Well, stop #2 at the Harris Chain is done and I had another good week. I made the cut, which is awesome, but I was a little disappointed in the finish. If that sounds crazy, especially for me, you are right except for one thing. I had one of my best practice weeks that I have ever had. I found the perfect one-two punch in my Yo-Zuri 3DB 110 jerkbait and my Gambler Fat Ace. The jerkbait is a prototype that will be introduced at ICAST this summer. While testing and filming the bait during pre-production I fell in love. I caught lots of fish and big ones. So the first official practice day I started with the jerkbait and immediately caught two fish between 7-8 pounds. I moved around and caught another one close to 8 pounds. This jerkbait has great action and the giant Harris Chain bass were choking it. After the sun got up high, I started to try some pitching in the shoreline grass, with my Gambler Fat Ace. I got about 15 bites and I caught another fish over 8 pounds, that I was trying to shake off. So as you see, I had almost 35 pounds without really trying to bear down on them at all.
Unfortunately, I did not get many big bites except on day 2, I did catch one that weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces. I can’t tell you how excited I am about our new jerkbait. For some reason the big ones eat it up, and I know they are going to bite it all over the country. I threw the jerkbait on a 6’10” Witch Doctor Surman 50G rod, with 16 pound Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon line. I pitched the Gambler Fat Ace with a 7’6” Witch Doctor Oracle rod and 20 pound Yo-Zuri Hybrid line.
So yes, making the cut was great, but with all those big ones during practice, I had high expectations. I can’t wait to get to stop #3 at Lake Martin in Alabama in March. I promise I will be leaning hard on my Yo-Zuri 3DB 110 jerkbait and targeting both the Lake Martin largemouths and spots. As for all my friends, you will have to wait until after ICAST to get your hands on one. But don’t wait too long because they will be going fast and catching lots of giants all over the country.
Well, the first Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit tourney at Sam Rayburn is in the books. Overall it was a great week. The first 3 practice days I tried to cover a lot of water, because Rayburn is a huge tournament lake. The issue was we got our typical cold front the night before. The water temps dropped and there were two tournaments over the weekend with a total of 700 boats on the water. I knew fishing would be tough.
So, my favorite bait for a tough grass fishing tournament, is the Yo-Zuri Rattl’N Vibe. This bait is so versatile that it is always my lure of choice. In the first 3 hours of practice I had already caught one 4 pounder and one 5 pounder, so I knew this was going to be a bait I would lean on to cover water and catch a big one.
The next two days of practice I caught a 5 pounder or better on the Vibe. My issue was I was not getting many bites, but I was catching big ones. So, I spent the last 2 afternoons of practice pitching a Gambler Fat Ace. I got about 10 bites both days, so I was ready for the first tournament day.
The first tourney day I started with the Rattl’N Vibe and I caught one 4.5 pounder and one 3.5 pounder on the Chrome blue back 3/8 oz. Vibe. I also caught some smaller ones, but again, fishing was tough, and I did not get many bites. So, I went pitching with my black blue Fat Ace. I culled the 3 smaller ones with three 3 pounders and finished in 11th with almost 18 pounds.
Days 2 and 3 were both really tough and again I leaned on the Vibe and Fat Ace. My only problem was I ended up with small limits both days and finished in 17th place.
I threw the Vibe on a 7’0” Witch Doctor Kahuna rod and 20 lb. Top Knot Fluorocarbon line. The soft rod with the fluorocarbon line is a perfect grass Vibe set up. You need a soft tip rod to let the fish get the bait in its mouth. You also need plenty of backbone to keep them out of the grass after the bite. My Kahuna and the Top Knot are a perfect combination. I got lots of bites on the fall or ripping the bait out of the grass. Sometimes when the conditions are tough, this is the way to trigger bites and big ones.
For pitching the Fat Ace I threw a 7’6” MH Witch Doctor Oracle rod with Yo-Zuri 20 pound Top Knot Fluorocarbon. Some of the bites came way back in the brush and some came on the outside. I threw a ¼ oz. weight in front of the Fat Ace to get a slow fall. I felt like as the water temps dropped, the slow fall was critical.