It hasn't taken long for Fred Roumbanis to make his mark in professional bass fishing. The young pro has won nearly a million dollars in less than 90 B.A.S.S. events, including a $250,000 payday in 2007. Roumbanis has also been influential in lure design, creating his own signature wakebait, the Ima Roumba, and other lures. When it comes to fall bassin' the Oklahoma Elite pro says he likes to pick up a square-bill crankbait and never put it down.
Water temperature: Cooling from the 60s into the 50s
Water color: Clear — two feet or more of visibility; Roumbanis likes to be able to see the shad or other baitfish in the shallows.
Wind/current: A breeze helps this pattern. Wind breaks up the surface and keeps the fish active.
Structure: Backs of creeks and flats.
Cover: Anything that's isolated and breaks up the bank — a boat dock here, a blowdown there; these areas can "reload" throughout the day and provide great fishing.
Depth: 3 feet or less.
Lure: ima Square Bill crankbait in chartreuse shad
Rod: iRod IRG704C casting rod (7-foot, heavy action)
Reel: Ardent XS1000 casting reel with a 6.3:1 gear ratio
Line: 15-pound P-Line fluorocarbon
Cast/Flip/Pitch: Square-bill fishing usually involves making lots of short, accurate casts that cover water and bring your bait into contact with plenty of cover.
Retrieve: Roumbanis works the bait hard, cranking it fast until it hits bottom then retrieving it with a stop-and-go cadence, crashing it into any available cover and working the rod tip hard to give it an erratic action all the way back to the boat. He wants the bait ricocheting off anything and everything that might hold a bass.
Keys to Success
"Pick it up and don't put it down," Roumbanis says. "Commit to it." The strikes may not be fast and furious all day long, but at the end of the day he believes you'll have five good bass in the boat. This, Roumbanis says, is the way to win fall tournaments.