Tournament News - Tips
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From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Texas pro Matt Reed. 

What are you up to now?

I’m guiding a ton at Lake Falcon, which is what I do a lot of the time. It’s crazy good. This is the time of year that we catch most of our big ones in the heat of the summer.

Summer is really best? How good is it?

They live in the desert, so they like hot temperatures and a little wind. And it fits the way I like to fish, too. I like to fish offshore. And they group up and eat. They’re as healthy right now as they will be prespawn. They’re just round.

We’ll have a lot of 40-pound days on our best five. You can catch a 10. I guess in the last week we caught two official double-digits. There’s a lot of 8- to 9-pounders right now.

There’s nowhere like it in the country. It’s just down there by itself, so it doesn’t get as much media as other place. Falcon is just kind of a creature of its own. I can’t guide from home, so I might as well drive 400 miles and stay down there two or three weeks at a time and catch some big ones.

Where are you headed next?

I go back to Falcon tomorrow. I’ve been home for a week. I’ll be there for most of the month. But then I kind of get a little fun time. Every year we have a trip to Venice, La., where four or five boats of us go down and chase big reds. I take my dad every year. My dad’s 82 and can still get after it. That’s a special trip every year that I look forward to tremendously. That’ll be late October.

I’ll do some hunting in October. I try to give myself a little recoup time in that timeframe. And early November I’ll be right down the road from you (FLW in Kentucky) hopefully. A buddy of mine has quite a bit of land up there behind the Lake Barkley Dam area, in Dycusburg, and I’m planning to make another deer hunting trip up there. In that late October, November window I try to recharge a little bit.

What are you listening to these days?

When I’m relaxing I’m going to watch some kind of outdoor hunting show on TV; bowhunting most likely. And I’m gonna watch sports.

I’m dang sure not going to listen to the news. I get tired of that really fast. If they reported good news also that’d be all right. I’m just not going to listen to that.

I listen to country music, and it’s not going to be the new country. I’ve got satellite radio, and I listen to probably not some of the old, old country, but more of the ’90s and early 2000s country than I do the new.

Who are you following on social media?

I don’t really chase anybody on social media. I make my posts about my fishing stuff, and that’s about what I do on social media. I do keep up with our world (tournament fishing) on social media.

What bait or technique are you trying to master right now?

I’m really not working on anything new right now. When I’m guiding I’ll have my clients throwing what I think is the best opportunity to catch a big one, and I may toy with something. That’s just always my nature. I’ll pick up a drop-shot on 8-pound line and catch bigguns on it just so I’m working on something all the time; maybe not anything brand new, just honing different techniques to keep the rust knocked off. I really enjoy catching great big fish on little bitty line. The biggest one I’ve ever caught down there on Falcon on 6-pound line was a 10.52. I catch lots of big ones on 8- to 10-pound line.

Is it ever hard to go to a tournament, knowing how good the fishing is that you’re leaving behind? It seems like you’re pretty spoiled.

I’m spoiled to the core, but I do have a knob I can twist based on whatever kind of fishing I’m doing.

And actually, my favorite kinds of tournaments to fish are not the fun ones. I was really looking forward to Hamilton (the 2019 FLW Cup) because it was tough. That’s the kind you can win. Slugfests are really tough to win.

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Day 4: 5, 13-01 (20, 55-15) Reed hopes he can sustain the momentum he's picked up over the past two derbies.

"It's a pleasant surprise," he said of his finish. "I fished by the seat of my pants for 4 days and just covered new water every day, and I fished really clean all week. I had one big one come off the first day, but it wasn't even close to the boat. I've got no complaints.

"It feels good to be making good decisions again. Most times you don't know what made you turn left when you should've gone right, but times like now are when it all flows. It's amazing how much of this game is mental, whether you know what's causing it or not."

He fished a jerkbait most of the time and handled seven keepers on the final day. Mixed bags were the norm for him.

"I never knew what I was going to catch. I was actually fishing for smallmouth, but I ended up weighing in more of the others." Read more

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A SPRO McStick 110 jerkbait in chartreuse shad was the ticket for Matt Reed’s fourth-place finish.

> Day 1: 5, 17-15 - Reed said he went all-in on the smallmouths in practice, but had some trepidation about whether he could catch a limit of keepers.

"I had one good day in practice, but that 18-inch limit is a scary thing," he said. "I had to commit and go do it and I caught more today than any other day I've been here. I got into an area and started running stuff and I ended up fishing stuff I'd never seen before."

He took four smallmouths and one largemouth to the scale. One of the brown ones weighed 4 3/4.

"It took me until about noon to get my weight – I caught one real quick, then I had five short ones before I caught the next keeper. I had one big one come off that I saw – it came to the top and just came unbuttoned.

"The scary thing on this lake is trying to catch a good bag on multiple days. I'm just going to keep covering a lot of water." Read more