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Kevin Short: Mississippi River
Kevin Short won the Genuity River Rumble on the Mississippi River out of Fort Madison, Iowa, with a total catch of 43 pounds, 3 ounces, his first victory on the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Short's victory was one year in the making, visiting Fort Madison for the first time in the fall of 2008 after the final Elite event on Oneida to do some scouting for 2009. On that trip Short did a lot of driving around, looking at the water, hardly fishing and located what would turn out to be the winning spot in Pool 18, one pool up from the launch site in 19.
Coming into the event, Short knew he had a chance to do well. After all, fishing on a river was something that he has done since childhood, growing up on the banks of the Arkansas River. This tournament, Short keyed on two key backwater sloughs in Pool 18 very near each other. One was his primary area, where he spent the majority of each day and the other was right around the corner. He slipped in there for about an hour to catch a few key fish.
In those two sloughs he alternated between a variety of lures including a spinnerbait, crankbait and two different pitching baits. The key wasn't so much one particular lure, but giving the fish different looks when fishing the same cover over and over again.
"Most of the people around me were locked in on one technique," Short said. "The fish were seeing the same thing flipped in front of their face over and over again and so I wanted to keep throwing something different at them."
Short went "old school" on the Pool 18 bass, using a Strike King ¼-ounce Premier Elite spinnerbait that he modified to have both two copper Colorado blades and a green/white rubber skirt.
The best times Short found for throwing the spinnerbait was under cloudy skies that periodically rolled through the Fort Madison area. When it was slick calm or sunny, Short would mix in the crankbait, a W.E.C. E1 crankbait in a chartreuse classic color.
For flipping, Short pulled out a Zoom Speed Craw in a junebug color and also a Zoom Baby Brush Hog. The key with those baits was flipping the Speed Craw and actually casting the Baby Brush Hog — staying back and making presentations to the large laydowns that were present in the slough.
Also important to his victory were his signature pink colored Costa Del Mar sunglasses with an amber lens.
"Today the water cleared up a little and it was important to see the logs," Short said. "Those logs were 8 to 10 inches below the surface and the key today was hitting the spots where the logs crossed. You wouldn't think that sunglasses are important in dirty water, but for me, they were."
This week, Short put all the pieces together and walked away with his first victory and the $100,000 first-place prize. For full coverage from the Genuity River Rumble, visit Bassmaster.com.
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