Sorrell Wins with Wacky-Style, Drop-Dead Dinger

Rodney Sorrell
Largemouth bass
YUM Product:
YUM Dinger
CITGO Bassmaster Northern Tour
Lake Champlain
Plattsburgh, New York

It should be no surprise to bass fishing fans that Stokesdale, N.C. pro Rodney Sorrell used YUM Dingers to win a recent BASS Northern Tour event at Lake Champlain. Dingers have been winning tournaments all over the country ever since 2003, when Alton Jones introduced the then-new stick baits to the fishing world by topping a BASS Pro Tour field at Clear Lake.

What may surprise some anglers is the way Sorrell was rigging and fishing his 4-inch Dingers. He combined a wacky rig (hooking the bait right through the center) with a drop-shot rig. As for his presentation, Sorrell simply dropped the bait down to the fish, which were holding over rockpiles in 20 to 25 feet of water, and then held the line tight.

“The reason I got the bites was because I was dead-sticking it,” Sorrell said. “I just let it drift, and they would hit it. The natural pull of the lake gave it action.”

Sorrell, who relied on Watermelon Red Flake and Green Pumpkin/Chartreuse Tail Dingers to put his fish in the boat, used the same baits and strategy in 2005 to place third in a BASS Northern Open at Lake Erie.

One of the greatest appeals of a YUM Dinger is tremendous variety of ways it can be fished effectively. The most popular presentation is to cast a weightless Texas rig to shallow cover and let the bait fall through the water column. However, anglers commonly fish Dingers on traditional Texas rigs, wacky rigs (weightless), drop-shot rigs (nose hooked) and Carolina rigs, to name a few.

When Ohio pro Frank Scalish used 4-inch YUM Dingers to win a BASS Northern Open at Lake Erie in 2004, he was stringing his Dingers on 1/8-ounce jigheads and dragging them over rockpiles in Erie’s open water for jumbo smallmouths.

Although Sorrell lives in largemouth country, he focused on Champlain’s legendary smallmouths throughout the three-day tournament Aug. 17-19, during which he climbed steadily to his first BASS career win. He started out in 31st place after Day 1, finished Day 2 in seventh place and then moved on to win. His three-day total was 53 pounds, 2 ounces.

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