The Inside Line

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Texas Rigged 2017 -- Lining 'em up, Knocking 'em down

The Rapala Ice Jig may be more common through the hard water of Minnesota and Wisconsin, but Clark showed me how to apply it for offshore bass in Texas.

I may never win a tour-level event, but at nearly 48 years old I’ve circled the pond a few times, which means that there are fewer and fewer “firsts” for me to achieve. I landed my first flipping fish sometime in the Pleistocene Epoch, and Carolina Rigged a limit before the American League adopted the designated hitter. My main goals in going to Texas were to catch a lot of fish in between bites of brisket and tacos, but I also wanted to check a few “firsts” off the old list.

Fortunately, my good friend Clark Reehm was up for the task. He should be, because when he’s not out fishing the FLW Tour Clark spends his time guiding, with a particular emphasis on teaching. The things he can do with his electronics are mind-boggling for Luddites like me, and we committed to spending one full day at Rayburn fishing offshore. The first example of his expertise came when he pulled up within casting distance of a brush pile on an otherwise nondescript bank. “Aim your cast between that dead tree and the empty spot in the tree line,” he instructed. “If you hit the brush you’ll catch one.” I made the cast and moments later the 4 pounder that had eaten my 6XD was in the boat. Clark smiled at his Ruthian feat, but it was obvious that he’d done it before.

Clark Reehm and Albert Collins show off an A-Rig double from an East Texas lake.

We also worked to add new species to my life list, in this case yellow bass (aka, “barfish), but he didn’t deliver the drum that I jokingly coveted. More importantly, since I rarely fish more than 6 feet deep at home, I got a chance to catch fish lures that I don’t even own, some of which I’d never even considered as bass-appropriate. I landed multiple fish on a jigging spoon, one on an ice jig and 10 or 15 on a tailspinner. Two days later we went to another lake to get our A-Rig fix and I landed two beautiful Texas bass on my first cast to the sweet spot. Once again, he’d made something that’s not terribly simple look remarkably easy.

Really, if you want to learn some aspect of the sport, hire him through his website at EliteAnglerAcademy.com. Just don’t do it on the days that I plan to fish with him. I’ve got more firsts that I need to achieve before I hit 50.

I'd never caught an A-Rig fish until Clark dialed me in on when, where and how to fish it.