HomeblogsDave Lefebre – Wrapping up a Marathon Ah 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!