Randall Tharp lives on the northwest Florida coast and he cut his fishing teeth in Alabama on the Tennessee and Coosa rivers. He’s competed fulltime on the FLW Tour and Bassmaster Elite Series for six years and was a stalwart in regional events for years prior. During his short professional career he’s already won the FLW Tour Forrest Wood Cup championship, four FLW Tour tournaments, three Bassmaster Opens, has qualified for two Bassmaster Classics and three Toyota Texas Bass Championships, and has amassed more than $1.6 million in winnings. Here’s his pick for late summer bass.
Tharp fishes a 4×4 Randall Tharp Signature Series jig in 1/2-ounce in Golden Craw with a green pumpkin Zoom Big Salty Chunk trailer. He works it on a 7-foot-6 inch Halo Fishing Titanium heavy action flipping stick with a Shimano Curado 7.4:1 reel and 20-pound test Gamma fluorocarbon line.
Where To Fish It
Tharp says you can fish a half-ounce jig in deeper water, but he focuses on 8 feet of water or less. He’s long been a shallow water specialist, picking apart targets or focusing on vegetation in that 8-feet-or-less zone. The design of the jighead also allows him to skip it under docks and overhanging shoreline trees, too.
How To Fish It
“I can fish it a lot of ways, but I primarily like to skip it under docks, flip it around any laydowns, brush or wood cover, and in any kind of grass. Most of the time for me it’s a vertical presentation, though, just flipping it, maybe hopping it once or twice and then hitting another target. It seems to work with any grass anywhere in the country. Fish use vegetation differently at different times of the year, but I have confidence in this jig.”
Why It Works
“It just seems to work everywhere I go, and that trailer is a little bit old school,” Tharp said. “I don’t think too many guys put that Big Salty Chunk trailer on a jig anymore. It doesn’t matter whether I’m in New York or Alabama or hitting big reed heads down in Florida. It displaces water and catches big fish, which is what I’m looking for. I never go fishing anywhere in the country at any time of the year without that jig tied on.”