When Elite Series pro Shaw Grigsby was asked to name his five favorite lakes, you could almost hear the gears grinding in his brain as it sorted through the 334 Bassmaster tournaments he has competed in over the past four decades.
At 60 years young, the Floridian has been everywhere and done everything there is related to being a professional bass angler, including many television appearances and his own TV show, One More Cast.
Regarded as one of the nation’s premier bed fishermen, Grigsby is also skilled with any bass tactic you can name. It’s the reason he has earned 15 Classic appearances, nine victories and over $2 million in winnings. Through it all, Grigsby’s enthusiasm for bass fishing has never waned. Some of his choices may surprise you.
Photo: James Overstreet
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Mille Lacs, Minnesota
“Mille Lacs is such a fun place to go I have to put it first. I’m so happy I got to experience the lake’s giant smallmouth when we fished the Elite tournament there last year.
“Anytime you set the hook at Mille Lacs it could be a 5- or 6-pound smallmouth, and you set the hook a bunch there. Being from the South, catching smallmouth like that is something special.
“I weighed in over 24 pounds of smallmouth one day on a drop shot and a football jig. A 3 1/2-pounder is a little one at Mille Lacs. It’s an amazing place.”
Photo: Bri Douglas
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Lake Falcon, Texas
“I pick Falcon as number two. I’ve had the good fortune to experience Falcon when it was at its height. That was the first Elite tournament there when Paul Elias set the record with over 130 pounds of bass.
“It was incredible. I’d pitch a lizard into a bush and all the limbs would shake when a bass grabbed it. Any bite there could be a giant over 10 pounds.
“Everyone in the Top 12 had over 100 pounds. If everybody in the top 50 had been able to fish all four days, we all would have caught over 100 pounds of bass.”
Photo: Seigo Saito
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Lake Okeechobee, Florida
“I’m going with Okeechobee for my third choice. Few lakes can compete with it for producing lots of quality 7- to 9-pound bass. Thirty-pound strings are very common there.
“The cool thing I really like about Okeechobee is that it’s such a fun place to fish. You can catch them so many ways, topwater, flippin’, swimming a jig… And you catch a lot of bass there. You won’t struggle to catch five a day, but maybe not five big ones. Anyplace where you can catch a 30-pound sack is really something special.”
Photo: Garrick Dixon
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Lake Tohopekaliga, Florida
“I’m picking another Florida lake for number four. The reason is that I’ve always loved Toho on the Kissimmee Chain. I got to fish it as a kid growing up. It can produce a double-digit bass anytime. I caught my biggest bass there seven or eight years ago. It weighed 13-6.
“The record limit Dean Rojas caught there tells you all you need to know about Toho. I get excited anytime I get near that body of water.”
Photo: James Overstreet
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“For number five I’ve settled on the California Delta. I love going there because you have an opportunity to catch a giant bass. I get excited every time it’s on the Elite schedule because I know I’m going to experience something new.
“The fishing is fun, but it’s not necessarily easy. You might catch a load of quality fish, but you can miss them if the tides throw you off. But even when it’s slow, you know that any hook set could be an Oh My Gosh! moment when you stick a 13-pounder. It’s an exciting deal.”