As is standard on most lakes with grass, a chatterbait was a key lure for most of the top finishers. Sheldon Collings relied almost exclusively on a white and chartreuse homemade 1/2 ounce vibrating jig to weigh in all of his fish. The bass were staging in the grass in 6 to 9 feet of water outside of large spawning flats.
Interestingly, Sheldon’s presentation was not the typical “reel and hang on” approach that most anglers use when fishing a Chatterbait style lure. Instead, he would slowly lift and drag the bait, using it more-so like a jig along the bottom. This presentation allowed the less-aggressive bass of Lake Seminole to track the lure and come find it in the grass – it’s also a seldom talked about, but very productive technique on grass lakes where bass are less active.
One of the other key presentations to fish the grass was fishing a worm. Although some anglers opted for a Texas-rigged presentation, while others relied upon Neko rigs, or weightless presentations, all shared the same application – fishing slowly through an area and allowing the lure to sit in front of a bass for as long as possible.
With the fishing as tough as it was on Lake Seminole, fishing a worm allows for keeping a bait in the strike zone for long periods of time. Fishing a worm in the grass helped keep the bait low and slow near the bottom, but also in the bass’ face, coaxing them to bite.
What was expected to dominate this event in weeks prior, turned out being an afterthought – only credited as being a big player for Terry Bolton and his insane 27 pound bag on the final day of the tournament. Terry realized that with the warming trend throughout the week, that if he made it to Championship Sunday, he’d be able to go shallow and put his eyes to work.
Terry credited his Costa sunglasses as playing a key role in his ability to find sand spots among the shallow grass. These sand spots were the very last areas the bass would touch before getting up on beds, so he’d push shallow with is trolling motor and use his eyes to look for bass locked on beds or cruising around shallow grass clumps in 1-4 feet of water.
To catch these shallow sight fish, he relied on a Neko-rigged Zoom Fluke Stick and a 1/0 or 2/0 VMC Weedless Neko hook with a 1/16 ounce weight. He’d cast this on light spinning gear with 10-pound test Sufix braid to 8-pound Sufix Fluorocarbon line.