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Fenwick Pros Youngers and Cook Share Their Smallmouth Bass Patterns from Oneida
— Charlie Youngers and Ken Cook finished second and fourth respectively at last weeks Oneida Bassmaster Elite Series event near Syracuse, New York. Tommy Biffle took the title with almost 64 pounds over the four day event with Youngers right behind at 60-11 and Cook close by at 60-7.
The Fenwick Pros took different approaches to Oneida’s smallmouth bass. Charlie went with a Berkley PowerBait Power Tube finessed over a grass-covered hump in the lake that had a large 12 to 22 foot drop. “I stopped, saw the grass and said, I’ll fish here.”
Youngers chose a 6’0” medium-action Fenwick Techna AV rod with an Abu Garcia Torno low profile casting reel. He spooled with 10 pound Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon line and baited with a Berkley PowerBait Power Tube on a homemade 3/16-ounce jighead.
Ken dropshotted Berkley Gulp! Sinking Minnows all four days focusing on areas where he found yellow perch fingerlings. “That’s what the smallmouths were focused on as well. It was in a big bay,” Ken said, “I’m sure they were spawning somewhere in there.”
Cook concentrated on spots where the weed-edge came up against the sand. “They were in about 10 to 12 feet of water. I caught most of my fish on the bottom. I was using a slow shake and tried to keep below the school to attract the bigger, lazy fish.”
Ken’s dropshot gear was a 7’-0” medium–action Fenwick Techna AV rod with an Abu Garcia 503 ALB spinning reel. He spooled the 503 ALB with 8-pound Berkley Vanish Transition and used a Berkley Gulp! Sinking Minnow as bait.
Both Pros used Fenwick Techna AV rods and noted that their extreme sensitivity and fast action was a key to being successful with finesse presentations. Cook also added, “When I dropshot, the line and bait are critical. Berkley Gulp! is the only bait to use. Its extreme scent dispersion really draws the fish in – and that means more bites. Berkley Vanish Transition is also critical. I can see it above water and react to bites - but, its invisible below the surface, which really helps when using a dropshot rig.”
About his Abu Garcia reel Charlie Youngers said, “When you’re casting and retrieving all day you have to have a tough reel. My Abu Garcia is all that and more. For the past four days I was catching 100 or more fish a day. I’ve never seen anything like it and only an extremely tough reel can stand up to that kind of punishment.”