The 2017 season was shaping up to be the worst of Tom Monsoor’s lengthy career on the FLW Tour, and the biggest body blow occurred on his home pools of the Mississippi River. The Wisconsin pro was expected to dominate the sixth event of the season, but rising water threw him off his game and he ended up a dismal 105th.
The D-Shad is different from most of the fluke-style baits you may be used to using, because it’s heavier than most. This means that fished weightless, it will begin to sink, and because of the weight of the tail, it sort of quivers on its way down and looks pretty darn irresistible. Because this lure imitates baitfish, you can fish it virtually anywhere in the water column, which makes it one of the most versatile baits out there, especially for summer bass fishing.
“Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump
Bass fishing in the spring is a whole lot like that quintessential line from the legendary 1994 Tom Hanks movie. On any given day, on any given lake – you never know what you’re gonna get. In a single day, it’s very possible to encounter bass in all three phases of the spawn (pre-spawn, bedding fish, and post-spawners).
People tend to think of a Texas rig as a weed-proof worm with a bullet sinker, but actually the Texas rig part refers to the method of putting the hook in the worm to make it weedless. You can use Texas rigging for splitshotting, dropshot rigs, flipping, pitching, putting trailers on spinnerbaits and spoons, jigs – just about any technique that makes use of soft plastics can be rigged Texas. The whole point is to keep the point of the hook just under the surface of the bait so it doesn’t catch on every little piece of cover in the lake.
When Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits officially unveiled the Zako at the 2016 ICAST Show, the fishing world was quick to take notice. Designed by Brett Hite to be the perfect swimbait style trailer for use with vibrating jigs and spinnerbaits, the Zako was an instant sensation. Quietly, members of the Yamamoto Pro Staff had been testing and fishing the Zako with great success for months. Among them was 2002 Bassmaster Champion and FLW Touring Pro, Jay Yelas. Not only was Yelas quick to validate the bait's value as a swimbait, but what he saw in the Zako went far beyond the obvious.
The last few years have been somewhat brutal for me and my writing has reflected that, largely talking about lessons learned but seldom applied. If you have fished tournaments for more than a few years you know that fishing can be streaky and generally good fishing begets good fishing, but start making bad decisions and the next thing you know you are questioning every decision you make.
Right now we are being blessed with an abundance, even an over-abundance, of water out west. In Arizona, most of our central lakes are filled to the brim, and some are even going over the spillways. Our hope is that the powers that be will let the water stay up for the spawn. Meanwhile, fishing can be tough – all that inflow has muddied up the lakes, and most of the incoming water is cold. The spawn is still a ways off, but some fish are already starting to move up. This means that the best thing to use is something that you can fish fast or slow, shallow or deep; in other words, a jig.