Shaw Grigsby Raw - Part 8
Keri May, owner of BassResource.com. spent a day on the water with Shaw Grigsby posing questions that members from our forums submitted for Shaw to answer. Here is part 8 of a nine-part audio series where Shaw answers every single one of them!
In this episode, listen as Shaw talks hunting, tournament etiquette, and his fishing tips!
Keri: So we know you hunt.
Shaw Grigsby: I love it.
Keri: You like to fish for tarpon.
Shaw: I bow hunt.
Keri: You bow hunt? Really? Okay. The question is what do you do in your spare time. A lot of it we already know.
Shaw: I bow hunt.
Keri: I bow hunt.
Shaw: I fish so I can bow hunt. That's exactly what the deal is. I fish and my spare time is bow hunting and that's pretty much the deal if I can do it. I film my TV shows, that's not spare time, that's work and then I finally get some days off and it's in the fall usually and I bow hunt. Now if I get some days off and it's in the spring, usually in January, this is the first year I haven't been able to do it, but usually in January I'm fishing a week solid every day in January. Getting tuned up for the season.
I get on the spawning fish and the sight fish and watch them and I just get really dialed in on fishing and then the season starts and everything kind of falls into place. This year I had no time, no opportunity, I didn't have a boat, so I didn't have any opportunity to go fishing at all. In the spring, and it was a great spring, they were just crushing them, it took, FLW at Okeechobee took over 100 or 108 pounds for four days down there.
Terry Scroggins finished 4th with 100 pounds. You're looking at just monster stringers when you're catching 25-pound bags a day at Okeechobee. You go to Toho and they're catching 25, 28, 30-pound stringers and I missed it all. Usually that's kind of my deal, when I get time off at fishing time I'll fish, but if it's the fall you're going to catch me in a tree with a bow in my hand.
Keri: You hunt deer.
Shaw: Deer. I like hunting anything with a bow, but we have wild hogs in my yard. I hunt those 365 days a year I get to do that. The turkey is the turkey season in the spring and the deer is most of it. I love elk hunting. I used to go every year and I haven't been in a few years. I just don't have the money to do that. I got in a deer lease that's really special and it's something that my son and I can do together. I don't know how long we'll be in it, but it's one of those things that I love it, it's just a real fun, passionate deal to go out there.
They just found the shed. My son had this giant deer, probably low 160s at 40 yards and club rule is you don't take a shot at him until 30, basically it's a 30-yard pin, so 30, 33, 35 you can shoot them, but 30 yards is what we try to do with your bow because you get pretty much 100% recovery. Anyway, he had it at 40 and it just turned and it was coming right to him and the deer came out way down the bottom end of a field. If it had come out five minutes later, Shaw would've killed it. It was a big giant deer.
It would be the biggest deer of his life. He hunted him every day, the whole season and finally got him at 40 and the deer turns and walks away. He was kind of crushed, but they just found his sheds and they measured it and it'll be a low 160 deer. It's impressive and next year who knows how big it's going to be, but it's impressive. Hopefully, he'll get the shot next year. It's something I can do with the family and do together and we love it and we come in each day and we're talking about our experiences and of course you're texting out there.
This is there and this is there. Sometimes you get pictures and videos. You got a deer walk underneath your stand and I'm videoing him like that and then watch him go and he's like, I know something is wrong, and then I turn around and take my iPhone and send the video to my son. We just have fun. It's just a great family deal. If I can get back to elk hunting, I will. I got invited for this next year in Colorado and I'm going to do everything I can to do it, but I don't think scheduling will allow, so TV shows and all that. Business has got to take a little bit of precedence unfortunately.
Keri: So give us a day in the life of Shaw Grigsby?
Shaw: Sleep, wake up.
Keri: Don't we all?
Shaw: I generally wake up at 7:00 something every morning, and I'm not a morning person. I really hate getting up early for tournaments, but at the same time you see some incredible sights when you see the sun come up in the morning. The mornings I'll be sitting there and it's a cool morning in the spring and you'll see these little tornadoes of fog on the water and they're just spinning around all around you and it's just really cool and you'll see some magnificent sunrises. The whole world comes to life and you're out there fishing and it's really nice.
But do I like it, no. If I'm home and I don't have a tournament, you will not find me watching the sun rise unless I'm hunting. That's the only time I'm willing to get up is hunting and then tournament competition or practice a competition. I'll wake up and I'll either read the paper and grab a bite to eat and then it's either I'm doing production stuff and getting ready to film or going here or there or I'm doing a deal for sponsors or we're going to fly here to do seminars and sports shows, so there's always something keeping you grounded and keeping you doing this or that.
Keri: How do you balance it with family and your wife and being away?
