Melvern Lake

This was the 5th Tournament in the series for the Flint Hills Bass Club. This tournament was a pivotal in the points race for AOY. Melvern Lake being known as a smallmouth lake was new to me and that was a concern to me, however my boater was very familiar to the lake. We start off along this rock with my partner throwing a pop-R and I throwing a variety of baits with zero luck.

I finally went to an ultra finesse technique of wacky rigging and hooked a nice largemouth that got off at the boat. Unfortunately, this will be the theme of the day. I finally caught a 15 incher along the rock wall. We then went across the lake to a section with pea gravel bottom and I lost another 3 fish until caught one wacky style. This was pretty much the theme for the entire day. I would lose a few smallmouth and then I would catch one. It was very frustrating!!
My day turned better as I told my partner that I needed to use my lucky pants power and then I flipped my finesse rig and before I could even reel in my slack my line was already swimming away and I caught my biggest smallmouth 17.5 inches. It was a hilarious moment. However, I did lose another nice 18 inch smallmouth and I resisted from my doing my best Mike Iaconelli impersonation. My partner did catch a few meanmouth’s which was nice to see.
I ended up in 5th place for the tournament and felt very lucky to do that with losing about a 12 keepers during the day and only catching 14 fish during the day. Next up for me is Truman Lake which is another lake that I have never been too.

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Banner Creek

This was our 4th stop of the year for our club and at another lake I have never fished. Being a team/family tournament stop I paired up again with my friend Jim. This time the weather was good and the water was in the lower 70’s . Jim pulled up to one of his favorite spots and him and I quickly caught a nice limit of fish. He caught his on a small worm and I caught mine on chatterbait. Jim was out fishing me two-1 so I decided to go to a similar bait that he was using. I then started catching the nice largemouth. Jim however caught two huge largemouth weighing 3.5 and 5 pounds.
The wind start howling on the lake so we tried to stay out of the wind the best we could however the water was becoming more and more stained as the day went by. We pulled up to the location towards the end of the day and absolutely put the hammer on the fish catching somewhere between 15-20 fifteen inch bass.
I honestly thought we had the tournament won, however we ended up in second and a pound out of first. This was a great day where we boated around 50 fish.

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Clinton Lake

This was my first time at this Lake, however I received a lot of local knowledge about the lake prior to going to it. My boater was familiar to this lake as well which helped out a lot. Today though wasn’t a day that one would really want to be on the water. It rained the entire night and the storms were just beginning to leave the area when we launched the boat. Seeing the forecast I knew it was going to be a windy rainy day.
That being said I talked with my boater and suggested we stay close to the ramp as it was protected from the wind and we were close just in case the storms got out of hand. Sure, this probably wasn’t the pattern I was wanting, but we would make it work. Boy we just slammed them. The largemouth we chasing shad on the bank and in the first hour I had landed 6 including a nice 5 pounder. After two hours both my boater and I had a nice limit. I would like to say that the day got better, but it didn’t. I only caught culled one more time during the day as the entire lake was white capping and really made it tough to do anything.
I ended up in first place in the tournament and this was my first victory. The difference maker was where we started out. Those bass were actively feeding and were very catchable fish.

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BFL on Lake Stockton

On Sunday April 27th 2013 I fished the BFL on Lake Stockton.

FLW Stockton

Going into the Tournament the weather forecast kept changing from Sunny to a chance of rain to the eventual forecast of rain. During the meeting it was pouring down rain and I couldnt wait to get to the part I was assigned a partner. Since I have never fished Stockton I decided to go with the co-anlger side. I was assigned a partner and we quickly discussed what techniques and what type of water we were going to fish. During these discussions I learned one thing and that was we were going to fishing points with ledges in clear water with a jerkbait and a alabama rig in about 53-52 degree water. For those who know me know that I hate doing these two types of techniques. Being a co-angler during this event I knew that I had to try different techniques as the guy in the front of the boat. So I decided to take 5 rods to event as a coangler.

Pledge of Allegiance

I had on the following lures for the event:

1. Jerkbait

2. Alabama rig with grubs and one PTL Swinging Hammer

3. Swim Jig

4. 5 inch Yamamoto White Grub

5. chatter bait

My thoughts were that the grubs and the chatter bait might offer me up a chance to catch a different type of fish than what the guy at the front of the boat was throwing.

We made the short run in his Gambler boat to across the way to his first point with rock ledges. Two things stuck out in my mind during this first area we were going to fish. 1. I could see all the way to the bottom and it was 15 feet and 2. The water temp where we started was 50.8 degrees. My boater threw out his jerkbait and watched his cadence of how he was working it and on the first cast he had a decent following bass (15 incher) all the way to the boat. So I started with a jerkbait and in a few casts I caught a smallmouth (12 incher). Then we slowly moved down the bank to some deeper water and I started throwing the Alabama rig. Believe it or not in about 25 casts I had a bite and it broke me off.

