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Q+A with Bassmaster Elite Bob Downey

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The Omnia viewers have some burning questions for Bob! He answered some on our Instagram page already, but here is an extended version with more questions and answers from Bassmaster Elite, Bob Downey!

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(00:00) today we're going to go through a little social piece about the questions that you guys asked Bob and kind of rattle off some of his answers so we'll get right into it the first question is have you ever caught a flathead I have not we don't really have them in our lakes that I grew up fishing I think they're in the Minnesota River but I've never caught one there caught plenty of like channel catfish I guess you might say but never a big old Flathead okay we'll get a little more into another serious question here how did
(00:30) you first start to get familiar with Southern U.S Fisheries since you're from Minnesota yeah in college I fished for the University of Iowa and I got exposed to Southern reservoirs during that four-year period and it really opened my eyes to just the different places throughout the country I'm so used to fishing natural lakes and a little bit on the Mississippi River too but reservoirs with no grass were completely foreign to me so the college my college Years really exposed me to that and actually helped me a ton throughout the
(01:02) opens when I qualified and now on the elites today sweet so the next question is how do you locate Smallmouth that are spawning in deeper water yeah that's a great question that's something that people are kind of getting onto more and more these days there was always a select few guys that would do it but it seems like with the advancement in electronics it's becoming a little more popular you know the use of Side Imaging in 360 is kind of where you start with it you're looking for deeper structures that are similar to
(01:33) what they might spawn on in shallow water so your Sandy Boulder areas you're looking for that in that 10 to 20 foot range versus 0 to 10 foot range so stuff you can't necessarily see with your eyes as well and you're using your 360 Mark and waypoints on those areas and now you can ease up to them with live and you can actually read those fish with forward-facing sonar a lot better than you ever could before so in the past people are using floggers to see those deep fish now you can do it really well
(02:02) with your electronics but basically keep it simple look for the same type of structure you would for those shallow spawners just look for it a little bit deeper water off the lines that question I have a personal question for you on a scale of one to ten how difficult is it to use a flogger by yourself uh honestly I've never used one before so I can't give you an honest answer but from talking to other guys it seems like it's pretty difficult I mean it sounds like you're dealing with bruised ribs
(02:31) especially if you're in windy conditions you're probably hooking those fish letting the flogger float away on its own but I've never been a flogger guy I just I don't fish for spawn in Smallmouth much I kind of leave them alone during the spawn but I know you know there's probably going to be a time on the elites where we come across the spawning tournament for Smallmouth and I'm probably gonna have to get familiar with it sweet that's that's interesting um there's some really good questions on
(02:57) here guys uh the next one is for Dirty River swim jigs when do you throw a white versus black blue that's a great question um like general rule of thumb I throw white a lot in the fall on river systems it seems like they're more on that minnow Shad pattern in the fall versus the spring and summer but there are times where I'll throw white in the summertime or your main river fish that are feeding on Shad if I get into those Backwater areas where they're more bluegill eaters that's what I'm going to
(03:28) go to your black blues and your green pumpkin so main river white back Waters black blue green pumpkin and less in the fall that I'm throwing white almost everywhere awesome another kind of moving bait question here we have when do you use a spinner bait over a ChatterBait or vice versa another good question I mean spanner baits are generally better around wood so lay downs stumps standing Timber that spinner bait is going to come through that stuff a lot better than a ChatterBait you can put a flat trailer
(04:01) like a craw style trailer on a ChatterBait and it'll help it roll over the wood better but if you've got a minnow style trailer that ChatterBait tends to roll and catch on the wood a lot so I'll throw a spinner bait more in those situations beyond that it's kind of a trial and error deal see what the fish like for that certain time of day I film fishing Smallmouth and Open Water windy conditions I really like a painted blade spinner bait versus a chatter bait so there's certain times where it's just
(04:30) kind of comes down to feeling out what that day gives you and running with it but general rule of thumb around wood I'm throwing a spinner bait or Open Water shallow cover a Chatterbait awesome that's those are some great tips and advice for sure these are a little more a couple the next two questions are a little more well it just might be a little easier for you to answer and just more simple so we had a question what is your favorite bait to use for Smallmouth just very general man I love throwing a tube
(05:01) for Smallmouth I feel like the Ned rig and the drop shot gets a lot of uh publicity these days it's real popular but to me throwing a tube is super fun and it generates big bites too and you can be really versatile with it you can throw a bigger three three and a half inch with a heavy head or a really tiny micro tube on a small eighth ounce head up Shallow on on shallows you know sand Flats so for me a tube is like my number one Smallmouth Catcher And I think people still throw it but not as much as they used to
(05:34) definitely so what is your favorite lure to use for fishing Largemouth in Minnesota uh gosh Largemouth in Minnesota probably a Texas Rig there's so many different things you can do for largemouth Minnesota but a Texas Rig allows you to cover every depth of the water column we fish it shallow in the springtime our summer offshore weed edges it's probably the best bait that's going to come through the grass and you're going to be able to catch a bunch of big ones on it too as well as numbers so Texas Rig is really versatile
(06:09) in our natural lakes full of vegetation awesome that's a great bait pretty much everywhere but definitely Minnesota so um last two questions we've had a lot of really good questions so far A little less serious on this one but do you think you could pull off a visor oh man I feel like maybe my high school and college days I could I had a little little longer hair played hockey in high school had some flow going now my older age is starting to thin out a little bit so I just don't know if I'd look as good
(06:40) an advisor these days maybe maybe 10 years ago during your hockey days like what was your ranking of your hockey flow I mean it was shoulder length so it was pretty good I'd say I I mean we we Let It Go the whole season most of the guys on the team so uh yeah I thought it was some pretty good flow nice yeah so the last question could be I don't know how you're going to answer it might be a little controversial might not be but someone asked you what does he think of Pickwick Pickwick man super fun Lake
(07:12) um really unique in that there's some giant Smallmouth in that place and it's a southern Reservoir Southern body of water you don't hear that very often in the South I've been there twice for the Elite series one time in March when we were behind the dam fishing Smallmouth and it reminded me fishing them on the Mississippi River I fall right at home I could go flip Largemouth in Shallow Backwater Bays that time of year too we also went there in June and went out of the lower end and it was more of a ledge
(07:39) fishing deal something I'm very unfamiliar with on the Tennessee River and I struggled I finished you know just outside the cut in that event was able to find a couple schools but definitely not as dialed in as some of those guys that grew up doing it so later in the year Pickwick is a toughie for me earlier in the year it's one of the coolest places that I've ever been to awesome well those were a lot of good answers thank you guys for interacting with us with us on social on omnifishing asked some great in-depth questions and uh
(08:09) thank you yeah thanks guys see ya foreign