By Todd Ceisner
Time is ticking down. The pattern that worked yesterday isn’t working today. It’s crunch time. There’s an hour left until the weigh-in starts or, in the case of the Bass Pro Tour, lines are out. Your nerves are starting to fray. What do you reach for when you absolutely need to generate bites?
We’ve been asking pro anglers from the various leagues that same question as a way to find out what their ultimate confidence baits are regardless of the situation, along with the reasoning behind their choices. As one might expect, the answers have run the gamut, from big-line, big-weight flipping to light-line finesse and from topwater to slow-dragging baits.
When Oklahoma angler James Elam gets in a rut in terms of generating bites, there are a slew of baits he could reach for. More often than not, he’ll pick up a soft-plastic worm that resembles a proven fish catcher that features an added twist. The Molix Sligone is a beefy, 5 1/2-inch long worm with a flattened tail at one end. For Elam, it’s turned into a good utility bait that’s been productive across a gamut of conditions.
After checking out the latest installment in the series, head over to our Feedback page and let us know what your go-to bait is and how you rig it.
> Angler: James Elam
> Confidence bait: 5.5” Molix Baits Sligone worm
> Gear used: 7’2” heavy-action Shimano Expride casting rod, Shimano Metanium MGL casting reel (8.5:1 ratio), 17-pound Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon line, 1/8- or 1/4-oz. unnamed tungsten worm weight, 3/0 or 4/0 Gamakatsu EWG Superline worm hook.
> Origin: “I was in search of a bait that gave me a lot of versatility and this one delivers. I can Texas-rig it, wacky-rig it, Neko rig it and put it on a shakey-head. It’s extremely versatile. It looks like other popular soft-plastic stickbaits, but the flattened tail give it a different look that seems to attract bites.”
> Why he trusts it: “It’s caught fish for me during the spawn and in the summer on grass lakes and a lot of places in between.”
> One more thing: “When I rig it wacky style with the hook perpendicular to the flat tail, it catches way more water.”