JESSE WIGGINS: Some Fall Topwater Now, Some Smallmouth Next Season - Major League Fishing

JESSE WIGGINS: Some Fall Topwater Now, Some Smallmouth Next Season

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Jesse Wiggins explains his offseason plans and what he's looking forward to in 2021. Photo by Phoenix Moore
November 26, 2020 • Jesse Wiggins • Angler Columns

It’s officially my offseason. I know, the Bass Pro Tour season ended a while ago, but I just wrapped up my last MLF Cup of the year, so now we wait until the 2021 season. Although my offseason just started and we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, I plan on staying pretty busy.

Right now, I mostly get my hunting done during the week and my fishing done on the weekends. I plan on spending my weekends entering any local tournaments I can find, especially the ones on Smith Lake here at home. I actually won a tournament a couple of weeks ago and then again this past weekend on Smith Lake with my brother Jordan in the boat with me. We’re actually using his boat to fish out of right now, since I’ve already sold my boat and I’m waiting for my new one.

Some Favorite Fall Baits

My brother and I won that tournament a couple of weeks ago using a topwater bait. The fish school up on Smith Lake in the fall, so a topwater really catches ‘em well this time of the year.

My brother kind of thinks the same way I do when we’re out there on the water, so we usually take turns in the front and back of the boat. Luckily, we have that trust with one another and can still perform well no matter where either of us are in the boat.

I really like a Jackall Riser Bait 007 in the fall. It’s a smaller bait, maybe only like 2 1/2 inches long, and you reel it in on top of the water. It makes a tiny little wake like a minnow does when it’s running on the surface. I use it on pressured bass, especially spotted bass, because it’s so subtle.

There are not many baits out there that are that small and can stay on top of the water like this one can.

Some Things to Look Forward To

This offseason is also really going to be about spending time with my family and my son.

I became a first-time dad in April right when the pandemic really hit us hard. While you never want a global pandemic to wreak havoc on your life, I tried to find a silver lining and I think I found it in my son. To be able to have this time with him at such a young age is huge for me. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have that much time in the middle of a fishing season to spend with him again, so I’m glad I made it count this year.

I’m excited I get even more time with him this fall and winter.

As I look ahead to what the 2021 season holds, I can’t help but turn my focus to the amazing smallmouth fisheries we’re going to visit. With COVID canceling our 2020 events that were supposed to be on Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence River, I’m really happy those two places made it back on the schedule for next year.

Plus, we have another trip up north to Michigan to end the season I have circled on the calendar.

I’m looking forward to getting back out there and competing against the best, but I’m also going to enjoy this off time while I have it.