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Go Little For Tidal Water Bass

Shaw GrigsbyEditor's Note: Shaw Grigsby of Gainesville, Florida, won a gold medal in the ESPN Outdoor Games for fishing in 2002. He's qualified for the BASS Masters' Classic nine times and has won eight B.A.S.S. tournaments and four invitational tournaments. He's also the host of the "One More Cast" TV show on TNN.

Question: Tell me about another day when a Strike King bait saved the day.

Grigsby: I was fishing in a B.A.S.S. tournament on the Mobile, Alabama Delta. A big catch of bass would only weigh 6 pounds in this tournament because those Delta fish were really small. We all were fishing hard, but we would only get two or three bites per day. The fish just weren't cooperating.

Most of the fishermen were fishing Snagless Sally spinner baits, plastic worms and tube jigs. And I decided to try a Strike King Series 1XS, a chartreuse crawfish with brown-back color. This crankbait is a X-extra-S-shallow running crankbait. This little bait would swim just under the surface and barely above the grass, and the bass came out of the grass and ate this little crankbait up.

Strike King Series 1XSI really believed that the bass in the Delta had seen the Snagless Sally so much that they were almost immune to it. They had also seen tube jigs and worms so often that they wouldn't react to them like they would to a crankbait they had never seen before. I'm convinced that the more often a bass sees a bait, the less likely the fish is to hit that bait. So I was betting that those bass in the Mobile Delta had never seen a little bitty crankbait like the Series 1XS and that they would take this bait.

Luckily, my bet paid off. I caught limits of bass every day, and I had some really nice-sized fish. I could have easily finished in the top-three because of the size and number of bass that I was catching. However, on the third day of the tournament, when I was coming out of the creek where I had been fishing, I knocked the motor off the back of my boat.

I had 11 pounds of bass in my livewell and most of the other anglers had 6 pounds or less. Since I lost my motor, I wasn't able to get to the loading area and I didn't get to weigh-in my bag of fish. So I didn't place. But I did get to enjoy catching all those nice bass on the Series 1XS. That lure gave me an opportunity to win the tournament if I hadn't have lost my motor.

Shaw GrigsbyThe Series 1 is about the size of your thumb, and that's about the size of most of the crawfish, crabs and baitfish that tidal-water bass usually eat. This lure has a very erratic action, a wide, wide wobble and a good rattle in it. So I believe that this lure allowed the bass to use all of its instinct to key in on this bait, capture it and eat it.

I've learned that when you really have to catch fish, you are more likely to catch them using little baits than big baits. I've also learned I can take this little Series 1XS crankbait and fish behind other anglers to catch bass they didn't catch with their bigger baits. This little bait will also produce quantitatively as well as quality-size.