Almost anyone would agree that the Falcon tournament was tough: It was hot, dusty and windy, and it came with its own set of connectivity difficulties that made it rough on staff on-site and fans watching from home. Plus, it spanned five days, with the original final day of competition being postponed because of weather.
But it came with huge weights, pushing three anglers into the B.A.S.S. Century Club, with weights topping the 100-pound mark.
Keith Combs was one of those who caught more than 100 pounds — 111 pounds, 5 ounces, to be exact — when he won the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Rigid Industries Falcon Slam.
Today, he took fan questions on Twitter, using hashtag #basschat, and he doled out plenty of fishing advice — as well as spilled the beans on what it felt like to run neck-and-neck with Rick Clunn.
You can also check out Twitter chat transcripts from other pros, including Todd Faircloth, Cliff Pace, Chris Lane, Mike Iaconelli, Kevin VanDam, Aaron Martens, Boyd Duckett, Jonathon VanDam, Brent Chapman, Randy Howell, Ish Monroe, Brandon Palaniuk, Jeremy Starks and Alton Jones.
Keep up with Twitter chats, tournament news and bass fishing advice by following B.A.S.S. on Twitter at @BASS_Nation.
Welcome, Keith Combs! Congratulations on your win, and thanks for joining us to talk to your fans!
I'm excited to be here! This is a great perk to winning a tournament, and I'm ready to answer your questions!
Very excited to listen to your knowledge on winning a tough tournament
What would you say is one advantage you feel over the competition?
At Falcon, the advantage for me was it's my favorite lake to fish, and I go there all the time. Knowing a lot about the lake was a big edge. I was fishing to win.
Doesn’t hurt to have some extra experience! I'd love to be able to fish falcon one day
Congrats on the win on your home turf!..was there any one thing you were nervous about?
Leading from the get go makes you nervous. Everyone is kind of waiting for you to stumble. Sometimes I went 4 or 5 hours without a bite, and that would make me nervous.
I hear you there! Just gotta stay confident and believe in what you’re doing! Good luck the rest of the season.
What did you key on for those larger fish?
The big deal for me was rock. There are two prominent patterns. One is rock, one is wood. I'm good at deep cranking, so rock works. It had to be rock with a short drop. And, I keyed on the vertical breaks.
Hey Keith what is your ideal Frog rod/reel/line?
I use a Power Tackle PG104.5 7-6 rod, a high gear ratio Shimano Chronarch reel, 60-pound Seaguar Kanzen braid I generally use a @StrikeKingLures frog, too.
Hi Keith, what was your strategy going into the last day after having to take a day off on Falcon?
I kind of kept it the same. The break helped me because I had a lot of stops on that lake. It recharged a couple of my spots and gave my fish a break.
Keith, when casting deep diving cranks do you feel it is best to use a fluoro or mono over a braid?
I use fluoro, 15-pound Seaguar Tatsu. If it's really abrasive structure, I'll go to braid.
What are you planning to do with your @BASS_nation Elite Series winnings?! Anything special?
No, I'm really not. I haven't even really thought about that. I just put it in the bank. Wins don't come around too often, so you really need to save!
Can you give me tips on skipping docks
To get the best skip, the most critical link is your lure. I usually use a lighter weight 5/16 or 3/8 oz jig with a trailer that's fat like a chunk. It's like skipping a rock -- you want something flat.
I would like to give a big michigan shoutout to keith combs, winner of the bassmaster lake falcon slam!
Thank you I appreciate it. I've gotten many thank yous & congratulations this week, and I appreciate all of them!
How does one go about learning punching?
That is a technique that requires more patience than any other. Start out practicing that technique all day. Try braided line, a heavy rod, like the PG 104.5, a stout hook, @StrikeKingLures 5/0 Hack Attack hook, 1 1/4 oz weight, setup is critical. You can go for hours without a bite, then catch 5 on consecutive casts.