Since the patterns of the first- through fifth-place finishers in Elite Series tournaments are covered here on Bassmaster.com and elsewhere, here's a quick look at the patterns of the pros who finished sixth through 10th at the St. Johns River Showdown.
We're covering these deeper patterns because, as BassGold.com demonstrates, pattern information is "gold" – forever. Patterns from decades ago inform anglers who are fishing now, especially when those patterns come from the best of the best: top B.A.S.S. pros.
Also, sixth- through 10th-place fishermen usually are pretty close in weight and pattern to first through fifth – so what did they do differently? Now we know.
6th: Terry Scroggins
Local and tourney favorite Scroggins started by sight fishing in Crescent Lake, but left there midway through the second day because he felt too many fish were being taken. From there he ran up the river toward Jacksonville, sight fishing and blind casting to bedding areas, which he did the rest of the tournament.
- Unpressured water
- Knowing where the fish were at high tide, when they couldn't be seen
- Flipped a Yum Money Craw (molting craw) with 1/4-ounce weight
- Drop shot with a finesse worm (purple/brown) or a Yum Craw Pappy (green pumpkin), 1/8-ounce drop shot weight and 6-inch leader.
He wasn't able to practice up north because of strong winds and high water. He knew he wouldn't be able to see bedders.
Filled out limits with a Carolina rigged Yum Houdini worm (green pumpkin).
7th: Cliff Crochet
Crochet fished the river near the north end of Lake George. He targeted eelgrass and pad fields between docks close to deep water. He spent the whole time there fancasting the grass beds with frogs, but said in hindsight he wished he'd covered more water.
- Unpressured water
- Close to deep drop
- 3 1/2-inch Hunny Bunny Kickin' Frog (black/grey belly) and Zoom Horny Toad (green pumpkin)
He stressed that execution – proper gear and proper form – are absolutely key in frog fishing.
8th: Greg Hackney
Hackney fished an area of Lake George he had to himself, probably because the water was very tannic and visibility was poor. He bed fished holes in vegetation, but the water was so dark he couldn't see fish in less than a foot of water.
- Like Alton Jones, Todd Faircloth and other top finishers, Hackney found the border between the eelgrass and pads produced
- 5-inch Strike King Shim-E-Stick (black/blue) with a 3/16-ounce Strike King tungsten weight and 5/0 Strike King Hack Attack Heavy Cover Flipping Hook
- Strike King Rodent (black/blue), 3/8-ounce weight, 6/0 Hack Attack hook
- All fished on 65-pound Sufix braid.
Because of the poor visibility, he had to fish every bed like there was a fish on it.
9th: Randy Howell
Howell bed fished the whole time: Lake Crescent the first day, and George the rest of the time.
- Blind-casting instead of sight fishing
- Moving to George because he felt it had more big females
- 4 1/2-inch Yamamoto Large Flappin Hog (green pumpkin/junebug), 3/8-ounce Molix tungsten weight, 4/0 Daiichi Xpoint HD hook, 55-pound Daiwa Samurai braid
- 5-inch Senko (green pumpkin and watermelon)
- Homemade prop bait (chrome, black back, orange belly)
- Reaction Innovations Big Dipper swimbait
Did well with moving baits and fishing a Senko relatively fast.
10th: David Walker
Walker sight-fished in Lake George.
Because he had history there and liked the eelgrass. Water was 3 to 5 feet and clear; he strictly sight fished (no blind casting). Tried several baits but the best was a Z-Man Flappin Crawz, which he liked because it floats -- stands up when you stop moving it. Got as close as he could, most pitches 15 feet. Key was using a push pole to avoid trolling motor noise.
- Clear water
- Avoided using trolling motor
- Z-Man Flappin Crawz (white), 3/8-ounce tungsten sinker, 25-pound fluorocarbon line.
He liked the Flappin Crawz because it floats, which meant "it stands up when you stop moving it," he said.
Even more detail about these patterns and literally thousands more, all easily searchable plus a whole lot more, are on BassGold.com. BassGold, a B.A.S.S. partner, is the world's best bass patterning tool. It has taken 45 years of tournament patterns – now over 3,500 and counting – and turned them into data you can search and sift, resulting in pattern "gold" never seen before.
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