Lucas Ragusa’s father taught him early in his bass-fishing career one of the most-consistent ways to put bass in the boat when it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the uncarpeted aluminum deck of a boat.
Ragusa, 42, remembers those 20-year-old lessons, and to this day, he relies on that artificial lure to catch bass in August. That’s why when the locusts are humming, the sun’s baking everything it touches and it’s 100 degrees in the shade, the Gonzales bass angler picks up a ¾-ounce Delta Lures spinnerbait with a No. 6 gold Colorado blade to catch bass in and around the Spillway and elsewhere across the country.
He slow-rolls the heavy spinnerbait to entice lethargic bass that are cooling their fins into biting. It has been locked in his hand for numerous tournaments around his hometown.
Delta’s big-bladed spinnerbait triggers bass to chase and eat, particularly in the Atchafalaya Basin, he said.
“I like to throw it in Big Pigeon and Little Pigeon because they have the cypress tree cover I’m looking for and depth,” Ragusa said. “In some places where it’s a little deeper, I throw to the bank and reel as slow as I can.”
He said he casts it “to dirt” and retrieves it out to 8-foot depths — if a nearby bass allows it to go that far.
About his preference for a No. 6 gold Colorado blade, he said, “It’s a little bit bigger, but what it does is, it thumps — extremely important in muddy water. If it’s just stained, I might go to a No. 5, but the No. 6 has been my confidence blade for 20 years.”
Ragusa, who fished the Bassmaster Open trail from 2013 to 2018, likes two colors: chartreuse/white and white/chartreuse. He said the Delta spinnerbait has quality components and a premium hook.
Ragusa also adds something to the spinnerbait to help prevent it from rolling over on the retrieve.
“I do like to pair it with a 3-inch, chartreuse/pearl grub to keep it stabilized, to keep it from trying to roll, also so I’m not tempted to reel too fast,” he said. “That gives a fish an opportunity to track it with its lateral line and find it and eat it.”
Ragusa ties the spinnerbait to 20-pound Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon spooled on a 5:1 Shimano reel seated on a medium-heavy, 6-foot-8 Shimano Zodias rod with a fast tip.
His final tip may help many more anglers put bass in the boat. It’s about how he positions his fishing rod on the retrieve.
“I like to point the rod at the bait when I fish it so I can get a full load on the hookset,” Ragusa said.