Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Professional Bass Fishing Tackle

Bass Fishing Tips – Spinnerbaits

Spinnerbaits are not just a tool for the spring and fall. Spinnerbaits can be deadly, if the right ones are fished in a variety of situations whether it be the East Coast or the West. The trick is to be able to distinguish which is the right one for the right situation? Spinnerbaits can fished in so many different ways, all of which, produce BIG BASS from north to south, east to west. They can be fished through the water column top to bottom. They are really a versatile bait if you know the little tricks it takes to fish them effectively. They can be fished many ways by varying the retrieve, weight of the bait, blade size, the trailer and colors. You have a bait here that can work a water column and catch fish from one to twenty-five feet, and because it is so versatile, you can fish it fast, slow, and in all seasons of the year.

The first time I discovered this, I was amazed at how many fish I had must have missed in my youth, by not knowing how to fish a spinnerbait here in the Northeast.

When it was October here in Delaware, I went hunting until the end of Quail season. Soon after 1976, I read my first issue of Basssmaster magazine, and saw that people were using this bait year round and catching bass. Soon after, in late December in Delaware, I caught my first bass on a “Stan Sloan” single nickel colorado blade,(with a purple skirt, with rattles on the arm,) by letting it flutter into a sunken tree, in ten foot deep, thirty-six degree water. I soon felt that sluggish pull on the line, “like a pile of leaves or grass”, not until then, did I realize that I could catch bass year round on the right lures, with the right presentation, sound and color. It was well over six pounds, and was a different fight when she got close to the boat and saw the trolling motor. Since that time I have fished all over the United States, from New York to California, and found the right spinnerbait and the right technique produces big bass from all sorts of waters all year long. They key is to keep it in the strike zone, and most lures are made so that you can work them as slowly as you want to, while still keeping them in the zone.


I like to use the spinnerbait as a search tool, and kind of a depth finder, and bottom contour device also. What I do is check out the structure of the lake by bumping objects, and increasing my chance for a reaction strike right then. The spinnerbait will make a different sound bumping off different objects such as stumps, rocks, sand, and pea gravel.I also vary the speed often, and even shake the rod if necessary, trying to give the bass a different look, which is important in highly pressured waters. I work buzzbaits in a different manner also, which I believe is what accounts for some real lunkers that I might have otherwise missed. There are times when a spinnerbait is the most effective tool to use. When fishing the bait in heavy cover such as pads, I employ a technique that I now know is called fluttering by some anglers.

Basically what you do is to cast the spinnerbait out into the pads, and by moving your rod tip, and other parts of your body positioning, you maneuver the bait through the pads, and when it comes to an opening, stop it, and let it flutter down. Many strikes comes as a lure sinks.You should make a lot of casts to the areas where you really believe the bass are, or have seen them, as they can be irritated into striking if the bait is presented in enough variations and positions. Slow rolling can be extremely effective in deep water as it designed to imitate a crawfish on the bottom, or another type of bass forage. The trick to it is rolling it down the side of a sloping bank, a rock bar, a hump, or any underwater structure, and then slowly pumping it back to the boat. I employ the almost identical technique with a lipless crankbait with great success. There are also better types of spinnerbaits for different types of cover. C shaped baits tend to work better through heavy pads and grass, while a V shaped bait gets hung up more easily.

Riprap is another good area to slow roll spinnnerbaits. Sometimes there is debris mixed in with the rocks, and many times large bass are waiting to attack prey that come along, and are primes areas to slow-roll spinnerbaits. The spinnerbaits should be slow rolled over the rocks and such, and extra action is not really necessary. It should crawl over the bottom, and sometimes I give it a little twitch. All you have to do is raise the rod a slightly, lightly shake it, and then continue slowrolling it back to the boat.


When the bass are really deep I employ a technique I call deep pulling; its like a yo-yo method but a little different. I let the bait flutter all the way down, and then let it sit, then I pull it hard and way up near the surface and do it again. I use real heavy baits with Colorado blades for this, usually in a chartreuse, or a chartreuse and white skirt when I fish in places that have dying shad in the winter, but anywhere else, I use black, or black/purple combinations. I always add a little Megastrike to the baits.


