Longtime pro Scott Canterbury eagerly awaits the chance to compete in his second Bassmaster Classic on Lake Ray Roberts outside of Ft. Worth, Texas. The Alabama pro enjoyed great success on the FLW Tour before switching to the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2019. Since then, he’s won the Angler of the Year title and finished 6th in the points in 2020.
He should be one to watch when the Classic gets underway, despite his lack of experience on the tournament waters.
A Level Playing Field
Canterbury was excited about Ray Roberts as the site of this event since it is unknown to him and most anglers in the field.
“Some Texas guys are fishing it who have been there, but there is not a lot of history there,” he said. “They have tournaments on it, but it is not like the Alabama lakes where you can see results from every Tuesday night tournament to gauge the fishing. It’s going to be fun because it is an unknown to most of us, but I do know the place has some big ones.”
Last Fall, Canterbury spent a day on the water and idled ten or eleven hours, marking offshore spots. He liked what he found, but recent events may have changed his plans.
“I figured it would be an offshore deal, but the lake keeps coming up,” he said. “All of the recent rains there have it higher than normal and that opens up all of the willow grass and trees in shallow water. There should be a good shallow bite happening.”
Swim Jigs, Flipping and Pitching
If the shallow bite does pan out for Canterbury, he’ll surely fish jigs. He’s excellent with them and has a signature series with Dirty Jigs Tackle and he’s won plenty of money fishing them.
He fishes a swim jig often and anytime he is around shallow grass along the bank. He believes that might be a way to catch them during the Classic.
“There should be some bream beds shallow and the water should have some color to it,” he said. “I’ll be fishing a swim jig around the grass with 50-pound P-Line TCB 8 braid. I like braid for my swim jigs anytime I am around vegetation and it allows me to cast longer and also cast better into tighter places.”
For flipping and pitching, he will use a standard flipping jig in the bank grass and the ample wood in the lake. He prefers 25-pound P-Line Ultimate fluorocarbon.
“I really like the Tactical for some techniques, but the original Ultimate has a little less stretch,” he said. “For flipping and pitching, I like that and it is something I have used forever and have a lot of confidence in.”
If the bluegill are spawning, Canterbury believes a big popper or walking bait will be an excellent way to catch bass cruising the shallows for their next meal.
For these two topwaters, he prefers the new P-Line High Performance Copolymer Topwater line.
“I’ve always used regular mono for topwaters, but this is a big improvement,” he said. “It casts better and is really durable. It’s just a better line for topwater because it fishes better and is more abrasion resistant.”
While Canterbury may prefer a shallow bite, he is prepared for an offshore bite if he feels that is the way to win the event.
“I have a feeling that I will have to mix it up between shallow and deep,” he predicted. “There should be a good shallow bite, but the biggest groups of fish may be off the bank.”
He plans to fish a football head jig, Carolina-Rig, deep-diving crankbait, or possibly a big flutter spoon when he heads offshore.
“There are old house foundations, roadbeds, and other offshore structure out there, and I have a bunch of them marked,” he said. “Those places will be perfect for a Carolina-Rig or a big football head. Those two could be big players for me.”
Canterbury prefers to fish both of those lures on P-Line Tactical fluorocarbon for the casting distance and performance of the line. He opts for 17-pound for the football head and 20-pound for the Carolina-Rig mainline with a 15-pound leader.
“The fishability and performance of that line are what makes it so good,” he said. “You get great casting distance, which is really important for those two techniques.”
Scott Canterbury is excited about the chance to fish the Bassmaster Classic on a lake that he believes is a level playing field and something new to both the anglers and the fans. He believes it is setting up to be great fishing and offers the anglers the chance to catch them shallow and deep. No matter how the fishing plays out, he has a plan for every scenario.