SAN ANTONIO, TX ( March 3, 2020) – The first event of the 2021 season on the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series is just over one week away from kicking off at Kentucky Lake in Henry County and Paris, TN. This year’s Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley is scheduled to take place March 13-14 with takeoff and weigh-in happening at Paris Landing State Park.
Fishing conditions are shaping up to be ideal for an early springtime slugfest out on this famed Tennessee River impoundment. As the event draws closer, anglers will begin to dial in their gameplans and stock up on the gear they need to win this no-entry fee event with a prize payout valued at more than $30,000. In this article, we will take a look at several baits from Berkley that will be key players all throughout the event, especially on Day 2 of competition when anglers are permitted to use only Berkley baits.
During the pre-spawn stage, it is no secret that a lipless crankbait can catch fish all across the country in a variety of different scenarios. Berkley makes one of the most productive lipless crankbaits on the market in the Warpig™. “I’m definitely going to have a Warpig tied on. Kentucky Lake is one of the best lipless crankbait lakes in the spring, and you can’t go wrong doing that,” noted Bailey Bleser, angler for 3rd ranked McKendree University.
Berkley paired its world-class bait design engineers with a team of pro-anglers, which includes hard bait legend and expert, David Fritts, to simply create dream baits. These hard baits capture the essence and action of artfully handcrafted wooden baits with exactness and durability delivered in a synthetic bait. The balanced designs throw straight and far and are consistently ready to run right out of the package without tuning.
“Another bait that’s really making waves right now in the industry from Berkley is the Frittside,” explained Bleser. “I’m going to have multiples of those tied on, different sizes to chuck around. I almost guarantee you that we’ll be weighing some fish on the Frittside.”
Kentucky Lake is a crankbait fisherman’s paradise. Whether you are running it across shallow points & bars, or bouncing the bait off of rocks & wood cover, a crankbait can get a lot of bites this time of the year. The Berkley Frittside™ comes in several different sizes, ranging from a squarebill to a larger round bill version, and can target bass at a variety of depths as they move shallow to spawn.
A swimbait is also guaranteed to be a player throughout the competition. In 2019, Hunter Schneider from Adrian College won this event on a Berkley PowerBait® Power® Swimmer.
It is important to remember that the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley has been contested during the fall each of the last two years. Now that it is back to its regularly scheduled time in March, the Power Swimmer could factor in as part of an umbrella rig. “The umbrella rig with some Power Swimmers from Berkley, that’s really going to weigh some big fish and that may be the one that gets a giant. It’s always a great technique down there in the spring,” added Bleser.
Bailey Bleser from McKendree University is a good source of knowledge regarding Kentucky Lake and the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley. At last year’s event, Bleser won Day 1 Session 1 and finished the event with two fish in the Top 25 overall standings. He has figured out how to pattern those Kentucky Lake giants, and is doing so with an assortment of Berkley baits.
As we concluded our interview with him last week, he left us with this bit of insider info to pass along: “A little secret down on that lake…if that water gets up into the 55 degree range, or even the low 50’s, if you’ve got fish right on the bank wanting to spawn and you put a Pit Boss on a buzzbait…that can get some big bites that time of year.”
To register for the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley, click here.