FLW Tour Professional Anthony Gagliardi, winner of the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray, doesn’t have to contend with the arctic blast that is greeting anglers this week in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t thinking about how he would fish if he were in the competition. I caught up with Gagliardi to get some perspective on a lure he would be throwing if he were competing this week.
While Anthony Gagliardi says that the Buckeye Lures Su-Spin Blade will catch bass all winter, right now is the best time to throw it.
“At the end of the winter, when bass start to move up on lakes like Hartwell and Clarks Hill, they use creek channels and ditches to make the move. The Su-Spin Blade is effective at this time of year when fish are out there with bait, either suspended around it or right on the bottom.”
Unlike other underspin-type baits on the market, the Su-Spin Blade features twin willow leaf blades behind a weighted head, and these twin blades provide more flash than any similar lure. It is built to be fished around bait, and it swims just like a blueback herring.
Gagliardi suggests that anglers use it in areas where they might think of fishing a jigging spoon, and instead of marking bait and then dropping down a spoon he suggests backing off and casting with the Su-Spin blade. It can also be fished in relatively shallow water by using a lighter bait, or a retrieve that will keep it higher in the water column.
Buckeye Lures makes a wide range of Su-Spin Blades, ranging from ¼ ounce size all the way up to 1 ½ ounces. It also comes in Albino, Arkansas Shiner, Blue, Pearl and Chartreuse colors.
Since he is fishing around bait, Anthony prefers the Su-Spin Blades in shad or herring-type colors, such as Pearl, Albino or Arkansas Shiner. His go-to size is 3/8 ounce and he rigs it with a Zoom Fluke or Fluke Junior.
“If I had to pick one Su-Spin Blade, 90% of the time I would want the 3/8 ounce [lure] in Pearl color. I can fish it slowly and it’s heavy enough to get down if fish are near the bottom, and it’s also good up in the water column.”
Sound like idle speculation from a Buckeye Lures Pro Staffer? Well, actually it’s not.
In the 2008 Classic on Lake Hartwell, Cliff Pace of Mississippi finished in second place largely because of his success fishing a ¼ ounce Su-Spin Blade in Pearl color (with a V&M Pork Shad soft jerkbait) on Day 1. He used the bait to catch his heaviest bag of the tournament, an 18 pound 10 ounce sack. And the areas he was fishing were around deep timber with ditches leading towards spawning pockets. He used the Su-Spin blade to make long casts into balls of shad, and then cranked the bait slowly back towards his boat.
And the Second Bait?
After discussing the Su-Spin Blade, I asked Anthony the name of another lure, Buckeye Brand or otherwise, that he would be fishing if he were in the Classic. The answer should surprise no one – a Buckeye Lures Football Mop Jig.
“I like to keep it pretty simple and use a [Football Mop Jig] in the green family – Green Pumpkin, Brown… In 30 feet of water or less and when there is no wind I will be primarily throwing a ½ ounce bait, but deeper or when there is wind I will be throwing the ¾ ounce.”
Again, the bait has recent Classic on Hartwell pedigree. In 2008 Alton Jones won the Classic by more than 5 pounds, and his biggest fish mainly came off a jig. He was fishing Booyah brand jigheads, but he customized them with Mop Jig skirts because of the thick, round rubber material combined with strands of silicon.
It will be interesting to see if history repeats itself with either of these lures this weekend.
My thanks to Anthony Gagliardi for taking the time to speak with me. After a tough start 2014 ended on the highest of highs for Gagliardi, and hopefully 2015 will pick up where the last year left off!