Essential smallmouth gear with Redwine and Przekurat

Take a look at Bassmaster Elite Series pros Alex Redwine and Jay Przekurat's essential smallmouth gear.

Alex Redwine and Jay Przekurat are roommates on the Bassmaster Elite Series and after Day 1 of competition at the Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain, they find themselves sitting in 2nd and 3rd on the leaderboard with bags over 22 pounds.
Day 2 of competition was postponed until Saturday, so we caught up with Przekurat and Redwine to learn more about their favorite smallmouth essentials up North and how they work together on the Elite Series.
How they work together
“We have worked in a way for both of us to dial in the smallmouth by not only sharing locations but also dissecting a certain zone of Lake Champlain,” said Przekurat. “We are even figuring out bait related things, what bait, colors and cadence are working best and really just working together to be able to out fish other people who are in the same areas as us.”
Alex Redwine’s favorite smallmouth essentials
Drop shot
“First thing that comes to mind to me whenever I’m fishing up North is the dropshot. It’s a staple for me and I have been using it ever since I could remember.”
Redwine uses a Berkley Maxscent Flatnose Minnow or a Berkley Maxscent Flat Worm.
Paired with a 3/8-ounce weight.
A whole bag of Berkley Maxscent products keeps him well equipped when drop shot fishing.
He throws the dropshot on a 7’0″ medium action Abu Garcia Zenon spinning rod…
…paired with an Abu Garcia Zenon spinning reel.
He uses 10-pound Berkley X5 braid to an 8 pound fluorocarbon leader line.
“Smallmouth seem to roam around a lot whether it is on bait or on rocky flats and the jerkbait is a great choice to help cover water and locate groups of fish. A jerkbait allows me to cover that 6 to 10 foot range of water and cause fish to react whether it be catching them or just getting them to follow the bait to the boat.”
Redwine prefers a Berkley Stunna Jerkbait.
His whole collection of jerkbaits.
He throws the jerkbait on a 6’10″ medium action Abu Garcia Veritas casting rod.
Paired with an Abu Garcia Zenon casting reel with 12 pound fluorocarbon.
“Last choice for my smallmouth essentials would be a topwater bait. Whether it be a walking style topwater or a plopper style topwater. For a place like Lake Champlain, a topwater can be a big deal and help me cover more water efficiently. One key is keeping my rod and reel combo lightweight because there is a lot of effort that goes into throwing a walking style topwater.”
A Berkley J-Walker in Bone color is Redwine’s choice of topwater…
He uses the topwater on a 7’0″ medium heavy Abu Garcia Zenon casting rod.
He pairs the casting rod up with an Abu Garcia Zenon casting reel with 30-pound braid.
Graph mounts
“One of the most important things when fishing up North for smallmouth is protecting your equipment in rough water and big waves, you want to try to protect your equipment as best as you can.”
Trick Mount by Trick Steps is what Redwine chooses.
Equipped with 14 total screws (7 on each side) inserted into the front deck and a 1/2″ bolt on each side keeping it sturdy and secure in big water.
Jay Przekurat’s favorite smallmouth essentials
Hair Jig
“The hair jig is an all around and all season bait that you can use anywhere the smallmouth are shallow.”
Przekurat typically uses a 3/32-ounce black hair jig but sometimes opts for a 1/8-ounce hair jig in deeper water. He tends to add a piece of a Strike King Ocho to give the bait more weight while throwing it.
He throws it on 10-pound Seaguar Smackdown braid with an 8 pound Seaguar Tatsu leader line.
The reel he trusts is a Lew’s Custom Lite 300 size.
The rod he throws the hair jig on is a 7’4 medium action extra fast tip Mark Zona Signature Series spinning rod.
Przekurat normally opts for the Strike King Half Shell or the Strike King Baby Z Too on his dropshot along with a Gamakatsu number two Aaron Marten’s G-Finesse dropshot hook.
Przekurat typically uses a 6’10” medium extra fast tip Lew’s Elite Series spinning rod.
He also uses the Lew’s Custom Lite 300 size for his dropshot along with 10-pound Seaguar Smackdown braid to a 10-pound Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon leader.
“Here on Lake Champlain I have been throwing a 12 pound Seaguar Gold Label leader because the smallmouth don’t seem to care as much about the line size. I try to throw the heaviest I can get by with”
His number one dropshot bait of choice. The Strike King Half Shell in KVD Kick and Green Pumpkin Purple.
Number two bait of choice for his dropshot is the Strike King Baby Z Too in Blue Glimmer or Arkansas Shiner.
Graph Mounts
“Having strong graph mounts is key when fishing big water up north, even just a 10mph wind has the potential of creating a 3-foot wave.”
Przekurat runs Zirkona Outdoors graph mounts custom made for a Nitro Z21.
“There isn’t much to say about these, other than the fact I haven’t had to touch them all year and that is key. You don’t want to have to be messing around with that stuff and having to tighten it up on the water.”