Shane LeHew Rides Berkley Baits to First Career Bassmaster Elite Series Century Belt on Lake Fork

QUITMAN, TX. – It’s not unexpected that the winner would catch over 100 pounds for a four-day total weight when the Bassmaster Elite Series visits Lake Fork, but this slugfest met that mark four times as the top four elite anglers weighed over 100 pounds including Berkley and Abu Garcia pro Shane LeHew.

“It wasn’t realistic for me to break 100 pounds really until after day two weigh in,” LeHew said. “I realized then I had a shot. After day three, I slipped back a little bit losing three key fish but going into day four, especially starting off with a 7-pound, 5-ounce fish followed by a 4-pound, 10-ounce fish, I knew I had a chance. Then I caught that 8-pound, 5-ounce giant, I did the math and it put me less than a pound away. Not five minutes later, I caught a 3-pound, 12-ounce fish that put me over 100 pounds on the event. It feels good to get back on track after a tough start to the year.”

Catching over 100 pounds of bass in four days is an incredible achievement. After three days of competition and putting himself in a realistic position to hit 100 pounds, LeHew caught his biggest bag of the tournament on the final day weighing 27 pounds, 10 ounces to earn his first Bassmaster Elite Series Century Belt.

LeHew caught the majority of his bass this week on a Berkley Cane Walker 110 in the Perfect Ghost color working the topwater walking bait around shallow timber. The bass were wrangling both spawning small baitfish and gizzard shad and the Cane Walker perfectly emulated a wounded baitfish. His topwater setup featured a 7’ Medium Heavy Fast Abu Garcia Fantasista X casting rod paired with an Abu Garcia Revo STX casting reel and chose to run 40-pound Berkley X5 braid connected to a 15-pound Berkley Big Game monofilament leader. A combination well-suited to get Lake Fork-sized bass in the boat.

“That bait emulates a shad in general and it’s a very erratic bait that can be fished really fast to get a reaction bite.”

Matching the hatch was the key to getting big Lake Fork bass to commit and the Cane Walker was the perfect fit to mimic the gizzard shad the bass were feeding on. When the bass stopped committing to the topwater presentation, LeHew decided to fish his way back out of his four-foot shallow area and started fishing stumps and standing timber.

On the final day, the Cane Walker was still producing bites, but the quality of the bass was not what he needed. Driven to reach the 100-pound mark and a chance at victory, LeHew made the decision to use a lure that would trigger bigger bites. Using forward-facing sonar after the bass stopped schooling, LeHew was able to catch some key fish by throwing a 10” Berkley PowerBait Power Worm. Big worms typically trigger big bites, therefore requiring the right gear to set the hook and drag the fish to the boat. LeHew fished with his new signature series Abu Garcia Pro Series rod, the Dock Skip, paired with an Abu Garcia Revo AL-F casting reel with 17-pound Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon.

“On the third day, when I switched to the 10” Berkley PowerBait Power Worm. I rigged it two different ways – on a Texas rig and on a Berkley Fusion19 Swing Head,” LeHew said. “On day four, I was struggling mid-morning and started flipping the PowerBait Power Worm on stumps with the big root systems. The big fish at the end of the day was on a tree lying flat on the bottom that I could see on my Garmin Livescope.”

With the Cane Walker and Power Worm tied on his deadly Abu Garcia rod-and-reel combos, LeHew adapted to the conditions each day to earn a top five finish and his first Bassmaster Elite Series Century Belt.

To learn more about Berkley Fishing, click here.

To learn more about Abu Garcia, click here.

About Pure Fishing

Pure Fishing is a collection of the world’s favorite fishing brands. Every day, all around the world, someone experiences the joy of catching a fish with one of our products. From gear for epic battles at sea to a relaxing day with family at the lake, our portfolio includes the most recognized and admired brands in fishing tackle, lures, rods, reels and storage. Abu Garcia®, All Star®, Berkley®, Fenwick®, Fin-Nor®, Frabill®, Greys®, Hardy®, Hodgman®, Johnson®, JRC®, Mitchell®, Penn®, Pflueger®, Plano®, Shakespeare®, SpiderWire®, Stren®, Ugly Stik® and Van Staal®.