Rod Selection and Fishing Strategy with Elliott LaRose

Learning from really smart anglers is what DockTalk365 is all about. And this interview is a great case example of the wisdom from the angler’s that are interviewed on this blog. This interview is with Elliott LaRose. Elliott is a Connecticut angler that knows his fishing. I tapped his fishing mind and got a wealth of info. I love his take on rod selection and fishing strategy. Elliott also highlights his favorite local waters and gives us specifics on how he fishes them.

One of the first things I noticed about you was your rod collection. Let’s just say you have a few. Why so many rods? 

Yeah I guess you could say I have a couple. Like everyone else I started off with one rod, then I got a second, and third. As my fishing passion grew and my techniques expanded, and I started to get into a lot of competitive fishing I learned that you can never be too efficient on the water.

When fishing especially in competition I am always scanning and observing my surrounds looking for changes that could affect the situation or the chance of that next bite. That being said, instead of taking time and to sit down and change my line, lure, color, or technique I simply just reach down and grab another rod or flip open the rod box and unsleeve another stick. This makes you very efficient.

I spend plenty of time days before going to a tournament or just for fun checking the weather or conditions of of the lake tying up any and everything I think I’m going to need. That way when I’m there I don’t waste anytime fooling around.

My father has asked me this same question and I explained this to him. He didn’t really know what to make of it until the day he asked me that he watched a bass blow up on my topwater lure. I immediately put that down and picked up one of my spinning rods and tossed a worm right on top of that spot and well it turned out to be a five pound large-mouth. He never questioned my number of rods again.

Do you ever find that you have too many rod selection options when preparing for a day on the water? How do you plan your strategy for which rods make the rod locker for a particular trip?

I don’t believe you can ever have too many rods rigged. Like i said, I rig everything I could possibly need for the conditions I’m fishing and where I’m going. So when I launch the boat I usually will have a lot more rods on the deck than I actually need. As I adjust to the conditions, I put rods away and stick to what is working. If you keep too many rods out, you’ll probably end up second guessing yourself and not thoroughly dissecting an area with the technique your using.

Now lets go on the water with you. How do you avoid paralysis by analysis during a day where the fishing is tough to locate a pattern? How do you react to tough conditions?

Well like i said before, my approach to a day on the water always starts a day or two before I actually soak a line. When I hit the water I have a pretty good idea of how I’m going to fish for the day and try to stick to that pattern for awhile until i catch them.

Unfortunately that is not always the case and in more cases than not what you plan on doing never ends up being the what you set out to do. If the case of paralysis comes into play on the water, a lot of factors go through my mind. Water temp, water color, wind, sun, overcast, is there a storm coming in, is my bait profile too big or not big enough, am I fishing too fast or too slow. All of these factors come into my mind when trying to figure the bite out.

One of the first very big factors that I change is the speed that I’m fishing. I’m a power fisherman. I like to reel and cast quick. Finesse has never been my way of the water so thats always my first move which usually works out for me. I’ve become a big fan of the dropshot this year especially. After that I’ll change color, then size profile. If these all fall through then I have one go to bait for tough days but that I cant expose…lol.

Looks like you are currently using Enigma Rods. What do you like about their rods?

Yes. Enigma Fishing Rods are my rods of choice. I had a few of their rods and fell in love with them so when I got a chance to hop aboard I absolutely did. I honestly don’t know where to start when it comes to these rods. They are AMAZING. I truly believe there is not a better designed rod on the market. On top of them being the lightest rods I have ever used, they have incorporated Microwave guides on every one of their rods. They cast further and smoother than any other rod because of these guides. They funnel the line down the rod for a more direct cast and reduce line slap on the blank causing you to cast further. The other thing that sets these rods apart is that the action they label to every stick to spot on. No other company is as accurate as there guys. When a rod says its a medium it is, when it says its a heavy or extra heavy, it is. And the heavy/extra heavy’s are parabolic sticks which is an amazing feature. And lastly they all have different length butt ends which accommodate the stick size and technique perfect. I’ll never use another company for rods the rest of my life. They have a lot of big plans coming for the 2017 and everyone needs to watch out for them including the Elites. The owner of Enigma Fishing Jesse Tacoronte qualified for the Elites this year and he is out for an Angler of the Year. So everyone make sure they follow him on all social media.

Looks like you are also pairing your rods with Ardent reels. What makes Ardent reels standout to you?

