UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Cumberland

Davis’ Brush Pile Recipe

Davis’ Brush Pile Recipe
Clent Davis

Growing up in Alabama, Clent Davis is a practiced hand at pretty much any kind of offshore fishing and most kinds of shallow fishing. What he’s best at is brush pile fishing. Running brush at Lake Ouachita produced the greatest final-day comeback in Forrest Wood Cup history and earned him a career-defining win in Cup.

When it comes to brush, Davis doesn’t do anything that’s too far from the norm, but he’s still got plenty of knowledge worth noting.

 

The right brush

A lot of brush pile fishing involves finding a quantity of productive brush piles. Though one or two good piles can add to a tournament day, you usually need quite a few to cull up to a winning bag. For Davis, that means finding them ahead of time with his Lowrance electronics.

“All your humps and points are going to have brush on them on lakes where people plant brush,” says Davis. “The best brush piles to me are on little sneaky turns or up in a gut or a drain. Those seem to be the best ones because they don’t get fished as much. I definitely mark the ones on the obvious points and humps, but whenever you can find those little golden nuggets – something not obvious on the map – those are the ones that put you over the top on a brush pile event.”

Because many piles that Davis and others regularly fish are man-made, there will usually be a lot of options on any given lake, with a majority in whatever depth of water the locals consider to be the best. Davis bases his search on the season and the water clarity.

“Early in the year the thermocline isn’t really a big deal; it’s more water clarity than anything. On Eufaula, where the water isn’t as clean, you’re looking in the 8- to 12-foot zone,” says Davis. “On Smith Lake, where it’s gin-clear, you’re looking in 20 to 35 feet. They can really get deep on that lake. Later in the year, when the thermocline sets in and it gets hot, you always want to fish close to it, but just above it.”

Davis can usually tell if brush has bass in it simply by looking at it with DownScan or sonar, but just because a pile appears to be barren doesn’t mean you should entirely ignore it.

“These are my thoughts,” says Davis. “This time of year, when the brush has been fished a lot and there aren’t just piles and piles of fish in it, your electronics are unbelievable, but there are going to be a couple lying on the bottom or real close to the brush that they aren’t going to pick up. If you believe there should be a fish there you probably should fish the brush pile.”

 

The bait buffet

Though some lakes have dominant brush baits, Davis likes having options on deck to hit the piles from multiple angles and to catch fish that are sitting over them and in them.

Typically, he starts with a swimbait on a leadhead, casting it from a distance and working it over the top of the brush. Then, still staying out a long way, he’ll toss a big Mister Twister Mag 12 BUZZ Worm on a wobble head.

After that, he moves in closer and begins branching out.

“I really like cranking brush, but that’s usually an earlier-in-the-year deal,” says Davis. “They kind of get conditioned to a crankbait. You want that crankbait to run deep enough to where it hits about halfway up the pile and you can work it back up. If you get one that runs too deep you’ll stick it in the bottom of the pile every time, and then you’re going to lose a crankin’ plug.”

When the fish aren’t about the crankbait, Davis has two other treble-hook options he likes.

“Another bait that I really like to throw in brush is a spoon,” shares Davis. “I throw the 6-inch Nichols Ben Parker Mini Magnum Flutter Spoon. If you get hung up the spoon is so heavy that you just go over to it and shake it and it falls out. It’s winning a lot of tournaments on brush pile lakes, and nobody is really talking about it. But my No. 1 bait on brush is a jerkbait. I throw a Duel Hardcore Minnow Flat 110SP. A jerkbait has been winning tournaments around brush on the Coosa forever.”

Davis also likes to have a jig on hand as well as a Ned rig or a shaky head for tough days. For his crankbait, he usually relies on a Duel Hardcore Crankbait in the 3+ or 4+ size. Basically, he wants to feed the fish what they want.

“Until you get dialed in on what they’re actually eating, there’s a rotation,” he says. “I always start out with a swimbait until I know, and then I’ll work something on the bottom, and then work a little closer with a jerkbait and maybe the plug or the spoon.”

 

Running for the win

The final piece of the brush pile game is running them efficiently. For Davis, that means heavy reliance on his Lowrance graphs and the Lowrance Point-1 GPS Antenna (a GPS antenna with a heading sensor built in). Pulling up and positioning for a precise cast each time is essential. Some days, he might only run a few brush piles, but other days he might run 40 or more in search of as many of the right bites as possible.

“You want to hit as many as you can, but it varies from lake to lake,” says Davis. “It depends on how well they’re biting. On Ouachita you had to really slow down to get bit, and you kind of had to limit yourself to 20 piles or so in a day. But when it’s really on fire and you get dialed in on the right bait you can really start running some piles then.”

