Keri May, co-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. In this episode, Shaw answers every single one of them! Shaw reveals his seasonal tactics in this episode, plus his favorite and least favorite lures!
Keri: Our website, besides helping anglers and anyone who wants fishing advice, also has a function every year. We do what we call a road trip, and it's basically for our members to meet other members, talk fishing, and learn new lakes. We try to make it at different spots and different lakes. We've had one at Guntersville, Lake Fork, Kentucky Lake, and Pickwick, and now we're returning to Kentucky Lake in April.
Shaw Grigsby: Good timing.
Keri: So, yeah. We're looking forward to it. One question: if you were fishing there mid to late April, and it was a tournament, and you could only choose one lure, what would it be and why?
Shaw: Those questions always befuddle me because there is no magic one lure. There isn't. They're a set of tools that we use, so it's tough to pick a lure.
I know what I'd be doing. I know what the fish would be doing. If I had to choose just one, I'd probably choose a jig because I can catch them off of a bed with a jig, which is what they'll be doing, spawning. I can use it in so many different ways that that's what I'd do.
I could pitch it in the trees and get some tree spawners in the bushes. I could get the fish on a ledge if I need to if it's been frigid and they're not up. I can do so much with a jig so that it would be a jig. But many other things'll work that time of year. I would love to be there in April.
We used to fish a few tournaments there that time of year. I always had an FLW there years ago when FLW first started, and it's always late April or May, and I'd always be top ten in that thing, but now we haven't fished it except in June and whatever crazy late summer, whatever. I can't wait to go back sometime in late April time frame.
Keri: Why don't you give us all your best advice for fishing it?
Shaw: It's a spawn. They're going to be spawning. You go into every pocket and go to the backs of the pockets, and they'll just be lined up back there. You can sight fish them a lot of times, especially if you can find the clear ones. You can catch them, like I said, pitch in a jig, cast in a jig, swim a jig, doing whatever you want to do with a jig, you can catch them. I throw a floating worm a lot that time of year. You can do the floating worm. You can do the caffeine shad that type of deal because the Fluke style soft plastic baits, they should go crazy for them. It's just a wonderful time.
You can catch them on frogs and things like that, like the Rojas frog. It's just a perfect time for fish being up, and you have the likelihood of just catching huge ones. It's probably the best time to go to Kentucky Lake in that late April first of May.
Keri: I know our members and everybody, we're all looking forward to seeing each other again and having some great fishing, and I thank you for that answer. In the same type of questioning, if you were summer fishing, for instance, Lake Fork, would your preferred lure or I shouldn't say preferred -- if you only got to choose one lure, would it be a jig again?
Shaw: It might be. In choosing just one lure, it might just be that because, again, I can fish it shallow, I can fish it deep, I can let it sink out there in 20 foot of water and drag it around and hop it and do whatever I need to do. Of course, I'd love to have a crankbait in Lake Fork in the summer, like a 6XD, the new striking extra, and that bait dives down at 17-18 feet, and you can have some fun. But if I had to choose just one, I might still have to do the jig deal just because you can still catch some. It may not be the best, but you can still be very ... well, you can use it in many different ways to be very versatile.
Keri: So, the same question again, fall California delta.
Shaw: Fall at the delta? Ooh, ooh. Gosh, I don't know, frogs, that's just an excellent frog time, a lot of grass up. I don't know. That one, I might have to fix a frog.
Keri: I love frog fishing.
Shaw: I do, too. You can't help but love the explosion.
Keri: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Shaw: Oh my goodness.
Keri: Frog fishing is one of my favorites.
Shaw: I may have to stick with the old frog on that one.
Keri: And then, at the end of that, winter fishing, Guntersville.
Shaw: Guntersville, winter fishing. I'm going to throw a suspended jerk bait or a red-eye shad and probably -- oh man, that's a toughie. A jig would be fine there, too, but I'd probably say red eye.
Could you stick to the old red-eye shad? I'm fixing to have one there this next week, I think, some tournament, and I guarantee a red eye will play a significant part in it.
Keri: What lure do you always have on your deck and why?
Shaw: It's probably rarer times I don't have a jig on. Like this, it's just a Hack jig, a Hack Attack jig with a Rage Craw. That's a solid performer for me throughout the year, anywhere, any time. It's got a lot of action with the Rage Craw in the back. It gets nice. Like a regular jig, you can bulk it up and make it look huge. You can trim some and make it look small. They make small sizes, two or three eighths and the rest. It's just a great, great package for catching fish.
Keri: What would be your second lure of choice always to have tied on?
Shaw: I almost always have a red eye tied on. It's got that new little crankbait that I tie on that little 1.5, and it's just dynamite. It's hard not to have one of those on; cold weather, warm weather. There's just a great action to that bait. I alternate between that and a red eye a lot.
Keri: They're kind of tough questions. It's hard to say.
Shaw: Yeah, it's such a challenging situation to be put in a one-bait situation ...
Shaw: ... your favorite and all that because they are. They're tools, and we use them all. Right now, I've got four out on the deck, which is the lowest amount I'll have any time, just four rods and reels out on the deck. Every one of them has the opportunity, like right here. I look up here and see a mat of vegetation, so instead of pitching my jig over there, I pull out my one-ounce giant tungsten sinker, 65-pound Sonic braid, and we're going after it.
We'll see if there is anything in the actual vegetation. So, you've got them, and they're tools. There's no time when you're just going to one bait all the time. That happens once a year, maybe, where you get dialed in on them so much that you're going to put two rods out, and that's all you're going to use because you're that confident that that's what's going to work. So ...
Keri: Do you have a least favorite technique or least favorite if not your favorite? Do you have a technique you don't like?
Shaw: Wow! There aren't any of them that I don't like. There are some that I'm not as good at. It's not necessarily a technique. It would be a situation the fish get in.
Shaw: In other words, catching them, I'm comfortable cranking, I'm comfortable drop shot them. I'm comfortable doing flipping, pitching, and a spinnerbait. You name it. I've gotten comfortable doing all of it.
Swim baits, I've used them, caught them, but I've never felt like I'm a great swim bait fisherman. And yet, I've had some pretty good tournaments on swim bait, but if they get on the big swim baits, I'm probably not nearly the angler I should be for that.
I'm not nearly as good as I should be when they're offshore. I'm just finding the structure and knowing where and when and that type of deal on the structure, offshore structure, summer time, shell beds, that type of deal. So, those are probably a couple of situations that I'm ... If I get in that situation, it's like, well, I'm struggling in this deal. We'll see how it works out.
I've had some good tournaments at Kentucky Lake, fishing that summertime, shell bars, and channels, and I found some excellent deals. Sometimes, I amaze myself -- wow, I found something. But most of the time, it's a struggle.
Shaw: I'd much prefer to have them shallow. It might be at Kentucky Lake in April-May, where you can go down the banks and just have a blast, pull out the frog or whatever else, and see what's going on. But when you've got to get out there deep, you've got to get out there deep. So, that's my least favorite. I mean, it's not my least favorite. It's my least common.
Shaw: I love catching them out there. When I'm offshore, I love deep cranking or throwing the big sexy spoon or dragging a giant worm or anything like that. I'm thrilled with it; Carolina rigs and football jigs, I love it. But I'm not good at finding the fish, like some of these guys. They're just phenomenal. Yep, they're going to be right here, and I'm like, how in the world did you figure that out?