Wesley Strader’s Bass Lesson: Vertical Ledge Presentation
Bob McNally 03.18.16
Top bass pro FLW had never fished the Ocoee River the day he set a Tennessee state record for spotted bass with his pal Brad Petersen. And the trip was decided on so quickly, he didn’t have the luxury of choosing specialized tackle or other gear.
But when he saw the ledges along the Ocoee that day, Wesley knew his best chance for success was a vertical lure presentation to target bass hugging tight to rocks.
A drop-shot rig, with a finesse-style 6-inch Zoom worm was ideally suited to work the river ledge shores. Probing the lure slowly and carefully in the clear, deep water using spinning tackle was deadly effective for the 6-pound, 7-ounce lunker bass he landed. His 15-pound test braided line helped telegraph light strikes that he could detect through a sensitive graphite rod. Just as important, Wesley had a nearly invisible 8-pound test fluorocarbon leader tied between the lure and braided line so as not to spook oversize, cagey bass in air-clear water.
Like so many top anglers, Wesley always “looks for something different” when fishing, especially on new water. He noted a swirling back-eddy in the Ocoee near a ledge and knew that was a likely feeding spot for hefty fish looking for an easy meal. That was the lair of the state record spotted bass that fell to Wesley’s ledge lure presentation that day.