Greico’s Gamble Pays Off - Major League Fishing

Greico’s Gamble Pays Off

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March 16, 2022 • Kyle Wood • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

LEESBURG, Fla. – Success in tournament bass fishing is a mix of having a solid game plan, trusting your instincts and maybe a bit of luck, and when they all come together special things can happen.

Case in point, Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Fuel Me rookie Christian Greico at Bass Boat Technologies Stop 2 on the Harris Chain of Lakes Presented by Frogg Toggs. The Tampa, Florida, pro knew exactly what he wanted to do when he saw the Harris Chain on the schedule and he executed it flawlessly.

“I liked the timeframe of this event a lot because I knew it gave those fish an opportunity to move to some postspawn areas that maybe some of the other guys wouldn’t really know about or key in on,” Greico said. “So in practice, I hit a few shell bars and saw they were out there, then I knew a lot could happen and I could have a really good shot (at winning).”

Greico spent the first three days of the event running around Lake Harris fishing shell bars with mixed results. Though he caught 15 pounds, 11 ounces and 22-5 over the first two days, the young pro quickly realized his shell bite was fading.

“The first three days I really leaned on those shell bars,” said the 23-year-old pro. “I caught a 5-pounder the second day flipping a Kissimmee grass line, but primarily I was just on those shell bars.

“After yesterday, that bite was just deteriorating on me. I wasn’t getting near as many bites as I had been the past few days.”

To pluck fish schooled up on shell bars in 10 to 12 feet of water, Greico relied solely on a Carolina rig. His setup was a 7-foot, 6-inch, heavy-power 13 Fishing Muse Black rod with an 8.3:1 gear ratio 13 Fishing Concept C2 reel spooled with 20-pound-test fluorocarbon. On the business end, a ¾-ounce weight pulled around either a Googan Baits Slim Shake or a Googan Baits Dart. But after scraping together just 11-4 on Day 3 to barely slide into the Top 10, Greico knew he had to make a change.

“I looked at the weather last night and the weather looked like it would set up good for (Lake) Apopka I thought,” Greico said. “Especially for where I wanted to fish down on the south end because the wind was going to be blowing out of the south and all that stuff wasn’t going to get blown out.

“I decided to start on the shell again this morning just to see if by any chance they were biting and once I drug through there for about 10 or 15 minutes and didn’t get a bite I knew it probably wasn’t going to happen out there.”

That’s when trusting his instincts and local savvy took over.

“I needed to make the decision to run down (to Apopka),” Greico explained. “It took me about 5 minutes before I got my first bite and that’s when I knew it could happen.”

Getting the ball rolling with some 2-pounders, Greico was happy he was getting bites flipping a Googan Baits Nuke Punch on a ¾-ounce weight, but knew that caliber of fish wasn’t going to get the job done.

“I knew with all those fish biting it was only a matter of time before I caught a few big ones,” he said. “Flipping is what I love doing and have the most confidence in, so I knew if I could keep that flipping stick in my hand all day and I was getting bites, it’d only be a matter of time to get some big bites.”

Call it luck. Call it fate. Call it perfect timing, or a combination of it all, but Greico finally came across a big bite with minutes to spare in his day.

“I caught (the 6-pounder) at about 1:30 and I told myself the latest I had to leave Apopka was going to be 1:45,” he said. “So I caught that fish, threw it in the ‘well and started heading back because I knew I had a good bag – I didn’t know it was the winning bag – but I knew it was a good bag.”

That kicker bumped his total weight for the day up over 18 pounds, which turned out to be more than enough to give him the biggest win of his career. It proved all the hard work on the water, along with time and money spent fishing local derbies, Phoenix Bass Fishing League and Toyota Series events, has paid off.

“It means a lot to win,” Greico said. “It’s crazy how fast everything happened, from qualifying to fish the Pro Circuit and now here we are at the second tournament taking home the win. It’s crazy how fast it happened, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

“It’s a huge confidence booster that this is where I’m meant to be and where I can have my career bass fishing. Going toe-to-toe with some of the best guys is an honor to compete against them and I just love catching bass.”

Outside of fishing the Pro Circuit, Greico is all-in on his YouTube channel, which only further proves his love for the sport of fishing. Given the fact he just won $100,000 and doesn’t have to go to work tomorrow, the young pro plans on taking the responsible way to celebrate the W.

“I’ll probably just drive home and go to bed pretty early tonight,” laughed Greico. “I’ve been at it for a while here. I’ll just put the money in the bank, save it up, because it gets expensive chasing around these bass.”

Top 10 Pros

1. Christian Greico – 18 – 05 (5) – $100,000

2. Andrew Loberg – 16 – 13 (5) – $30,000

3. Shonn Goodwin – 16 – 00 (5) – $25,000

4. Corey Neece – 15 – 01 (5) – $20,000

5. Mark Rose – 14 – 14 (5) – $20,300

6. Jason Reyes – 14 – 14 (5) – $18,000

7. Grae Buck – 11 – 08 (5) – $17,000

8. Grant Galloway – 10 – 14 (5) – $16,000

9. Jeff Reynolds – 10 – 11 (4) – $15,000

10. Michael Neal – 9 – 12 (5) – $14,000

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