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. 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.
Leading off the series is longtime pro Luke Clausen, who is set to compete on the Bass Pro Tour in 2019. The winner of the 2004 Forrest Wood Cup and 2006 Bassmaster Classic says he's lost count of how many times a simple soft-plastic stickbait has bailed him out of trouble. Learn more about his confidence-boosting bait below.
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: Luke Clausen
> Confidence bait: Z-Man FattyZ Fat Finesse Worm (green-pumpkin)
> Gear used: 7’1” medium-heavy Phenix Rods Feather casting rod, Shimano Curado K casting reel, 12-pound Yo-Zuri Top Knot 100% fluorocarbon line, 3/16-oz. Dirty Jigs Luke Clausen signature series shaky-head jig.
> Origin: “That bait has saved my butt at times. It’s helped me survive days in the past where I feel like I’m making the right decision, but I’m not catching them. My confidence drops, but then I pick that up and get the momentum swung back around. It helps when you know can catch fish on something like that.”
> Why he trusts it: “It’s just a utility bait for largemouth and spots. Most times of the year, I can pick it up and catch fish. It’s best in places that are rocky with clear water. I’ve also caught ‘em on docks with it and bluffs and laydowns. In the South, I always have it tied on and overall, there’s rarely a tournament where I don’t have it on my deck.”
> One more thing: Clausen is pretty loyal to the green-pumpkin FattyZ in virtually all conditions. “There’s no need to complicate it much.”