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During the summer of 2014, prior to the release of the 2015 Elite Series schedule, Alton Jones and his son, Alton, Jr., made a trip to the St. Lawrence River for some fun fishing. As it turned out, the experience came in handy for the elder Jones last week.

Jones said he caught the bulk of his weight off some of the spots he and his son fished and the trip served a valuable learning tool.

“I learned the river a lot better and how it fishes and how to attack current and where to push the panic button and be able find largemouth, even on day 4 when they hadn’t been picked over,” Jones said. “We were here just having fun, no pressure.”

Jones established a couple patterns right away in practice. He targeted deeper areas that had a combination of grass and rock with a dropshot rig.

“If there was an eddy in the current and that intersected the grass and rock, if you could find those three coming together, that’s dynamite for smallmouth on a big river,” he said.

When he went shallow, he went down the inside weed line until he found some rock or a point.

“The fish were on those shallow rocks on the inside weed line,” he said. “I fished without hooks in practice because I felt like if I caught one shallow, I wouldn’t have caught them in the tournament.

“When I’d get a bite up shallow, I’d ease up and see them. You didn’t have to fish for them. They weren’t bedding. They were just up there gorging on gobies. When the gobies leave the shallow water, the bass will leave with them.”

With his smallmouth areas starting to fade on the final day, he targeted largemouth in order to get a limit.

“That was an inside weed line in a backwater,” he said. “It was mostly sand, but every 400 to 500 yards there’d be piles of rocks the size of a truck hood. I had seven or eight of those and there were fish on all of them.”

> Dropshot gear: 6’9” medium-heavy Kistler Helium 2 spinning rod, unnamed spinning reel, 15-pound unnamed braided main line, 8-pound Silver Thread fluorocarbon line (5-foot leader), 1/0 Gamakatsu EWG worm hook, Texas-rigged YUM Warning Shot (green-pumpkin), 1/8-, 3/16- and 1/4-oz. unnamed dropshot weights.

> Jones tried to stay as light as he could with the weight depending on the conditions – he used 1/8 oz. when shallow, 3/16 out deep and 1/4 when the wind kicked up. He wanted the most natural fall possible on his bait.

> Tube gear: Same rod, same reel, 8-pound Silver Thread fluorocarbon line, 3/16- and 1/4-oz. unnamed tube jigs, YUM tube (green-pumpkin).

> He said the key to keeping the smallmouth buttoned up was playing them out. The fish he lost seemed to throw the hook the first time they jumped. Full Story At BassFan.com

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