Small Waters Strategies – Florida natural lakes

Small Waters Strategies – Florida natural lakes

Mar 23, 2013

Patrick Sebile’s Bass Fishing Approach

By Mike Pehanich

Patrick Sebile, founder and creator of Sebile Innovative Fishing Lures, part of the Pure Fishing brand family has amassed more rod & reel records than any man alive. How then would this renowned globe-trotting angler approach bass fishing on a small lake?

I had the chance to find out when I joined the French angler and redfish professional Travis Tucker on a 70-acre lake in Polk County, Florida, on an overcast day in February.

Patrick Sebile takes a different approach to bass fishing than most pros. He positions his boat in a high percentage area. Then he fancasts with a fast moving back, like the Sebile Flatt Shad or Snagless Flatt Shad, following up with a slower moving bait like the Sebile Soft Magic Shad or AT Worm.

Sebile does not approach bass fishing like a touring pro. Rather he draws his strategy from his incomparable breadth of angling experience. He has fished on every continent but Antarctica and in countless nations. He has caught over 700 species of fish, a fact that he cherishes even more than his hundreds of regional and world records.

But I will let him explain his bass fishing strategy himself as he did to me as he sized up and picked apart this grassy Florida lake.

Big bass are rarely the most "catchable" bass, so catching them often calls for a "change-up" presentation.


Says Patrick:

“In typical power fishing for bass, the angler is in front of his boat. He has control of his electric motor with his feet. He follows, say, 20 or 30 yards from the shoreline. He moves the boat at a certain speed.  He casts his lure every two, three or five yards. His strategy is to cover maximum distance to find biting fish.”

“You will not hear me say this is the wrong approach. But I like to approach bass fishing differently.

“Instead of doing one cast, one cast…cast after cast continuously, I arrive at a spot and fan-cast the area with a fast moving bait.

“Now, when I have made those five, six casts from ONE position of the boat, I put that rod down, and I take a slow-moving bait.

“Many times I am catching more fish. And many times I am catching bigger fish on my slow -moving bait.

“I catch a lot of species. With almost every single species, the bigger the fish gets, the less likely it is to expend energy to chase.  When that big fish sees the bait that will catch most of the average fish of its family – and this is true for most species of fish — he will not move for that lure. He won’t expend energy for that one. Sometimes? Yes, I don’t want to speak in the absolute!

“Every species seizes opportunity. Most of the time, we don’t see the bass we are after. You cover water. That eight-pounder may be there, but you are not catching it with your typical presentation.

“But if, on the next cast, you show that fish a different bait or even the same lure if it allows you to fish it fast or slowly…now you have a chance!

Sebile likes the Stick Shad because it allows him to go from a fast, aggressive bass fishing approach to a slow, finesse presentation without having to change lures.

“That is the reason my Stick Shad is one my favorite baits. I don’t say this to promote the lure. It is the honest truth. I like it because I can take that same lure and twitch and jerk it fast  for a reaction bite, and, on the next cast, fish it finesse style. I don’t have to change a rod or a bait or untie a snap. I also have the bait in different sizes, which also changes the look.

“Yes, I cover less water than other anglers. And sometimes an angler will find an area with a concentration of  (big) bass and — part skill, part luck – he will catch them. Also, in many situations, a predator is competitive. If  you locate 30 bass in a corner, you have a good chance to catch them because of the competition. That is deep in the belly, deep in the nature of the fish! Competitive instinct!

“That is not the rule, however. It doesn’t happen every day.

“But every day you do have big fish out there knowing they will catch their prey with little movement because it has taken an ambush position, perhaps between two patches of grass with the bass near the middle.  He can sit there all day. He doesn’t have to move.  He just waits…

“When a (golden) roach (a.k.a. golden shiner) passes him, it is already too late for the second roach behind him. Wham! The bass hits. The shiner disappears.”

Patrick Sebile and Travis Tucker show off one of many fish caught that day on Sebile's Snagless Flatt Shad, which we worked through heavy cover.


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