Hey Guys, Here is a new Blog entry we are going to roll out with the Classic behind us. Strike King Pro Luke Estel is a freelance writer/photographer from Carbondale, Illinois. Luke fishes the Opens and other events close to home. Luke has a great gift of being a great fisherman but also in writing and with the support of his Wife Heidi and their two girls, Luke has become successful in both. We will kick off this week with Entry #1 of “Luke’s Fishing Journal” – Enjoy and please give us feedback and story ideas to email@example.com ~ Thanks.
Calling all Fisherman – Want to learn from the Pro’s? Be a Marshall for a day.
If you are an avid tournament angler then I suggest you become a marshal for at least one Bassmaster Elite event or even the Bassmaster Classic. The knowledge you will learn in that one day can help you become a better angler as well as an experience you will never forget. I got the rare opportunity to ride in the boat with legendary angler, Shaw Grigsby. It was day two of the classic and Shaw was looking for enough fish to make the final day cut.
We set out into the Louisiana Delta around 9:45 a.m. due to the fog delay. That did not leave much time for him to fish but our boat ride was only around twenty minutes. Shaw finally reached his spot, dropped the trolling motor, and went to work. Immediately he put keeper number one in the boat. Shaw was targeting pre-spawn bass that were moving in to spawn in a dead end canal. Grass patches littered the shallow water and Shaw’s bait of choice was a Tour Grade Strike King Swimming Jig tipped with a Rage Craw. He was swimming the bait around the grass patches and anywhere else he thought a bass was lying. I sat in the back of his boat watching him pick the cover apart catching his limit within an hour. As he worked his way around the canal he noticed a fish sitting on a bed. From that point on I witnessed one of the best displays of sight fishing I have ever seen. Staying calm, Shaw put his Power Poles down and picked bass after bass off of the beds. How he was able to see them, I have no idea. I could see the beds and every once in a while I would see the bass, but he could see them all. Shaw wasn’t set up for sight fishing but was able to convince the bass to either bite his jig or his Rage Craw. Within minutes of spotting a bass on a bed, he would be swinging it in the boat. Time was running out and Shaw thought he needed one more three pound fish to make the cut. He had lost one earlier in the day but he did not let that get to him. He contemplated for a minute whether to go back and fish for a female that he saw or concentrate around the mouth of the canal for a bass moving in to spawn. His decision paid off with minutes to go as a four pounder smoked his jig at the mouth of the canal.
He culled once more and we were off. Shaw thought he had around thirteen and a half pounds but I knew it was a little more. On stage Shaw’s fish weighed fourteen pounds, seven ounces. He made the final day and ended up in twentieth place. Shaw Grigsby proved to me that he is most likely the best sight fishermen in the country. It was an honor to be in the boat with him. I learned a lot and will never forget being in the boat for the Bassmaster Classic. I may not have fished it, but that was second best.
Thanks for Reading – Luke