I like to use a  6 1/2 foot rod for this but sometimes I  use a 7 foot rod, on different occasions. Many times situations come up when a 7 foot rod suits the situation better that a 6 or 6 1/2 foot rod for distance and control. Most of my rods I use for this technique are in a medium heavy action. I really like a Fiberglass rod for these baits, but there are many new rods that are very good for spinnerbaits and crankbaits, made by G.Loomis, St.Croix, Kistler,and Shimano. Sometimes on the smaller baits I use a spinning rod with Stren Super Braid,or Power Pro, but the rest of the time I use a baitcasting rod with a Shimano Chronarch, with fourteen to twenty pound P-Line or Bass Pro Shops line.


When I choose a color for a spinnerbait, a lot of factors come in to play. The first thing I do is pick a shad pattern, or whatever is the dominate species in the lake. I usually double up the skirts, to give them more bulk. I use blue and white, black and white, and chartreuse and white. Sometimes I use red, depending on the location. All of these colors give a good range of visibility under water.

In muddy water, I have always used the same colors, black and blue and red. The same goes for the nighttime. I like to use the forage in the lake if I can, such as rainbow trout or shad, and to make it appear injured to trigger that genetic response, but only if the water isn’t muddy. In muddy water I stick to black almost exclusively.

I like to use big spinnerbaits in the spring, when I’m in big fish waters, some right here in Delaware or Maryland, or others such as Florida, Arizona, Texas, and Mexico. When fishing strictly for big bass with spinnerbaits I add on a double or triple skirt for bulk and lift, and use really big blades. Terminator makes some big blades that I really like on our spinnerbaits.  This year here in Delaware, I landed three bass in one day on big spinnerbaits, that went seven and eight pounds. Sometimes we even break off the tails of worms for trailers, and many times in the spring, I have caught some huge bass from ten inches of muddy water with a big spinnerbait with a trailer. The new Skeet Reese Redemption is another great spinnerbait and I use that with a Colorado blade in cold and/or muddy water.

I have had a great response from bass in the Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania areas, using a double golden shiner skirt. The bluegill and shad patterns top the list overall though. Sometimes reversing the skirts on the baits presents a different profile, and will also trigger hard to get strikes. The spinnerbait isn’t just a bait for beginners, although it is a great bait to break in a novice or child to the sport of bass fishing. But in the hands of an expert, it is a versatile year round bait, that can catch “HUGE” bass.

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American Bass Anglers Association – Ram Open Area 8 championship at Raystown Lake, PA

Im shooting for co-angler of the year. This will be my last co-angler event now that I moved up to the next level (Nitro Z18). What a great year, it’s been fruitful and educational. Thanks to all my sponsors for helping keep me out on the water. And a special thanks for my family with out their support and love I would never been able to succeed in this sport.








Fishing Tournament and Time Management Tip 1

Fishing Tournamanent and Time Management is one of the most important skills that I focuse on and try to look for improvements. The more time I keep my line wet the better my success in any tourney.

I have all my rods color coded based on the line type and line combinations.

A great produce that will help you with time management and organization is The Rod Glove for VRX Fishing.

My Rod Locker consists of the following combinations for a fast visual on what rod or rods i need to pull if not already on the deck

Floracatbon  – green

Fluorocarbon/Mono leader – OGRE

braid/fluorocarbon leader – green spider

monofilament – Red

Braid/mono leader – Red Spider

Copolymer – Orange

Braid only – black

I also use technique tags to all my Rod Gloves. This helps me identify the proper rig. If I want a C-Rig with glory arbor main line with a Mono leader I will pull out the C-Rig tag on a OGRE glove.

No fuss no muss!

Tight lines everyone.

Keep an eye out for the next tip for time management on RigRaps. Good stuff.



Winter planning for the up coming fishing season

The temps are plummeting and lakes are freezing over. What to do?
It’s time to prep for the upcoming season. Organize tackle, replace hooks, clean and re-spool reals.
One winter event I do is research the lakes for pre-tourney planning. Fishing is a year round sport, enjoy your winter activities
Tight lines!







Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Wired2Fish editorial staff ranks the very best bass fishing lakes of 2016.

1. Clear Lake
State: California

Clear Lake is the best big bass fishery in the country right now—it was a unanimous decision for our editorial team. The sheer numbers of largemouth weighing over 5 pounds is simply jaw dropping and anglers routinely catch 10-pounders from its waters. It sees a lot of angling pressure but like many great lakes on this year’s list, it still produces. It has docks, grass flats and rocky structure, so there’s a little of everything for most anglers. You can catch giant bass on several different techniques and you’d be shocked at the number of 5 to 8-pounders you’ll run across. This lake needs to be No. 1 on your 2016 bucket list, without a doubt.