So instead of putting a Alabama rig back on I decided to just put a simple grub on and the boater and I went up and down several points and down deep steep back in the clear water and we did not get any bites, however this place appeared to be a prime location to get a bite. The rain went from a drizzle to a steady down pour when the boater said he wanted to make a trip to the dam. It was around 1030 at this time and we arrived at the dam. I decided to make a wholesale change in my tackle at this stop. While my boater kept using his jerkbait, rattle trap, and deep diving crankbait I decided to change it up to a shakeyhead since our next stop would be on pea gravel banks. I put on two different shakeyheads one with Powerteam lure 5 inch finicky tickler and one with another soft plastic. At our next stop on my first cast I caught a 12 incher, and then a few casts later I caught a 13 incher. My boater then said our next stop would be at another pea gravel bank but instead of casting towards the bank we cast to 10-15 feet of water. Over the next 30 minutes I caught a 14, 14 7/8, and then I finally caught my first keep of the day (It was barely 15 inches), I caught another 14.5, and a 13. Meanwhile the boater finally put on a finesse bait and caught him a 13 incher. Shortly after is when I hooked, but didn’t land a nice largemouth. 3-4 pounder.

My boater decided we were then going to some dirty water and I caught another short (14 incher), but during this time we saw a boat in the very back of the creek flipping a jig and they caught a nice 4 pounder. My boater thinking that it was a winning pattern (and I don’t blame him) decided to then start flipping for the next 2 hours with no success. I missed a fish in the middle of the back of the creek, but other than that it was pretty quiet for me.

We were then going to head to the spot where I dominated earlier, but some boat trouble prevented us from doing that. So we fished near the check in and didn’t get another bite.

Overall, it was a mentally challenging tournament from a weather stand point, but I am happy that I caught fish and if my fish I caught would have measure 15 inches then I would have done extremely well. I ended weighing in one fish for 1 pound 15 oz and I ended up 52nd. The winning weight on the co-angler side was 9 pounds 5 oz.

During the weigh in I met a fellow Powerteam Lure staffer Jay Grave. Below is a photo of us.

PTL Staffer

Just when you could think Top Water could get any better!

*in writing this article I have not been compensated or at the time of the writing a member of their staff.*

Boing Lures

I was looking on Facebook a few months back and saw that Boing Lures was announcing a new Product. I instantly thought to myself what could the next product be? Would it be a jerk bait, a different style of walk-the-dog bait, would it be a prop bait, popping style, or something I didn’t even think it could be??

For the folks who know me and how I fish know me a angler who loves topwater.
Folks in the fishing industry already know that Boing Lures already has what I consider to be the best walk the-dog bait out on the market. So when Jason from Boing Lures announced that the new lure was going to be another topwaterbait I was psyched. I instantly ordered a few from Jason in the Batey Shad pattern. The Boing G2 is custom painted by Dwain Batey of Baitwerks and they consist of high quality of Gamakatsu black nickel treble hooks. What makes Boing Lures special is their innovative sound that each Boing Lures creates when it is just slightly moved. For the angler who haven’t tried the Boing Lures G2 or walk-the dog style lures, you might think this is just another piece of garbage or a gimmick. However, I will say from firsthand experience that these lures work and I feel I get more strikes and catch more fish because of the sounds that the Boing Lures’ make while being worked.

Needless to say this new lure has found a place in my tackle box and I’m personally excited what could under Boing Lures’ sleeve for their next product.

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Big Bass Bash

BBB set up

 

I fished the Big Bass Bash with owner of Smack Down jigs, Nick Hubbs, at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Nick and I decided to do a little prefishing for tournament.  The weather conditions were going absolutely insane the day before and that first practice day.

We both agreed that we would not throw jerk bait or an Alabama rig for this tournament.  We both decided to go a different route with throwing a jig (swim jig), grub, spinnerbait, and some finesse techniques with a tube or shakey head.  During our practice day (which was more like a fun day with a friend on the water) the fish were in a strange mood (cold dirty water) and kept short striking our lure presentations.   We kept moving along until we found a cove that was out of the 20-35 mph winds.   Hubbs finally got the skunk out of the boat with a nice 2-2.5 pound largemouth.  Then right that I caught small one of a shakey head and Hubbs had a nice one follow his swim jig off of a dock.  The only problem with this location is every angler on the lake is going to want to fish it.

During the first day of the Big Bass Bash Tournament we went to a main lake point we couldn’t access the day before.  Of course we started out throwing a deep diving crankbait and a jerk bait.  WE didn’t have any luck and quickly we went to the back of the cove and Hubbs started swimming a jig and I started with a shakey head.  We came up to this boat ramp and I threw my shakey head on it and I caught a 13 incher, next cast a 14 incher and I even caught a 15 incher in all of 5 minutes.  We continued throwing on the ramp for a bit more without a bite.  We pulled up to the next ramp and the shakey head had another bite that I missed.  Quickly Hubbs put on a shakey head as well.   The next boat ramp we pulled up to Hubbs caught a nice 4.40 largemouth.   After weighing in that fish we pulled up to a main lake boat ramp and Hubbs threw in and hooked and lost probably a 5-6 pound bass right at the boat.  We continued that pattern the rest of the day with minimal success.

