Harold Allen, of Shelbyville, Texas, isn't afraid to take chances; he's a man who's willing to blind cast in search of bedding bass. His reward was the biggest bass of the 2009 Central Open on Toledo Bend.
"I was fishing a large flat on the north end of the lake that has a number of ditches crisscrossing it. Every spring in this area holds big females during the spawn," Allen explains. "The water was murky with very little visibility. It was impossible to sight fish. If you got close enough to see them you'd run them off the bed.
"Based on my previous experience in the area I knew they had a tendency to spawn against the root systems of the bigger stumps. So, I tried casting blind to the bigger wood with a 5-inch, watermelon red V&M Chop Stick Worm hoping for a good bite.
"I targeted a really big stump in 2 1/2 feet of water. She hit the bait almost instantly. There's no doubt in my mind that fish was on a bed. But it was one you couldn't see. I think a lot of guys are afraid to blind cast into likely areas for bedding bass. Instead they move up on the fish and get too close. Once you scare them they're almost impossible to catch.
"If you know where they're likely to spawn it makes sense to stay back and cast. You'll waste some casts, that's for sure. But the ones you don't waste will be more than worth the effort."
Allen's big bass was caught on a 6-foot, 6-inch Carrot Stix rod (medium-heavy action) with a Shimano Chronarch casting reel (5:1 gear ratio), 15-pound-test Triple Fish fluorocarbon line, a 1/16-ounce slip sinker and a 3/0 short shank, offset wide gap hook.