John's Journal...


Shaw Grigsby

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Some people think that the only time to have a good day of bass fishing is when the lake is down and clear. Well, this is just not true for the bass fishing pros with whom I’ve talked. This week they’ll tell us why they love to fish in flood waters from Florida all the way to Texas. Here are some new tricks to find the big bass.

Click to enlarge"I enjoy finding and catching bass in flood waters around swing sets, out from under picnic tables and through the chimneys of barbecue grills," Shaw Grigsby of Gainesville, Florida, one of the nation's top tournament bass fishermen, says. "However, I usually have a hard time finding enough swing sets, picnic tables and barbecue grills to put together a pattern that will produce bass all day. Angling flood waters is my favorite kind of fishing because I get to fish around new and different structures in fresh water where people never may have caught bass before." When flood waters hit a lake, most anglers roll up their lines and head for home, but not Grigsby and other bass-fishing pros. They move into these flooded regions and catch bass. "When a river or a lake floods, it creates new water for the bass with more forage, more places to hide and additional territory to roam," Grigsby explains. "As the water rises, the bass move into that new water and often feed actively."

Click to enlargeGrigsby continues to move his boat toward that shallow water and the bass holding in it when the lake comes up. "I push, pull and pole my boat into that fresh water to get to those unfished places close to shore where the bass are moving and feeding,” Grigsby emphasizes. Grigsby's lures of choice are a 3/8-ounce spinner bait with a clear sparkle skirt, gold willow-leaf blades and a chartreuse ringer trailer or a pig and jig. "I prefer fishing a willow-leaf spinner bait because it will give off plenty of vibrations for the bass to home in on," Grigsby mentions. "I like a clear sparkle skirt which reflects light and makes the bait easier for the bass to see. The chartreuse trailer is bright and attracts bass in shallow water. I like to run the bait a foot to three feet under the surface -- usually at a steady pace and often stopping the bait to let it fall."

Click to enlargeWhen Grigsby's flipping or pitching a pig and jig, he throws it into newly-inundated bushes, trees and especially vines. "I want to flip the jig into the heaviest new cover I can find," Grigsby says. Grigsby prefers to cast a black 3/8-ounce jig with a blue Uncle Josh's pork frog trailer. "I like a 707 Zebco Pitching Stick Tour Edition with a Pro 3C Zebco reel," Grigsby mentions. According to Grigsby, probably more weekend fishermen don't fish floodwaters because bass tend to scatter out more since the water's rising. "The size of the lake or the river often will increase by a third to a half during flood conditions. The bass won't be where they usually are, and the fishermen won't be accustomed to these conditions. But I consider hunting new water for bass an adventure."


Check back each day this week for more about THE PROS' TACTICS TO TAKING FLOOD WATER BASS

Day 1: Shaw Grigsby
Day 2: Gary Klein on Flood-Water Bass
Day 3: Paul Elias on Flood-Water Bass
Day 4: Bill Dance on Flood-Water Bass
Day 5: More Bill Dance on Flood-Water Bass



Entry 308, Day 1