How-To

Casey Scanlon’s winning pattern at Table Rock

The tools that led to Casey's victory in the Bass Pro Shops Open at Table Rock Lake

<p> 	After starting the final round in fourth place, Casey Scanlon bested the field on a tough Day Three at the Bass Pro Shops Central Open on Table Rock Lake. His 13-pound, 7-ounce bag was the second heaviest of the day and gave him nearly a 3-pound margin of victory. “I made it a goal of mine this year in my rookie season to qualify for the Classic. It’s at Grand Lake, probably the closest I can get to home in February, so that is good. That time of year is going to be jerkbait season and that’s one of my favorite ways to fish.”</p>
Photo: James Overstreet - After starting the final round in fourth place, Casey Scanlon bested the field on a tough Day Three at the Bass Pro Shops Central Open on Table Rock Lake. His 13-pound, 7-ounce bag was the second heaviest of the day and gave him nearly a 3-pound margin of victory. “I made it a goal of mine this year in my rookie season to qualify for the Classic. It’s at Grand Lake, probably the closest I can get to home in February, so that is good. That time of year is going to be jerkbait season and that’s one of my favorite ways to fish.”
<p> 	Back at Bull Shoals, Scanlon got on a crankbait bite that would carry him to victory on Table Rock. After observing Brandon Palaniuk blow the doors off on a deep crankbait, Scanlon came to Branson determined to make them bite one. His best big-fish bait was the Strike King 6XD in chartreuse shad color. “I was burning the crankbait through the brush. Most of the big fish bit when it made contact with the brushpile.”</p>
Photo: Rob Russow - Back at Bull Shoals, Scanlon got on a crankbait bite that would carry him to victory on Table Rock. After observing Brandon Palaniuk blow the doors off on a deep crankbait, Scanlon came to Branson determined to make them bite one. His best big-fish bait was the Strike King 6XD in chartreuse shad color. “I was burning the crankbait through the brush. Most of the big fish bit when it made contact with the brushpile.”
<p> 	Scanlon had also gotten onto a bluff-wall square-bill pattern in practice that ended up dying off in the tournament. They were biting it good when it was windy, and he noticed that some guys caught them good off bluffs under similar conditions on Day Two. He stayed dialed into the deep cranking bite for the most part and it paid off. The square bill he used was a Luck-E-Strike Series 2 square bill in the spotted shad pattern</p>
Photo: Rob Russow - Scanlon had also gotten onto a bluff-wall square-bill pattern in practice that ended up dying off in the tournament. They were biting it good when it was windy, and he noticed that some guys caught them good off bluffs under similar conditions on Day Two. He stayed dialed into the deep cranking bite for the most part and it paid off. The square bill he used was a Luck-E-Strike Series 2 square bill in the spotted shad pattern
<p> 	When Scanlon found brush that was a little shallower, he switched over to this Strike King Series 5 crankbait in the chartreuse shad. “I had several areas with brush that were in a line, so I could contact several piles on one cast. The brush was all on or close to the main lake and it helped to have a spawning pocket close.”</p>
Photo: Rob Russow - When Scanlon found brush that was a little shallower, he switched over to this Strike King Series 5 crankbait in the chartreuse shad. “I had several areas with brush that were in a line, so I could contact several piles on one cast. The brush was all on or close to the main lake and it helped to have a spawning pocket close.”
<p> 	One significant adjustment Scanlon made was to change out the hooks on his crankbaits. He opted for Gamakatsu EWG trebles on all his baits, just varying the size depending on the size of the crankbaits: #2s on the 6XD and #4s on the Series 5. “I like the EWG with that bend. I’ve been using them for 5 or 6 years now and I have a lot of confidence in them.”</p>
Photo: Rob Russow - One significant adjustment Scanlon made was to change out the hooks on his crankbaits. He opted for Gamakatsu EWG trebles on all his baits, just varying the size depending on the size of the crankbaits: #2s on the 6XD and #4s on the Series 5. “I like the EWG with that bend. I’ve been using them for 5 or 6 years now and I have a lot of confidence in them.”
<p> 	For square bills, Scanlon used a 7-foot medium-action Bass Pro Shops Crankin’ Stick; for his other two crankbaits, he used a 7-foot Razr rod E-Glass Deep Cranking Rod. Here, Scanlon shows off the nice taper to the rod that helps keep bigger bass hooked up. Lost fish was a problem for many in the Central Open field, but Scanlon lost less than most.</p>
For square bills, Scanlon used a 7-foot medium-action Bass Pro Shops Crankin’ Stick; for his other two crankbaits, he used a 7-foot Razr rod E-Glass Deep Cranking Rod. Here, Scanlon shows off the nice taper to the rod that helps keep bigger bass hooked up. Lost fish was a problem for many in the Central Open field, but Scanlon lost less than most.
<p> 	Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier reels in a 6.4:1 ratio were important to Scanlon’s success. “I was reeling all those crankbaits really fast trying to get a reaction bite.”</p>
Photo: Rob Russow - Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier reels in a 6.4:1 ratio were important to Scanlon’s success. “I was reeling all those crankbaits really fast trying to get a reaction bite.”
<p> 	Scanlon spooled up the Razr Rods with 12-pound Bass Pro Shops XPS fluorocarbon for all of the crankbaits except the square bill, for which he used 20-pound Berkley Big Game.</p>
Photo: Rob Russow - Scanlon spooled up the Razr Rods with 12-pound Bass Pro Shops XPS fluorocarbon for all of the crankbaits except the square bill, for which he used 20-pound Berkley Big Game.