Shaw: At first we struggled with that. I think there was a real problem. She didn't expect as my career took off that I'd be gone a lot and all that kind of stuff. The good thing is she is so much of the business. She's Shaw Grigsby as much as I'm Shaw Grigsby. She does a lot of my booking, a lot of my stuff, all of the taxes, all the business stuff, so we're partners. Not just partners in life, we're partners in business, we're partners and so in every situation she's a part of that, so she's never been excluded. It's not like this is my business, and then I'll see you when I get home and I do everything and she doesn't. No, she's very much a part of it. In fact, when they say your wife is your better half, in this case she's my way better half. I definitely over-married.
Keri: That's great though. You're lucky.
Shaw: She does, she's done a marvelous job of raising the kids because I haven't been around and now we have a grandson who is coming tomorrow and I can't wait to see him.
Keri: Really? Congratulations.
Shaw: He just turned four on the 13th, Sunday.
Keri: Oh, how cool.
Shaw: He is a handful. He's my fishing buddy, my hunting buddy, he's just my buddy and he's is going to really enjoy the Classic this year.
Keri: That is wonderful. Cool.
Shaw: Especially if grandpa Shaw would ever catch a fish, but grandpa Shaw might not catch a fish.
Keri: Catch a fish. They're here, I can feel it.
Shaw: This is gorgeous water now. We've come into 57 degree water, 58, and it's getting clean and clear, dead end canal again. Everything is right. There goes one, look at that. There goes a nice bass. He's just swimming with it.
Keri: I told you.
Shaw: That's one. We'll put a little waypoint here.
Keri: Can you see him?
Shaw: I'll see if I can't bring him to the top.
Keri: There he goes.
Shaw: He was probably about two pounder.
Keri: I told you. Good job. There's one right there.
Shaw: So I'm okay on my bait selection.
Shaw: I'm okay with what I'm doing and the question is, is this the only place because this is a dead-end pocket or can I find them in that dead-end and that dead-end and you can see how the water clarity is really getting to be what I like. It's not clean, but it's not mud. We were in mud and here we're getting some clean stuff. So what would be cool is get one or two more bites and I'll be happy.
Keri: In your opinion what's the number one mistake the weekend angler makes?
Shaw: You could answer that a thousand ways.
Keri: Sure. You bet you can.
Shaw: Probably what I was telling you earlier about watching the guys and these are not weekend anglers, these are Classic competitors and seeing how they dissect the water. I think really sometimes it's fishing too fast. I see a lot of weekend guys not having any confidence in what they're doing, so they'll fish this bait and they'll fish it for 5 minutes and it's like, okay, they're not biting then I'll change. They've got that change syndrome. Got to find the right bait, got to find the right bait.
As a professional you learn. Just like today, I've fished now two hours probably before I had my first bite, but I've stuck primarily with a jig. I'm not questioning whether they're going to bite the jig. I know that, I know that. I don't have to think. I know that I don't have to think about that. When you look at a lot of the weekend anglers, they question what they're doing. Am I doing right? Do I got the right bait? Is this the right line?
So I think get your two or three baits that you're really confident in and learn them, a jig, a spinnerbait, a crankbait, you pretty much can cover a lot of stuff with that. You know, tube, drop shot, something like that. You've pretty much got it covered. You can go from ultra light and heavy and catch all the fish in between. You look at Skeet Reese, he's a crankbaiter, he just loves crankbaits. He catches a lot of fish on those little crankbaits and obviously catches enough.
He has to change every now and then, but obviously catches enough to where he's angler of the year, or almost angler of the year for two years, never on his record. The point being is Rick Clunn made a career out of throwing little crankbaits. Just killing them and catching them and he did some spinnerbaits and stuff, but his real deal is crankbaits. You can find a few techniques that you're comfortable with. You see people like Denny Brauer or like Tommy Biffle, a number of these that are all, wow. They chased the Galanools away. Those are pretty aggressive little fuzzballs.
Keri: They really are. Don't get too close.
Shaw: Anyway, what I was saying is that you look at that and those guys throw jigs. I mean, there's a handful of guys, they just throw a jig. You can learn a few techniques and then have confidence in what you're doing, you won't be changing all the time and spending your time trying to find that special lure. That's probably a really good piece of advice.
Keri: There's been a lot of talk about, especially in the smaller tournaments, of spot ownership. Is there a problem? Have you ever had anybody just come up and run over the top of you?
Shaw: Oh yeah. It happens to everybody. In the old days it was really cool. It was really exceptional the sportsmanship we had. Ray would stress that and everybody adhered to it. I remember fishing a tournament, one of the superstars tournament in Peoria, Illinois and I'm fishing in a lake, I don't remember the name of the lake, but I'm catching them on a spinnerbait. I finished, I don't know, third, fourth, whatever, but had an opportunity to win it. Guido was fishing the same deal.
