Featured Image Credit: Josh Gassmann
Stage 5 of the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour at Smith Lake is a wrap. ANGLR Expert Dave Lefebre made it through the Elimination Round and finished 33rd in the Knockout Round. We caught up with Lefebre for a little Q&A recap of his event.
Bass Pro Tour Stage 5: Finding the Right Bites
I thought I was on the fish to win for about the third time this year, so Smith was kind of disappointing. But it went pretty good really. I think this is my fourth time going there and it’s been totally different every time. I’m always excited to go back because I want to build on what I did the last time but I never can get the same thing to work twice.
I saw the shad spawn deal happening, but I don’t like doing that. It can burn you bad. I knew it was happening and I knew if I couldn’t find anything else in the morning, that I would have to try it in one of the few places I found it. But those places seemed like community holes to me. I felt like everybody found the same ones I did.
So, I just spent my two practice mornings trying to get bit just fishing around.
On day one, I went to my first shad spawn place right near the ramp and nobody was there. So I started on a point that I thought somebody might fish that was 100 yards away. I was sitting there Power-Poled down for about 20 minutes and then Rojas pulled up on that shad spawn place and proceeded to jack them. He caught like a 4-something and a bunch of other ones. And I was catching them too but it was tough not to have all that to myself. Faircloth and Tharp also fished in that same area.
Bass Pro Tour Stage 5: What was Dave targeting?
In the morning, even though I didn’t witness an actual shad spawn where I was fishing, I was still fishing around a lot of bait. That whole creek was loaded with bait. I was covering a ton of water with a white Terminator Swim Jig. It seemed like you could have done that all day but I didn’t feel like I was catching them quite fast enough, so I just started point hopping with a Yamamoto California Roll worm on a 1/8th ounce Hammer Head shaky head by Fish Head.
Bass Pro Tour Stage 5: Dave’s Lesson Learned
I think I caught 28 fish the first day, 24 the second day and 12 on the third day. I had the second or third most fish after the first two days. I strictly tried to catch numbers until the last day and that’s where I screwed up. I think I could have easily made the top 10 if I had just stuck to my game plan. I found fish that were 40 miles away in practice and I decided to run to them. But once that didn’t work I couldn’t fall back and catch enough of the little fish to keep up.
On that day I just let curiosity get the best of me and get in my head. Photo Credit: Josh Gassmann
If we hadn’t had that weather delay I believe I would have been fishing the Championship Round. I had my mind made up that I was just going to continue to do what I was doing and pace myself. But I had to sit there and think for an extra two hours and ended up changing my mind in the truck.
I had practiced way up in a place where I won a Tour event with FLW and had some enormous bites up there in practice. One was a 7-pounder…. on Smith… and then another 5…. I just couldn’t get it out of my head during that weather delay and I couldn’t imagine myself not going there. But I think that lightening just pushed all those largemouth down. A lot of the guys that didn’t catch them that day were the largemouth guys.
I think that’s the coolest thing about this format is that it is so different. When I left FLW and went to BASS a few years ago, all of a sudden it was no net time. I was so used to using a net. So I went out and practiced landing fish without a net on these lakes up here where I can catch 200 a day. Practiced landing big smallmouth all different ways. I had to change and evolve and that’s what’s so cool about this. It’s like we’re all babies again and our senses have all opened up and we have to learn how to compete all over again.
I should have stuck to my game plan. Photo Credit: Phoenix Moore
Bass Pro Tour Stage 5: Table Rock Up Next
I’m looking forward to Table Rock next. That’s one of those places where I always go with the mindset of catching numbers anyway. It’s one of the few places where I really go expecting to catch a hundred fish or more that week. I think it’s a perfect location for this format.
Dave’s Primary Gear for Smith Lake
Bait: Yamamoto California Roll
Jighead: 1/8th ounce Hammer Head
Line: 50 pound test Sufix 832
This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert
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