Toyota pro Brandon Lester utilized part of his unplanned day off Thursday at the Whataburger Bassmaster Elite on Neely Henry to wipe mudlines off his boat with a rag and a spray bottle full of cherry blossom and pomegranate scented Lysol his wife Kim gave him.
“I don’t know how many bass we’re gonna catch in this muddy water, but at least we’ll look good and smell good,” laughed Lester.
While he’s guessing he’ll need to average 12-pounds a day to take home a Top 10, he’s certain he’ll lean on simplicity in his lure selection to help establish productive patterns now that 6-inches of recent rainfall wiped out much of what he learned in practice.
“When you’re dealing with water that’s as muddy as this, you really only need to focus on the depths of less than 3 or 4-feet because the bass’ ability to see at depths any greater than that is pretty darn limited, so your lure choices and colors don’t need to be complicated either,” reasons the Tennessee pro.
Hence, Lester will lean on two of bass fishing’s all time most tried and true baits to begin competition – a chartreuse/black squarebill and a ½-ounce black and blue pitchin’ jig.
“Since everything has changed so much since earlier in the week, I can use this squarebill as a search bait around everything from rocks to laydowns while moving quickly down a stretch of shoreline. It’s a super visible color and it deflects well off all kinds of habitat,” he explains.
If Lester is fortunate enough to locate a concentration of bass in the currently flooded Coosa waters, then he’ll pick up the bulky black and blue jig and pick apart every piece of visible habitat, or swim it quickly around vegetation if he spots any.
When asked why he favors the jig over a Texas-rigged creature bait or other soft plastic, he reasons the bulk of the jig displaces more water to help bass find it easier in the mud.
“I’m not freaked out by this high and muddy water because I know you can still definitely get some bites. These are river fish. They live here. They’ve seen this before, and they gotta keep eating. My job is to pick a couple proven lures I’ve got confidence in and put ‘em in front of their face,” concluded one of pro angling’s most consistent top finishers.