Tourney Patterns

Brett Hite’s Cayuga baits and patterns


Brett “I only fish bladed jigs” Hite finished 3rd at last weekend’s Bassmaster Elite Series event on Cayuga Lake, NY, and of course threw a bladed jig. But not only that. Here’s what he did.

> “It was a power-finesse tournament for me. During practice I found all the fish I found winding an Evergreen Jackhammer bladed jig [a Japan-only bait], anywhere from 3/8- to 3/4-oz depending on how deep the grass was.

> “They were all largemouths in the north end. The bottom was in 10′ — lanes and points [in the grass].

> “As the tournament progressed it got hot, calm and sunny. I’d catch ’em on the bladed jig in the morning. Most of them I caught on the 3/4-oz Jackhammer (green pumpkin) with a 4” Yamamoto Zako trailer (green pumpkin). [The Zako is a new-for-ICAST bait. “Zako” apparently means “small fish” in Japanese. He also fished this bait combo at the Winyah Bay Elite where he finished 2nd.]

> “I cast out to the end of where the grass was, counted it down 3-5 seconds, then slow-rolled it. When I hit a piece of grass, I’d pop it out of there.


> “When it was calm and the sun was up, I’d switch to a wacky-rigged 6.5” Yamamoto Kut Tail Worm in watermelon candy with an O-ring on it and 3/32-oz Reins tungsten nail weight [in the fat end], with a 1/0 nose hook. I was casting it out and lifting it up off the bottom — I shook it when it hit a piece of structure like a rock.


> “My best spot on days 1-3 I found with the Jackhammer. A big school came up so I knew there were a lot of fish. Come to find out there was a big open area in the grass with a rockpile. So I’d catch a couple on the jackhammer, trying different angles, then finesse-fish them.

> “Even during the middle of the day, if the wind would blow I could catch them on the Jackhammer.

> “I fished the Jackhammer on a 7′ 3” Evergreen Leopard heavy-action glass rod, Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R reel (6.3) and 20-lb Sunline FC Sniper.

> [Why an all-glass rod:] “You have to think of that bait as more like a crankbait. Fish have a tendency to eat it very aggressively. The biggest misconception is people look at a bladed jig and put it on a jig rod. You need to treat it more like a crankbait. You need something more forgiving. There’s always a parabolic bend in the rod, so it doesn’t allow slack in the line when you’re fighting fish.

> “For the Kut Tail Worm I used a 7′ 1” Daiwa Steez AGS spinning rod (medium), Daiwa Exist 2500 reel and Sunline 16-lb braid to an 8-lb Sunline FC Sniper fluoro leader.

> [Why the Kut Tail worm over a Senko] “The Kut Tail is longer and skinnier, it has a little better action.”

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