|Evers fishing everything to get a bite.
(Photo: James Overstreet BASS)
By Luigi De Rose
The recent Bassmaster Elite tournament on West Point Lake in Georgia is a prime example of late spring fishing. The previous tournaments on the Elite circuit have all typified fishing around the spawn. The two stops in Florida were classic bed fishing battles and many anglers who did well know the nuances of bedding bass. This past weekend was a whole different style and mind frame of fishing.
Scan down the list of top finishers and ask what they used and prepare to be surprised. The range of lures is mind blowing. Steve Kennedy used swimbaits and a Kinami Flash stick bait. Second place Edwin Evers flipped a Yum Wooly Bug. Ish Monroe, the leader on Day 3 used a topwater, flipped a Warmouth to bedding bass and a Brush Hog to trees. On day 4 he cranked a Team Diawa crankbait. Kevin Van Dam who fell to 7th but was second for a while during the tournament used a popper, along with a Strike King Shadalicious Swimbait, Strike King Caffeine Shad, Strike King Spinnerbait. Another top angler who ran out of fish on Sunday was Andy Montgomery who machine gunned docks with a Shooter jig and Z-man’s Chatterbait.
The point being made is that top anglers during the late spring have to adapt and use their confidence baits to excel. West Point is a difficult fishery that requires anglers to hunt for fish. Many ran out of fish by Sunday like Van Dam and Montgomery but others like Gerald Swindle and a few others couldn’t ride the wave of consistency and fell from the top.
What can be learned from West Point? Late spring is a time to hunt. Find active fish and stick with them. Don’t fall in love with any one technique or spot. Steve Kennedy the eventual winner knows this lake well and seems to have had fished almost all of it to win. Watching videos on Bassmaster.com or viewing photography of the event, we witnesses angler after angler driving with the big motor with the trolling motor still in the water. It’s was an attempt to save time while covering water. (We at ibassin.com don’t recommend doing it because I’ve seen what a trolling motor shaft looks like when it hits something hard.)
Fish quick but thorough this time of year is the name of the game. Good Luck you'll need it.