Twilight of a new generation, Bassin' Young Guns Shoot it out at Pardee
Time to go fishing for trophy smallmouth: At 5:30 AM we reported to the
Pardee entrance where we were greeted by Richard and Kerry Cooper, owners of
the resort at the lake. Prior to launching the Pros had to get each one of their
boats inspected for Quaga Mussels and once cleared we loaded up our tackle and
made our way out of the marina.
casts a jig over to an underwater ridge line he knows holds fish
There were high expectations placed on Taylor
Parsons to do well today, after all he
grew up just a few miles away from the lake and considers Pardee among his
favorite destinations. While most of the anglers stayed in the main lake he
decided to run deep into the river to hit some of his most dependable submerged islands
and rockpiles. It was a very cold 35 degrees this morning, but it felt well
below freezing when running at high speed to the first spot. After only ten
minutes of fishing my hands were frozen and utterly useless, and my bum knee was
starting to feel like it was going to come unpinned. Taylor came prepared and
wore Under Armour gloves to shield his hands form the elements, but even with
the gloves on he was feeling the effects of the wind chill too.
Graves is one of the top swimbait anglers on the west and targets fish with the
While the main lake was already getting sunlight the river section is lined with
steep hills on both sides creating a windy and dark section of water in the
morning, and while very cold to fish during winter days like today these conditions
actually helped prolong a quality morning bite.
Professional Angler Cody Meyer
joins the roster at the event
Taylor fished a jig starting
in 30 feet of water and eventually moved all the way down to 50 feet where he
set into his first fish, a healthy smallmouth. “They are
stacked really good off these humps,” Taylor commented. “We want to keep our
jigs in here as long as possible.”
Taylor lands his best smallie of
the day working the underwater ridge with a jig in deep water
We shifted from hump to hump and Taylor picked up a fish at each hump and as we
moved to various parts of the river we also increased our depth all the way to
50 plus feet. As we drifted in front of points and ledges Taylor would alternate
between a 3/4oz. jig with a Yamamoto Hula Grub and a variety of swimbaits,
including 22nd. Century Triple Trout that mimicked the resident Kokanee Salmon.
It didn’t take too long for Taylor to hook up on a swimbait and he successfully
horsed in another three pound largemouth.
Taylor also loves fishing
swimbaits, his favorite is the Triple Trout
Meanwhile in the main lake Cal and Chris had started out fishing what seemed
like the natural first choice, jigs on humps in 40-50 feet of water. After about
ten minutes and no strikes Chris positioned the boat closer to shore and tossed
jigs up against the rocky structure.
With a slow jig bite in the main
lake FLW Pro Chris Zaldain switches to large Lucky Craft 128 jerkbaits and it
Section: Chris rips up a "freak a nature"