Strike King News

Two’fer Tuesday

Submitted by Full Limit Outdoor Media

Now that the dust has settled from a very busy weekend in the bass fishing world, let’s take a look at how two members of Team Strike King nailed down 2nd place finishes at their respective events.

FLW Lake Hartwell

Photo courtesy of FLW LLC.

FLW Tour – Lake Hartwell – Anderson, SC

Clark Wendlandt – 2nd place out of 167 – (66 lbs 15 oz / 4 days)

(7 ounces out of first, 4 lbs 6 oz better than third)

Anytime the bass are thinking about bedding, Clark Wendlandt is a safe bet for your fantasy fishing team. With the temperatures rising in the days prior to the tournament, Wendlandt knew that Mother Nature could be stacking the odds in his favor. Although Hartwell is a herring lake, which typically measn that the majority of the bass population prefer to be offshore, spawning season is the great equalizer. When the time gets right and conditions line up, the normally nomadic “herring hunters” head to bank for their annual spawning ritual. And they found Clark Wendlandt and his Strike King Ocho waiting… “The water was warming up every day and the fish were in all stages of pre-spawn to full-blown locked on beds. I bet all my chips on the ones coming to the bank,” Wendlandt said referencing how he locked -in on his pattern. “I was primarily throwing a green pumpkin Strike King Ocho in the new 6” size. I was wacky rigging it unweighted on a 3/0 straight shank hook. The Ocho has the perfect action that you want in that size and profile, but it’s also heavy which allowed me to make accurate casts with bait-casting gear and it also falls fast enough that I can be efficient,” he said. “I caught about half of my fish casting ahead of the boat down the shoreline in spawning pockets, visible cover and docks and the other half off of beds,” Wendlandt explained. “When a bedding bass wouldn’t eat the Ocho, I would throw a Strike King Bitsy Tube on them in either green pumpkin or Pearl Pepper. The fish that didn’t fire on the Ocho seemed to react almost instantly to the tube. It was an awesome one-two punch”.

St. Johns River

Photo courtesy of BASS / James Overstreet

BASS Elite – St. Johns River – Palatka, FL

Greg Hackney – 2nd place out of 110 – (77 lbs 15 oz / 4 days)

(4 pounds out of first, 1 lb 10 oz better than third)

The Hack Attack is no stranger to the check line. He is fishing about as good as anyone on earth right now and the first stop of the 2016 Elite Series was a prime example. As well rounded as Greg is, he seems to really excel when shallow cover comes into play. A flipping bite, swim jig bite and apparently a bedding fish bite are his right in his wheelhouse. “In practice I determined that the majority of the bass were around beds and bedding areas. Whether they were spawning, post spawn, or guarding fry, they all seemed to be relating to areas where they had spawned. The key to staying in those areas, and around the fish was to understand variables needed to come together to offer prime spawning habitat,” Hackney remarked. “I found that the best spots had a firm bottom and offered a combination of pads and eel grass. If you found eel grass with a patch of pads in it, it was almost guaranteed that there would be a bass in it,” he continued. “I caught my fish a few different ways over the course of the 4 days. I got dialed in a swim jig bite that seemed to catch better ones. The bigger females seemed to be react really well to a Hack Attack swim jig with a Rage Craw trailer. After working an area with the swim jig, I could go back through there with a Rage Cut-R-Worm and get a lot of bites, but they weren’t the quality I was catching on the swim Jig,” Greg recounts. “On days 2, 3 and 4, I spent a lot of time bind casting a black/blue Shim-E-Stik in the same kind of areas. If a saw one on bed, I would pitch a Mag Dream Shot in there on a heavy drop shot rig and catch her almost every time. I mixed in a few on a top-water and several flipping a Rage Bug. I utilized several different baits to accomplish exactly what I needed in each particular scenario,” concluded Hackney.

Gear Notes:

  • Hack Attack Swim Jig – 3/8 oz. Black & Blue with a Blue Bug Rage Craw trailer
  • Shim-E-Stik – Black and Blue 5/0 flipping hook with a 3/16 Tour Grade Tungsten weight
  • Mag Dream Shot – Brown & Purple – 16 lb. fluorocarbon, 3/0 straight shank hook – 1/8 Tour Grade Tungsten Drop Shot Weight
  • Cut- R-Worm - Black and Blue 5/0 flipping hook with a 3/16 Tour Grade Tungsten weight
  • Rage Bug - Black and Blue 5/0 flipping hook with a 3/16 Tour Grade Tungsten weight