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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies #12645035
02/24/18 06:05 PM
02/24/18 06:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,218
Mark Jones Online content OP
Extreme Angler
Mark Jones  Online Content OP
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Pete Robbins took some time to interview Keith ahead of the Conroe event. Hope this provides some insight to those headed down to Conroe.

Think Shallow for BBT Success at Conroe
By Pete Robbins

The upcoming Lake Conroe stop of the 2018 Big Bass Tour has big shoes to fill. The season’s first event, on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Florida, produced three fish over 10 pounds, including a 10.80 pound giant. But even if the tour hadn’t made its way to the Sunshine State first, Texas would have to live up to its own great example – last year’s Conroe event produced four fish over 10 pounds, as Wayne Whitehead’s 10.53 edged out Colby Weber’s 10.52 by less than the weight of a single shad.

The weather is predicted to be warm in the days leading up to this year’s three day tournament, and while the temperatures in the 70s will be accompanied by overcast conditions, Texas pro Keith Combs said that won’t in any way stem the massive movement of big Conroe bass to the shallows.

“They’ll be spawning,” he said. “And if not, they’ll be very, very close to where they’re going to spawn. A guy needs to think shallow.” With three TTBC wins and an Elite Series victory in Texas, along with multiple other trophies earned in the Lone Star State, he’s a big bass specialist and has the mentality to hunt big fish rather than seek out numbers. That’s important, because last year it took a 5 pound or better fish to claim a check in all but four of the hourly competitions, and in one hour it took a 5.89 pounder to get paid.

Combs is known best for his deep water prowess, so the fact that he’d be looking in the skinny water is a telling fact, and he noted that “they will get in the dirt on Conroe.” Even when structure fishing, on rocks or roadbeds, he’d look in the 4 to 6 foot range rather than deeper.

“It has been a pretty cold winter for southeast Texas, but that broke off about a month ago,” he explained. “There have been a couple of fronts but those fish want to spawn.”

At just over 20,000 acres, Conroe is not a big lake, and Combs said it has “big fish from one end to the other,” but he’d focus on the upper end of it, just because it has more of the spawning habitat that he prefers. He expects that section of Conroe to be crowded, as will the backs of the major downlake and midlake creeks with ample wood cover. “It’s easy to pick out the stuff that is going to produce,” he said, but that wouldn’t deter him from fishing in a crowd. Instead, he’d just make an effort to slow down and dissect the best pieces of cover and key ambush points.

He’d head out with three main categories of lures on the deck of his boat, ready to pick off big fish whether they were still en route to their spawning grounds or had already arrived.

The first would be a citrus shad Strike King KVD 2.5 square bill crankbait. He’d fish that on rocks like bridge pilings and on the edges of road beds.

The second would be a Carolina rigged green pumpkin or junebug Strike King Game Hawg. He’d throw that on flat points leading up into the spawning grounds.

Finally, he’d tie on a green pumpkin Magnum Caffeine Shad, rigged weightless, to deadstick around visible brush like willows in 2 to 4 feet of water.

Those three choices would help him dial in the bite, although he said it’s possible that an angler could also do well fishing a craw colored Red Eye Shad in the middle of pockets and around Conroe’s many docks.

The key, he said, may not be any single bait as much as keeping your back to the main lake, constantly facing the bank.

“There will be some big ones caught,” he said. “Think shallow.”

PRO TIP: While Conroe isn’t big, its many lower lake seawalls can turn it into an inland ocean at times, as boat wakes bounce off of them and then collide. Anglers making the run from the lake’s middle or upper reaches down to the weigh-in site at Papa’s on the Lake will have to use their time wisely. One way to do that is to double dip. Remember, you can only weigh in one fish per hour, but by holding that fish until the 45 or 50 minute mark, not only do you maximize your chances of it counting, but you’re also close by to weigh in again the next hour, with a different fish, as soon as the scales reopen. That maximizes your time with a line in the water, increases your chances of cashing a check, and minimizes the rough water boating.

Re: Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies [Re: Mark Jones] #12645451
02/24/18 11:40 PM
02/24/18 11:40 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,361
Trophy Club, TX
Ken A. Online content
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Good read Mark. Thanks for sharing.

Re: Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies [Re: Mark Jones] #12645462
02/24/18 11:52 PM
02/24/18 11:52 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 86
sittin on some water
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Quackhead HFD Offline
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sittin on some water
Good read. Just wondering if that was the strategy he used last year at the classic... He seemed to struggle a bit and when he was on the air he seemed to be fishing in deeper water. Wish I could fish the BBT but I'll be working. Good luck to all that fish!!

