Comical Louisiana pro, Darold Gleason hails from a place where crawdads are savored by humans and largemouth alike. However, this week he finds himself competing in a region of America on the Canadian border where their bigger saltwater cousins, lobsters, get top billing.
The good news is, his beloved Carolina rig — aka “The Double Splash Rig” — with a plastic crawfish or V & M Pork Shad at the end of a leader behind the 1-ounce egg sinker, works everywhere, and that includes Lake Champlain.
“Drop shots and chasing roaming fish in the middle of the water column with forward facing sonar will be the techniques that most likely challenge for the win here. But if the south wind blows 15-20 mph like they’re forecasting, it’s going to be really hard to fish like that, and that’s where the Carolina rig is so much more efficient,” explains the longtime Toledo Bend fishing guide.
In fact, Gleason says the Carolina rig has caught more fish for his clients during his highly successful 15-year fishing guide career than any other technique by a wide margin.
“Whether you’re my guide client or an Elite Series pro, when you’re targeting fish near the bottom in 25 to 35 feet of water, there just aren’t many bass fishing techniques that allow you to maintain bottom contact and give you a true sense of what your lure is doing down there more so than a Carolina rig,” explains Gleason.
One cool tip he offers is to use a clear bead between the heavy egg sinker and the 2-way swivel, because he believes the red colored beads that many anglers use attract bass that focus on biting the bead and sinker, rather the bait behind it.
As far as what he’s chowing on this week, it’s neither crawdads or lobster, but instead a fantastic cheeseburger from he and wife Randi’s Recteq wood pellet grill.
“That’s what we had last night, with a side of mac ‘n cheese that I added a gentle splash of Louisianan hot sauce to, of course,” grins Gleason, who threatens to feed Champlain smallmouth a solid portion of his trusty “Double Splash” rig for breakfast on Day 1 of competition Thursday.
Especially if the wind is blowing like a scene from the Discovery Channel’s award-winning show ‘Deadliest Catch’ when they went lobstering in high seas.