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Event Article: Pros and Press on Pardee Lake

Big Baits and Peashooters: Fishing With B.A.S.S. Pro Angler Shaw Grigsby (continued)


As we head into the marina for lunch we were greeted by a number of other very well known pro anglers. Aaron Martens, probably the best known of all finesse fisherman on tour, had landed a very nice smallmouth using his prototype Enigma rods. As many anglers may have heard he recently partnered up with enigma to introduce a new signature series of rods designed to be high performance but also affordable for everyday anglers.


Aaron Martens shows us his new Enigma rods


I checked out the prototypes of some of the new rods he was working on when he handed me one of the new production rods designed for fishing lighter swimbaits. “Fish it,” he said as he turned and walked up the dock. He didn't have to ask me twice as I quickly tied a paddletail on. 


A closer look at the Aaron's Edge

Aaron wasn’t the only pro angler working on new tackle in between tournaments. FLW Pro Angler Jason Borofka showed me his new handmade G-Rig spreader which utilized a combination of swimbaits and blades.


Jason Borofka shows us his new handmade G-Rig spreader

B.A.S.S. Pro Angler Fred Roumbanis knows a lot about swimbaits and topwater fishing and showed me the new smaller “Big Stik” which is ideal for topwater tournament fishing as well as a very exciting new single fiber superline from Europe called “Gliss.”


Fred Roumbanis shows us his new secret weapon... a superline called "Gliss"

Fred has already been using Gliss on Tour and this mono-hybrid is designed to surpass braid in terms of performance and handling. Gliss looks like mono but has zero stretch and extremely low diameter to breaking strength ratios. He is working with the company to come out with new colors and heavier weights so you can be sure that he will be employing Gliss on some of his topwater Big Stik and frog fishing this season.


Fred's topwater combo includes a new tournament sized Big Stik tied on with Gliss

We probably could have talked tackle for another three hours but Kent reminded us that there were still fish to catch so we headed back out on the water. On the second half of the event I rode shotgun with Russ Graves, an angler that I always enjoy fishing with because of his passion for catching big fish with swimbaits.


Russ Graves hunts for big fish suspended over rockpiles

Russ’s favorite swimbait is none other than the Huddleston Deluxe, and he has caught many double digit fish fishing this bait, including one just shy of ten pounds here at Lake Pardee.


Every few casts Russ applies some secret sauce


The secret to his success with big baits? Try patience for one. Watching Russ fish is like watching a machine, his casts and retrieves are methodical and every few casts he takes the time to slather on plenty of attractant.


Russ shows us his favorite swimbait... the Hudd

He talked about periods on Pardee when the weather and conditions are just right and the fish absolutely go off. It was during one of these times mid-summer where he remembers a pack of eight plus pounders chasing his swimbait back to the boat.


Playing with the new Enigma rods, which seem to handle nicely for a stick at the 150 dollar price point

As I we talked about big bait fishing I watched as he cranked his Huddleston 8” trout swimbait back to the boat right above the bottom and I think that both of our hearts skipped a beat as an absolute tanker of a fish, easily above ten pounds could be seen following the bait.


Pro Angler Mark Lassagne shows us a pretty Lake Pardee smallie

I would have paused the bait or jerked it forward in panic but Russ kept his cool and maintained his retrieve and was rewarded with a strike. The fish sped forward and grabbed hold of the bait but below the hook and immediately wised up spitting out the bait and spinning round to only disappear into the depths. That is swimbait fishing, and as luck would have it would be Russ’s one and only strike before we ran out of time.


Shaw and Aaron mix it up with largemouth and smallies


There is no doubt that Pardee can kick out some nice fish. I finished the day with five fish, granted they were all pretty small. The Pros used their time to test out new techniques and caught larger fish using a variety of swimbaits or topwater lures.


Thanks to Kent Brown for bringing the pros and press together for another memorable event

While there were no giants caught this time the sight of that absolute beast of a fish striking Russ’s bait in the crystal clarity of clean water continues to stick in my mind. It was like Earl said… “I’m set for about another five hundred casts.”











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