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Q&A with Grayson Smith – Southern Opens Co Angler of the Year
Category : BACK DECK
The Bassmaster Southern Opens have come to a close, and one co angler had an incredible series of tournaments with a 12th, a 6th, and a 1st place finish. That angler is Grayson Smith, Clarksville, TN native. This young angler was crowned the Bassmaster Southern Open Co Angler of the Year. We gave him a call to get the inside-scoop on how he did it. Here is what he had to say…
FTB: How did you prepare yourself for the three Opens?
GS: As a co, I always try to go into tournaments with an open mind. I didn’t do a whole lot of preparation for these three events, I just brought a variety of tackle and was ready for anything.
FTB: How did you adjust to fishing with different pros?
GS: I knew that all my pros were fishing the spots we were on because there were fish there, I just focused on how I need to catch them. If my boater wasn’t catching fish, I had to figure out my own way to catch the fish. I tried to keep my presentations different. For example, at Douglas, my boater was throwing an A Rig in front of the boat, so I decided to throw it over the back of the boat to present it in a different way.
FTB: You finished 12th, 6th, and 1st, what were some of the most important things you did to ensure a strong finish in all three tournaments?
GS: I was blessed with good boaters. All of my boaters wanted to see me catch fish and have a good tournament, so that was an advantage. I just kept my head down, and kept fishing. It was tough for a while, but I decided I was going for quality, not quantity, so I threw baits that I thought would win the tournaments, and I just kept at it all day. It paid off in the end.
FTB: What techniques did you employ in these three tournaments?
GS: At the first Open at Lake Tohopekaliga, I pitched a Strike King Rodent throughout the tournament. I tried to hit spots that my boater wasn’t hitting. At Douglas Lake, I threw a jig the first day, but relied on an A Rig the next two days. I threw four Strike King Swimming Caffeine Shads on the outside, with one big sexy shad Shadalicious swimbait in the middle. The fish I caught always choked the big Shadalicious. At the final event, Logan Martin, I threw a shaky head behind jigs, and a jerkbait behind crankbaits and it brought me a victory.
FTB: Any other tips you have for co anglers?
GS: The biggest piece of advice I have is to go in with an open mind. You can never be sure what exactly you will be doing in the tournament, so you have to learn to adjust.
Circuits Fished: Bassmaster Weekend Series, Bassmaster Southern Opens, FLW Everstart at Kentucky Lake, Montgomery County Bass Club
Years Co: 4
Favorite Technique: Throwing a 6XD or dragging a 3/4 strike king football jig on ledges
Hobbies aside from Fishing: I work as a civil engineer in Clarksville, TN. I also like to play golf and duck hunt.