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Anthony Gagliardi receives the Land O' Lakes Angler of the Year trophy for being the most consistent pro on the FLW Tour in 2006. (Photo by Rob Newell)

King of consistency

A lure-by-lure look at Anthony Gagliardi’s 2006 Angler of the Year win

By Rob Newell - 16.Jan.2007

The 2007 Wal-Mart FLW Tour is right around the corner, but before a new season begins and another points race gets under way, it might be worthwhile to have a look back at the 2006 season to see how Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., captured the 2006 Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year title.

 

Stop No. 2: Lake Murray
Dates: Feb. 8-11, 2006
Finish: 1st
Key Lures: 3/4-ounce All-Terrain Tackle jig; Brian’s Bees B-10 crankbait; 1/8-ounce Spot Remover jighead with a Zoom finesse worm

If there was ever a national tournament that Gagliardi felt he could lock down and call his own, it was the Lake Murray FLW event on his home lake in February.

During the tournament,Murray was pulled down to an extreme low level, some 11 feet below normal pool, and Gagliardi used this to his advantage.

“A lot of pros on tour know Murray very well,” Gagliardi said. “But with the lake being so low, I knew it was going to be a completely different place than any of us had ever seen before – like fishing a completely new lake. With that in mind, I spent the fall and winter sinking brush and graphing really deep breaks that I knew would be in the 20- to 30-foot range when the tournament started.”

Lake Murray lures from top to bottom: 3/4-ounce All Terrain jig; Brian Bees B-10 crankbait; Spot Remover jighead with a Zoom finesse worm.Gagliardi’s plan worked like a charm. In one of the most memorable events of the 2006 season, Murray surrendered giant limits to anglers, especially Gagliardi, who amassed a four-day catch of nearly 90-pounds of bass for the win.

He dragged a 3/4-ounce All Terrain jig off the deep breaks and clipped the tops of offshore brush piles with a Brian’s Bees crankbait to catch most of his bigger fish.

Interestingly, Gagliardi noted that one of his key moves in the Murray event was to go to the finesse tactic of a finesse worm on an 1/8-ounce Spot Remover the third day.

“The first two days of the tournament, I came out swinging,” Gagliardi explained. “I went to my big-fish stuff first and fished those places all day. But by the end of day two, I noticed that some of my best deep places were wearing a little thin, and that made me nervous going into the finals. So at the start of the third day, I dropped back and punted a little bit. I went up the lake to a couple of ‘limit holes’ and secured a limit with the Spot Remover. With five in the well, I could settle down and focus on upgrading.”