Lay Lake: Skeet Reese Fish Your Strengths

Skeet Reese
Skeet Reese

About the author

Tim Tucker

Tim Tucker was a legendary bass journalist and longtime Senior Writer for Bassmaster Magazine. He authored seven books on bass fishing. Tim passed away in 2007, but his work and legacy live on.

After pre-practice and the three-day official scouting session a week before the Classic, Skeet Reese was about as low as he had ever been on the eve of his eight championship appearances.

"This has been the worst practice I've ever had for a Classic," the California pro lamented. "I only caught two fish the whole time. I have no idea what I'm going to do tomorrow."

Reese, 37, was reminded that, in the past, Bassmaster pros have often responded to terrible practices with terrific performances during the actual competition.

And that is exactly what he did, posting limits of 17 1/2 pounds, 14-14 and 15-14 to come devastatingly close to winning his first Classic.

"I just went fishing and focused on my strengths," Reese notes.

"I only caught two fish in practice up the river, but they were 3 pounds or bigger. And they were bank-related fish, which is what I like. A lot of people think that just because I'm from California I'm a finesse fisherman who wants to be out in deep water. I grew up power fishing and keying on the bank is the way I like to fish. So, I put my trolling motor down and tried to flip as many laydowns as I could find."

Reese went to work with an 8-foot flipping stick and a Chigger Craw, methodically working nearly every inch of each tree he encountered in the current (in 3 to 6 feet of water). The positioning of the bass changed from upcurrent to downcurrent, depending on the day.

"I guess after 25 years of fishing you learn to read water," he says. "I'm not a river master by any means; I have the least amount of experience on river lakes. But it's pretty self-explanatory when you've got back eddies and channel swings. You start keying in on the little subtleties and identifying what to look for.

"You had to be in the main current, though. If you were in the secondary current you wouldn't get a bite."

CLASSIC DETAILS

NO. 2 SKEET REESE

LURES: Texas rigged green pumpkin Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw; 3/8-ounce mad craw Lucky Craft S.K.T. Mini MR crankbait.

TACKLE: Flipping: 25-pound-test Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon line, 1/2-ounce Tru-Tungsten weight, 4/0 hook, 8-foot heavy action Lamiglas XFT806 flipping stick, Revo reel. Cranking: 12-pound-test Berkley Trilene monofilament, 7-foot medium action Lamiglas SR705R rod and Revo reel.

TECHNIQUE: Reese targeted laydowns in 3 to 6 feet of water on the Coosa River. 

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