We go to Texas with Seth Outdoors. This young man is a fantastic bass angler with a lot of great insight into catching Texas largemouth bass.
How long have you been fishing?
I have been fishing since I was 5 years old. My parents bought a farm that has a slow moving creek that runs across it. I instantly began fishing catching small sunfish at a young age. I really didn’t get into bass fishing until my late teens. As a kid I was always fishing for catfish and sunfish.
Some of my earliest memories of bass fishing I remember was fishing for sunfish and seeing my bobber just completely disappear and my little rod bend over to the point of snapping. As I hit my late teens, I began fishing for bass more often, slowly learning different baits, mainly crankbaits. I never really caught anything big, but the passion grew with each bass. While I was at Texas A&M, I decided to join the bass fishing team where I truly broke out into the angler I am today.
You recently caught your personal best largemouth bass. What is the fish story behind it?
That day was one of the most brutal days that I’ve fished this year. It was in the upper 30’s with a bone chilling NE wind and overcast. For a Texas boy, that is cold. My good friend Derek Herring, @BHOAdventures on Twitter, called me up and asked if I’d like to help him test out some of his new baits, the Turbo Bullet.
Of course I jumped all over that opportunity. We hit the water about 10AM, fished till about 2PM before we even started getting bites. The water temperature ranged between 49 to 51 degrees. We made our way into a cove to get out of the wind and try to warm up when we noticed shad jumping. We both figured it was a gar chasing them but started throwing the Turbo Bullets to see.
I had a ½ oz white/chartruse Turbo Bullet with a white Creme Lure split tail trailer with a Dunamis MH rod and a Lews 6.5:1 reel with 20 pound fluoro. We started catching a few bass and realized that it was bass and not gar chasing shad. So we knew we were on them with the right baits.
I made a cast towards the bank and was slow reeling in, the lake does have hydrilla in it and I thought that I was pulling through it. So I leaned back to get some tension on the rod to break through when I realized it was a fish. The fight wasn’t crazy or anything. The bass kept her nose down and I kept pressure on her. She came up, Derek made a perfect snatch with the net, then we both realized how big she actually was.
Did you also get a new boat this year?
I did. I finally got the new bass boat that I’ve been wanting me whole life. I bought a new 2015 Z8 Nitro with a 250 ProXS Mercury motor. I love my boat! It’s got the perfect amount of storage space, enough deck space to move around comfortably, and enough HP to get me across the lake in no time at all. I’ve always loved Nitro boats so I may be bias, but it’s definitely a wonderful boat.
How was your 2017 fishing season other than your PB?
My season wasn’t too bad. I began fishing in a local club with some good guys, and started getting back in the groove of tournament fishing. I’m not sure if many people know, but I stepped away from tournament fishing for about 6 months because I was losing sight of what fishing really meant to me. I got back to the fun of it and rekindled the passion.
I got to fish several lakes this year that I’ve never been on. One of those lakes was Lake Naconiche, if you’re a Major League Fishing fan then you may recognize this lake. It was a great experience and I started the day off catching a nice keeper on the third cast. I also got to see my dad break his three month slump with a great 4.5 pounder on Lake Raven.
What were some of your best tournaments and finishes when competing?
Like I said, I stepped away from tournament fishing for 6 months so I didn’t fish many this year, but the few that I did I was in the top 5 to 10. My keys to success was knowing the lakes I was fishing. For example, I had a tournament on Lake Somerville. I’ve fished it a lot and on this particular day it was extremely windy. So most the anglers went to the hotspots for bigger fish and fought the wind all day. I knew a place that was in a wind break, and I could catch a quick limit and start culling.
Other tournaments I did a ton of research on the lakes prior to tournament day. Learned the lake history, talked to anglers who’ve fished it, and just did my homework.
In the State of Texas, what are your 3 favorite lakes to fish for largemouth bass?
My new favorite lake is Lake Sheldon. It’s a shallow lake with a ton of cover and vegetation, but it holds big bass as you’ve seen.
Lake Raven in Huntsville is another lake that I like. It’s a real small lake, but it always throws curve balls at you. Each day is a new technique, and it really is a lake that helps keep you sharp.
Probably one of my other favorite lakes is Gibbons Creek Reservoir. In the spring time, it is full of lilly pads. You can fish them topwater, spinners, worms, jigs…you name it and you can catch fish. There can be 4 different boats on the same stretch fishing different ways and all of them be catching fish.
