2009 Southern Open #1 Harris Chain Of Lakes - Tavares, FL, Jan 29 - 31, 2009

Lunker Lessons: Harris Chain of Lakes

Wetumpka, Ala., pro, Greg Vinson had a good first day during the first Bassmaster Southern Open of the 2009 season. Early that morning he caught a 7-pounder and later in the afternoon he caught the biggest bass of his life — a massive 10-pound, 5-ounce female.

"I was in a residential canal sight fishing for bedding bass when I first saw her. The bass were moving onto their beds as the day wore along. I made several passes over the same area without seeing anything. And then, all of a sudden, there she was," he explained.

"She was on a dark bed, so I had trouble determining just how big she was, but I knew she was bigger than the 7-pounder I'd caught earlier that morning. That was good enough for me. I figured it was time to go to work.

"I pitched my lure into the bed and after a couple of hops and wiggles she grabbed it and the fight was on. I've never had a bass that big on my line. I was scared to death she would shake free. Fortunately, she didn't."

His outfit consisted of a NetBait Salt Lick — a 5-inch soft stickworm with a very high salt content — in junebug, rigged weightless and Texas style. Vinson armed his plastic with a Mustad Ultra Point 5/0 Big-Mouth Tube Hook. His rod was a G. Loomis IMX, 7-foot medium-heavy model. He mounted a Shimano Chronarch (6.2:1 gear ratio) on it spooled with 30-pound-test Spectrex IV P-line (braid).

While acknowledging the importance of his tackle and lure selection, Vinson believes other factors were the real reasons behind his success that morning.

"I knew the bass were moving. I'd make a pass over likely spawning areas or a bed and there'd be nothing. Then, maybe 10 or 15 minutes later, I'd go over the same area again and there'd be one sitting there fanning her tail. It was a matter of having the persistence to keep at it and the faith to believe they'd be there sooner or later.

"The other big thing was my ability to see under the water. I was able to do that with my Maui Jim sunglasses. They allowed me to cut through the water's glare and see what I needed to see."