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Fischer & Goodpasture keep on rolling
By Ron Niswonger, U.S. Anglers Choice contributor

 

  Following the final Wappapello Division Anglersí Choice event of the season on Saturday October thirteenth of this year I had the opportunity to speak with the Division Points Champions for this year Scott Fischer and James Goodpasture. The pair are also the reigning points champions from last year. This team has been unstoppable since the opening event in 2018. This year they fished all seven events and finished in the top five an amazing six times. They were in the top three five times. The proceeding is a brief interview with the champs.

  AC: Being a flood control reservoir Wappapello is always changing from extreme lake levels and water conditions to typical unsteady Southeast Missouri weather. Is there a strategy you guys use for each tournament based on the current conditions?
  Fischer: Usually prefishing we just split it up. One of us will fish shallow while the other one fishes deep and we just try to figure them out that way, based on the time of year and the seasonal patterns that the bass should be in.

  AC: When you find fish prefishing does the pattern and area ever remain the same until tournament day?
  Goodpasture: I think it does at times and this year we really didnít have that many spots. We knew that fish were on those spots and a lot of times we just had to wait them out until they started biting. And that is tough to do because the clock is always ticking. But thatís what we did this year and it paid off.

  AC: What if that pattern just falls apart and waiting them out doesnít look like itís going to work. Then what do you do?
  Fischer: Again, it depends on the time of year and what the fish should be doing. We take that into consideration and just go try to duplicate what was working at another area.
  Goodpasture: Sometimes we just fall back on the baits that have worked in the past and try that, just to mix things up a little.

  AC: What is the ďin boatĒ buddy system you guys use. In other words, are you both on the front deck or one on the front and one on the back?
  Goodpasture: Most of the time one of us is on the front deck and one on the back unless we are sitting on top of the fish, pitching bushes or boat docks then we both are on the front.

  AC: So, who is doing what if one is on the front and one on the back?
  Goodpasture: Most of the time, we split it up and one of us will be fishing fast moving baits while the other one slows down.

  AC: Do you fish specific areas every tournament?
  Fischer: You know we really didnít do that this year. We were fortunate enough to figure something out from the Greenville bridge all the way to the dam this year. We fished the entire lake.
  Goodpasture: You know going into today, we knew we just needed to catch a good limit of fish, so we were just looking for some point fish. We knew we were on the bad side of a major cold front, so we just concentrated on getting a limit of fish and then tried to build on that.

  AC: So, when everything goes south and halfway through the morning nothing is working how do you guys decide to change direction? Is it a joint decision or does one of you just call the shots?
  Fischer: We talk it over and between the two of us we come up with what we believe is our best chance to salvage the day.
  Goodpasture: Most of the time we will try to regroup and try to think back of how we caught them before in a similar situation. Maybe even try baits that worked for us in the past.

  AC: How many years have you guys been fishing together?
  Both: At least ten years.

  AC: So, is the honeymoon over? In other words, do you guys ever butt heads?
  Both laughing. Fischer Jokingly: Sometimes we hit each other in the back of the head with a jig.
  Goodpasture: We donít really butt heads. We might get upset with ourselves over a lost fish or something, but we fish really well together. We fish a lot alike and that is a big deal when you are fishing a bass tournament you have to be on the same page as your partner, and through the years we have figured out how to do that.

Obviously, they have figured out how to be on the same page. Everyone knows that success in bass fishing is all about momentum. It seems that once a team has figured them out and are confident that they can repeat the process in the next tournament they become seemingly unstoppable. Fischer and Goodpasture are masters at how to maximize momentum to their full advantage and apparently are going to ride that wave for as long as they can.  They are two of the most likable individuals on the Wappapello circuit and with humility agreed to do this interview. While they are quick with a smile and a handshake, make no mistake at the onset of each event, these two are going to be fierce competitors and behind the affable exterior there is a steadfast inner resolve to go out and take no prisoners. At the end of the day they are satisfied to leave it all on the water. And just a note of caution to the teams fishing the Wappapello Anglersí Choice circuit next year: When you think you are doing well, best to keep an eye on Scott Fischer and James Goodpasture, there is a good chance that they are hot on your six.

Good fishing and God Bless.