KrugerFarms.com Pro Angler Andy Young has been one of the busiest guys in bass fishing the last week or so. Fresh of his dramatic come from behind win on Lake Amistad for the Bassmaster Central Open series.
He was more than 10 pounds behind runaway leader Randy Allen when the last day began, which by most accounts left the rest of the field fishing for 2nd place. Then Allen weighed-in just one fish, and Young swooped in and claimed the win with his standard 13-ish sack (specifically 13-11).
His 39-06 total held off Elite Series pro Stephen Browning by a single ounce. It earned him more than $47,000 in cash and a slot in next year’s Bassmaster Classic on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell (provided he competes in the other two events on the circuit, which he confirmed that he will).
Here’s how Andy went about it…..
Young arrived in Del Rio fairly early, he took advantage of a slow period at work and ended up with about 9 days on the water before the event. Not all of them full days or that productive as there were many unseasonably bad weather days in that mix.
He got an early start on his first practice day and quickly caught a 4-pounder from about 15 feet of water on an umbrella rig, so he began running that pattern in different areas of the lake.
Andy didn’t get a lot of bites, but once in a while he’d catch a good one. He targeted deep flats with his umbrella rig, close to where they dropped off to deeper water. The bigger fish were usually around brush piles or trees – something for them to hold on. He also developed a secondary game plan that involved dropshotting rocky ledges at depths ranging from 20 to 32 feet.
> Day 1: 5, 12-01
> Day 2: 5, 13-11
> Day 3: 5, 13-10
> Total = 15, 39-06
Young got only six bites on day 1, and one of those was a short fish. His bag was very solid considering the conditions, but it left him nearly 6 pounds behind Allen, whose stringer was anchored by a 10-pounder.
Young managed just four bites on day 2. He’d boxed only three run-of-the-mill keepers by mid-afternoon when he connected with a 6 1/2-pounder on the umbrella rig.
On day 3, Andy had a limit by 11:30 and one of those fish was a beauty – a 7 1/2-pounder that fell for the umbrella rig. Culling two times after that and each of them was very minor – a half-ounce here and a half-ounce there. But considering the margin of victory was a single ounce, those two little upgrades were key.
Andy started each day on his deeper drop shot fish, he had 5-6 areas that he rotated through. He started on these fish, because he felt they were more dependable and he knew getting a limit each day would be huge. Plus having fish in the well would help him dedicate to chase bigger fish later in the day. So once his confidence and sun were higher, he would start rotation through his three flats with the castable umbrella rig to score larger fish and he got at least one every day!
Depth and retrieve was an important factor for the umbrella rig; it was most effective when retrieved within a few feet of the bottom and added a few erratic jerks along the way. Another important factor was the color of baits and jig heads used. Young found the fish reacted best to a mix of pearl and watermelon ghost Big Bite Cane Thumpers. The Cane Thumpers were attached to 1/8oz Outkast Money Jigs and the center jig was one with a red head which caught most of his fish, just gave the bass a little something different to key in on and the red seemed to help them commit instead of fall the artificial bait ball.
> Umbrella rig gear: 7’6″ heavy-action Dobyns 766 SSM flipping stick, Lew’s BB1 casting reel (6.3:1 ratio), 65-pound PowerPro braided line, 1/8-ounce Outkast Tackle Money jigheads, 5″ Big Bite Cane Thumper swimbaits (pearl and watermelon ghost).
> Andy prefers the Outkast heads because the 4/0, heavy-wire hooks are a little smaller than the standard U-rig offerings. “They don’t snag up on the branches and bushes as much and they hook the fish really well.”
> Dropshot gear: 7’4″ medium-action Dobyns DX743SF Champion Extreme rod, Lew’s Gold Spin 3000 spinning reel, 8-pound fluorocarbon line, 3/16-ounce lead dropshot weight (round), 1/0 Gamakatsu dropshot hook, with green pumpkin drop shot plastics.
The Extra Edge
> “I think the biggest thing, with the weather being so bad, was me being from Minnesota and being used to it and having good Under Armour Base Layers. The cold didn’t really bother me. The other thing was having a simple game plan – I had two things that worked and I just kept doing them.”
Andy Young is a krugerfarms.com pro angler, fishing the Bassmaster Open tournaments. You can like him on Facebook here for updates on his fishing experience.