Pros and Press on Pardee Lake
Big Baits and Peashooters: Fishing With B.A.S.S. Pro Angler Shaw Grigsby
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
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
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
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
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