2. Mille Lacs Lake
State: Minnesota

Although it’s been the center of controversy with its walleye stocks allegedly being depleted and smallmouth harvesting regulations, Mille Lacs is still kicking out gargantuan smallmouth on a routine basis. It’s easily the best smallmouth fishery in the country right now and anglers have a great chance of catching a 6 or 7-pound smallmouth on any fishing trip. If the giants don’t bite, you’ll have your hands full with plenty of 3 and 4-pounders.

The Elite Series anglers showed exactly what makes this lake such a powerhouse in September of 2016. Seth Feider won the 2016 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship on Mille Lacs with 76 pounds, 5 ounces of smallmouth for just a three-day tournament. A 20-pound per day average landed Brett Hite in 24th place; let that sink in for a while.

Mille Lacs is bound to become a major destination for hardcore smallmouth anglers, especially after the Elite Series smallmouth beatdown airs on television.

3. Toledo Bend Reservoir
State: Texas and Louisiana

This lake has seen two years of high water conditions resulting in excellent spawns, which tells us Toledo Bend will be hanging out at the top of our list for years to come. Whether you’re flipping or casting a big plug, you have a definite chance of catching that bass of a life time. It’s another lake that sees a bunch of fishing pressure but it shows no signs of slowing down. It regularly takes 30 pounds to win tournaments with 10-pound kickers, especially in the spring months.

4. New Bullards Bar Reservoir
State: California

It was once a closely kept secret, but thanks to an astonishing number of world record-class fish caught from its waters, it’s safe to say that the secret is out. It’s commonly referred to as the top spotted bass fishery in the world and the numbers back it up: Tim Little caught broke the world record spotted bass title with a 10.38 monster. Not long after Little’s catch, Paul Bailey reportedly broke that record with an 11-pound, 4-ounce spotted bass—but the fish was weighed in a boat and not on solid ground, so it wasn’t certified. If enormous spotted bass sound like a good time to you, New Bullards Bar is the place to go.

5. California Delta
State: California

With its sprawling canals, it’s a lot of water to cover. But the “Dirty D” as locals call it is a flipper and frogger’s paradise. It’s an extremely fertile fishery with lots of forage, which is a large reason why 10-pounders are so common in its waters. If you plan on entering a tournament, make sure you wear your big boy pants because it’s not uncommon for 30-pound limits to be brought to the scales.

6. Lake Erie
State: Ohio, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania

An absolutely massive fishery, Lake Erie fishes like a couple of different lakes depending on your launch location. It regularly takes weights all smallmouth in the mid 20s to win tournaments and a 5-pound average is surprisingly common on this lake. Some interesting trivia: Lake Erie boasts the thirteenth-largest surface area of any lake in the world.

7. Mississippi River
State: Minnesota and Wisconsin

This section of the Mississippi River is completely different than what southern anglers are accustomed to. It’s much more narrow with drastic turns and log jams galore. The water is much clearer, so it offers awesome smallmouth fishing on the Minnesota side and excellent largemouth fishing on the Wisconsin side. You can catch ‘em just about any way you’d like, but the topwater bite can be unforgettable at times. Anglers probably won’t run across any record-class fish, but a 3-pound average is common and they’re very easy to catch.

8. Lake Okeechobee
State: Florida

It’s a huge, shallow bowl that receives loads of fishing pressure, but again, Okeechobee shows no signs of slowing down. It’s a grass fisherman’s dream that produces giant bass all year long, especially in January. If you’re tired of the cold weather this winter, head down to Clewiston, Florida and pack your flip flops and flipping sticks—it’s a near-perfect remedy to cabin fever.

9. Lake Fork
State: Texas

Despite the constant fishing pressure stemming from its famed reputation, Lake Fork continues to produce big fish. It’s an intensely managed fishery and a consistent producer for the Share Lunker program. Its tendency to kick out big bass each year is a true testament to the effectiveness of world-class fisheries management

10. Lake Guntersville
State: Alabama

Ranked No. 1 in our 2015 Top 20 Largemouth Bass Lakes, “The Big G” has seen some decline as of late. Despite the fall in our rankings, it continues to produce quality fish, especially during the summer ledge season and fall grass bite. There seems to be a better quality of fish that lives in Guntersville compared to the rest of the TVA, but there haven’t been as many giants caught from its waters this year. Anglers will still have some chances to catch a 6 or 7-pound largemouth on each visit, however.

