The 2017 Bassmaster Elite Series schedule is diverse and full of great fisheries across the country. In this piece I'm previewing the second half of the events of the 2017 season and making my predictions for the patterns and weight needed to win.
Late fall and early winter are some of the best times to be on the water chasing bronzebacks. I have learned over the years that smallmouth are suckers for a Hula Grub, Shad Shape Worm and 4” Single Tail Grub as winter approaches. Each bait has its time and place and I can always find and catch smallmouth with these three baits throughout the cold months.
Each year after the season ends I take a look back at how I did. I analyze what tournaments I did best in and take a look at my approach. And while it’s a bit painful, I look closely at my bad events and try to understand what went wrong. It is something that all anglers should do from time to time if they want to continue to improve. Here is what I learned this year; finding my own personal approach and doing what works best for me.
The Elite Series event on the Potomac River is starting soon and I am excited to get on the water. I have been there three times and each time the swim jig played a big role. The river really sets up perfectly for a swim jig. It is a great way to quickly cover water to find concentrations of fish and then once you find them, it's easy to slow down and pitch Senkos.
The Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Cayuga Lake, NY will be my third trip to this lake. Each of the two tournaments I fished here have been dominated by the Senko - this type of lake really sets up perfectly for it. There are several productive ways to fish the Senko here and all will play a big role in the event, I’m sure of it.
Growing up in Tennessee, tidal fishing was foreign to me unless I read something about it in Bassmaster magazine. All of my tidal experience has come from competing on the Elite Series and I am learning more every chance I get on one of these fisheries. At the Winyah Bay Elite Series tournament in April, I gained a lot of insight but I still have a lot to learn.
When my new Triton arrives each year, I spend weeks customizing and rigging it to my liking. My boat is my office for the year, so each and every option and accessory I add serves a purpose and will hopefully make my life easier on tour. This year I will be running many of the same pieces of equipment as I did last year because I believe they are the best on the market. Here is a rundown of my setup for this year’s boat.