of fish. That was essential to my success once the tournament started. I knew exactly where the fish were going to be by covering water with the DB2. It’s something I do often on various waters to find bass ,” said Schultz.
The tournament day was broken into two heats: a 7am to 11am run and noon to 4pm run, with anglers checking in for a lunch hour break.
As a catch-weigh-release style tournament with a marshall in each boat entering total fish caught specs into a phone app, Schultz says he’s pretty happy with the number of the fish he caught during the tournament.
“Practice was great but the tournament was unbelievably tough with high-pressure the day before, the fishing pressure on a small, 1000-acre lake, and high sun with flat-calm conditions on a crystal-clear body of water. There’s a good 15-feet of water visibility on Serpent and we were catching fish out of 30-feet of water during practice,” commented Schultz.
Schultz sums up the feelings of pulling off his third Classic Bass Championship win and what it feels like to be partnered with Bagley Baits.
“It’s been like a dream come true the past few years. I’ve fished hard and it’s paid off. I still can’t believe that I won this event given the tough conditions and stiff competition,” said Schultz.
The Bagley pro is especially thankful for sponsors like Bagley Baits and the belief and dedication the team has put into his career. “I work a lot with Charlie Peterson and Sam Larsen at Northland and Bagley. They’re fantastic people to work with and we all get along great. Bagley is my first big sponsor so it was kind of new to me but it didn’t take long to figure out the relationship and what we can do for each other. It’s been a really good experience. The baits have been critical to my wins, especially last year on Mille Lacs where I fished the snot out of the Bagley B1 to take first.”
Mike Anselmo, Northland Fishing Tackle and Bagley Marketing Director, is thrilled with Schultz’s win on Lake Serpent. “I’m so happy for Noah, Jenna and his family. He works hard. He’s a talented angler that puts his time in each and every season, and the results speak for themselves. Noah carries himself in a very professional manner, and Bagley is lucky to have a guy like him on our team. He does a nice job promoting the Bagley brand, and he’s won championships fishing with our crankbaits. We fit together pretty well,” concludes Anselmo.
To check out the full line of Bagley’s premium balsa hardbaits, exciting new colors and hardbait kits, visit https://www.bagleybait.com. For details on the Bass Classic Champions Tour, visit www.classicbass.com.