11. Falcon Lake
State: Texas

This fishery continues to climb on our list each year because it’s on a major rebound. Although it’s still not fishing like it was back in the hayday, the numbers are coming back strong and anglers are reporting a lot more 4 and 5-pound catches in recent years. Any cast can result in a 10-pounder and there are multiple ways to catch them. Flipping, pitching, deep crankbaits and Carolina rigs continuously produce and anglers can take their pick between fishing shallow or deep.

12. Sturgeon Bay
State: Wisconsin

Sturgeon Bay has it all when it comes to smallmouth bass; anglers have the opportunity to catch both quantity and quality. 8-pound smallmouth aren’t unheard of in these waters and 25-pound limits are old news here. You’ll have to battle some big water, but it’s definitely one of the best smallmouth fisheries in the world.

13. Lake Champlain
State: New York and Vermont

This popular lake is a factory for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. It’s one of the few places you can catch both 4-pound largemouth and smallmouth with regularity. Anglers can fish offshore for smallies or shallow vegetation for chunky largemouth, so this fishery offers the best of both worlds for hardcore bass anglers.

14. Santee Cooper Lakes
State: South Carolina

Despite monstrous catches over the years, this lake continues to be overlooked by anglers throughout the country. You’ll find plenty of 5 to 7-pound bass on Santee Cooper, but down be surprised if its clear waters requires you to downsize your gear to catch ‘em. Squarebill crankbaits are a big producer here as well as floating worms and stick worms—fished on 8-pound line, of course.

15. Pickwick Lake
State: Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee

The shallow grass of Pickwick Lake has really taken off which has steadily improved the fishing over the last few years. It’s a great fishery for both shallow and deep anglers, although the offshore fishing hasn’t been as strong lately. Its notorious for fishing small, so be prepared to fish in a crowd if you’re out there during the summer ledge bite.

16. Lake Lanier
State: Georgia

Whether you’re fishing topwaters in the summer months, jerkbaits in the spring or underspins in the winter, there’s a little something for everyone at Lake Lanier. It’s one of the premier spotted bass fisheries east of the Mississippi and this particular strain of spots pulls like a train. It’s close to Atlanta and can get absolutely swamped with recreational boat traffic, so unless you’re feeling brave, you may want to focus on the weekday fishing.

17. Kentucky/Barkley Lakes
State: Kentucky and Tennessee

Kentucky Lake fished really well this year during the spring and early summer, but then it tapered off significantly because of the lack of current and the growing asian carp population. The carp problem has changed the bass’ feeding behavior, as it noticeably affects where the bass position and how long they stay in particular areas. It seems as if the bass are feeding a lot more after dark as a result. Barkley Lake was really good this year, especially for shallow anglers flipping wood and fishing shallow bars.

18. Table Rock Lake
State: Missouri and Arkansas

This lake made our list for the sheer numbers of bass you can catch here. There are very few places you can catch quality largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass in the same fishery. It’s a very deep and clear lake, so it’s a great place to learn drop shots, topwater techniques and various swimbait applications. The winter is an excellent time of year to fish Table Rock as local tournaments often take 25 pounds to win. You may not catch any giants, but there’s a ridiculous number of 2-pound fish in this lake.

19. Lake Seminole
State: Georgia and Florida

Lake Seminole is a beautiful and tranquil fishery located in the middle of nowhere near the Georgia/Florida state line. Whether you’re sneaking around its quiet backwater ponds in search of giant spawners or ripping a 1/2-ounce or 3/4-ounce lipless crankbait through flooded vegetation, you have a legitimate chance of catching a trophy-class largemouth. No matter how you like to fish, you’ll fish yourself in close quarters with plenty of 3 to 5-pound bass.

20. Thousand Islands (St. Lawrence River)
State: New York

During spring and fall it can be some of the absolute best smallmouth bass fishing in the country. These seasons offer everything an angler could dream of—excellent weather, scenic views, nice people and of course, lots of big smallmouth bass.

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