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Event Article

A Pro Angler Finesse and Big Bait Combo at Lake Pardee (continued)


In the afternoon JIP would fish with Bub Tosh, who is known for both swimbaits and punching while Zander would ride shotgun with Pro Anglers Jeff Michels and Justin Reglin. All three of these anglers absolutely love throwing swimbaits and decided to focus on soft bodied swimbaits during the afternoon, this was in stark contrast to the light line finesse fishing that we did all morning.


Bub as usual is not afraid to get down and dirty


We have fished with Bub quite a bit and he is a madman when it comes to power fishing. Bub slings swimbaits with passion and pounds the bank into submission much like he punches weedmats. Today he had Rago swimbaits tied on including the BV3D which he swam over the rocks and grassline. It didn’t take long for JIP and Bub to get on the fish and he kicked things off with a 4lbr. that darted out from under debris.


His aggressive techniques pay off...


JIP and Bub continued fishing for the rest of the day with a number of strikes, many followers, and unfortunately no other fish. Bub really wanted what he calls a “Giant” and spent the afternoon tossing the massive Rago Soft Tool. That’s swimbait fishing for you, swinging for the fences sometimes pays off and sometimes it is just more exercise.


...with a Rago BV3D swimbait fish


Our readers know that Bub is also the owner of Paycheck Baits and JIP and Bub talked about why Bub doesn’t just focus on his fast growing business instead of trying to squeeze it into his hectic tournament schedule. Bub explained that while he loves the bait business the one thing that keeps him coming back to the tournaments year after year is the competition itself, he relishes it.


Elite Angler Greg Gutierrez prepares to land a largemouth as Tony Stoltz from Westernbass looks on


On the other boat Zander kicked back in the second half and watched as Jeff and Justin worked their swimbaits. It seemed like the fish on this particular day really wanted swimbaits where the tail wagged back and forth aggressively creating a noticeable wobble just below the surface.


Pro anglers Jeff Michels and Justin Reglin work the coves. Jeff is the 2011 Everstart Lake Shasta Champio and 2008 Stren Series Lake Mead Champion. When these two guys are not fishing together they are out fighting fires together, both are firefighters in Northern California


These two anglers fish hard and fast and would hit a spot hard, pounding it with cast after cast until they were satisfied there were no fish to be had, at which point they would zip across the lake to work the next cove.


Jeff lands a quality largemouth on a custom swimbait


Jeff and Justin often fish tournaments together and would work different style swimbaits or lure types to maximize their changes of triggering a strike. This strategy paid off at Pardee as the fish would mash one swimbait and ignore the other.


It didn't take long for the guys to have a livewell full of swimbait fish


The hot baits, a bluegill patterned custom soft bodied swimbait got so torn up that the tail was literally hanging on with just a ¼ inch of plastic. Jeff searched the boat for a replacement but this tired lure was the only one they had left so rather then going back into the injured reserve box he pulled out the super glue and went to work.


Justin hooks into a fish close to the bank


After some work the swimbait was back in business, and just in time, in the next cove Jeff nailed a nice 5lb. fish in just a few feet of water. The lure got even more torn up and Jeff went to the super glue once again. Over the next few hours he repeated this process three more times and by the end of the day the lure was looking very tired but remained deadly effective. Justin commented that sometimes it seems like the fish like the beat injured looking swimbaits even better.


Jeff holds up his swimbait fish


The swimbait bite wasn’t wide open but it was decent and Bub, Jeff, and Justin all were able to pull out quality fish with these big baits. They also tried a number of hard swimbaits but it seemed like the fish wanted those silent subtle tail kickers, like the Osprey and Rago soft bodied swimbaits. If there was ever a good lake for visual swimbait fishing this is it, and though water clarity wasn’t as good as it normally is here, there were still plenty of massive fish spotted.


At the dock Jeff shows the press his damaged swimbait


Conclusion: After fishing Lake Pardee for a number of years now it is clear that one of the major keys to success is being able to adapt on both ends of the spectrum. There are times when a finesse bait like the Jackall cross tail shad is money and there are other times when a big swimbait like the Rago BV3D is absolutely lethal. Today we witnessed the effectiveness of both techniques, and the more the water warmed up the better the big baits were.


Thanks to Kent and Richard and Kerry Cooper, the owners of Lake Pardee Recreation, for putting on yet another exciting event


Finesse fishing with ultralight lines can be just as thrilling as nailing a pig with a swimbait and it was interesting to see Pro Anglers like Cody and Bubb approach the same playing field with completely polar opposite styles. Yet through it all anglers fishing both styles were each able to boat a livewell full of quality fish. There are times when fishing a finesse rig is the only thing that will result in cashing a check and there are other times when landing that kicker fish with a big bait makes all the difference.


Cody Meyer shows us once again just how deadly finesse fishing can be


On Pardee yesterday we had the luxury of seeing both techniques come into play and while it was clear each Pro angler had a preferred strength it didn’t mean that when they approached a different type of structure or saw something on their graph they didn’t pick up that jerkbait or jig. The ability to adapt is key, especially on lakes like Pardee where there are both smallmouth and largemouth, and today the anglers got the fish and showed not only that they can adapt quick but also exactly why they are the “Pros.”










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