Well, the first stop on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit is in the books and it was a great week!
My practice was a little tough, but the weather was perfect, and was going to stay perfect all week, setting up for a big fish contest. On my first practice day, I caught two good ones on a Yo Zuri Pencil topwater and had some good pitching bites, so I knew my game plan was a good one-two punch that fit my style perfectly.
On the first day of the tournament, I caught 20 lbs., which included a 5 and 3.5 lb ’er on the Yo Zuri Pencil, and the rest came on a Gambler Fat Ace with the biggest being a 6 lb 12 oz kicker. There were a lot of big bags caught though so I had my work cut out for me on day two.
As I predicted, the second day was a little tougher, but I still managed almost 15 lbs. My biggest day two fish was a solid 5 lb ‘er, that I also caught on the Fat Ace.
Going out on day 3, I started in 11th Place and was excited about the day’s prospects because the weather had set up perfectly. The bite was on, as I caught 20 keepers, but they just were not the right fish and dropped down to 17th place. This is a great start to my 2021 season and gives me great momentum moving forward.
My set up for fishing the Yo Zuri Pencil topwater plug was the Surman 50G 6’ 10” M rod, with 15 lb Yo Zuri Hybrid line, and my Lew’s baitcasting reel. I love this rod, because the 50% Graphite, 50% Fiberglass blank, gives me the power to fight fish, but has forgiveness to keep the big ones buttoned up on small trebles. The fiberglass allows the fish to get the bait down, then the graphite gives you the power, to keep them away from any possible obstacles.
When I was pitching the Gambler Fat Ace with a 5/16 oz weight, I used the Oracle Pitchin’ Stick 7’ 8” XH, with 20 lb Yo Zuri T7 100% Fluorocarbon Line, and my Lew’s reel. This is my go-to rod for all my pitching and flipping needs. The Oracle loads down about 30% from the tip, which again gives the fish time to get the bait down before the power of the backbone drives the hook. I need this blend of strength and soft tip specifically while using the Fluorocarbon line. I use Fluorocarbon instead of braid for most of my flipping and pitching needs, as I feel I get more bites with the Fluorocarbon and feel 100% confident in the Yo Zuri T7 line to drag the big ones out of the junk.
Using the right rod and power, matched with the correct line will make you a better fisherman.
Stop number two is at Smith Lake in Alabama, and somehow, we need to keep it rolling. The rods, lines, and techniques might be different, but hopefully, the results will be the same.
Photo Credits: FLW/MLF (Cobi Pellerito and Tyler Brinks)