From shallow bars to deep ledges, the offshore bite on Pickwick was the deal for the majority of the field in the second stop of the Toyota Series Central Division. Because the offshore bite reigned supreme, it’s no surprise that the lures thrown by the top 10 pros were standard issue for the Tennessee River this time of year.
If you’re heading out on the Tennessee River anytime soon, or just want to catch some fish offshore, you might want to give the baits below a try.
1. Despite all the new technical ledge-fishing lures on the market today, Jacob Wheeler stuck to some tried-and-true ledge staples to win at Pickwick. His primary player was a Rapala DT20 tied to 12-pound Sufix Advance fluorocarbon. He also caught key fish on an Accent 1-ounce Ole Big spinnerbait. If fish didn’t cooperate on the big lures, he broke out the standard Texas-rigged worm consisting of a Googan Baits Lunker Log (green pumpkin blue) teamed with a 3/8-ounce weight.
2. Buddy Gross’ gizzard shad imitators for the week included a Scottsboro Tackle Sniper Shad swimbait teamed with a 1-ounce Softbill Sniper Head 2.0, a 5-inch Zoom Swimmer rigged with a Ledgehead Lures swimbait insert or a Big Daddy Baits ¾-ounce hair jig.
3. When probing Pickwick’s deep ledges down to 25 feet in heavy current, Michael Bean had to rely on a Carolina-rigged Lake Fork Ring Fry Worm weighted down with a 1 1/2-ounce weight. He also dragged a D&L Tackle Football jig teamed with a Strike King Rage Craw.
4. Michael Brewer used a Castaic 5-inch Jerky J swimbait (green shad) paired with a Davis Baits Shaky Fish to imitate Pickwick’s big gizzard shad on his shad spawn areas.
5. Justin Atkins kept it simple this week on Pickwick’s shallower bars, throwing a 10-inch Berkley PowerBait Power Worm (blue fleck) with a 3/8-ounce weight. When probing deeper ledges, he opted for a Berkley Dredger 25.5 crankbait (splatter back in color).
6. Marshall Deakins paired a Scottsboro Tackle Company Sniper Shad swimbait with ¾-ounce Softbill Sniper Head for his largemouth work in 6 to 8 feet of water. For his smallmouth work out in 15 to 20 feet he relied on a Scottsboro Tackle Company ¾-ounce Hellcat football jig with a twin-tail trailer.
7. Brent Anderson’s primary player in his ledge fishing line up was a unique five-bladed spinnerbait called the True Bass BA Spinner Multi-Blade Spinnerbait. The model he used was 1 1/4-ounce version tipped with large curl-tail trailer.
8. John Murray dragged shallower ledges in the 7- to 10-foot range with an 8-inch Gene Larew Tattletail worm rigged on an 11/16-ounce Biffle Hardhead as well as a ¾-ounce BOOYAH football jig teamed with a double-tail trailer.
9. Jimmy Washam’s lure rotation involved primarily a Black Bass Tackle Industries ¾-ounce Crawler Jig teamed with a Strike King Rage Lobster. In addition he also used a 5.8-inch Keitech Swing Impact FAT swimbait on a ¾-ounce swimbait head and a Strike King 5XD.
10. Ricky Robinson’s single lure of choice for the week was a Driftwood Custom Baits 5-inch swimbait in two colors: chick light and chick dark. He rigged two versions of the swimbait: one on a ½-ounce Berkley Fusion19 swimbait head and the other on a MGC Custom Tackle ¾-ounce jig.