Tourney Patterns

How Wesley Strader won the KY Lake Bassmaster Elite

Three whole derbies into his Elite Series career, Wesley Strader won one. Not too dang bad! Here’s how he did it — which seems a little complicated because it changed for him every day.

Day 1

> “The first day I started out in a cove on a shad-spawn deal and it wasn’t very productive. So then I switched and fished main-lake docks.

> “I had a good limit by 10:30 so I went and practiced. A lot of stuff I usually catch them off, I never had a bite in practice. I tried again and never had a bite in 3 hours, so I ruled that out and I think that helped me.

> “On the docks were main-lake spawners — fish that don’t go to the coves. I could tell they were spawning…I caught a 6 and a 3 off one dock in the same spot.”

> He fished a PH Custom Lures crank that’s not out yet, called a “W’s Secret” in a shad color called “something special:” white sides, chart on throat, glimmer blue and black back, #4 Trokar TK315 trebles. 7′ 5″ Powell 755 Endurance composite cranking rod, Lew’s Magnesium Reel (6.4, “wind fast”), 16-lb Gamma Edge fluoro.

> Also flipped a Texas-rigged 6″ Big Bite Baits Trick Stick (gp) with a 5/0 Trokar TK130 hook and 1/8-oz Reins Sinker, and culled out 3 later in the day on a SPRO Popping Frog (midnight walker) on 50-lb Gamma Torque braid. “It was a late-afternoon bite on that frog — trees and bushes in pockets.” (Also caught one on it day 3.)

> First he flipped main lake docks, then went to the pockets with the crankbait.

Day 2

> “I fished the shad spawn in pockets. They were spawning around rocks — it was weird. They didn’t really spawn around trees, it had to be rock-oriented.”

> Fished the crank and a 5/8-oz Zorro Wesley Strader Bango Blade spinnerbait (chart/white) with a Zoom Split Tail trailer (white pearl), same rod, reel and line as for cranking.

> Also caught a couple flipping.

Day 3

> “I fished pocket docks — I never went to the main channel docks again after day 1.

> “The fish [bass] were underneath the walkways on day 3, not out on the floats. I was casting the crankbait under the walkways.

> “I caught one fish on the spinnerbait. I flipped and never had a bite.”

Day 4

> “I caught a limit on the spinnerbait and buzzbait in the morning, then when the sun got up the flipping bite was back on again. I was flipping brush in areas I’d never made a cast before in my life.

> “I didn’t catch one on the crankbait. After the sun got good and bright then I ended up catching them on a Zoom Z Craw (white) and a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver (tramp stamp). 5/0 Trokar TK 130 hook, 5/16-oz Reins sinker, 7′ 9″ Powell Endurance 795 Rod, Lew’s Magnesium Reel (7.5), flipping rod, 20-lb Gamma Edge fluoro.

More

> Fish were in 7′ or less.

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