Re: Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies [Re: Quackhead HFD] #12645479
02/25/18 12:10 AM
02/25/18 12:10 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,065
Montgomery, TX
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Monty Wright Offline
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Montgomery, TX
Originally Posted By: Quackhead HFD
Good read. Just wondering if that was the strategy he used last year at the classic... He seemed to struggle a bit and when he was on the air he seemed to be fishing in deeper water. Wish I could fish the BBT but I'll be working. Good luck to all that fish!!


I think he was fishing for post-spawn fish during the Classic.

We're in for all 3 days and looking forward to it.


Re: Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies [Re: Mark Jones] #12646176
02/25/18 05:50 PM
02/25/18 05:50 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,436
Central Texas
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spacejunkie Offline
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Central Texas
Sounds like a "decoy" pattern to me to keep his pattern safe.

Re: Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies [Re: Mark Jones] #12646180
02/25/18 05:57 PM
02/25/18 05:57 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 24,666
Frisco, Texas
RedRanger Offline
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Frisco, Texas
Did he breakdown Ray Roberts during the Toyota event

Re: Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies [Re: spacejunkie] #12647514
02/26/18 04:24 PM
02/26/18 04:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
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Mark Jones Online content OP
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Mark Jones  Online Content OP
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Originally Posted By: spacejunkie
Sounds like a "decoy" pattern to me to keep his pattern safe.


Lol, he's not fishing it's an amateur event.

Re: Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies [Re: Mark Jones] #12647693
02/26/18 06:02 PM
02/26/18 06:02 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 13
Montgomery, Texas
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TPOOL Offline
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I wonder if he still feels the same with all the cold freshwater runoff, more rain in the forecast, cooler temps all week, and a small front coming Thursday??? 56.8 degrees at the dam right now...

Re: Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies [Re: TPOOL] #12647867
02/26/18 07:26 PM
02/26/18 07:26 PM
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Stagecoach, TX
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skeeterK Offline
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Originally Posted By: TPOOL
I wonder if he still feels the same with all the cold freshwater runoff, more rain in the forecast, cooler temps all week, and a small front coming Thursday??? 56.8 degrees at the dam right now...


I had water temps in the 64-66 range during the afternoons north of the dam. This was last week proir to the 4" of rain yesterday.

Re: Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies [Re: Mark Jones] #12648302
02/27/18 12:23 AM
02/27/18 12:23 AM
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Posts: 6,065
Montgomery, TX
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Monty Wright Offline
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Re: Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies [Re: Mark Jones] #12648337
02/27/18 12:44 AM
02/27/18 12:44 AM
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Posts: 7,820
Island of Jeff (Humble)
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Fishspanker Offline
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They hammered them on Sunday at the Anglers Quest tournament.


A Nation of Sheep will soon have a government of Wolves.
Re: Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies [Re: Fishspanker] #12648659
02/27/18 03:17 AM
02/27/18 03:17 AM
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Montgomery, TX
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Monty Wright Offline
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Originally Posted By: Fishspanker
They hammered them on Sunday at the Anglers Quest tournament.


I just looked at the results, wow.


Re: Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies [Re: Mark Jones] #12648782
02/27/18 04:19 AM
02/27/18 04:19 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,493
League City, Tx/Rayburn Countr...
Billy Blazer 300 HPDI Offline
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League City, Tx/Rayburn Countr...
My best strategy on conroe was to buy a house in Rayburn country and never go back.


Thanks, Billy
Re: Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies [Re: Billy Blazer 300 HPDI] #12648833
02/27/18 04:49 AM
02/27/18 04:49 AM
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Posts: 6,369
Lake Conroe/Willis
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Kicker16 Online content
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Originally Posted By: Billy Blazer 300 HPDI
My best strategy on conroe was to buy a house in Rayburn country and never go back.
roflmao

Re: Keith Combs breaks down Conroe strategies [Re: Mark Jones] #12649255
02/27/18 04:01 PM
02/27/18 04:01 PM
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Posts: 13
Montgomery, Texas
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TPOOL Offline
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Still showing surface temp at dam of 56.1 this morning. I would think fish that haven't already moved up (especially on the south end) are not going to do that for a few days now 9after runoff and colder temps). We will see!

And LOL on the move to Rayburn comment! Conroe can be a head-scratcher!!!!

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