Tips, Tricks and Tactics From the Pros
Grigsby's Most Unusual Bass-Fishing Tactics
Editor's Note: Shaw Grigsby, a tournament bass fisherman from Gainesville, Florida, and a member of the Strike King Pro Staff, competes on many of the national bass-fishing circuits and hosts the television show "One More Cast." One of only four anglers to have won over $1 million in B.A.S.S. career earnings - ranking 4th on B.A.S.S. all time money list - Grigsby has had nine BASS Masters Classic appearances and eight wins. This week he shares a few of his most unusual bass-fishing tactics and answers some of the industry's most-asked questions.
Question: Can you tell us about an unusual fishing technique that you use to catch bass?
Grigsby: One of the tactics I've used in the past to catch bass, is a method that most people won't even consider -- throwing a crankbait in heavy vegetation. A Series 1 crankbait is just a killer bait. But anglers know that with two treble hooks, this crankbait is likely to get stuck if it's thrown into heavy vegetation. Well there's a little secret that you can use to keep from getting hung-up and still enable the bait to perform well and catch fish.
For instance, in one tournament I caught a pretty good-sized bass by throwing my bait in some lily pads. Lily pads hide big stalks. So, you have to look for a break in the lily pads so you'll have an area through which the bait can move. The secret is to keep your rod tip really high and crank it at a very moderate speed as it moves up to the lily pads. If you have your rod tip high, the lip of the bait tends to grab the pad and then just flop right over the pad so you don't get hung-up. The same technique works with the pad's stalk. That little lip on the Series 1 crankbait will catch the stalk, throw the back end of the bait across it and then keep running.
So hold your rod high, and throw your bait in heavy cover with a slow, steady pace. When you get to the vegetation and the bait is getting ready to hit it, make sure you slow down a little bit, and walk that bait right through the vegetation.
I've also used this method in heavy timber and brush, situations in which most anglers won't use it. They say that in that type of situation they need to flip a jig or pitch something. Also, a lot of times anglers don't want slow-moving baits; they want something that bounces off vegetation or looks a little different.
But what do you do if the only way you can get to the bass is to move your bait through the slats of a dock or actually cast over a dock? You can't fish every situation; many times you can't even get your boat around to the backside of a dock. You'll have to move up close to the dock and make a cast over it. If you hook a fish and reel him back up to the dock, you'll have to flip him back over the top of the dock and get him in the boat or find a net and reach over the dock and get him. We've all done that. But the bottom line with fishing is that you can't catch fish if you don't make the cast.
So don't worry about landing the fish. Worry about getting the bait to the fish - no matter what the situation is, even if it seems like the wildest, craziest thing you can imagine. That's what we have to do as professional bass fishermen. I don't think any of us consider these tactics weird. That's just what we do to catch fish.
Question: Can you think of any other unique tactics that you use to catch bass?
Grigsby: You know, Mark Rose mentioned one of the things that I do in the springtime that's kind of unique. I'm a bit short, so I'll stand one foot on the gunwale of my trike and put the other foot on the foot pedal of my trolling motor. That position elevates me about four inches and gives me better vision when I'm sight fishing. The taller you are, the better off you are for spotting bass. And since we're not allowed to have decks above the gunwale, this is something I do to elevate myself a little bit. Mark thought that was kind of a wild technique.
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