Ardent Reels is my first and longest standing sponsor. The one thing that stands out about this company besides their great reels is their customer service. They go above and beyond for us staff out in the field and all of their customers. When we need something they have someone on it asap. It is really impressive. They have great selections for every angler with any price point. My favorite reel of their is the APEX Grand. They had it only as a high speed but released it in a lower ratio this coming year. They are very adjustable and cast like butter with the help of 13 ball bearing inside. I can’t wait to see the new goodies to comes from them this year. Everyone will want to be a part of them in 2017.

Before going on, who are your other sponsors? 

In addition to Enigma and Ardent, I am teamed up with Jakked Baits, Netbait, Fish Head Spin, and OSS Sublimation. Jakked Baits is my most recently acquired sponsor and I couldn’t be happier with the company and their products. They have the best jigs I have thrown, they are a family owned company that is starting to break into the big picture with their products and making a big name for themselves. They already have big name Jason Dudek throwing their product. They have plans to change the game very soon and their customer service is amazing. Go to their site and get Jakked.

Pairing up those great jigs with perfect plastics is crucial and for that I have Netbait. These guys make the best soft plastics. They have a little bit of everything in the soft plastic game but their Paca Craws and Paca Slims are perfection. They come in various sizes and a solid head with hollow bodies to plant your hook in, add rattles, or scent and they last through many fish. Their biggest perk is color selection. Never seen so many colors. If you can’t find something you like then you shouldn’t be fishing.

After that comes Fish Head. I love throwing swimbaits and these guys take that to another level. They specialize in underspins and have nailed it. They have good color selection and various types of them including a scrouger header. Look them up and you won’t be mad. They work great on the days where the bite is tough or on smallies.

My last one is OSS Sublimation. There guys specialize in sublimating custom apparel. Full design, print, cut, and sew process. They make team uniforms, corporate apparel, school apparel and more. This year they decided to get into the fishing industry as well, and I was happy to join. These guys make a great product and can design anything that you pitch to them. Their jerseys are awesome and they are a local outfit. They reside right in Rhode Island.

So now that we understand the gear you are bringing, what are your favorite waters to fish?

Now that’s a tough one. There’s so many places I love to fish. If i had to pick three they would be Amos Lake, Aspinook Pond, and Ashland Pond. These are all local places to me, but I know them pretty well. Amos is an amazing fishery. It offers very deep water which causes the lake to have a lot of deep to shallow transitions which are great to fish. Its a place that you can learn a lot of different techniques when it comes to deeper water. Most people around my area aren’t too fond of deeper water but I love it all.

Aspinook is a tributary of the Quinnebaug River. There’s not much river water close to me but this place is right in my backyard. It offers all kinds of different waters, current breaks, coves, and structure. It is a place to catch smallies, if you can find them.

Ashland is my honey hole. This place is great because there is no fishing pressure since there is no public launch. If you like to fish the heavy slop and thick vegetation this place is for you. I usually keep the heavy artillery on deck when I go to this spot.

What are your favorite techniques/presentations on each of these bodies of water that you listed above?

Usually when I’m at Amos, you’ll find me with a swim jig, a couple crankbaits, drop shot, and a football jig. I choose these because Amos has a lot of forage fish including alewives so they are constantly chasing food which is why i have the jig and cranks. Amos has big fish. Then I have the drop and jig for the deeper fish when i find them. I have a couple spots in deeper water I probe with these two every time.

As for Aspinook, that place is always a gamble. I have a lot of rods on deck when i go there because you always have to figure them out. I don’t have any go to baits when it comes to that body of water. One day you have to fish slower than paint drying and the next you have to burn a crankbait as fast as you can.

Lastly for Ashland there’s four rods I prefer every time I’m there: a frog, a jig, and texas rigged creature bait, and a wacky worm. This place is covered in vegetation so that is why the frog is always on deck. The two flippin rods I keep because I love to flip into the pads and punch grass plus there’s a couple quality docks out there. And then there is the wacky worm. Some days I go to this place, and they are shut down. On these days its a do nothing type of day. I literally go to my spots and throw that worm out and do NOTHING. If they don’t hit it on the fall, I reel it in and throw it again. I’ve had some amazing days doing this. Not my preference but ya do what ya got to do right?

Thank you Elliott. Follow Elliott and the results of all of his rod and tackle selections on Facebook and Instagram.