<p> 	A Storm Wiggle Wart is a Table Rock staple, and while it did account for some fish for Scanlon, it wasn’t as crucial as the other baits. “It has a unique hunting action and paint scheme that makes it look just like a crawfish, with that same erratic action.”</p>
Photo: Rob Russow - A Storm Wiggle Wart is a Table Rock staple, and while it did account for some fish for Scanlon, it wasn’t as crucial as the other baits. “It has a unique hunting action and paint scheme that makes it look just like a crawfish, with that same erratic action.”
<p> 	A good pair of polarized sunglasses is important when fishing. Scanlon used Costa Del Mar Corbina 580s with amber lenses. “They help identify the bigger rocks, especially in practice. There were bigger rocks out off the bank, and that’s what they were relating to.”</p>
Photo: Rob Russow - A good pair of polarized sunglasses is important when fishing. Scanlon used Costa Del Mar Corbina 580s with amber lenses. “They help identify the bigger rocks, especially in practice. There were bigger rocks out off the bank, and that’s what they were relating to.”
<p> 	Scanlon used a HydroWave effectively during his practice period and during the three-day event. “I was experimenting with the sound, but you just have to use all the tools you are given. I had a few bust shad right next to the trolling motor. I think it helps to disguise the sound of the trolling motor and when fishing for suspended fish, it can’t hurt to turn it on.”</p>
Photo: Rob Russow - Scanlon used a HydroWave effectively during his practice period and during the three-day event. “I was experimenting with the sound, but you just have to use all the tools you are given. I had a few bust shad right next to the trolling motor. I think it helps to disguise the sound of the trolling motor and when fishing for suspended fish, it can’t hurt to turn it on.”
<p> 	His Humminbird electronics were well used, both for storing waypoints from brushpiles he had found on past trips to Table Rock and for locating new brushpiles as the event progressed. “I found a lot of those brushpiles in the past using my Side Imaging. Then, when I was fishing from the front deck, I found a few more going over the tops of them. You could actually see some of the fish in and around the brushpiles, so that gave me confidence fish were there.”</p>
Photo: Rob Russow - His Humminbird electronics were well used, both for storing waypoints from brushpiles he had found on past trips to Table Rock and for locating new brushpiles as the event progressed. “I found a lot of those brushpiles in the past using my Side Imaging. Then, when I was fishing from the front deck, I found a few more going over the tops of them. You could actually see some of the fish in and around the brushpiles, so that gave me confidence fish were there.”
<p> 	Having a strong, functioning trolling motor is a necessity when fishing at the professional level, especially under conditions the angler endured at the Bass Pro Shops Central Open on Table Rock. “I’ve always used Motor Guide and Mercury Marine products. I was moving a lot, and they have always held up well for me, especially with that wind we had on Day Two.”</p>
Having a strong, functioning trolling motor is a necessity when fishing at the professional level, especially under conditions the angler endured at the Bass Pro Shops Central Open on Table Rock. “I’ve always used Motor Guide and Mercury Marine products. I was moving a lot, and they have always held up well for me, especially with that wind we had on Day Two.”
<p> 	After the victory, Scanlon belts his trophy into the passenger seat of his car. Having a win under his belt in 2012, his rookie season on the Elite Series, is a huge boost for Scanlon. “I definitely needed the money, and it’s going to let me fish looser. I’m going to fish to win from here on out. We all saw how well it’s been working for Brent Chapman; the guy is on fire. I hope it works out where I can go make some Top 12s.”</p>
Photo: Rob Russow - After the victory, Scanlon belts his trophy into the passenger seat of his car. Having a win under his belt in 2012, his rookie season on the Elite Series, is a huge boost for Scanlon. “I definitely needed the money, and it’s going to let me fish looser. I’m going to fish to win from here on out. We all saw how well it’s been working for Brent Chapman; the guy is on fire. I hope it works out where I can go make some Top 12s.”
<p> 	Winning the Bass Pro Shops Central Open on Table Rock was the culmination of some hard practice time and good decisions during the tournament to stick with deep cranking. For Scanlon, who taught himself to fish with old lures he got at a going-out-of-business sale at a Venture store and by reading Bassmaster Magazine, the victory anchors his dream of staying at the Elite level. “It was kind of surreal at first. But then I had a chance to hang out with Brandon Palaniuk and Ish Monroe (at Bull Shoals), so it’s been nice getting to know some of these guys.” Now, he will get a chance to fish against them in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.</p>
Photo: Rob Russow - Winning the Bass Pro Shops Central Open on Table Rock was the culmination of some hard practice time and good decisions during the tournament to stick with deep cranking. For Scanlon, who taught himself to fish with old lures he got at a going-out-of-business sale at a Venture store and by reading Bassmaster Magazine, the victory anchors his dream of staying at the Elite level. “It was kind of surreal at first. But then I had a chance to hang out with Brandon Palaniuk and Ish Monroe (at Bull Shoals), so it’s been nice getting to know some of these guys.” Now, he will get a chance to fish against them in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.