Winning Baits

How Jordan Lee won Heavy Hitters at the Kissimmee Chain – again!

Few years back Jordan Lee won the MLF Heavy Hitters on the Kissimmee Chain. Fast forward and he did it again, but in a different way. In 2020 he won it fishing offshore brush. This time he was offshore too, but froggin’ Here’s the deets.

Going in and practice

> “I didn’t really have a plan. About the same week 4 years ago I won there. I won fishing offshore brush…in Toho. I didn’t expect that to be the exact same. I thought that Toho had a decent bit of grass in it, but I wasn’t sure so I just went there with an open mind because I knew it would be different.

> “I didn’t even load any waypoints in…just because of how FL changes so much. So that was my plan…just to keep an open mind. I knew I wanted to fish Toho just for the simple fact that I won there….

> “…we had 3 days of practice. Day 1 I noticed lot of hydrilla in the lake. I was kind of just focusing on fishing the same general area where I won…. I caught some on topwater fishing open water…a walking bait, throwing a dropshot around. I was catching some fish and thought I could do okay but nothing crazy.

> “Day 2 I was fishing on the south end of Toho where tournaments have been won in the past. It’s basically just choked out with hydrilla down there. Mats everywhere…giant field of matted grass, and where it wasn’t matted it was just hydrilla.

> “I started flipping but I wasn’t really feeling the flipping bite because there’s so much grass. I noticed blowholes like on Guntersville where the bass bust through mats. There wasn’t really any bream popping like there is in Guntersville….

> “I picked up my frog thinking, Surely not. My first cast I had one come up on it – a small fish, but 4-5 casts in a row I get bit. Most of them were small…not even setting the hook…didn’t want to have these drag marks coming through there. I was trying to be sneaky about it.

> “I kept going down the mat and ended up getting about 30 bites in an hour or so. I was getting an insane amount of bites and some good fish. I could tell they hadn’t been fished for by the way the grass looked – there wasn’t any frog trails.

> “…needed to bounce around out there and find as many places as I could with fish. So that’s what I did the rest of the day…started getting bit.

> “I knew it would be tough overall, so I pretty much knew that this could be something special. I wasn’t seeing that many boats out there….

> “Day 3 we had some storms coming in. I ran down to try a totally different area…didn’t get many bites. I took out at 10-10:30…but day 2 the bites were plentiful so I knew I would able to put a frog in my hand and kind of mill around.”


> “Day 1 was just incredible how many bites I got…I lost just as many as I caught. I had a pretty good lead on the rest of the field throughout the day.

> “After the 1st day catching as much weight as I did I knew I was gonna be in for day 3. So it was all about strategy then. I needed to eliminate water and expand on what I found. And leave those areas alone and try to manage them. If boats happened to come in where I fished…try to guard that….

> “Day 2 I was trying not to catch a lot but trying to find some new areas….

> “I knew Day 3 wasn’t going to be as easy and it wasn’t. I went to the same general area and the mats looked a lot different – from airboats running through there or local pressure. You can tell by the looks of the grass and the frog tracks where fish are drug out. That made me a little concerned but it was kind of what I was expecting.

> “I hit one good stretch that got me well in the cut. By that point I’m thinking…the final day I really need to focus on those small areas…waypoints in the grass where I’d gotten the most bites and maybe the bigger fish.

> “Especially with the [change to a] 3-lb minimum. I was getting a lot of fish that were 2-2.5 lbs…5, 6, 7 maybe 8 bites per day over 3 lbs. So obviously I knew it would be tough the final day.

> “[Day 4] I get in this mat and catch 3 in 15 minutes that were 3.5-4.75 lbs – all good fish. This 1 mat didn’t look any different but I had caught them there the day before. It had a lot of 2-3 lbers, but a section of it…I knew were good ones.

> “I ended up hitting it from a different angle…catch 2 more. So I caught 5 of my fish out of one 50-yard section fishing it real slow.

> “It was pretty flat out there…in about 5′. [He was looking for] areas where it was really canopied – had a good top on it. If it was not disturbed, a big mat and you could see a couple holes where fish blew up…you could just tell you were gonna get bit.”


> Berkley Swamp Lord frog in gp, maverick (black) and “copperhead.”

> “I had 2-3 different ones tied on. Color didn’t really seem to matter, but I always like throwing the darker colors over that grass. Especially when it gets tough and it’s real bright and sunny out, I feel like that darker color can show up better [to the fish].

> “Compared to a popular-brand frog, I feel like the Swamp Lord is a little softer [and] a little bit bigger profile. So when I’m in those mats like that…I needed something that was gonna weigh down on the mat…where it leave the line on the mat. We call those ‘rat tracks.’ If you throw a small lightweight frog you’re not gonna get that, so the fish are not going to see it or feel it…without adding any extra weights to it.

> “The softness of it, the hookup ratio – I was pretty much perfect the last day landing fish. You gotta land your bites and in frog fishing that’s pretty hard, so having a soft [frog] helps.”

> 7′ 6″ H and 7′ 9″ H Abu Garcia J-Lee Rods (he fished the 7′ 9″ with the rattling frog and around the big ones), Abu REVO STX Reel (8.1), 50-lb Berkley X5 Braid.

Frog fishing deets

> “It wasn’t really until the final day where I really had to change the way I was fishing the frog. The 1st day you could throw it out there any way you wanted to – just reel it in probably and you’re gonna get exploded on. They were super aggressive.

> “The final day…I wasn’t getting bit anymore [in the same spots]. I got into one mat where I’d caught a lot the day before and really had to slow it down. I pulled it, waited a second or 2, maybe even longer, then pulled it again.

> “A lot of times on Guntersville that’s how we fish it – really slow, so the fish have time to see it and react to it. If they’e seen a lot of frogs…most people are fishing it really fast. When you really slow it down, I feel like they get it better and you can coax a bigger bite and get more bites.

> “But you have to know you’re around them because it’s taking about 2 minutes per cast. I’m really bombing it out there. It eats a lot of time…typically I’m working it back halfway to the boat.

> “I took out the skirt and added some jig rattles in one of my frogs, which made a lot more noise. I caught quite a few fish on it throughout the week…mixing it in. I pulled the skirt out, added a little super glue – those jig rattles I had will fit pretty much right into it.

> “Over that matted grass I typically cut down the tails anyways. I want a smaller profile where the fish don’t blow up on the tails or grab the tails. The Swamp Lord is a little bit meatier frog and the skirting material is pretty much irrelevant when you’re fishing it over that stuff.

> “…it looks pretty crazy when you’re just horsing them [to the boat], but if you choose to go in and get those fish, you will mess up an area. Where you would catch 3-5 fish, if you go in and get [a fish] you’re only getting that one. …so pulling them out was the only way to get them.

> “I’ve drug out a lot of fish at Guntersville over the years just like that. That’s pretty much what you do. Don’t go get ’em…stay put.

> “You need to have confidence in your equipment and know it won’t break. Go to a little heavier rod and all that….”


> “I didn’t use anything really except my trails and the mapping. Fishing and waypoint management. I didn’t even really look at depth, which is crazy. I didn’t look at ActiveTarget either.”

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