My ICAST pick: The Rapala BX Brat

My ICAST pick: The Rapala BX Brat

Most anglers who fish a lot with crankbaits like balsa. It’s buoyant and has a unique vibration in the water. The thing is, though, it also has drawbacks. Handmade versions are expensive and not every one reacts the same. Buy a dozen and you’re sure to get a few duds. Buy two or three and you might not even get one you like. Another thing is that balsa is soft. Make a 50 foot cast into a rock that’s only […]

My Pick for Best New ICAST Product: The Missile Baits Flip Out

My Pick for Best New ICAST Product:  The Missile Baits Flip Out

Whenever I’m around a tournament, a sport show or the dock I’m often asked about jigs. The prevailing wisdom seems to be that a jig is a jig. Why should anyone spend their hard earned money on a new one? Well, the answer is because a jig is not a jig. There are good ones and ones that are no so good. The new Missile Baits Flip Out is one of the good ones and that’s because we — John […]

My Sleeper Crankbait

My Sleeper Crankbait

Every so often I think about a lure that everyone who want’s to catch a bass should know about, and so it is with the David Fritts designed Rapala DT Thug. It’s a small balsa crankbait — 2-1/2 inches long with a weight of 3/8 of an ounce — that’ll dive to between 4 and 8 feet on a normal retrieve. It has a hard, wide wobble, is hand tuned and comes in 15 colors. I don’t care where you […]

Snap A Tube Jig This Year

Snap A Tube Jig This Year

When anglers think about fishing a tube they usually think about dragging one along the bottom while looking for smallies or, in some situations, flipping and pitching them into heavy cover for largemouth holding tight. But when I think about fishing a tube — at least some of the time — I think about snapping it. It’s a super efficient technique when you want to target deep bass that have seen every crankbait and every jig that’s ever been made. […]

Big Worms, Big Bass

Big Worms, Big Bass

When I’m talking about big worms I’m talking about ones anywhere from 8 to 12 inches long. And, in my case I even have some custom ones that are around 15 inches. All my worms, other than the custom jobs, are made by Berkley. I have used their Powerbait Power Worms exclusively for years. The reason is that most big worms are round. Power Worms have a flat side on them that’s about a quarter of their circumference. That’s just […]

Summertime Bass and Structure Spoons

Summertime Bass and Structure Spoons

In many waters, summertime bass fishing means deep bass fishing, and deep often means 20 feet down or more. Getting bass to bite at that depth isn’t so much of a problem. We can do that. I mean, they still have to eat. The real problem is getting something down to them that looks realistic, something they’ll bite. I do that with the Molix Mike Iaconelli Lover Spoon. Over the last few years — maybe six or eight — structure […]

Bass Fishing with Rapala’s Original Floater

Bass Fishing with Rapala’s Original Floater

I have to make a confession here. I hadn’t thought about Rapala’s Original Floater in forever — until recently. I had them, for sure. I’d just been using other baits. But then something happened that reminded me of why I should put a handful of them in my boat. I was fishing with another pro angler who was wearing me out with a floating jerkbait. His was made by another company. Nevertheless, watching him I was reminded of my Original […]

The Venerable Lizard

The Venerable Lizard

You don’t hear much about them anymore. I really don’t understand that because they’ve been a staple in my fishing since 1998. It’s true that there are new plastic designs coming out every day, if not every hour. But that doesn’t make any difference to me. I never leave home without a few sacks in my truck or in my boat. I’m talking about a simple, old-fashioned 6-inch lizard. There’s a good reason for that. They catch fish. Some guys […]

Swinging jigs

Swinging jigs

The swinging jig — made popular by Bassmaster Elite Pro Tommy Biffle — is a serious fish catcher. My guess is that’s because it’s a darn near perfect imitation of a baitfish rooting on the bottom. Every angler should have a handful of them in his or her tackle box. There are dozens of different makes and models out there. Some have traditional round heads and some have football heads. Each has its place. But I think a head that’s […]

Let’s walk-the-dog

Let’s walk-the-dog

Many anglers think of topwater presentations as something of a fun deal. They really don’t think of them as a primary pattern or something that can be used on a regular basis. That thinking limits their ability to put bass in the boat because a skillful topwater angler can often out fish other anglers two-to-one. That’s especially true if he or she chooses the right lure and presents it properly. The best lure and the best presentation — at least […]