Bassmaster Elite Series and ALX Rods Pro Kelley Jaye started off the 2015 tournament season with a 6th place finish at the Bassmaster Southern Open on Lake Toho. Kelley spent all his time on Toho to avoid losing time locking. We spent a little time with Kelley and did a quick Q&A session to find out how it played out for him.
AD: You’re known for fishing a jerkbait. What was the key bait for you this week and how did you figure it out?
KJ: My key bait this week was… well a suspending jerkbait. The fish I targeted hadn’t pulled up to spawn so I targeted off shore hydrilla. I used an ALX Rods Deputy and made long casts, ripping the jerkbait through the top of the grass for a reaction bite. I chose a jerkbait simply because I felt like it was something they are not used to seeing as much from heavy fishing pressure and it paid off.
AD: It sounds like you definitely played to your strength on this one. How do you plan out your practices for big events like this?
KJ: I plan practice for events like this and any other based on where the fish should be in relation to the season. I studied my contour map using my Lowrance units, and looked for ditches and deep water areas close to spawning flats. Once I found these areas, I’d determine the size of the fish holding in them, mark the productive ones, and move to the next.
AD: Solid plan. But that takes time to narrow down water. I saw something on your Facebook page about losing practice time to go home and handle an issue at your business. How’d you make up for the lost practice time?
KJ: I lost a day of practice due to work obligations with AMPS. I am used to only having 2 1/2 days of practice with the Elite Series. So I still having a 3 full days of practice was more than enough to break down where I needed to fish. I also did my homework before I got to the lake.
AD: What was the biggest challenge you faced this past week?
KJ: The biggest challenges I faced this week were fishing pressure and managing fish. There were several boats also focusing on the area where I caught most of my fish. I had to balance saving 3 days of fish without giving up a spot that I knew someone else would hop right on. Basically, I would hit the sweet spots for a sack and then move off but stay close enough to keep competitors from moving in on those key areas.
AD: Ok – one last question – we saw a great picture on the BASS website with you holding some hooks straightened… what’s the story there?
KJ: I had one area that had a school of big fish but they constantly were moving. I found them first thing Thursday – I had 17lbs in 45 minutes. The second day (Friday), I could never locate this same school. I caught a decent limit that kept me in the top 12 and on for the final day. Well Saturday (Day 3), I found the big fish school again. They were 75 yards from where I caught them Thursday. The first fish was 8 plus and jumped three times before I got it to the boat. Right at the boat it jumps again and comes unbuttoned. I look at the bait and two sets of #4 trebles are just straight. So then on the following casts I caught a 4, a 3, lost a 4, caught a 3. Then it was over. I caught a couple more keepers to fill out my limit but the big fish were done. It could have been a close one at the weigh in but that’s fishing. That doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about what could have been though!
AD: That’s a great story to end a great tournament showing. Stay tuned for more highlights from Kelley Jaye as the season progresses! Follow Kelley Jaye online at Kelley’s Facebook Page!
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