To make a long story short – I figured out how to catch them, I just never found the fish that could win it. I spent three and a half days practicing and looking back at it, I needed another two days to really have a shot at winning.

I don’t have any excuses, but the main reason I struggled to find the right fish this year was because it fished a lot different than years in the past.  The fish were acting funny. It could have been from either the changing weather conditions or the amount of pressure the lake has had on it with this years event.

The funny thing about Lake Mead is that 98% of the lake doesn’t have the fish that can win a tournament. Finding that 2% of the lake that holds the bigger fish is the key to fishing Mead. Lake Mead is a big place, even though its smaller today than in years past, it is still the biggest man-made lake in the U.S., maybe world, so there is a lot of water to cover.

Here’s how I caught them:  I caught most of the fish on a Megabass Giant Dog-X topwater bait. Those fish, like all topwater fish, were caught in 0 feet, but most of them came out of grass, tree tops or just deep water.  I mixed up the retrieves from slow walking to super fast, almost skipping the bait back to the boat.

While more fish came on the Giant Dog-X, the biggest fish I weighed came on a drop shot.  My go to Roboworm colors this week were Aaron’s Magic and MM III and both produced equally over the three day event.  I fished the F3-611XXS – Drop Shot rod with 5 to 7 pound Sunline FC Sniper line. The Megabass Orochi XX rods are still fairly new on the market and at the price point of $275 any serious angler can use the best rods on the market. You can check them out at a number of retailers including Tackle Warehouse and Hi’s Tackle Box.

Other baits I used during the event in the order in how much I fished them included the Davis Baits Aaron Martens Shakey head rigged with a 5 Inch Roboworm Zipper Shaker, a Megabass Vision 110 jerk bait, a Teckel Frog and a Megabass Pony Gabot frog.

After spending a week straight in the Mojave desert I can’t help, but mention the heat.  We were lucky enough to get some cloud cover and wind over the practice and event days, but that’s when you are most at risk for sun damage.  When it’s hot out you are constantly reminded by the heat to put sunscreen on or wear proper UPF clothing. I have to recommend Simms Fishing products for anyone spending time outside fishing.  They have a full line of extremely comfortable shirts, gloves, hats and pants that will not only be comfortable to fish in, they will protect you.  Then when the rain hits, slip on the Simms rain gear, the best in the business and worn by probably 80% of tour anglers. Find out more at SimmsFishing.com

Congratulations to Rusty Brown for the win and to Won Bass for an excellent turnout. I am already looking forward to next year’s event.

Oh, and don’t forget we (Bass Quest Magazine) are drawing for the person who wins a fishing trip with me on Monday at 5:00 PST.  Be sure to check out BassQuestMagazine.com for more details and how to get a chance to fish with me.