BASS Smith Mountain Lake Winning Baits, Gear & Patterns

Skeet Resse's Winning Pattern, Baits & Gear

Winning Pattern:

Bucking the sightfishing trend and primarily working a swimbait, the Auburn, Calif., pro left the competition in the dust - his closest competitor was Jason Williamson more than the 14 pounds behind. Reese amassed 78 pounds, 1 ounce of Smith Mountain Lake bass to take his fifth Bassmaster victory at the Evan Williams Bourbon Blue Ridge Brawl.

"I worked my tail off this week and I burned through a ton of water," said Reese, the 2007 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year. "I knew it can be a grind here and you're never guaranteed to catch them so I never felt comfortable, even until the end. But it was a great week and it's special to win like this."

Reese said the swimbait - a 6-inch Rago SKT Swimmer in light hitch - was key for two reasons. One, it was large enough to entice the right bites. Additionally, the color and design mimicked bluegill, a main forage on Smith Mountain.

Reese's conviction in the swimbait was important as well. On Friday, nearly two-thirds through his competition day, he only had two fish in the boat. And he began to question his technique. "I knew that these fish aren't necessarily used to seeing bigger lures," he said. "But there are some bigger fish in this lake and they are capable of eating bigger baits. That's why I stuck to my guns."

Winning Gear:

Swimbait gear: 7'6" medium-heavy Wright & McGill Skeet Reese signature Tessera swimbait/Carolina rig rod, Abu Garcia Revo Skeet Reese casting reel (6.4:1 ratio), 20-pound Berkley Trilene 100% fluorocarbon line, unnamed 1/0 treble hook, 6" Jerry Rago SKT Swimmer (light hitch).

Sight-fishing gear: 6'8" medium-action Wright & McGill Skeet Reese signature Tessera shakey-head rod, Abu Garcia Soron spinning reel, 8-pound Berkley Trilene 100% fluorocarbon line, 1/0 Trokar dropshot hook, wacky-rigged 6" Berkley Powerbait Heavy Weight Sinkworm (watermelon).

"As a whole, I don't think too many guys really committed to throwing the swimbait - most of them were looking and not fishing," he said. "That front that came in really opened the door for me - when the wind blows, it breaks up the light and pushes the baitfish around and does everything you need to make the bigger fish more active.

Main Factor: "Committing to the big bait on day 3 and swinging for the fence with those conditions. I gave up sight-fishing and went big that day, and it was a game-changer."

Performance Edge: "That swimbait rod is perfectly designed for those baits and that gave me a performance advantage, as well as the 100% fluorocarbon in the clear water. I also have to give props to my Wiley X sunglasses and my MotorGuide trolling motor - I was getting 8 hours a day out of a 101-pound thrust motor."

Slamming The Door April 19, 2010. (

Smith Mountain Elite Winning Pattern April 21, 2010. (

Jason Williamson's Pattern, Baits & Gear


Jason Williamson took the lead on day 1 with the biggest bag of the tournament and retained it on day 2 despite coming in nearly 8 1/2 pounds lighter, but he spent the second half of the event gazing up at Reese once the wind started blowing and the Californian started going wild with the swimbait.

One of the keys to his finish was time management. "I didn't spend a lot of time on the smaller (fish) I found - I was only interested in the bigger ones," he said. "In a tournament like this you can spend too much time on 2 1/2-pounders when you could be 10 or 15 minutes away from finding a 3- or 4-pounder."

He alternated between two different baits on two different rigs, depending on the mood of the individual fish he was working on. He also threw a swimbait between stops as a locator tool - when he'd get one to chase it, he'd back off the trolling motor and attempt to find its bed.


Heavy sight-fishing gear: 7'3" medium-heavy Duckett Fishing Micro Magic rod, Johnny Morris Signature Series casting reel (6.4:1 ratio), 17-pound McCoy Fluoro 100% Fluoro line, unnamed 1/4-ounce tungsten weight, 4/0 Trokar worm hook, 6-inch Zoom lizard (chartreuse/pepper).

Light sight-fishing gear: 7' medium-action Duckett Fishing Micro Magic rod, Johnny Morris signature series casting reel, 6- or 8-pound McCoy Fluoro 100% Fluoro line, 3/16-ounce Buckey Lures Spot Remover jighead, Zoom Trick Worm (green-pumpkin).

