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May Zone 1 with Shaw Grigsby

Zone 1 – May

Strike King and Lew’s pro Shaw Grigsby shares his philosophy for topwater fishing in Zone 1 during May.

“May is just a great time to fish no matter where you are in this zone,” shares Grigsby. Fish are still in shallower waters following spawning season, making May one of the best times for topwater fishing. Grigsby advises anglers in Zone 1 to target any sort of cover close to spawning pockets. “Grass is my go-to, but wood can be just as good,” says Grigsby.

During the month of May, the fish are typically much more aggressive, so different lures are needed to get their attention. “You are trying to throw lures that imitate anything that might want to eat their fry. The Popping Perch is my absolute favorite because of its versatility,” says Grigsby. When targeting thick, matted vegetation, Grigsby reaches for the Sexy Frog.

No matter what you are choosing to fish with, Grigsby shares one crucial piece of advice – “Give the fish time to eat it. Anglers tend to think that they have to blast fish immediately, but the half second delay is key to connecting on the fish.” If the fish aren’t feeding on top, Grigsby switches to the Magnum Rage Cut-R Worm because it fishes like a 9-inch worm due to the swimming tail action.


BAIT 1: Strike King Sexy Dawg

Grigsby often uses the Sexy Dawg along grass edges and in more open water to avoid getting hung up. 

If the water is clear, Grigsby prefers the Bluegill. In stained water, he switches to the Bone color. For muddy water, Grigsby will favor a Black Lab.

Grigsby fishes the Sexy Dawg on a Team Lew's Signature Series KVD Jerkbait 6’10” medium heavy rod, pairing it with a Lew's HyperMag 7.5:1 baitcast reel. 

He fishes the Sexy Dawg rig on 40 lb braided line with a 17-20 lb monofilament leader.

BAIT 2: Strike King Sexy Frog 

Most often used by Grigsby in matted grass, the Sexy Frog is great in thick vegetation.

Grigsby’s choice for clear water is the Black or Pearl White, and he opts for the same if the water is stained. 

He switches to a Team Lew's Custom Pro 7’3” medium heavy rod and pairs it with a Lew's Custom SLP 7.5:1 baitcast reel.

BAIT 3: Strike King Caffeine Shad

The Caffeine Shad is Grigsby’s top choice when fish are in cover, such as wood and shallow grasses.

He opts for the Watermelon Red in clear water, and switches to the KVD Magic if the water is stained.

Grigsby throws the Caffeine Shad on a Lew's Signature Series 7’2” Zona Spinning Rod and Lew's HyperMag spinning reel. 

He spools the combo with 12 lb fluorocarbon line.

BAIT 4: Strike King KVD Popping Perch

Grigsby utilizes the KVD Popping Perch in emergent grass, grass edges, along bushes, and when skipping docks.

If the water is clear, he will throw Black or White Shadow, while more stained water calls for a Bottoms Up. 

He fishes on a Team Lew's Custom Pro 7’3” medium heavy rod, paired with a Lew's Custom SLP 7.5:1 baitcast reel.

Grigsby spools his combo with 65 lb braided line.


BAIT 5: Strike King Magnum Rage Cut-R Worm

Shaw prefers to Texas rig the Rage Cut-R Worm with a 1/8 oz weight to swim the worm along the edges of cover. If he is pitching into heavy cover, he will often switch to a 1/4 oz weight to allow the Cut-R Worm to penetrate the cover a little more.

He opts for Hard Candy in clear water. If the water is stained, he will throw the Green Pumpkin, while he will switch to a Black Blue Flake if the water is muddy.

Grigsby fishes the Magnum Rage Cut-R Worm on a Lew's Signature Series Carolina Rig rod or Swimbait rod paired with a Lew's HyperMag 7.5:1 reel.

He spools this with 15-20 lb fluorocarbon line.