Zaldain's comfort zone

Chris Zaldain grew up in California, home to world record breaking spotted bass, where he honed his skills on lakes Shasta, Oroville, Folsom and Berryessa. Zaldain also has experience fishing Lake Lanier, home to what is undeniably one of the healthiest spotted bass fisheries in the South.

“It was an FLW Cup during August, so I never got the chance to exploit my skills,” he said. “Now it’s prime with the conditions ideal for dialing into these big fatties out deep.”

Zaldain is using a swimbait in clear, deep water, where the spotted bass are schooling and preying upon blueback herring. He offered a unique perspective on why the spotted bass prefer the open water where they suspend when feeding, or hold on isolated brushpiles during periods of low activity.

“These big spots love to suspend so they get a 360-degree view around them,” he explained. “That’s so they can see approaching blueback herring coming from any direction.”