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Fishing Fridays Radio Interviews Drew Benton – Fishing 2nd Bassmaster Classic
Hello everybody, and welcome to dig in fishing. I’m your host, Michael Grady. I’m excited today because today we have drew bitten here, the Bassmaster elite series. Drew had one, two major wins and the first in a FLW tour, Lake Okeechobee, and the second bath master Toyota, Texas fast. Drew will also be fishing in a second Bassmaster classic in Knoxville, Tennessee, and a couple of weeks. Welcome drew. Hey, thanks for having me. So drew, what are you up to today?
Well, as you know, I’m up here in the panhandle where Hurricane Michael, just this wrath a few months back and today I’m working around the house trying to get everything back in order. I’m in between events, so I’m kind of wearing two hats. The one pop right now I, I’m in Daytona Beach, Florida and I can absolutely tell anybody listening if you haven’t seen pictures of what a that hurricane did to the panhandle, like bomb went off up there. It really looked like a war zone and still does and a lot of, a lot of parts of my county is just a, I’ve lived through a bunch of hurricanes in Florida. We’ve never left and it’s just, it still amazes me the amount of force that came along with Hurricane Michael.
Well, I’ll tell you after being in taught it for 25 years, I can absolutely tell you one thing is true. I’d rather the wind every once in a while blow sideways and throws a hurricane at us as opposed to a hundred inches of snow.
25 below zero. Yeah, that’s right. I don’t do that much cold. I lived down here in the south for a reason and I don’t mind going up up north and fishing those small mouth fisheries in the summertime when we’re escaping that a hundred under degrees and a hundred percent humidity down here. But you know, this time of year and, and on an early spring, the south of the place for me.
Yeah Buddy. I, let’s talk fishing, man. How did you tell our listeners, how did you get started
fishing? Well, I mean my love for facial started fishing for Brandon and calf on math budge. My granddad as most kids, you know, and I really didn’t start back until I got to high school age and start fishing around a little ponds and lakes around the house to my friends. And that’s really how I got my start. Just Wade fishing, floating, floating down equal fine and a little repairs around the house and float tubes and, and just fishing for Bass. That boy,
so you did that as a kid. So what made you get into competitive fishing?
So know I played baseball all through high school and college and I was to pay the person and you know, we had little tournaments here around the house, Tuesday night tournaments, Saturday events and, and you know, whenever I was 16 I got me a little bass tracker and you know, we started getting in those little local tournament doing really well. And then I just started climbing the ladder. I branched out to regional events. I’m like seminar old, you follow and joined a bass club and you know, it really just took off from there. That competitive aspect of a, that fishing, what’s the best of both worlds? For me, it gave me that competitiveness that I lead and you know, the love for the outdoors. We associate the combination of both and it was just, it was just the perfect set up for me.
Well let me ask you, now that you’re fishing at the highest level, what’s the biggest challenge or problem you found in competing with some of the best there are?
You know, obviously the biggest challenge that I can think of would be that no matter what, you can do everything or I in this job, you can make the right calf, make the right decisions, but you’re still going after a while and then, and that x factor along with weather and everything else that can, can be thrown at you. It’s, it’s got, that’s what makes it the most challenging. You can do everything right on your part and you still not get paid at the end of the day. And that’s just, that’s just part of the game that we play.
Luck is part of it. Huh?
I’ll say look as much as just those uncontrollable factors. Gotcha. You know, like you’d practice for an event, you’ve got some fish found and it rains three inches the night before and it just blows out your area or you know, just, just x factors that mother nature and the aspect of, you know, you’re chasing after awhile. Biblical tales pull him off. I mean, that’s just part of it.
Gotcha. Well, do you have an ads? What have you learned? You know, because obviously, you know, you did well in FLW and now you’re in the elite or what have you learned that’s really helped you succeed?
Mostly just keep an open mind, you know, he developed a game plan of course in practice and kind of get an idea what you want to do. But you know, you’ve always got to keep an open mind while you’re out there fishing in the tournament. I’m a lot of things develop during the event. My respect, a good point would be a Texas stuff. I didn’t figure out the window until the afternoon or the first day of the event and I had no idea that I was going to win that tournament. Had no idea I was on the one that pattern. It was just keeping an open mind and you know, fishing what was in front of me and you know, taking things wants to for the time.
You mentioned that you put together a plan for the tournament of the lake. Can you talk to us a little bit about what your processes and going through and putting together a plan for a particular body of water?
