Doomsday Tackle Pro Mullins Wins BASS Southern Open

DANDRIDGE, Tenn. — Doomsday Tackle Company professional angler David Mullins led the Bass Pro Shops Southern Open at Douglas Lake from start to finish, capturing the title with a three-day limit of 62-12.

“When the fishing got tough I used a cinnamon mint Doomsday Roku with a ¾- to 5/8-ounce stand-up football head,” he said. “I targeted post-spawn fish so I dragged it off points and structure with a 7-foot rod and 15-pound test.”

Mullins, 34, from nearby Mt. Carmel, Tennessee, grew up fishing Douglas Lake and Cherokee Lake. “I’ve been fishing those lakes since I was four,” he said, “so I knew where to find the bigger fish this time of year.”

He said the water level at Douglas was a little lower than it normally is this time of year, “so it took me awhile to find the fish.” Once he did, he caught fish every cast for the first hour he got on them.

“Depending on what area of the lake I was fishing, I typically found the fish in 8-12 feet of water and then 22-30 feet in some areas,” he said. “Douglas doesn’t have a lot of ledges so you have to look for deep flats, humps and points.”

Seventy-five percent of the fish were post-spawn but a number of anglers caught spawning fish in shallow water.

“Usually the bigger fish spawn first, so my game plan was to target those particular fish,” he said. Early in the tournament he used Tennessee shad-colored crankbaits that dove 8-15 feet and 20-30-foot diving green gizzard cranks in other areas. “Threadfin shad are the primary forage fish in Douglas,” he said. “There are some crawfish, but not a bunch.”

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Photo: Seigo Saito, BASS

For the victory, he won a package valued at $45,000, which included a Skeeter ZX200 boat and, Yamaha VF200LA outboard motor, Minn Kota Fortrex trolling motor and a pair of Lowrance HDS 7 graphing units.

Mullins has been a Doomsday Tackle Company pro staffer for a year now. “Will Stewart called me in the offseason and told me about the brand and the product line and he thought I fit the brand strategy well,” he said. “I was really excited about being a part of the new company…included in the product development process, helping design products for the future…the stuff they’re coming out with is very exciting and very innovative.”

The ROKU was one of the first baits Doomsday Tackle Company launched “and they’re very versatile,” Mullins said. “They weighs more than a Slinko and the weight allows you to Carolina rig it or Texas-rig it…it’s not just a one-technique bait. I’ve caught fish all over the country with it.”

The ROKU comes in eight colors and features a six-sided profile that gives large amounts of flash.

Mullins, who competes on the Bassmaster Elite Series, finished second in Bassmaster Open tournaments at Douglas Lake in 2013 and 2014 before taking the title Saturday.

“Every time I have a good finish here, I never catch them off the same place two days in a row,” he reported to Bassmaster. “I think that’s the biggest key to fishing Douglas Lake – having enough places where you know they live, so you can keep moving and have a good rotation.”

In recent years there have been two constant factors in a winning formula at Douglas: 1) Concentrating on deep schools of bass; and 2) Catching over 20 pounds per day.

Mullins did not fish the other two Southern Opens, so he will not receive an automatic qualifying spot in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic. Mullins said he had no second-thoughts about that decision. “I’m just going to enjoy this win and concentrate on the next event.”

For more information, visit doomsdaytackle.com.