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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

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Event Article

Twilight of a new generation, Bassin' Young Guns Shoot it out at Pardee (continued)

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.

Taylor 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.

Russ Graves is one of the top swimbait anglers on the west and targets fish with the Hudd

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 pays off


Next Section: Chris rips up a "freak a nature"









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