LAKEPORT, Calif. — The bassfest that was the Bassmaster Elite Series Golden State Shootout presented by Evan Williams Bourbon is decided, so ESPNOutdoors.com asked the final 12 to share what patterns and lures they used to make the cut and what was the single greatest factor in their success this week.
Steve Kennedy (1st place, 122-14, Auburn, Ala..)
Lures and patterns? On his 20-0 Day One, "everything I caught was on a football jig, green pumpkin. I caught some on a little bitty swimbait." Knowing that wasn't enough, Kennedy invested $2,000 in swimbaits, including a trout swimbait.
Biggest factor? "I'd say the swimbait. Fishing a bigger bait."
Skeet Reese (2nd place, 117-6, Auburn, Calif.)
Lures and patterns? Swimbaits and jerk baits. "I've just been keying on prespawn fish staging on docks or in the mouths of canals. "
Biggest factor?"For me, it's just knowing the lake and knowing really good key spots where these fish position."
Greg Gutierrez (3rd place, 108-1 pounds, Red Bluf, Calif.)
Lures and patterns? "Starting out in the mornings throwing two swimbaits, an Osprey about a 9-inch size and I've been following it up with a littler one that's called a Baby E. I'm catching most of bigger fish on a jig. A hand-tied football head, black and brown skirt with purple and flake trailer."
Biggest factor?"I'm fishing stuff that's not really being hammered as much as everything else is. I've been fishing staging fish."
Gerald Swindle (4th place, 105-8, Warrior, Ala.)
Lures and patterns? "The last two days I've just been throwing a big swimbait in the wind."
Biggest factor? "It seems about 11 o'clock when the wind picks up and it gets better."
John Murray (5th place, 103-1, Phoenix, Ariz..)
Lures and patterns? "I got two patterns. First is obviously a swimbait. A Basstrix and also a big Eagle swimbait. Then I'm catching a lot on wacky rigging a Yamoto worm. I'm fishing docks and breaks anything from 5 to 10 feet of water."
Biggest factor? "I like the calm. The winds staying down for me. I know what to do when the winds come up, but I like the calm because I can catch them still."
Kelly Jordan (6th place, 102-10, Mineola, Texas)
Lures and patterns? "Pattern was fishing staging fish, trying to find the areas where they do their last little feed before they spawn. I've been throwing a swimbait and just hope to find an area where they are smoking."
Biggest factor? "The swimbait is my predominant deal. Every fish I've weighed in but one was caught of a swimbait, a Basstrix."
Paul Elias (7th place, 101-15, Laurel, Miss.)
Lures and patterns? "I'm fishing different than anybody else in the tournament. I'm crawling a lipless crankbait slow, slow, slow. "
Biggest factor? "Slow. And having patience."
Peter Thliveros (8th, 99-4, Jacksonville, Fla.)
Lures and patterns? "I threw a Storm swimbait most of the week early. After that I slowed down and was throwing a Zoom superfluke. I was working it slow around boat docks, rocky banks."
Biggest factor? "Slow. I was fishing leftovers, I think, fish that other people weren't able to catch. All these prespawn fish that were getting ready to move up. That was the only way I could get any bites."
Jared Lintner (9th place, 97-4, Arroyo Grande, Calif.)
Lures and patterns? "A shad rap to start off the morning, a Basstrix swimbait and an Osprey swim bait. I've got like four or five areas. This afternoon when the winds picked up a little bit, they started just biting them."
Biggest factor? "As soon as we get this afternoon wind, they bite. If I don't get wind, as soon as that surface clarity gets broken up, they bite."
Scott Rook (10th place, 97-1, Little Rock, Ark.)
Lures and patterns? "I started out fishing on the banks. Swimbaits inbetween docks. They started piling up underneath the docks."
Biggest factor? "If you hit the right (dock), you catch 20 pounds."
Pete Ponds (11th place, 96-7, Madison, Miss.)
Lures and patterns? "I'm throwing an Osprey. The color meant a lot. A clear one or clear chartreuse. I'm sitting in one area that's flowing into a little pocket and the fish are chasing the little hitch, the baitfish."
Biggest factor? "Line size."
Glenn Delong II (12th place, 80-9, Bellville, Ohio)
Lures and patterns? "I'm fishing a jib and a jerkbait. I'm actually fishing the Clear Lake Oaks, canal systems."
Biggest factor? "Working the jig out all the way to the boat, instead of everybody else just throwing to the bank and not getting bit. All the bigger fish are out in deeper water."