BassWestUSA - May/June 2009, Page 46

by Terry Battisti

Breaking The Surface

Hunt for Giant Bass column has predominantly featured trophy hunters from hog-rich southern California along with a smattering of anglers from northern California. That’s not because we don’t feel the NorCal boys deserve the recognition or because we feel NorCal has noth- ing to offer the trophy bass community. More so, it’s because I have good ties with southern California and in a pinch, I can always count on a story from one of my close friends in that area. That’s about to change, though, and it begins with this issue. In the coming months, we are going to mix up the status quo and bring you more from anglers north of Point Concep- tion and also east of California. This is all because everyone that hunts trophy fish has something we all can learn from. So, in keeping with the promise stated above, I’d like to introduce a man who, inside the trophy ring of California, needs no introduction. He was the winner of the inaugural Heavy Weight Bass Classic held on Lake Casitas in 2008 and has 67 fish over the 10-pound mark to his credit. Of these 67 fish, 5 are over 15 pounds with his personal best being a 17- 05 giant. Couple this with three 5-fish limits over 50 pounds and one can’t argue that Don Osborne, owner of www.swimbaitc-, is truly a trophy hunter. As I do for this column each time my deadline comes up, I let the angler I’m interviewing come up with the topic. In this instance, the issue will be breaking right at the beginning of summer – not a known trophy time of the year – and I was interested in what Don would have to say about the start of the summer dol- drums. I was happy when I presented the scenario to him and he said, “That’s easy, we’ll do it on surface big baits.” What follows are Don’s techniques and the tackle he uses during the summer months, and all year long for that matter, when it comes to targeting trophies on the surface.


“Without a doubt there are two types of structure that I target when fishing big top- water baits for trophy bass,” Osborne said. “The first and foremost is a main-lake point that has deep-water access next to it and the second is sunken trees. Both of these areas


TAcTics And condiTions


May/June 2009