Follow Up Baits You Forgot About by Marc Marcantonio, Page 2

Follow Up Baits You Forgot About by Marc Marcantonio, Page 2


t first happened

Yamamoto Shad Shaped

at an ABA team

tournament on the Columbia River out of Boardman, Ore.

Wildland fires had blanketed the river in smoke so thick

the only way to navigate was by our Lowrance HDS

mapping unit. With a decent limit of 3-lb smallmouth

bass already in the livewell, we really needed a kicker to

step up our chances to win.

Mike Matkowski of Richland, Wash. was at the bow

of the boat and was fishing a Yamamoto Hula Grub on a

football head jig, and I was offering a different look with a

dropshot rig using a Yamamoto Shad Shaped Worm.

Our boat was sitting in 12-feet of water off the side

of a shallow rockpile that topped off at five-feet and had

patchy weeds where the smallmouth bass were feeding

on crawfish and young-of-year shad. -Although

the air had severely limited visibility, the water was


Just as I was reeling in to make another cast,

Mike shouted, “Did you SEE THAT?”

“A big largemouth chased my Hula Grub when

I was reeling it back to the boat!”Excitedly, I asked

him to point where he last saw it.

I made a quick pitch with a Blue Pearl Shad

Shaped Worm and my 1/4-ounce QuickDrop

dropshot sinker took my bait straight to the

bottom where Mike pointed. As fast as it touched

down my line started racing off to the side.

Doing my best to bend my spinning rod like a

pole vault, I sunk the #4 Gamakatsu dropshot hook

into the upper jaw of a pig.

Mama Pesce rocketed out of the water

shaking her head side to side spraying my

sunglasses with water. Mike could have plucked it

out of the air if he had the net in his hands instead

of his rod.

With six-pound-test, I kept the line tight to

keep the hook from shaking loose, but light enough

not to break. We chased that bass around the

boat twice and as we could see her getting close, I

begged for her to stay on the hook.

Mike had the net ready, but she made another

dive forcing me to back reel to prevent the hook from

pulling out. Finally, she tired, and we slipped her into the


At 5.5 pounds, it was a nice cull, and although we

ended in second place, we did take home Big Bass of the

tournament and an experience and story I could never


Experiences like this are a gift, and it taught me a few

lessons that have served me well ever since. First, never

give up on a fish that shows itself.

When a bass chases it is hot and will

likely bite, so get a bait in

Yamamoto D-Shad

front of it before it calms down.

In my experience a subtle lure that is not intimidating seals the deal quickly. Nothing screams “Eat Me” better than a dropshot rig with a realistic minnow imitation like the Shad Shaped Worm by Yamamoto. Nose-hooked on a #4 Gamakatsu dropshot hook with light line and a

one-quarter ounce QuickDrop

teardrop weight and you

don’t have to worry about

scaring off the smartest

of bass.

At another post-spawn tournament on Potholes Reservoir, Mike had a blowup on his Spro frog overtop of a submerged bed of milfoil, but the largemouth never took his frog down. This repeated several times until the bass lost interest.

At that point I grabbed a rod with a soft jerkbait on it to be ready as a follow-up bait the next time, he had a blowup and miss. I like to use a Yamamoto D-Shad Tex-posed on a 4/0 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Hybrid Worm hook. Because it is heavy with salt and soft, it casts long

distances without weight, yet sinks slowly and

moves like a minnow fleeing for its life.

Not 10 minutes later, Mike had another

blowup and miss, but this time he quickly reeled in

instead of continuing to work his frog. Just as fast I

Background by Aaron Kittredge


Fall 2022

page 55