Photo: Bobby Lane Fishing
The ongoing global pandemic has changed many plans for events and bass fishing is no different. Both the Bassmaster Classic and Major League Fishing REDCREST have been changed to new dates or venues. Instead of fishing Grand Lake, Oklahoma, for REDCREST, the anglers now find themselves preparing for Lake Palestine, Texas, a relative unknown to tournament anglers, including Florida’s Bobby Lane.
The Palestine Plan
When asked for his knowledge of the tournament location, Lane says he knows hardly anything about the lake but will base his plan around early season stops to other Texas fisheries.
“I’m clueless about Lake Palestine, to be honest,” he says with a laugh. “All I know is that it is shallow with a lot of stumps, trees, and docks. I’ve been keeping an eye on the weather with the extended forecast and it looks like it will be chilly all the way through the month. If it could warm up a little, that would help, but I know we are going to see some huge bass caught since we are hitting it at the perfect time during the pre-spawn.”
Lane believes that cranking will play a significant role in this event and he will also rely on soft-plastic baits.
Fishing shallow crankbaits is no secret for pre-spawn bass and Lane hopes that his plan to fish shallow crankbaits results in some monster Texas bass.
“A killer bait that could be a sleeper for this even is the Berkley Frittside crankbait,” he says. “There is a new bigger size called the Biggun’ that is perfect for bigger fish because it is a bigger profile bait. I’ll fish that on a seven-foot medium rod and go up to a 15-pound test since there are so many stumps there. I think that will be one of my best ways to catch some giant pre-spawn Texas fish.”
Another crankbait that Lane hopes to employ during the event is a squarebill called the Berkley Square Bull.
“You gotta have a square bill crankbait this time of year and the Square Bull is the best running shallow crankbait I’ve thrown,” he says. “It has a lot more wobble than the Frittside but should be a great way to fish around all of that wood and bang it around for those big females sitting around cover waiting to come up and spawn. I’m hoping to catch as many as I can doing that.”
Looking back at his tournament in the spring of 2020 on nearby Lake Fork, Lane thinks a soft-plastic stickbait will be a big part of his arsenal when REDCREST comes around.
“I’ll be fishing the five and six-inch Berkley PowerBait MaxScent The General on a wacky-rig,” Lane says. “That is a great way to catch those lethargic fish that are getting ready to spawn. Last year on Fork, I was catching spawning bass and they really liked the black blue fleck color but it could be something different on Palestine. I’ll have one rigged up weightless on a Texas-Rig and will also have a wacky-rig ready to go as well.”
Keeping it Simple
Cranking and fishing The General should cover much of what Lane faces, but he will also have a few other baits rigged up.
“I think a spinnerbait and a bladed jig could also be players in this event and I will make sure to try that when I get there for practice,” he says. “A lot of how it plays out will depend on the weather conditions when the tournament starts and it could also change the water color. I’ll adjust my bait colors based on the wind and how much rain they get while we are there because that could change things quite a bit and make it pretty muddy.”
Lane says he keeps things pretty basic this time of year and sticks with the tried and true techniques that put fish in the boat. Also, don’t expect Lane to pick up a spinning rod and light line as this is an all-or-nothing tournament and he is gunning for the win.
“I am going to keep it simple and do my best to catch the most and biggest fish I can in a day,” Lane shares. “I’m looking to pick off those big females that are just starting to move up and thinking about spawning. Fishing a crankbait is one of the best ways to do that this time of year and I can keep searching until I find them.”
When Bobby Lane arrives in Texas for REDCREST on Lake Palestine, he’ll be ready with gear designed for big pre-spawn bass. Cranking and fishing soft plastics through the many submerged stumps will be his plan of attack as he attempts to bring the trophy with him on his ride back to Florida.