BassWestUSA - January/February, 2011, Page 55


First Impressions



word on the water was that El Grande Lures were all about catching really big sh, and that's important to me as a Bassmaster Elite pro, says Fred Roumbanis of Bixby, Oklahoma. The rst day I got some samples to try, I used all four El Grande baits, starting with the Hatch Match Stick, the Gila Monster which is the big lizard, the El Sapo topwater toad and the big tube bait. I actually caught sh on every single one of them the rst time I used them, which was on Fort Gibson Lake, Oklahoma. Obviously that gave me a lot of con dence in El Grande. The water was a bit stained, and the nice thing about the Hatch Match Stick I tried rst, is the way they are triple-lam- inated. One of the laminate colors is green pumpkin with chartreuse and a yellow stripe called Catalpa. They were just eating that Catalpa color up in the off-colored water. I prob- ably caught 5-6 bass on that in the rst hour, throwing it right up on the bank. I tried the Hatch Match Stick rigged wacky style, with a nail weight in the head, and that thing really starts shaking when you add a little nail weight in it. You can catch a lot of sh with it that way. The next way I tried it was plain Texas rigged with a 1/16 oz tungsten bullet weight, Fish tend to hit it real good as it free-falls. I was just hitting little targets on the bank, sticks, twigs stumps, laydowns and some good little rocks, and it was pretty awesome. I picked up the El Sapo soft plastic topwater toad next, in a smoke and white shad- looking laminate named Toad. I rigged that on a Gamakatsu 5/0 Superline Spring Lock hook. It didn't take but 3-4 casts before I got my rst blow-up on El Sapo right next to some brush. That was pretty awesome, and proved to be a 2-1/2 pounder. I had a spinning rod with a shakey jighead on it, and I put on the big lizard, the Gila Monster, and threw it out there and just let it utter toward the bottom. The tail on the lizard has a slow, undulating kick to it, real slow, and a sh ate it before it reached the bot- tom. If you're looking for a bait to use with a big shakey head, this is it. Next, I Texas rigged the Gila Monster with a big EWG hook and a 1/4 oz bullet sinker. I saw a stump underwater, and just dragged it real slow on the bottom past the stump, and caught another sh that way. They really smoke the Gila when they hit it; they knock the slack out of the line and everything. When you reel down, and they're swimming off with it, you know they're yours! I think a lot has to do with the scent El Grande uses. They have a unique scent that no other product has in the plastic. It's called Tequila scent. For those who do a lot of ipping, the El Grande Tube has a solid soft plastic nose, so the tube doesn't keep slipping down the hook all the time. I like the tube rigged on a 4/0 Gamakatsu Superline EWG with an unpegged 1/8 oz tungsten bullet weight that slides free on the line, so when the tube falls down, it gives that kind of slow, unweighted fall. The hollow body has corrugated ribs for extra vibration and water movement. Each individual tentacle in the tail is perfectly injection molded, not shred-cut, making the tube tails pretty perfect. You don't get legs that are stuck together, some thin, some thick. Each bait that El Grande makes, they're all awless. I probably caught 15 to 20 bass total on El Grande Lures that day. For the rst day of trying a new line of products, and to have that much success, I was totally sold on El Grande Lures. That day was my introduction to El Grande Lures, and I hope that reading this has made a good introduction to El Grande's products for you too. BW

January/February 2011