Swimbait gear: 7'3" medium-heavy Duckett Fishing Micro Magic rod, Johnny Morris Signature Series casting reel (6.4:1 ratio), 15-pound McCoy Fluoro 100% Fluoro line, Sebile Magic Swimmer 125 (green halo).

Smith Mt. Patterns 2-5 April 20, 2010. (

Dean Rojas' Pattern, Baits & Gear


Dean Rojas was pretty much squared away on what he'd do at Smith Mountain shortly after he launched his boat on the first practice day. "When I saw what the water temperatures were, that pretty much clued me in," he said. "I went to some areas where I'd caught fish in the past and just put things together from there. I devoted all 3 practice days to sight-fishing."

He ran up the Roanoke River and fished water that was more stained than the main body. Still, he could see and catch fish that were 5 feet deep or shallower. "I fished from the mouth of the river all the way up, just finding little pockets and stuff," he said. "Whenever I thought I needed to catch one I'd move a little farther up."


Sight-fishing gear: 7' medium-heavy Quantum Tour Edition PT rod, Quantum Tour Edition PT casting reel (6.3:1 ratio), 17- and 20-pound Izorline monofilament line, 4/0 Gamakatsu EWG Superline hook, unnamed 3/16-ounce tungsten weight, Big Bite Bait Fighting Frog (Vegas flash) or X-Factor Busy Beaver (easy money).

Frog gear: 7' medium-heavy Qunatum Tour Dean Rojas rod, same reel (7.3:1 ratio), 65-pound Izorline braid, Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye frog (real red).

Smith Mt. Patterns 2-5 April 20, 2010. (

Terry Scroggins' Pattern, Baits & Gear


Terry Scroggins was another guy who devoted his entire practice to looking for bed-fish. "I knew that was all I was going to do after the first hour of the first practice day," he said. "There were a lot of fish up and they were scattered out everywhere." He was frequently on the move during the tournament and was able to find new fish each day. He caught some from 2 feet of water and others were as deep as 6 feet. "I just ran that Triton all around and covered as much water as I could. When I found one, whether it was brown or green (smallmouth or largemouth), I'd stop and try to catch it. "There didn't seem to be a lot of rhyme or reason as to where they were. I caught them off points, out of the backs of pockets and everywhere in between.


Sight-fishing gear: 7' heavy-action Duckett Fishing Micro Magic rod, Team Daiwa Zillion casting reel (6.3:1 ratio), 20-pound Hi-Seas fluorocarbon line, 1/4-ounce XCalibur tungsten sinker, 4/0 Gamakatsu straight-shank hook, Yum Money Craw (nest robber).

He also caught a few on a shakey-head rig with a 6-inch Yum Houdini Worm, but all were culled out.

Smith Mt. Patterns 2-5 April 20, 2010. (

Matt Reed's Pattern, Baits & Gear


Matt Reed basically spent the tournament in scramble mode after the midway point on day 2, when he'd exhausted all the bed-fish he'd found in practice. He pulled some from water as deep as 6 feet. "I burned them up really good and they weren't replenishing, so I had to keep looking for new ones," he said. "Whatever the water clarity was, they were usually right on the edge of visibility. "I wasn't traveling too many miles at first, but I eventually had to start expanding." Like Williamson, he employed both heavy and light rigs.


Heavy sight-fishing gear: 7' medium-heavy Pro Qualifier rod, Johnny Morris Signature Series casting reel (6.3:1 ratio), 14- or 17-pound XPS fluorocarbon line, 3/8-ounce Booyah jig (green-pumpkin/orange) or 1/4-ounce Chompers Stand-Up jighead, Yum Money Craw (white).

Light sight-fishing gear: 7' medium-action Qualifier rod, Johnny Morris Signature Series spinning reel, 10-pound XPS fluorocarbon line, unnamed 1/8-ounce bullet weight, unnamed 1/0 hook, Texas-rigged 2 3/4-inch Yum Craw Papi (molting craw).

Smith Mt. Patterns 2-5 April 20, 2010. (

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