Smith and Jensen Continue Banks Lake Mastery

The team of Taylor Smith and Dan Jensen recently showed why they continue to be one of the teams to beat on the Northwest Bass circuit.  The following is a post-tournament breakdown of the Northwest Bass Banks Lake tournament held on April 8, 2017.  Taylor Smith was kind enough to answer some questions about their day and what follows below are his responses.  


Prefish for banks was typical for prefish at Banks except we had a longer winter than normal so it felt more like the years where the tournament is on the first couple days of April rather than a week into April. Dan and I fished separate this year during Pre Fish.

More things change at Banks than people think year to year so we were looking to expand and rule out water that we would likely spend more time in had we not prefished come tournament day.

That’s hard to do though when only a small amount of fish are moved up during that time.

We should have focused more on smallmouth during prefish. We spent little time fishing for them in the tournament and our second biggest fish was a nearly 4lb brown one that Dan caught mid day. We were certain smallmouth would win the tournament at that point and we were right for the most part, smallmouth dominated the top 5 although most bags had 1 or 2 largemouth.

It seemed like a lot of people went largemouth fishing because that’s what had won in prior years but in hindsight, I wonder if Smallmouth wouldn’t have been even more prevalent had some of the teams focused on them more. Us included.

Tournament Strategy

We focus on timing A LOT during every tournament. Timing can make or break your day and so a lot of thought and preparation goes into when we should be where. Predictably, it never is the way you think it should be so you adjust throughout the day. Those are the decisions that we feel like we have gotten good at over the years. Jensen and I are generally on the same page when it comes to tournament day adjustments and that helps a lot with the confidence that what we are doing is the ‘right’ thing to do.

Recap of the day

Stressful day to say the least! 2 fish at 11. 4 fish at 2….we gave a lot of pep talks to each other.

Some quotes from the day:

–       ‘3 fish in 4 hours? We can do that!’

–       ‘3 fish in 2.5 hours? Should be easy!’

–       ‘Keep grinding Tay.’

–       ‘Jensen, will you go into beast mode, I really need you to catch one right now’

We caught 5 fish all day. We were not on them really and should have done more smallmouth fishing in prefish potentially.


Any special baits or other equipment that played a key role?

  •  We threw the kitchen sink at um, crankbaits, traps, swimbaits, chatterbait, a jig, swimjig, bladebait
  •  Only five casts produced bites all day so most of what we did didn’t work

Influences, motivations

Dan and I have learned a ton together over the years. One of the best feelings in bass fishing, is having success after putting the time and effort into to find something new and out of the ordinary. We are motivated by trying to do that and ignoring dock talk. We have fun together tournament fishing, that’s motivating enough.

Lessons learned

We should have not focused on what has won in the past as much and tried to find a better smallmouth bite. 18 lbs of smallmouth is NOT out of the question at Banks.

Anything else?

Congrats to Blake and Steve, great dudes and good fisherman. It’s fun to see them do well.

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  1. Dan and Tay as usual you hit it out of the park!!!!! Your guys dedication and consistency is impressive to say the least.

    I know Blake and I both feel fortunate to compete with and against you guys.

    Look forward as always to catching up with you guys. Usually laughing our butts off about something.

    Congrats on the solid weekend ( no surprise there at). at CDA. You guys have a lot to be proud of.