Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

SWIMMING WITH WORMS Plan B Gets the Job Done for Shawver

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

SWIMMING WITH WORMS Plan B Gets the Job Done for Shawver

Article excerpt

GEORGETOWN -- He's one step away from qualifying as an

amateur for bass fishing's big enchilada, the BASS Masters

Classic, so it goes without saying that Jacksonville's Jerry

Shawver knows how to find fish.

That applies even on a morning such as Shawver and I

experienced last week at Lake George when all the ingredients

were there -- schools of shad, healthy eel grass, just a hint of

breeze -- except hungry bass.

"C'mon, flush the toilet," Shawver urged as he ticked a

buzzbait across the top of the vegetation.

But the anticipated implosion from a big bass sucking down the

surface lure wasn't happening this day. We'd have to go to Plan

B.

For Shawver, that meant running from the east to the west shore

of the sprawling lake and reaching for another of his summertime

locater baits. When he's practicing for a tournament, Shawver

likes three such lures for homing in on bass in the grass -- a

clackety buzzbait on top, a Rat-L-Trap over grass in deeper

water and, perhaps the most effective of all, a swimming,

Texas-rigged plastic worm dragged at or just below the surface.

Shawver used a swimming worm, among other baits, to win the

overall title in the recent BASS Federation Southern Divisional

on the St. Johns River and advance as Florida's representative

to next April's BASS/Wrangler National Championship. Five

anglers from that amateur competition will qualify for the

prestigious BASS Masters Classic.

Swimming a worm -- that is, retrieving it at a steady pace --

is contrary to the way many of us learned to fish this most

effective of all artificial bass baits. The conventional

retrieve calls for a slow raising of the rod tip, then a slow

lowering of the rod while reeling in the slack. It's a proven

fish-catcher but it's slow. A swimming worm covers more ground

in less time.

"A lot of people aren't used to fishing fast, but swimming a

worm through eel grass is an excellent technique," Shawver said. …

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