The lures that helped Skeet Reese become a name brand in the world of bass fishing
He has a different hair style every two weeks. His own line of clothing. His own color - yellow. Rods, reels, baits, and so on and so forth.
But none of that would be possible for Skeet Reese if he didn't catch a whole lot of fish.
In the last decade, only three anglers have won both a Classic and a Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title: Michael Iaconelli, Kevin VanDam and Skeet Reese.
Reese has been the most consistent bass angler on the planet not named VanDam over the past six years, and there have been stretches where he has made a case for the No. 1 spot.
In the first half of the 2010 Elite Series, Reese put together one of the greatest runs in professional bass fishing history, notching two wins and never finishing worse than fifth in the first five events.
Reese, from Auburn, Calif., is in the midst of a career that will make him the most successful tournament angler in the history of the West Coast.
He used to be the California Kid, now he's just Skeet. And no matter the name, there's no denying that he's one of the best anglers to ever wet a line. Here are the baits on which he built his career.
1. Lucky Craft SKT Mini DR: The “DR” in this case stands for deep-runner and SKT stands for “Skeet.” The former is a little surprising, since Skeet Reese had a lure named for him before he won his first tour-level event. In 2003, Reese was becoming a household name, and really made an impression when he used this lure to win the Bassmaster Tour event (a fore-runner of the Elite Series) on Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes. That win helped prove to Reese that he had what it took to compete in the big time.
2. Lucky Craft SKT Mini SR: Again with the SKT but this time a shallow runner. Reese used this crankbait to shore up his run to the 2007 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title. That race went down to the end, with Reese needing an exceptional finish on Lake Toho. This crankbait and the one above are proof, as Reese says that “you can catch them cranking in Florida.”
3. Lucky Craft RC 3.5 DR: This lure produced 100 pounds, 13 ounces of largemouth over a four-day Elite Series event on Lake Guntersville. The win was his second of the 2010 season in a year that is described as “legendary.” The crankbait produced like no other. He “bounced” it 14- to 15-feet deep and caught more than 400 largemouth, 375 of those on the first three days of fishing the event.
4. Rago SKT swimbait: Reese calls this swimbait his “Smith Mountain Slayer.” It produced the first of those two wins on the Elite Series in 2010. It worked so well he won that event with more than a 15-pound margin. “It blew it out,’’ he said. “If I would've landed what I hooked I could have won the tourney by 30 pounds.”
5. Red Bug Trick Worm: This bait has proved to be important to Reese in the past decade for a "go-to" weapon during post cold-front conditions. It was really important to him in the 2003 Bassmaster Tour event on the Harris Chain. While his crankbait provided the bulk of his weight, it was the worm that put him over the top once a cold front pushed through. It was a similar tactic that Mike McClelland and Marty Stone would utilize to win events on that same chain of lakes.
6. Worm King Swimbait: “I don't even know if they are still in business,’’ Reese said. “Of my original order of swim baits from those guys, that's the smallest one. I have some if you saw them, you would laugh.” Reese calls the swim bait “Old Faithful.” He's been fishing this lure for 15 years. “I can't tell you how many big S.O.B.s have been caught on that thing, lots of 5- to 10-pounders. That was the first big-fish swim bait I actually caught fish on.”
7. Berkley 5/8-ounce black/blue jig with a Crazy-Leg Chigger Craw: It may lack the sex appeal that the rest of the box has, but this bait might hold the most value for Reese. He used to win the 2009 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River in Shreveport.
8. Lucky Craft Redemption Spinnerbait: This spinnerbait was the back-up to the jig in the Bassmaster Classic. He slow rolled around ledges and channels near his primary area.
9. Berkley Power Hawg: Reese has another name for the Power Hawg. He calls it his Potomac River Special. He used it in Nanjemoy Creek in 2007 to win his first Elite Series event on the Potomac River. His success doesn't stop there with that specific lure on that river. He's had 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishes there and each time the Hawg has been a major player.
Not Shown: A brown ½ ounce jig with a purple blueflake bubble tail that he used to win his first Bassmaster event, a Western Open on Lake Powell; Horizon Perk Minnow he used to win a Red Man Regional on Lake New Melones in Northern California in 60 to 90 feet of water, where he caught 100 fish a day; Rebel Wee R, chrome with purple back. “That hooked the first bass I ever caught,’’ Reese said “I fired it out there and I wasn't doing anything. I just heard a splash and it ate my bait.”