Toledo Bend: Best baits and techniques

MANY, La. — Here are the lures and techniques from the top finishers at the Battle on the Bayou.

1. Dean Rojas

Rojas found fish on beds and caught fish on grass flats. Here's his bed fishing setup:

Rod: Quantum Tour Edition PT, 7-foot
Reel: Quantum Smoke baitcaster, 6.6:1
Bait: Big Bite Baits WarMouth (Rojas designed this bait specifically for bed fishing), bluegill color
Terminal tackle: 4/0 Superline Gamakatsu EWG hook, 3/16-ounce Eco Pro tungsten weight
Line: 22-pound-test Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon

When Rojas fished the edges of grass, he opted for a topwater presentation much of the time. Here is his topwater setup:

Rod: Quantum Dean Rojas Tour Edition, 7-foot medium action
Reel: Quantum Smoke baitcaster, 6.6:1
Line: 16-pound Sunline Supernatural fluorocarbon
Bait: Spro Hydropop topwater popper

Rojas also threw an assortment of small swim baits, none of which, according to him, played greatly into his winning catch.

2. Gerald Swindle

Swindle focused on clay points in the mouths of creeks and pockets. It was important for waves to crash over these points to position the bass in bends. Swindle targeted these fish with two baits: a jerkbait (when it was sunny) and crankbait (when it was cloudy). Here's Swindle's jerkbait setup:

Rod: Quantum Smoke, 7-0 medium
Reel: Quantum Smoke, 6.3:1
Line: 12-pound Vicious Elite Fluorocarbon
Lure: Lucky Craft Slender Pointer 112 (Ghost Minnow)

Here's Swindle's Crankbait setup:

Rod: Quantum Smoke, 7-0 medium heavy
Reel: Quantum Smoke, 5.3:1
Line: 14-pound Vicious Elite Fluorocarbon
Lure: Lucky Craft RC 2.5 (Sassy Shad)

3. David Walker

When Walker was targeting the outside edges of stump flats, he threw a hard swimbait. Here's his setup:

Rod: G. Loomis GLX Extra Fast, 6-9
Reel: Shimano Scorpion 6.3:1
Line: 20-pound Sunline Sniper
Lure: Koppers Live Target Bluegill swimbait

When targeting grass and wood in the 3- to 6-foot range, Walker used a jig. Here's Walker's jig setup:

Rod: G.Loomis flippin stick, 7-5
Reel: Shimano Curado, 7.1:1
Line: 25-pound Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon
Lure: Homemade 1/2-ounce jig (brown with a couple purple strands), Z-man chunk trailer.

When fan casting between the stumps, Walker used a bladed jig. Here's his bladed jig setup:

Rod: G.loomis GLX, fast action
Reel: Shimano Curado, 7.1:1
Line: 20-pound Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon
Lure: 1/2-ounce Z-Man Chatterbait (chartreuse and white) with a Z-Man Swimmer trailer

4. Chris Lane

Lane fished sandy flats that had grass. He used a jerkbait and Carolina rig to catch the majority of his fish. Here's his jerkbait setup:

Rod: All Star ASR series, 7-2 moderate fast
Reel: Revo Winch, 5.4:1
Line: 12-pound Stren Fluorocarbon
Lure: Lucky Craft Pointer 127 (Ghost Minnow)

Lane fished the jerkbait very aggressively the first two days, slowed it down the final two days. Here's Lane's Carolina rig setup:

Rod: All Star ASR, 7-4 medium heavy
Reel: Revo SX, 7.1:1
Line: 17-pound Stren Fluorocarbon for the main line, 12-pound Stren Fluorocarbon for the leader
Lure: Gambler Stud (soft jerkbait), green pumpkin candy
Terminal tackle: 1/4-ounce bullet weight, 2 beads, offset 5/0 worm hook

5. Fred Roumbanis

Roumbanis stuck to one pattern and one bait the entire four days of the event. He targeted offshore ridges where bluegill were spawning. He elected to swim a jig to mimic the bluegill. Here's his setup:

Rod: Rod Fred's Magic Stick, 7-5 fast action
Reel: Ardent XS 1000, 6.3:1
Bait: Pepper Custom Baits 1-ounce Football Head Jig (green pumpkin with purple strands) with Optimum bait 3-inch Double Diamond swim bait trailer (green pumpkin with chartreuse tail)

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