He would come down to a tree and we'd kind of meet and then he'd turn around and I'd go back. We never crossed each other, we never worried about it, we knew that was it. We played with each other. At one point he had a bank across the deal and I'd be sitting there fishing and I'd have a big crowd of people around me and I'd go man, "Guido's really killing them over there," so they'd all go over to Guido. Twenty minutes later Guido would say, "Shaw is killing them over there," and they'd all come back over to me, so we'd mess with each other, but it's one of those things just to have fun and it was one of those things were at least when you got them all away you could take a pee, but it was fun.
That's honor and stuff. I don't really have a blame for it, but there was another tournament circuit start-up and they really didn't stress that sportsmanship. They felt that if you were fishing a spot and you had found it too and another guy had found it he had the right to fish as you did. That kind of hurt the sportsmanship end and now you get a lot of guys that pull in. It's part of life now, so you deal with that now that we didn't have to in the early years. In the early years there was kind of an unwritten rule. I remember the years that if I didn't catch them and I got paired with you or I got paired with a guy and he's doing really good I wouldn't even ask about fishing out of my boat.
I'd be like okay, you're catching them, I'm riding with you, good luck, hope you win it. I got paired with Denny Brauer when he was winning a tournament on Rayburn and I just climbed in the back of the boat and said let's go. That's the honor that we had. That was when we fished as competitors against each other in the boat. Now everything's on your own. I still think there's a lot of good sportsmanship. There's a lot of guys that aren't going to come in on you, and then there's a few guys that will, that won't even question it, they'll just be right there. You got to sometimes push them off your trolling motor or something you know.
Keri: So tell me about your rods and reels, preferred brands?
Shaw: Quantum. I've been with Quantum pretty much my whole professional career. They make tremendous equipment.
Keri: You don't mind if I take some shots here?
Shaw: No. In fact, you don't have my rod and reel out there unfortunately.
Keri: We'll get a picture of it though when we get back.
Shaw: Well, the reason I didn't put it out is that it's got my number one bait on it and I just don't have it out.
Keri: And what's that number one bait?
Shaw: We ain't talking about it. It's a jig.
Keri: It's a jig.
Shaw: It's a jig.
Keri: And what kind of jig is it?
Shaw: It's just a jig.
Keri: And what color is it?
Shaw: It's a jig. I've got two of them in there, one's black and blue and one's like a green pumpkin, but there two jigs that stay in there and that are coming out on tournament day. They're just a jig. Real similar to this, but not quite. This is more of a flipping jig and it's a little bit lighter, more of a casting jig, so you can pitch it around, cast it, do a lot of cool things with it.
Keri: What kind of rods?
Shaw: Zebco Quantum Shaw Grigsby. PT Tour Edition and so these are Kevins, these are crankbait, spinnerbaits, Kevin VanDam and that one is a Hackney, the gray one and Smoke is the bomb, that is the reel that I just absolutely have fallen in love with. It's not the most pricey, the KVDs are the most pricey, but the Smoke is light and just everything.
Keri: It's a nice looking reel. So talk to me about hooks. This is your favorite hook?
Shaw: Absolutely. I've got a number of them. The TK190 and the TK130 are mainstays and the TK110 and 120 are mains. Those are all TroKar hooks.
Keri: I love TroKar hooks.
Shaw: They're all extremely sharp. The TK190 is the hook that we designed, the old HP hook, a high performance hook that we designed back in the late '80s. A friend of mine, Tommy Clark designed it, we kind of modified, worked on it, we got a few features right and got it to where literally you get a bite, you set the hook and you've pretty much caught every fish. It still to this day sells very, very well and they decided to put it into their line of TroKar hooks, which I thought was exceptionally nice of them.
Their tube hook is what they call it and it is, it's superior for tubes, grubs, but it's actually really good just flipping, pitching, craws, just any soft plastic it's the best hook. I'm trying to get them to maybe upsize it to get a 5/0, 6/0 in it would be tremendous. I may not use any other hook if I've got that one in there. That's the TK190, TroKar 190 tube hook. Then there's the TK130, which is what you're looking at right here on this one and that's also on this flipping stick there.
It's the big, wide gap, heavy wire flipping hook, straight shank. Beautiful flipping hook. It's just devastatingly effective. You really catch a high percentage of them on it, so those are probably my two main. Then if I'm drop shotting it's a TK110, like a 1/0, that's for drop shotting when you have a hook buried Texas style so that's you're in and around cover.
Even a lot of times I just like that hook so much I'm getting to the point where I'm not necessarily nose-hooking. If I nose hook it's the TK150, that's the drop shot hook that they have that's another TroKar razor sharp little nose hook, octopus style hook. Then sometimes I use the big TK120, it's a beefy extra wide gap hook with a 90-degree kind of a Z bend on the front to hold your bait on and all that, but I prefer using the 130 and the 190 probably more than anything. Those are my biggies