Hubbs Fish

The next day we pulled up to the same cove where Hubbs pulled the 4.4 out and this time luck was on my side and I ended up catching a 2.69.  Nick and I tried every bait/lure in our tackle box along with going extremely shallow and we did not have any luck.  The learning lesson from this is since the water was cold we should have sought out clearer water and got out of that cold murky water.

Nick Fish BBB

Table Rock Adventure with Capt. Rick

On April 4th I took a day off from work and decided to Hire Capt. Rick Lapoint on Table Rock Lake.  I have personally never thrown a fluke in this manner so a fish would bust on the surface chasing a shad and I would quickly throw my fluke in the middle and shortly after that and give the fluke a slight twitch and then shortly I would have a fish. I must have caught a good dozen bass until the fish stopped busting the surface.  Next we went along a steep bank wall and threw the Alabama rig  with no luck.  Next we went down a bunch of pea gravel banks using a wiggle wart. We each caught a few, but on the graphs we could see a lot of fish just loaded up on these points yet they wouldn’t bite.    Rick, with all of his years of experience, decided that we should try throwing a tube.  I would say over the next hour I personally would boat at least 40-50 fish over 12 inches.  Rick and I went to another location on the lake and we again just put a hammer on the fish.  We saw at the other end of the cove some bass just completely busting the surface on a school of shad so we went over there and put a lick on them.   On the way back to the ramp we pulled up to the same steep bank wall and  I caught a lot of fish including my largest fish of the day on a Alabama Rig with Power team lure swinging hammers. Overall this was a great day catching a ton of fish and I feel like I mastered two techniques that I can take into my tournament fishing.

On April 17th I went fishing again with Rick.  When I originally booked my adventure with him back in January I wanted this to be a clear water sight fishing guide trip, but unfortunately the water wasn’t quite warm enough for bass to on bed, however the day I was there the fish were in a transition stage.  When Rick and I would puller way back into a pocket we could just see 20 or 30 fish just cruising waiting to spawn.

Rick pulled another lure from his arsenal which was the grub.  We fished a grub most of the day and caught a lot of fish on it.  This is a technique that I needed to learn for those hard days of fishing.  Rick also taught me another important lesson of fishing.  Sometime you can’t cast towards the bank and you need to cast to deep water.  He would constantly jokingly remind me of this fact throughout the day.  As I mentioned earlier this day was a day of transition not only for fish, but for the weather.  It was going from extremely warm 80’s to the next day a high of 40’s and rain so throughout the day the wind slowly built up and near the end of the day the wind was downright strong.    So he pulled one more trick out of sleeve and went to this bluff bank and handed me a jerk bait and said “he had a feeling that fish might be stacked up here.”  Needless to say I felt like KVD throwing the jerkbait and twitching it as fast as I could and catching one fish after the other.  That was an absolutely awesome experience.

Table Rock

My two days fishing with Rick was some of the best fishing and the knowledge I gained from each day was absolutely priceless.   Rick really took the time and explained scenarios that he would use each technique and why he would use it.   Also, don’t worry Rick I won’t tell anyone about the experience we had at the boat ramp.  LOL

 

First Club Tourney on Lake Wilson

My first club your tournament of the year was on Lake Wilson out near Salina KS. Normally at this part of the year the water temperature would be in the upper 50′s or 60′s, however now the water was 48-49 degrees and today the winds were howling at 20-30mph.

Wilson

I started out throwing a jerkbait and a wiggle wart down the rock bank for the first hour and the boater caught a fish.   I did catch a 13 inch crappie on a jerkbait. Then he picked up chatterbait and caught two in the back of the creek and missed one. I looked into my tacklebox and I didn’t have one.  I asked my boater and he let me borrow one.  In less than 15 casts I caught a 14 incher.  Over the next 5 hours my boater and I caught 8 more fish.

End results 4 fish, 11th place (2nd place as a team) and a lesson learned on the chatterbait.

Wilson Tourney

Bass Craft Crankbaits

*At the time writing this article I am not sponsored or been biased in any way.*

While looking at Facebook I came across a company named Bass Craft Crankbaits. What caught my eye right off the bait was the Made in the USA then I noticed that these crankbaits were made out of Balsa. If that was good enough then looked at the color selections. The colors offered by Bass Craft are absolutely amazing.

Once I got the crankbaits the first thing I noticed was the paint job. I was extremely impressed with the detail that was in the paint job. The next morning after receiving the crankbaits in the mail the first thing I wanted to do was want to see how it casts and how it looks/feels in the water. I was extremely impressed with the way the crankbait looked and performed in the water. The square bills run at a depth of 3 to 5 feet.

I’ve been waiting since January to write about these crankbaits and now the water is finally warm enough to catch a few bass of them to know that these basscraft crankbaits are special and they catch bass.

Link to Basscraft Crankbaits website

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