Yeah. Typically I take into account, you know, what stage the Fisher in, whether it’s pretty spot on post far. Try to find that out before, you know, before I even put the boat in the water, that that gives me an idea of the top areas I need to look at it. It kills me. Or the fish is going to be shallow. Are they going to be in those stage and top areas of steeper banks? Are they going to be on those places that they come and risk after they spawn or are they going to be out deep in their summertime pump? They, I mean it just gives you a better idea of locations for Luke and that that’s kind of the, the most planning I do. And then I hop into just trying to locate, just try and get a bite or two. Let the fish tell you what you know, what’s going on
when it comes to putting together your plan or implementing it. Do you use any tools or any information sources?
Oh yeah. My units are, you know, they just take all the guesswork out of all that I can. I can study the mapping on Mahler and she and this and see where the channel switching banks are, where you know, ditches and, and travel points are, I can, you know, use the structure stands the fine, you know, rock Colin’s structure out, you know, off points and road beds and things like that. And actually I’m in the summertime that you can actually stay the schools of fish. That is a big tool as well as you know, satellite imagery, Google maps, bing maps, using those to see, you know, a satellite picture of the like and can see where grass grows or worse sandbars are. We’re a little depressions are on flat, things like that. That’s all very, very helpful and useful tool that you can use before you even get to the leg where you meet to the volume of water and you can do a lot of homework, you know, using those tools and, and, and take a lot of the guesswork out before you actually get on the water.
Yeah. And I asked this a lot of a lot of the elite guys, do you actually write down your plan in a, in a book or do you just kind of keeping your head?
No, I don’t. I don’t write it down. I keep it in my head. You know, I’m very forgetful person. If you, if you know me, a matter of fact with the interview, if you, if you wouldn’t let me, it was a while ago and he reminded me out or forgot about it. But when it comes to fishing, it comes to getting bikes and things like that. For whatever reason I can remember that stuff and he just stays in my head. I don’t really have any drive anything down
cause this, it’s what you love to do. That’s right. So let me ask you, wait, you know, you put together your plan and you kind of go out there and you get some experience in your practice. What’s the, what kind of results have you gotten from, you know, some of your different, you know, things that you do over and over and over again?
I feel like as long as I go in and just try and get an idea and don’t really get too hung up on one thing, one pattern, I just kind of get an idea of starting point for the event. Not necessarily, you know, I’m going to do this, this doesn’t work, I’m going to do this. And if that does Oregon, me see I feel like if I just figure out, you know, an idea somewhere to start and then kind of list the tournament developed to me, you know, develop itself to me and I just kind of keep an open mind and to kind of roll with the punches. I find myself far more successful man. If I get hung up on one thing and, and just, you know, try to make the fish, you know, I think you’re way more successful if you let the fish telling you what to do. You just kinda put yourself on those high percent
when you’re kind of working, working along, you know. Do you kind of keep the time in your head about how long it’s been in between fish or that kind of thing? Or do you have a set time? I’m so, in other words, you said if your process is kind of fluid but you get them be like, wow, nothing’s happened in 20 minutes, I got to do something else. Or are you just, we’ll just go with what’s happening.
Well yeah, in a way. I mean every body of water eat different, you know, some, some like, you know, he might be station for for seven bucks a day. Whereas I feel like Chino that have a big fish population, you’re hitting bit, you know, steady and you, you’ve got to kind of take that into account and factor that in. So yeah, there’s gotta be a top, you know, kind of a mental time clock in your head. I’m going off of here. If you’re spending too much time doing one thing and not get bit, you obviously get to move on, but you got to take into the account of body of water you’re on. I mean up north, if you’re not getting bit, you know, you better be doing something else cause the efficient, very strong up there. They got big populations of fish and I don’t get fish for Austin.
But when you’re down here in the style, say for instance on you know, body of water life, but the classic venue, you know, it’ll be march, it’d be three spawn. You know, you might not necessarily get the number of bikes you would at a place like Saint Lawrence River or a saint player nowhere. But you, you know, you, you got to stick to, you know, the areas that you have confidence in and in the techniques do you have confidence in and allow those bikes to town. But there definitely has to be no time clock factored into that if you’re not getting bid at all.
So what you’re saying is the Saint Lawrence is different than tohow are Okeechobee, Huh?
Yeah, absolutely it is. Can you know, fishing Saint Lawrence, it’s just so full of fish. I mean you’re going to get it pretty much everywhere you go on that place. And the big cheese for a place like that. So is the quality and you know, a three and three quarter pounder and a four pounder are very, very different. You’ve got upon those were found by, that’s the whole key there. And, and when you say time wise, if you’re getting a lot of three and very quarter, three and a half down by cause you’re getting bit, you’ve got to go do something different. I mean you’re not, you’re, you’re discounting yourself hugely by not going after that, that bigger quality by elsewhere. So you gotta you gotta move around and figure out how to get those four pound by just cause you’re getting bit does not mean you’re on the right track. Those places, again, it’s all according on to the volume water you’re fishing.
