Major League Fishing pro Skeet Reese

SEBASTIAN, Florida – Competing against a Florida native (defending MLF General Tire World Champion Bobby Lane) and a field of pros with a total of 22 tour-level Top 10s in the Sunshine State, Northern California pro Skeet Reese relied on some history to boost him to his Shotgun Round win at the 2018 World Championship.

Some DEEP history.

“I remember watching Roland Martin on television maybe 30 years ago, catching all these giant limits of bass on Lake Okeechobee on a spinnerbait,” Reese said after piling up 71 pounds, 15 ounces of largemouth on Lake Garcia en route to a 12-plus-pound win. “I don’t have a lot of history in Florida – at least, not like Bobby (Lane) or even Kevin (VanDam) do – but it dawned on me before we came here that we had the potential to fish some bodies of water with big fish, where a bigger spinnerbait might come into play.”

Reese’s suppositions proved to be correct in Period 3. After steadily racking up 55-7 through the first two periods on a silver-bladed, ½-ounce vibrating jig, Reese pulled out a ¾-ounce gold, double-willow spinnerbait with a white/chartreuse skirt and added nine fish and 25-8 to SCORETRACKER to pull away from Mike Iaconelli and Aaron Martens.

“I just needed something bigger, with a larger profile, more vibration and more flash,” Reese said. “I’d lost a few throughout the day on the vibrating jig and felt like a bigger bait would be a good idea. Roland would catch these big fish on big spinnerbaits when it was windy and overcast, it just seemed like everything was adding up to a bigger bait like that.”

Reese’s rigging: Reese fished both the vibrating jig and spinnerbait on 20-pound Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon spooled on a 6.3:1 Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Series Victory 2 reel, and a 7-foot Wright & McGill moderate-action Skeet Reese Performance Series spinnerbait/worm rod. 

Reese fished the wind: Most of Reese’s fish were positioned in 2 feet of water in the 1- to 6-foot acreage of Garcia. As Shotgun Round 1 winner Andy Montgomery found out a day earlier, deeper water was a key.

“The areas I ended up catching most of my fish in had the deepest water in the lake,” Reese confirmed. “I keyed on wind-blown stuff: anywhere with a point, grass wall or ledge that the wind was pushing into. I really wasn’t sure what baitfish were in that lake – maybe tilapia, maybe bluegill – so I kinda had all the baitfish patterns covered with the green pumpkin and chartreuse/white jig trailers. I caught them pretty good on chartreuse/white early on, but I missed a lot of fish, too, so I made a color change somewhere in the second period, which helped.”

NOTES: Mike McClelland started his morning off with a bang, scoring a 7-10 an hour into Period 1, the biggest fish of the day … defending World Champion Lane got off to a sluggish start with only 8-3 in Period 1, but amassed some critical carry-over weight for the cumulative Elimination Round with a pair of 5-plus-pounders in Period 3.