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Jay Kumar of BassGold.com and the daily BassBlaster attended the Evan Williams Bourbon Showdown at the St. Lawrence River, and ran down all kinds of great fishing info for the Lowrance War Room, Bassmaster.com readers and for BassGold. Here are the pattern details for the Top 12 finishers. They're...gold!
1 / 10
Brandon Palaniuk "video-game fished" by watching his electronics and dropping on specific fish. He used a Berkley PowerBait Twitchtail Minnow (green pumpkin) dunked in Gulp! Alive! Minnow Marinade, rigged on a 12-inch leader of 6-pound Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon with a 3/8-ounce tungsten weight. He said smallmouth "love Gulp!," and felt that the Marinade was key for getting more bites.
2 / 10
Jonathon VanDam drifted with the current until he saw a fish, then dropped his bait down. He fished the same areas over and over, getting different angles on each pass. He drop shotted a Strike King Dream Shot (green pumpkin sapphire), and was the only one of the Top 12 who used a tube: a Strike King Coffee Tube (dark melon, purple/gold flake) on a 1/2-ounce bulbous jighead to mimic a goby. He used G.Loomis rods, Shimano Sustain and Stella reels, and 10-pound PowerPro braid.
3 / 10
Cliff Pirch was drop shotting and dragging a drop shot. His main bait was a 4-inch Roboworm Special FX (ayu) that he doctored with orange dye to make it look more like a perch. The last day he also used a sculpin bait and a little curlytail worm. Leader length was 12 to 16 inches.
4 / 10
Bernie Schultz rotated between a drop shot and three other baits: a green pumpkin Yamamoto tube, a Rapala Skitter Walk in a saltwater color, and another saltwater bait – a Hildebrandt Drum Roller spinnerbait, from which he removed everything but the head and Z-Man trailer. "I was swimming that in about 6 feet," he said. "What's unique about the head is it's made of tin, so I could fish it any rate of speed over super-shallow shoals without getting hung in the grass." He used Shimano Japan rods and reels.
5 / 10
Kevin Hawk used three drop shot baits, all made by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits: a Shad Shape Worm (baby bass), a 5-inch Thin Senko and a 3-inch Fat Senko (both in watermelon and green pumpkin). The baits were on a 30-inch leader of 8-pound Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon, and he used a 1/2-ounce Picasso tungsten casting drop shot weight.
6 / 10
Chad Pipkens fished a 3-inch hand-poured, flat-bottom goby in a "copperish candy" color. He nose-hooked it on a 1/0 Gamakatsu dropshot hook at the end of an 18-inch leader of 8-pound Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon.
7 / 10
Gerald Swindle's seawall fish came on a Lucky Craft Slender Pointer (ghost sunfish), but most of his fish came drop shotting with a Zoom Z Drop (smoke purple). He used a 12-inch leader of 8-pound Sunline fluorocarbon, a No. 1 Trokar hook and a 1/2-ounce weight.
8 / 10
For largemouth, John Murray pitched a 1/2-ounce River2Sea jig (black) with a Gene Larew craw (green pumpkin). The fish "hit it on the fall – they were just chewing it," he said. "You didn't have to work it." His drop shot bait was a Poor Boy's Erie Darter (green pumpkin).
9 / 10
All of these details – and more – will soon be in BassGold's database of 5,000-plus patterns. BassGold accurately predicted the patterns and weights for this tournament: dropshotting offshore, with a shallow bite that doesn't win as much; and an average of at least 20 pounds per day to win.
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