Constantly congenial Shaw Grigsby hasn't had the smoothest week. He ran over a submerged obstacle in the New Orleans Delta and tore-up his outboard prop. The mishap might have put the average weekend angler out of operation, but not the 14-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier. He limped back, replaced it, and smiled onward – the way Grigsby is famous for doing.
And when life gets complicated, it seems Grigsby and other veteran pros gravitate toward simplicity. This week, simplicity comes in the form of a black and blue jig for Shaw. Specifically, Grigsby will use a 1/2-ounce jig, tipped with a blue Strike King Rage Craw trailer, tied to 20-pound Stren fluorocarbon line, and pitched with a smooth, lightweight Quantum Smoke reel. His rod of choice will be the easily identifiable blue Quantum Tour Grigsby rod he designed. "You can catch 'em on that jig anywhere you go in America, especially in muddy or tanic-colored water," said Shaw.
Sentimental fan favorite Gary Klein shows alignment with his roommate Grigsby when it comes to simplicity. No surprise, the man who helped popularize the flipping technique will lean on the 8-foot long Quantum Tour Klein rod featuring a unique revolver guide system to leverage keepers into the livewell this week. He'll mix it up between a jig and a 5/16-ounce Texas-rigged, green pumpkin tube jig depending on the habitat.
Klein explained the intricacies. "It's all about the rate of fall. In other words, how fast the lure sinks through the water column. I control the rate of fall with the weight of the lure and the diameter of my fishing line. Most of the bass this week will be caught no deeper than 3-feet of water, so I want to make sure the lure isn't sinking too fast into the muddy Delta bottom," explained Klein. "Really, I'll be honest, winning this tournament is less about catching the bass, and more about getting there. Catching them should be the easier part of this week's equation. The hard part is going to be all the calculated strategy of running 200 miles round trip to get to the bass without any mishaps or miscalculations. They live where I'm going, but still it's a matter of getting there and back," said the 29-time Classic qualifier.
Finally, for Dean Rojas, as you probably guessed, he'll be counting on Kermit. During final Classic prep, Dean's front deck was decorated in nothing more than his signature red Quantum 'frog rods' and a nest of topwater frogs. The often-unfriendly Delta environment that Grigsby and Klein alluded to is actually rather perfect for Rojas' penchant for amphibious imitators, with its ultra-shallow, wood and aquatic vegetation cover and warming week of weather. "Yep, it's pretty simple, 70-pound FX2 Sunline braid, and a variety of frog colors including Midnight Walker and Navy Seal. I should have a fun week, doing what I love to do," said Rojas, perhaps the Classic's poster boy for lure selection highlighted by simplicity -- here in bass fishing’s most elaborate and amped-up week.