Pro Angler Finesse and Big Bait Combo at Lake Pardee
and Cody continued to work a variety of lures including jigs, drop shot, and
tubes for the first few hours picking up fish wherever there were rock piles off
the bank. “Do you prefer using a spinning outfit over baitcasting?” Zander
asked. Cody explained “I like both, but I will fish a spinning outfit at least
50% of the time if not more, simply because I employ so many finesse techniques
and really need the ability to cast very light lures.”
Pro Angler John Maes was a former
Angler of the Year in many team circuits and is also an
expert finesse fisherman
Cody also explained he
really prefers light line and swears by lighter pound test, often using both 4
and 6lb. test on tour. “The lower lb. test absolutely increases the number of
strikes,” Cody explained. “I use Berkley Trilene 100% fluorocarbon which may not
be the thinnest fluorocarbon but is also incredibly strong.” The confidence in
the line’s tensile strength gives Cody the ability to fish these lighter lines
when targeting big fish in deep water, of course a good drag helps too.
John horses a drop shot fish in
Meanwhile on the other
side of the main lake JIP and John were also drop shotting, but unlike Cody and
Zander that were getting into smallies, they were having success picking up
largemouth with the same technique.
John and JIP with some nice green
fish taken via finesse techniques
John was having success
picking these fish off the grass line which he commented was much lower than
usual because the water was so high this year. The huge amount of rain that had
saturated Northern California had filled Pardee up, and though water clarity was
nearly 10 feet the lake is normally crystal clear to 25 plus feet. Water was
pouring out of Pardee and there was a lot of debris in the water, and the
elevated water level and reduced visibility presented another challenge to the
pros that were used to fishing more discernible structure, and now had to rely
on their electronics to find productive spots.
It is a parking lot at the dock
after the morning session, let's see how the other pros did
Switching from finesse to
11:00 both boats were just shy of their limits and a number of quality fish in
the 3-5lb. class had been boated. The smallmouth looked very healthy and had
bellies full of trout. The swimbait anglers had thus far done reasonably well
but the hope was as the water continued to warm the bite would only improve.
Kent with a beautiful smallmouth
A number of the pros had
boated some really nice fish. Kent landed a beautiful 7lb. smallmouth and Russ
Graves, an expert with big baits, had landed two equally giant fish using a full
Russ Graves is an expert swimbait
angler and used this hudd...
...to land these giants
As we grabbed our tackle
and walked up the dock to the next boat FLW Pro Angler Chris Zaldain stepped off
his own boat and gave Kent a big High-Five. A second later we found out exactly
why as he pulled out two nice largemouth out of his livewell for pictures.
Pardee was once again showing us why people come from far away to target both
largemouth and smallmouth in this Mother Lode lake.
Chris Zaldain high-fives Kent...
...and shows us his trophy
The trout fishing in this
lake can be phenomenal, and the trollers were out in full force on this day, no
doubt watching all the bass boats zoom back and forth hitting the points. While
the massive trophy trout plants are what draw the trout fishermen it is also
what essentially makes Pardee so attractive for bassers, especially big bait
anglers as the fish regularly gorge themselves on trout.
Angel Alorro, Mother Lode Pro and
Bass Angler Magazine staffer, holds up some nice
fish on his Bait Barn wrapped tournament rig
Pro Angler Chris Ricci gives the
...and shows us a new signature
popper, the Ricci Recipe, from Lobina Lures