Florida Bass Fishing Lures - January 2015

After back to back triple-a level bass fishing tournaments held in the state of Florida, we've written a brief rundown of the baits used by the top finishers from each event and a little explanation of how they utilized those lures. The first event, a Bassmaster Southern Open, took place on Lake Toho January 15-17th and was won by Bassmaster Elite Series pro Chad Morgenthaler.

Lake Toho Patterns:

Chad Morgenthaler

Morgenthaler bucked the trend of locking down to the typically more fertile Kissimmee and instead stayed close on lake Toho. Not only did he find a good concentration of big fish, he also gained substantial fishing time by avoiding the now notorious locking process that turned into a circus costing anglers both time and mental anguish.

Morgenthaler relied primarily on one bait during the entirety of the tournament, a Missile Baits Baby D-Bomb in the Bruiser Flash color. This color has proven its merit over the years with a few noteworthy tournament victories and is probably the best selling color in early spring. Morgenthaler targeted outside vegetation clumps which he punched his bait through using a 1oz and 1.5oz tungsten punch weight. His approach was very slow and methodical allowing the bait to soak on the bottom for a few moments before popping it up to the mat and then allowing it to slide back down again. In order to fish the bait through such heavy vegetation mats, he needed a strong braided line which he spooled on a Shimano Chronarch Ci4+ Casting Reel.

Lake Okeechobee

Val Osinski

Osinski is no stranger to the Florida tournament bass fishing scene. In addition to being an accomplished angler, he is also the owner of the popular fishing tackle company, Gambler Lures. His knowledge of the ever-changing conditions would prove to be an essential component in his strategy. Osinski came out of the gates hot with a solid bag of 26lbs on day one of the tournament punching a Gambler Why Not paired with a Gambler KO Punch Skirt through reed heads around matted vegetation. Employing a Fitzgerald Custom Rods Flipping Stick and Daiwa Tatula Reel spooled with Sufix 832 Braided Line he punched through many different consistencies of cover from very heavy to sparse, however, they were always near reed heads. He believes the bass were relating to this type of cover because they were staging to spawn, but this wave hadn't made their way to the beds yet.

On day two of the tournament, he struggled early after his area was discovered by a larger number of competitors so he decided to make a change and move to some other productive water. After catching a small limit, he returned to his primary location and made a key adjustment to his presentation. As he was pulling his bait out of the vegetation to make another pitch, he was bit. The bite was vicious and surprising. This one bite clued him in that the fish were more prone to strike out of reaction and he therefore upped his weight size and changed his bait to present a quicker fall rate and more claw action. After this crucial change, he made it look easy bringing another big bag to the scales day three and winning the event by 12lbs.

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