Thursday, August 27, 2015
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Bassmaster.com Blog

Spring Bass Tips with Alton Jones Field & Stream

By Mark Hicks
Q: How do I find productive grass and fish it right? On my lake, it dies down during the winter.

A: One of the easiest ways to locate this cover now is to watch for flocks of coots and black ducks. These birds almost invariably sit and feed over shallow weeds like milfoil, hydrilla, and

Shallow Was The Ticket For Both Species

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

 
2nd: Largemouth Saved Jones

Photo BASS Gary Tramontina Like Evers, Jones has spent much of this season trying to recover from a poor showing at the Sabine River (92nd). The runner-up finish, the third of his Elite Series career, will go a long way in that effort as he’s moved into the Top 20 in AOY points.

“I’m happy with second,” he said. “When you go in with a chance to win and it doesn’t happen, it still stings a bit. It’s so hard to win out here and when you get a chance to walk through that door, you try to do everything you can.”

He felt like he’d exhausted his smallmouth areas today and targeted largemouth for a time to fill out his limit. Once he did that, he went back to drifting a dropshot and made a 2-pound upgrade with a smallmouth later in the day.

“I panicked a little around 10:30 this morning and went after largemouth,” he said. “I had to get my straight. I felt myself getting flustered, but that got me settled down.

“I needed points really bad and I’ve been clawing my back into it slowly. This helps give me momentum in my push to the Classic.” Final Day Story - Altons Final Day - Day 4 behind the scenes

 
Jones from 6th to 3rd at St. Lawrence

Jones caught 18-14 to move from sixth to third with 57-8. He said his day could have been much better if he could have landed the biggest fish that bit.

“I had a chance today to have the heaviest sack of the tournament, but I just lost fish,” Jones said. “One of them was on a jerkbait, and it was a giant. It was an honest-to-goodness 6-pound smallmouth. Then I jumped off another 4 1/2-pounder and a 4-pounder.” Read Story

 
Spring Bass Tips with Alton Jones Field & Stream

By Mark Hicks
Q: How do I find productive grass and fish it right? On my lake, it dies down during the winter.

A: One of the easiest ways to locate this cover now is to watch for flocks of coots and black ducks. These birds almost invariably sit and feed over shallow weeds like milfoil, hydrilla, and

 
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