Chris Zaldain is in a familiar place, which is at the top of the scoreboard. He’s got four Championship Sundays, with a fifth in view. What else is familiar is his pattern and bait lineup.
At three other Championship Sunday events, he used a 3-inch Megabass Spark Shad, rigged on a very unique 1/8-ounce Megabass Okashira Screwhead. Molded after a hand carving by famed lure designer Yuki Ito, the jighead is equipped with an asymmetrical prop that features one blade longer than the other. What is key, as called out by Zaldain, is the hydrodynamic design that features lanes that channel water under the chin to provide increased stability at all lure speeds. Broken down, that means the swimbait always stays running true.
“Windblown and shallow points are the key,” he said.
What else is key is the discovery made by Zaldain early yesterday. He stayed on the same area until 10 a.m., then started looking for new water.
“I learned a lot about how the smallmouth move up and down on the cover,” he added.
Above all else, the offshore bass are feeding on very small baitfish, something that Zaldain feels is important with his compact lure.
“You need to match the lure to the size of the bait because these fish are so dialed into those smaller baitfish."