What are your favorite baits to throw on these waters?
I love throwing a Texas rigged baby brush hog. It’s been my most effective rig in all conditions. It’s movement, colors and everything seem to line up great, especially in the stumpy lakes here. Presentation with a Texas rigged baby brush hog is realizing that 90% of the bites happen on the initial fall. So you have to be aware of the depth you’re fishing. I always try to count and get an idea of how long it takes to hit bottom. If during my count my bait suddenly stops, I reel in some slack and set the hook. It doesn’t need to be a belly buster hookset, just a good pop. If it was nothing, well it was nothing. But I’d rather set the hook on nothing than not and miss a fish.
I also love spinnerbaits. Spinnerbaits are so versatile and can be fished in so many different scenarios that it’s a must have setup on my boat. Depending on the day, if it’s cold, I’ll slow roll it. If it is warm or a lot of vegetation, I’ll burn it through, especially in the spring and fall.
You make some of your own baits. What baits are you making?
Right now I make three different soft plastics, 5.5” senko type baits, 6” brush hogs, and 5” beavers. It is mostly a hobby for me to do during some down time, but I also like trying to create new color combinations and testing them out.
The majority of my baits are recycled. I really dislike when anglers throwing used plastics in the water, it is terrible for the environment and bad for the fish. Baits aren’t meant to be ingested by fish, but that’s what happens when anglers toss them over the side. So I save mine and have many anglers that give me their baits after fishing. I melt them down and remake them. If someone is interested in purchasing my baits, they can message me on any social media, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, and we can talk to see what they want.
You also recently did some tackle organization. This is a constant process for me. What were your goals of your recent tackle organization?
The goals of my tackle organization are to see what I have so I quit buying multiple things. I like to keep track of what I have, what I need, and what I want, that’s why I organize constantly.
When I’m on the water, I like to have my bait boxes stored where I can easily access them without having to move equipment around and risk knocking something into the water. I have a mix of bait boxes from Plano, Flambeau, to Walmart brand storage boxes. I haven’t had issues with any of them. Properly taking care of them is key. If you get rained on fishing, pull your boxes and open them to dry, don’t leave them stored wet.
What are your fishing goals for 2018?
My 2018 fishing goal is to be a better angler than I was in 2017. Learn more, fish more, and catch more. To reach that goal I just have to keep learning, researching, listening, and experimenting to figure out what the fish wants.
Who are your current sponsors and pro staff companies?
Nextgen Baits – Provides me with life like fluke style baits that are just deadly when the fish are on a fluke bite.
Creme Lures – Provides me all the soft plastics I need for a great price. “Why pay more for the same thing!”
Liquid Mayhem – When the bite is tough, Liquid Mayhem can give me the extra second that I need the fish to hold on to the bait so I can get a good hookset. Also help to keep other scents…sunscreen, Doritos, oil…from affecting the scent of my baits.
Line Cutterz – The days when I’m having to tie on new baits, retie, or get broke hooks off quickly, Line Cutterz with their patented ring help me cut through line with ease without risking cutting myself with a sharp blade.
Dunamis Rods – Quality I can trust in a rod. It has all the backbone I need to reel in tough fish but also has the best sensitivity that I’ve ever had in a rod. With a lifetime warranty and an affordable price, you can’t go wrong!
Buff – I’m a huge advocate of sun protection. I’ve suffered serious burns from fishing that lead up to my nose actually cracking open and bleeding from sun damage. Buff provides me the sun protection I need and also the winter protection I need to stay safe in the sun.
Glo-Pro Lures – Glo-Pro offers a variety of hard and soft plastics that have the ability to insert a glow stick to illuminate the bait, giving it extra visibility in dirty water conditions.
Drophook – Drophook allows me to share my catches and log the different baits I used, where I caught it, and time that I caught it. This allows me to keep track of my catches and also share them with other Drophook users.
RAH Tackle – RAH Tackle provides me with all the small things that you need, but tend to forget. Things like beads, pegs, swivels, amongst other fishing necessities.
Thank you Seth. I wish you the best of luck in 2018. Look forward to following all of your success.
Read about Another Liquid Mayhem Angler: Fishing Chickahominy Lake with Joey Cooke