One Word: Plastics
Written by Sarah on July 21, 2011
Recently local Kelly Pratt won the first Bassmaster Northern Open of the year on the James River. While others beat the water to a froth with crankbaits that hunt and frogs that pop, Pratt patiently worked the shallows with a good old fashioned finesse worm. We’ve got computer-chip-lipped baits, others that light up, others that required NASA engineering to build and this dude won the big prize (and a ticket to the Bassmaster Classic) with the most basic five-inch hunk of plastic around. It was a shade of green pumpkin, too. How’s that for getting back to fundamentals?
We talk all the time about cranks and chattering and big honking swimbaits, but day in and day out, plastics still hold their own and the Northern Opens might prove that theory with a sweep this year.
Next up is Erie out of Sandusky. I’ll be tremendously surprised if that is won on anything other than a dropshot or tube.
After that is Oneida. The last time the Elites went there, in 2009, Chad Griffin won with a topwater and a super-heavy jig (along with a little bit of love from a Sweet Beaver). The time before that, Dean Rojas rode Kermit to victory. Still, I’d bet that the winner will use plastics for all or part of his catch. First of all, the lake is gonna get pounded. An Elite event has only 90 to 100 anglers, but this one will likely have 130 to 150 pros and their co-anglers, with fewer restrictions on practice. By the time the tournament rolls around, you’ll have to finesse them. Unlike when Dean won, I don’t think there will be enough largemouths to go around. Besides, in 2009, all of the top five used some sort of plastic to earn their final places – Jeff Kriet relied on a tube, Rojas caught 6 of his 20 weigh fish on flipping, Matt Sphar used a Senko and Jason Quinn mixed it up, but needed a tube to pull out a Classic berth.
Has there ever been a full slate of Opens won on a single lure class? If not, this may be the year to break that streak.
This blog was written by Dave’s good buddy and Facts of Fishing blogger, Pete Robbins.