What a week we had at H2H on Lake McConaughy in Nebraska. Our week featured lightning storms, hail, winds, big fish, and most importantly the GAINES TRAIN!
Randall Gaines prevailed after five days of intense fishing, and he took home a well-deserved championship! Looking back on the BRACKET roadmap Randall was able to knock out some great sticks. Randall fished against Jeremy Zimmerman, Robert Blosser, and of course our McConaughy miracle-man Bryan Bell!
Despite Randy’s winning efforts, his train ride was not always the smoothest. On Day 1 of the tournament, Randy did not catch a single legal fish and ended the day with zeros! After hearing about Randy’s pre-fishing experience, a Day 1 with zeros was a big shock for him because he found some quality fish in practice. One major takeaway from an experienced angler like Randy was that he did not let a bad Day 1 ruin his tournament. Rather, Randy was able to make the needed adjustments to keep moving on throughout the week!
Day 2 for Randall was a complete 180 where he got on a great, deep, trolling bite that provided him with the most weight of the day! This program consisted of trolling smaller, Salmo Hornet baits down deep over breaks. Ultimately, Randy ended Day 2 with the most weight of any angler in the field at over 20 lbs! Randy’s tremendous Day 2 sent him to his first-ever PWS BRACKET and camera in his boat!
Day 3 came, and Randy got right back to work against a determined Jeremy Zimmerman. Sometimes the day is all that matters, and this was the case for Jeremy where he caught four fish for 18 pounds. Jeremy’s 18 pounds was the second-highest weight of the day next to, you guessed it, Randall Gaines. As Jeremy was catching his four fish on a spinnerbait program, Randy was also executing his trolling program with much heavier fish. Randy ended the day with an impressive 25 lbs.-1oz. Randy recorded a 6 lbs.-4oz. average with a big fish of 7lbs.-10oz.!
Day 4 started the way no one wanted it to, with heavy lightning, hail, wind, and rainstorms. Usually, this means slow fishing after things clear out for a while, but that did not stop Randy from staying consistent and pulling two more fish out of Lake McConaughy! Randy ended the day with 8lbs.-14oz. to overcome Robert Blosser’s score of 4lbs.-7oz.
Finally, Day 5, Championship Friday, arrived, and Randy against Bryan Bell. If we remember back to the first two days of our tournament, we saw Bryan come from nowhere to grab the last spot in the GREAT8. Bryan, like Zimmerman, was showing off some impressive trolling skills pulling spinnerbaits for those big Lake MAC walleyes. Bryan, like Randy, had zeros on Day 1 of the tournament but came back strong on Day 2. Bryan caught over 14 pounds of walleyes in a matter of hours on Day 2!
Both Bryan and Randy exchanged early punches on Day 5. Randy struck first with a beautiful 5lb.-14oz. walleye. Shortly after the WEIGHLIVE App went off for Bryan as he reeled in a 6lb.-1oz. fish to overcome Randy. As both these anglers continued to grind, Randy made it happen as the day went on with his last and final scoreable fish of the tournament. Again, on the same black Salmo Hornet, Randy pulled up his H2H PWS Event 5 tournament-winning fish, a 4lb.-2oz. McConaughy walleye!
Congratulations to Randy on a well-earned tournament victory. Throughout the five days of LIVE fishing and After Shows we all got to see what kind of a teacher and angler Randy Gaines is and now we can call him an H2H Champion as well!