“I had a lot of confidence that I was throwing the right baits in the right areas. This was a tournament where the weights were close and I just stayed focused on presenting my bait the right way in the right places.”
“The KVD 300 Jerkbait is an incredible lure. That thing casts a mile, gets down to the perfect depth and has incredible action. Plus, the colors and finish really make a difference in clear water such as Bull Shoals.”
Chris Zaldain – 10th Place – 4 Day Weight - 51-01
“I got into town on Sunday, and I ended up going to the weigh-in of a local tournament. As the weigh-in progressed it was pretty obvious that smallmouth were making a notable showing among the fish that were being weighed in. When I left the weigh-in and got back to my room, I checked the weather and saw that a cold front was coming in. I knew that would make the largemouth bite tough, but shouldn’t affect the smallmouth as adversely. That gave me the confidence to head into the first day of practice in a mindset that I was fishing for smallmouth. That really narrowed down the water and bait selection and made my practice more efficient.”
“The second day of practice I put together a pretty solid pattern of fishing long, sloping gravel main-lake points that had a break on them. They had to have wind blowing dead on them too. When you found all of those components in one spot, the fish would be where the point actually met the break and most often, that was around 25’ deep.”
“My bait of choice was a 3.5” green pumpkin Coffee Tube on a ¼ oz. Tour Grade Tube Head. If the wind got excessive, I would switch to 5/16 oz. head in order to help maintain contact and feel of the bottom. I was downsized to 6 lb. fluorocarbon in order to help entice bites in that clear water.”
Greg Hackney – 11th Place – 4 Day Weight = 50-10
“My three most important bites of the event were all caught on a Sexy Dawg. I caught a 4-pound smallmouth on it on Day 2. Then I caught a 3-pounder on each of the last 2 days on it. Unfortunately, I could only get a bite a day on it, but those bites would make up quite a bit of my weight each day. Then, it turns out that the tournament was won like that. I just never could keep that bite going.”
“I was catching between 30 and 50 keepers a day, but they were all 2 pounders."
“The rest of my fish all came on either a 1/8 oz. Tour Grade Shakey Head with a watermelon 5” Perfect Plastic finesse worm, or a watermelon Shim-E-Stik with a 3/16 oz. Tour Grade Tungsten weight. If it was windy, I would throw the weighted Shim-E-Stik which offered a bigger profile. When it was calm, I would opt for the shakey head.”
“I was throwing around the bank casting into about 9’ and fishing my bait out to about 20’, which actuality wasn’t but about 10’ horizontally.”
Three of the top twelve and eight of the top 50; that’s how the Strike King pros faired on Bull Shoals. Also, concluding that event, KVD moved into 3rd place in the AOY standings. Following him are Greg Hackney in 12th, Keith Combs in 13th, and Dennis Tietje in 15th.
The season is starting out strong for the Strike King pro team. We hope yours is just as strong and that you’ll check back often for more up-to-date info and how-to advice from the best pro team on the planet!