Entering this event, my expectations were high. The Upper Mississippi is thick with vegetation and other forms of shallow cover, perfect for my style and approach. In fact, my first trip to LaCrosse was particularly rewarding. The frog bite was off the hook, and I finished well within the money.
During the pre-spawn, my bait of choice is a jerkbait and during the post-spawn, I love to throw topwater. This is nothing out of the ordinary as just about every bass angler uses these techniques during those times of the year, but one thing I like to mix in during both of these periods is a soft plastic jerkbait like the Yamamoto D-Shad. I fish it as a complement to my hard jerkbaits and walking topwater baits.
After competing on Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees so many times before, I felt my chances were strong going into this event, especially since it was spring.
The lake offers plenty of prime spawning habitat; including pea gravel and chunk rock banks within protected pockets. Visual targets include laydowns, willows, docks, bridges and all forms of rock transitions.
The Neko Rig is the hottest way to fish a soft plastic. Jordan Lee used it recently to win the Bassmaster Classic in South Carolina, and over the past few years on tour it has become a standard for pro anglers. I have been using it for a few years and have learned that it can be a very effective tool in both shallow and deep water.