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Event Article: Pros and Press on Pardee Lake

Big Baits and Peashooters: Fishing With B.A.S.S. Pro Angler Shaw Grigsby (continued)


“Looks like it is going to be a day for big baits or peashooters,” Earl stated. As Shaw and Earl fished big baits off the front of the boat I pulled out my “peashooter,” a G.Loomis NRX drop shot rod, and fired out a Jackall Crosstail shad tied on 6lb. Seaguar Tatsu line. It didn’t take too long for me to catch two small 1-2lb. fish and Shaw and Earl were thinking if they should also pull out their peashooters when they spotted a large tree laying down in the water.


Shaw draws a topwater strike with the Sexy Dawg


“I know you want to check out that tree,” Earl said to Shaw. Shaw just responded with a big grin on his face and proceeded to tie on one of his go to topwater baits, a Strike King Sexy Dawg. “Let’s see if we can get one to come out and play.”


Earl goes in with the net... 5lbr!

Shaw makes walking the dog look effortless and his cadence was perfect. I watched as he cast within an inch of the tree branches and proceed to work the bait across the surface. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, the Sexy Dawg walked across the surface with each twitch of his rod tip. “Wouldn’t it be cool if....,” Shaw didn’t even have a chance to finish his sentence before a fish blew up on the Sexy Dawg and absolutely engulfed the bait. “She’s choked it,” Shaw yelled as he muscled the fish towards the boat and Earl grabbed the net and landed a very healthy looking 5 pounder.


Shaw's 5 pounder caught on the Strike King Sexy Dawg

Shaw laughed as he carefully extracted the Sexy Dawg from the fish. He was right, the fish had absolutely annihilated the bait and it could barely be seen it was so deeply hooked. With the skill you would expect from a seasoned pro he safely removed the lure and smiled.


Shaw fishes his "peashooter" in the ultra clear water

You might think that an angler with as much experience as Shaw has and over 2 million dollars in B.A.S.S. earnings might not get that excited about a five pounder but he reacted like he just caught a kicker fish in the last five minutes of a tourney. It is clear that Shaw absolutely loves fishing and was absolutely thrilled by catching this Northern California largemouth.


Now that is a quality drop shot fish!

The rest of the morning I continued to fish small while Earl fished a variety of swimbaits and Shaw went back and forth between topwater lures and his drop shot rig. We landed a few more fish with the drop shot but Earl continued to swing for the fences. Shaw talked about his favorite techniques and though he is known first and foremost for his sight fishing skills he admitted that he actually likes fishing both sides of the spectrum, so he certainly wasn’t opposed to picking up a peashooter when the bite required it.


Earl's swimbait folded up after the strike

Right before lunch he was finally rewarded with a monster strike and started fighting the fish back to the boat, and judging from the rod bend it was huge. I could see his rod pump back and forth as I grabbed my camera and suddenly his rod straightened out. “I lost her,” Earl groaned as he cranked his swimbait back only to groan again as he pulled it out of the water, he turned to us and we all immediately understood why the fish didn’t stay hooked. As many swimbait anglers have experienced with big fish the largemouth had eaten the bait but the bait’s tail had bent over and hooked itself, making it difficult to drive the hook during the set. The fish had likely been swimming with the bait in its mouth, only to eventually eject it as Earl put pressure on the line. “I’m set for about another five hundred casts,” Earl joked. ‘Isn’t that the truth,” Shaw replied. “After that topwater strike I had earlier all I can think about is fishing my Sexy Dawg.”


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