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Bassmaster Elite Anglers Talk About the One Fishing Lure They Reach For

Posted by 
February 9, 2018
Published in News & Tips > Fishing > Bass
2225   Comment
expert

For many anglers on the Bassmaster Elite Tour, the competition in 2017 offered a diverse opportunity to test their skills within vastly different fisheries on a variety of bodies of water in a multitude of water conditions.

Time and again, anglers had their back to the wall trying to scrounge out a limit or seal out a win. In that moment of truth where they only had seconds to decide their game plan, they reached for the one lure that they were willing to fall on their sword with.

Here are three successful professional anglers talking about THE favorite one fishing lure they always have.

 

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missile jig
Missile Jigs Ike's Mini Flip Jig

Mike Iaconelli

“It opened the season, it closed the season, and I had a lot of big tournaments in between,” Iaconelli said. “Starting at Cherokee Lake, I caught half my fish on a Missile Jig Mini-Flip Jig and the last tournament during the final classic bracket round, I caught almost all of my fish on it. I caught them in Tennessee in cold water, in Minnesota in warm water, and everywhere in between.”

Mike Iaconelli believes the smaller profile jig does a better job imitating the bluegill and crawfish in many of the lakes he fishes both recreationally and during the Bassmaster Elite schedule.

What’s unique about the jig is that it is still small and compact but weighs a ½-ounce allowing for better casting, skipping, and pitching. The only real colors you need are bruiser black/blue color jig and green pumpkin jig.

missile jig colors
Bruiser black/blue color jig and green pumpkin jig

“It’s small, its compact, and it’s a different bait when everyone is throwing something else, the smaller profile jig will get the bites,” he said. “When the fishing is tough or when faced with cold fronts, clear water and heavy pressure it gets more bites.”

berkley PB chigger craw
Berkley PowerBait Chigger Craw

Ike pointed to Bassmaster jig-fishing legends like Denny Brauer and Tommy Biffle who were really the reason many anglers started fishing big standard profile jigs. Although the technique originated in California from anglers like Dee Thomas and Dave Gliebe, today it has evolved into a technique where one size no longer fits all.

When it comes to selecting jig trailers, in cold water he’ll fish a regular chunk and a trailer opting for a trailer with more action in warmer water.

The 3-inch Berkley Chigger Craw bait works perfectly in those situations. Iaconelli will remove the first two segments of the craw and secure the bait to the head of the jig and hook shank with a dab or two of superglue.

terminator pro series jig
Terminator Pro Series Jig

Ott DeFoe

bass pro swim n chunk
Bass Pro Shops Swim-N-Elite Chunk

For pro angler Ott DeFoe, his favorite fishing lure this year was the Terminator Pro Series jig. He used it to catch fish at every stop on the Bassmaster Elite tour except for Lake St. Clair. He swam a white jig during the shad spawn on Lake Okeechobee and flipped docks with it on Lake Champlain. Most times he’ll opt for a Bass Pro Shops Bass Pro Shops Swim-N-Elite Chunk craw bait for his trailer.

Kevin VanDam 

Regardless of whether he’s fishing a Bassmaster Elite or Major League Fishing event, Kevin VanDam has become synonymous with fishing a jerkbait.

strike king kvd jerkbait deep
Strike King KVD Jerkbaits

“It’s something I’ve been doing my whole career, but now with all the live coverage, I can’t hide it anymore,” he said. “It’s opened a lot of people’s eyes about how to fish it and just how versatile a bait it is in a lot of different situations.”

Today, he sees his competitors fishing a jerkbait in only situations that only KVD would have.

VanDam pointed out that bass will never get conditioned to a jerkbait bait. It triggers a natural feeding response that they cannot supress.

mustad kvd treble hook
Mustad UltraPoint KVD Elite Triple Grip Treble Hook

He pointed to Strike King’s extensive and constantly expanding collection of color offerings in the Strike King KVD line of jerkbaits, both shallow and deep runnining.

He’s especially excited about some new perch colors due to be released soon.

Often, he’ll change out the factory fishing hooks for Mustad UltraPoint KVD Elite Triple Grip Trebles.

At times, he will add some color to his jerkbaits. “I might add an orange throat patch or a chartreuse patch to it to brighten it up,” he started. “Or, I might tone it down with some grey. I do have the ability to brighten up a bait or tone it down a bit.”

He’ll always keep paint, markers and clear nail polish in his boat.

Yes- nail polish. “To add some poly flake dust on the fly, I just use some clear nail-polish, put it on there then you can put another coat over it. It’ll come off but it is pretty quick and easy,” VanDam said.

Neat trick indeed!

 

 

Tagged under Read 2225 times Last modified on March 1, 2018
Jonathan LePera
expert

Jonathan LePera is a freelance outdoor writer and avid bass fisherman. You can find his work in Bass Times, BassFan.com, In-Fisherman Magazine and Bass Guide, and justfishing.ca. The Eastern Basin of Lake Erie and the Niagara River are his home waters where the smallmouth are big and plenty. He’ll chase largemouth anywhere they swim, they’re his favorite. Feel free to follow him on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

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