Gotcha. So what would you say is the biggest thing you’ve learned or the most successful thing you’ve learned this made you better since you started fishing? You know, F FLW and of course your leasers. Okay.
The, the biggest thing is it’s being able to be versatile. You have guys that you would call your, your deep water. You got to you guys or just shallow water guys know we could be, you know, dropping on them up north and they’re going to go try to find some field shallow. And from what I’ve found, he’s got to be versatile. You can’t, you can’t be that guy that you’re just known for being shallow water are known for being a great deep water angler. You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone and you’ve got to figure out ways to catch them in those times that they’re going to be called off, you know, out I’ll show or you know, vice versa. It’s just the nature of the game. The most successful guys in the sport are versatile and that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned.
Gotcha. So when you’re going and making up your plan, you’re also taking a look at depth of water in different areas, Huh?
Yeah, yeah. I mean, for instance, this, if I’m thinking that, that, you know, everything’s spawned a priest on, I’m going to be looking in those areas that are, you know, five foot or less. Hmm. Possibly little depression, stitches, you know, leading into spa and pockets and things like that. And then if you know, I’m know the everything’s post bond, more luck in June, the summer pattern, I probably won’t be looking at shallow, you know, unless it’s a grass leg, we’re officially a shallow year round, you know, most of those facial move out to a three river channel age or a deep draw off or something like that. So you know that that kind of gives me an idea of a starting point at least.
Gotcha. Well lastly, if we come to the end of our interview, I want to ask you and I ask everybody these two questions. Number one, what is your most successful phishing secret?
Oh, well I’ll, I’ll answer that because I’ve had a lot of questions and Saint John’s river, I have, I’ve had a, you wouldn’t believe the number of emails messages on social media now. I had a, a pump up sprayer on the back of my boat with a little blue solution mix stuff in it. And everybody wants to know what is in that pump up sprayer. Well, I’m sight fishing in the spring. You obviously have a lot of pollen on the water that time of year as well as any kind of wind that blows. It’s hard to see. You might be able to see the bed, but she can’t get a good look at the fish and see what he knows. Fast fishes the well I can do, but a little bit of a blue dawn dish washing liquid, which is, you know, environmental. We say I’m not, you know, mix it up a little like water, but it doesn’t pump up sprayer and I can spray it like there’s little ripple in the water. I can spray it, you know, a 10 by 10 area and it’ll click that lower off where I can see, see really good and see what that fishes see how he’s acting or if there’s pollen in the water and spray it and then I can disperse that pollen and stuff. That’s probably one of the biggest figures I’ve got. And it’s Kinda, it’s, it’s known. It’s not a big secret or anything, but a lot of people have asked me, you know what that is? And that’s, that’s what it is.
I had to tell you that’s the first time I’ve heard of it and that is, that is awesome cause you’re kind of using it as a surfactant so you can actually cut down on the declared. Right? Yup. That’s amazing. All right. So question number two. What’s your most successful or your favorite lure or bait?
Oh, that’s a tough one. I have to say though, you know, going all over the country, a bay that catches them everywhere. It’s probably a little crying. They and Bagley makes a fantastic one. It’s called a sunny day. It’s a little six to eight foot diver. Of course you can put heavier lawn on a fishery shall or, but she put 15 pound test. It’s kind of down about 60 it’s a tight wobble, small crankbait. It gets a ton of bites and it catches big ones. It’s a, it’s a Balsa Lewer that comes through any cover you can imagine. And it’s got a tight Subaru listed action with great pillars, the match to any kind of Ford’s you want. And it’ll catch them from Florida to New York. So that’s a, that’s a bait that I throw a ton. I’m going to have a lot of competence.
Nice. You’ve given our listeners a ton of great information. I really appreciate that. This is professional fishing. So do you have anything that you want to promote?
Well, you know, we couldn’t do this without any of our sponsors and that, you know, when, when you asked me one of the hard things, the hardest things that I’ve learned about, you know, this sport, it’s hard to, to answer that without mentioning the, you know, the sponsor aspect though, you know, it’s two jobs and fishing and promoting and you know, every year we got more fishermen and it’s harder and harder to get sponsored dollars cause I get split up. You know, I knew about Bagley being boat, millennium, Marine Lorraine’s Power Pole, doomsday nickels, Lewers, Phoenix, Rod, CJR owner hoods. All those companies are, you know, kind of a team that has put together and they work really well together. And you know, I’m just, I’m glad to be a part of their family and you know, I couldn’t do that. I’m so, they’re products that will, that will put more efficient everybody’s boat, and I’d just be sure to check them out.
Awesome, man. Thanks for the great information and thanks for being on our show.
All right. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
All right. Good luck in the elite series this year. Thank you.
Thanks again for listening.
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