3 min to read
Prepping for the Cup with Jonathan Henry
Category : BACK DECK
By: Jonathan Henry
So I was just looking on FLW’s website, and saw that they had the list of qualifiers posted for the Forrest Wood Cup. Receiving the email and seeing my name on the website really solidifies the great feeling of accomplishment. Although it may be a bigger deal for the boaters to make it, this tournament is the highest goal achievable for co-anglers. I guess what I am getting at is, for co-anglers this is it, the cream of the crop of anglers sat down last winter and decided this is what they wanted to fish this year.
For me, this is one of the tournaments I have looked forward to the most on the schedule. I just prefer the swampy Okeechobee/Guntersville type places, where for the most part, a spinning rod is not the way to go. I like the tournaments where we all basically fish like boaters with casting rods and lots of shallow water, not the tournaments where the co-angler who holds a spinning rod with a baby worm the longest gets a top 10. Nothing wrong with drowning a baby worm from time to time, it’s just not my style, and not how I expect to do well. For a lot of guys, trudging along behind the best shallow water fishermen in the country doesn’t sound like much fun. I’m not gonna lie to you, some days its not, and even though it is the way I prefer to fish as a co-angler, it can get frustrating at times. I’ve put together a small list of tips that have proven successful for me when beating the shallows behind the likes of JT Kenney, Robbie Dodson, Scott Canterberry, Luke Clausen and many more over the last year.
1) It’s his show, stay out of the way and DO NOT throw cross pocket on him. The faster you learn this as a co-angler, the better, and in shallow water, it is ten times more important. Try to put the slip on him to a good looking bush across the creek, and you better hope it works, cause you just lost what little bit of water you had before for the rest of the day.
2) If at all possible, fish baits that are unlikely to get snagged. It just seems to reduce the overall attitude in the boat if as the co-angler, you need your boater to turn around every 5 minutes and get your $50 original P70 Pop~R uncaught from buck brush. These situations also seem to make you fish worse because you’re constantly worried about your pro being upset or uncomfortable with you.
3) Sometimes I like to go opposite my pro on bait size. For example, I have done well behind some pros when they were flipping plastic beaver type baits, and I followed behind them up with a 1/2oz jig with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk as a trailer. In the same sense, I have also done very well with the new Zoom Z-Hog Jr with a 3/8 Tiger Tungsten behind their big bulky jig.
4) Finally, this is my most important tip-fish a different water column. If my pro starts the day with a chatterbait or spinnerbait, I fish on the bottom or on the top, not in the middle. If my pro starts with a jig, I fish in the middle or on top… You get the idea.
So, for me and the Red River, I’m already set on three baits that I want to use plus anything else I figure out around the time of the tournament. The first is a Zoom Horny Toad-a good top water option in or out of the slop and it’s basically snag-proof. The second is a Killer Bass Baits spinnerbait which gives me something to cover that middle water column well. The third is the new Zoom Z-Hog Jr texas rigged with a 3/8oz Tiger Tungsten which should cover the bottom column as good as anything.
Circuits fished: FLW BFL’s as a boater, FLW Everstarts as a boater, FLW Tour as a co (9th in points this year)
Years co: 2
Favorite technique: Power fishing dirty water
Hobbies aside from fishing: Deer hunting, Duck hunting