Dave Lefebre – Wrapping up a Marathon

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LefebreBlogAh SLEEEEEEEP!!! I just finished up a three tournament marathon and it is nice
to be home, get some rest and get caught up a little. The house is really coming
along, they should have the roof on next week sometime. Our next tour event is
in a couple weeks on Wheeler Lake, AL but I just registered for the last
Northern Ever Start on the Potomac River next week. I now sit in 47th place in
the Ever Start standings after missing the first of the four…the top 40 go to
the Championship on the Ouachita River in Louisiana. I figure I need a top 30 or
so on the Potomac, but I’d take a win, lol. I’ll probably only get a day to look
around but I know the place pretty well and always look forward to fishing
there.

I did fairly well last event in Detroit although I could’ve done a
lot better. That was our second of the four FLW Tour Opens. The first was way
back in January on Lake Okeechobee, FL where I finished 23rd. With my 17th in
Detroit I now sit in 5th in the AOY standings. The top five in the standings
pre-qualify for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup so these are obviously very
important…two to go!

Detroit was challenging and expensive, as I had to
check vast amounts water, part of the local curse I guess. I went through tons
of gas in both the Suburban and Mercury trying to find the winning group of fish
far, far away. Well that never happened, but on the last day of practice I
finally located what I thought had potential. There were a bunch of fish up
shallow and they were the right kind. I found them late on the last day of
practice so I wasn’t completely sure how I would wind up catching them in the
actual derby. I tied on a bunch of different baits that I thought could work and
carried way too much tackle and way too many rods on board, something I don’t
like to do when fishing on the big Lake Erie.

A crankbait turned out to
be the deal and after day one I was able to empty my boat out a lot and focus
much better.

A Rapala Clackin Crank 55 in colors Helsinki Shad and Moss
Back Shad were like candy to those big smallmouth out there, it was
unbelievable. I was fishing in 3-5 feet near an island. There was a little bit
of scattered grass but the main deal was boulders and little rock ridges. Thanks
to an inside tip from a buddy at Rapala over a month ago, I was able to get
dialed in pretty quickly with the right bait. He had been smashing big
smallmouth in Minnesota on the Crawdad version and thankfully sent me some to
play with in my area.

The only problem with any treble hooked bait is
that you are going to have some heart-breaking losses, especially with those big
brown fish, and that was the case for me unfortunately. I should’ve had well
over 20lbs each day easily, but only achieved it on day 2. I did however use the
VMC Sure-Set trebles and feel like they did help my catch ratio considerably
because it could’ve been a whole lot worse. I’m telling you, these crazy fish
would jump five times or more on the way to the boat. The Sure Sets have an
oversized hook on them, and for those smallmouth it really works, as most of the
ones I caught had that bigger hook in the roof of their mouth. I strongly
recommend trying them when fishing for smallmouth.

I used a 7:1 Shimano
Chronarch reel with a Dobyns Champion Series 705 CB Glass rod. If you’re looking
for a 7’ crankbait rod I promise that you will absolutely love this rod and
thank me later. I use it for rattling baits in the spring and everything from
small square-bills like the Clackin Cranks to the DT 10’s, it is the best all
around crankbait rod on the market and at a very reasonable price. I used 10lb
fluorocarbon and was making super long casts with an erratic and semi fast
retrieve. Most of the fish bit at the end of the cast of course, lol, but
sometimes they would follow it to the boat. When that happened I dropped a 4”
Yamamoto Shad Shaped Worm to them and they would eat it every single time. My
drop shot rods for Lake Erie are Dobyns 703’s, again the best rod for the job
hands down!