Tags: jody-white  winning-strategy  2018-08-10-forrest-wood-cup- 

Toyota Series Championship Preview

Toyota Series Championship Preview

The 2020 Toyota Series Championship on Lake Cumberland is going to be a showdown of epic proportions. Taking place December 3-5, the event brings together hundreds of pro and amateur anglers from FLW’s various championship events, the best from the eight Toyota Series divisions, plus some international contenders. READ MORE »

 Cox Commits to MLF

 Cox Commits to MLF

The announcement of the 2021 MLF Bass Pro Tour roster finally makes it official: John Cox will fish the Bass Pro Tour and the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Hartwell

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Hartwell

Though some largemouth entered the mix by happenstance, you really had to drop down to Jayme Rampey in fourth place to find someone who made a dramatic adjustment to pursue largemouth. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Hartwell

Top 10 Baits from Lake Hartwell

Most of the fish weighed on Hartwell in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP were spotted bass. As such, a lot of finesse baits made the team. Still, a few anglers attempted to mix in largemouths to varying degrees, and even for spots, it wasn’t all spinning rods. READ MORE »

Kimmel Ices Co-Angler Victory

Kimmel Ices Co-Angler Victory

Justin Kimmel has had built up a sterling record from the back of the boat on Lake Hartwell, and today he padded his stats with a win in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Kimmel, now with three multi-day wins on Hartwell, totaled 26 pounds, 9 ounces and banked $50,000 for the win. READ MORE »

Macy Wins the All-American

Macy Wins the All-American

Weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce on the final day, Chris Macy totaled 34-10 to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Hailing from Diamond, Mo., Macy rose from fifth to first on the final day to claim the $100,000 top prize in his first time in the All-American. READ MORE »

All-American Midday Update – Day 3

All-American Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP is shaping up to be a nail-biter. READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Though there are some possibilities for interesting shallow things to happen on the final day, so far offshore spotted bass have been the name of the game in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. With most of the action going down in the lower end of Lake Hartwell, the top 10 are packed tight, and one kicker bite could go an awful long way at the final weigh-in. READ MORE »

Goade Ahead on Hartwell

Goade Ahead on Hartwell

Though Todd Goade calls the Volunteer State home, he’s got plenty of experience on Hartwell and it's showing in the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Catching 11 pounds, 7 ounces yesterday, Goade improved his catch today with 13-2 to slid him to the top of the leaderboard with 24-9 overall. READ MORE »

All-American Midday Update – Day 2

All-American Midday Update – Day 2

Like day one, day two of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP has thrown a variety at the anglers. The day started with rain, which was heavy overnight, and tapered off after takeoff. Then, cloudy and slick conditions set in. Now, it’s turned into a perfect day, with puffy clouds, lots of sun and a nice breeze. READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Lake Hartwell Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

As projected, Hartwell isn’t giving up big limits for the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP. Still, there are plenty of fish being caught, and if you want to chase offshore spotted bass around, it’s a pretty good place to be right now. READ MORE »

Lippe Leads on Hartwell

Lippe Leads on Hartwell

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP saw a bit of everything in terms of weather with rain, fog and some brief sun, and the fishing on Lake Hartwell was maybe just as confusing. Catching fish wasn’t an issue, but the quality that calls Hartwell home eluded the majority of the field. Hauling in 12 pounds even today, Dustin Lippe took the early lead after day one, but the weights are stacked tight, with under 1 1/2 pounds separating first and 10th. READ MORE »

All-American Midday Update – Day 1

All-American Midday Update – Day 1

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP hasn’t been quite as wet as anticipated, but it’s still offered far from ideal conditions for offshore fishing on Hartwell. So far this morning, nobody has distanced themselves, but there’s still plenty of time before weigh-in. READ MORE »

All-American Starts on Hartwell

All-American Starts on Hartwell

Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP is going to be a wet one. Overnight, a wad of rain and storms moved into the region around Lake Hartwell, and it’s projected to stay wet all the way into Thursday morning, with almost 2-inches of rain in the forecast for today. That rain isn’t what some would like for the fishing, but it’s not going to dampen the competition for the title of All-American and the top prize of $100,000. READ MORE »

Breaking Down the All-American Roster

Breaking Down the All-American Roster

One of the longest-running championships in bass fishing, the All-American is often considered to be the pinnacle of the grassroots level and has launched the careers of anglers like Shaw Grigsby, Jacob Wheeler, Jeremy Lawyer and many more throughout the years. READ MORE »

Previewing the All-American

Previewing the All-American

Originally set for the beginning of May, the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP is now slated for November 11-13 on Lake Hartwell. The All-American brings together the best of the best from the Phoenix Bass Fishing League ranks as well as top anglers from the TBF, college and high school ranks.  READ MORE »

Curtis Locks Up Southwestern AOY

Curtis Locks Up Southwestern AOY

This year, things lined up for Curtis to fish a full season of Toyota Series competition for just the fourth time since 2011 (when he finished fifth in the points). With a pair of top fives and a 16th place showing at the finale on Sam Rayburn, Curtis cruised to the Strike King Angler of the Year title. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

The top finishers in the recent Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn caught the lake when the shallow bite was just picking up. Sticking shallow around hydrilla with a wake bait, Aaron Johnson stayed consistent and won the event. Behind Johnson, there was a lot of room for pros to fish to their strengths, though there’s no doubt that shallow eventually won out. READ MORE »

Templeton Tops Co-Anglers

Templeton Tops Co-Anglers

Weighing five fish for 12 pounds, 4 ounces, co-angler Anthony Templeton of Beckville, Texas, rocketed up from fifth place to win the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. With a total of 28-3, Templeton takes home a new Phoenix bass boat worth $33,500 and his first winner’s trophy with FLW. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Our crew on the water hasn’t had very good luck tracking the top pros down in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, but the fishing has still been pretty good. With the entire top 10 within striking distance, it’s still anyone’s game, and the good fishing today could help someone run into a mega-bag. READ MORE »