Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Skinny Dipper

The skinny dipper is made by reaction innovations. Its about 4" long and has this little paddle like tail on it. I have to admit that at first glance this little bait is nothing more than a glorified senko. I just so happened to have a rod in the car with me so I stopped by the lake on the way home from the tackle shop. (if your married I don't recommend having a lake on the way home from the tackle shop). The only thing I had was a couple of dart heads so i rigged the little dipper on a 3/16 oz. dart head from the shore.

I was bouncing the bait like a dart head. It was almost an hour before I got my first bite. Shortly after that I stuck the first fish. It was no more than a pound on its best day. Non the less it was more than I was expecting to catch. So I called it a day after that.

All in all I give this bait a thumbs up. It definitely deserves another chance off the boat instead of the shore.

Cost: $4.79/pck 9

Fish: 1

Make it or Break it

I was at my local tackle shop the other day and I was thinking about my blog and what I can do to generate more topics and maybe some more discussion. I decided that I would buy something I have never used before, go out and fish it, then come here and post how I did. The catch is that the lure has to cost less than $10. You will find the post to the right labeled, "Make it or Break it".

Start The Year Off Right

So with the new year usually comes colder weather in most areas of the country. This is one of my favorite times of the year to fish. All the fish start stacking up in groups so that finding them may be a little more of a challenge, but once you do, hang on!

First and foremost, during these months you don't have many recreational boaters. So the lake is all your except for the occasional extremist bass fisherman like yourself. If you don't find the fish, at least you get a peaceful relaxing day on the water.

I find that electronics come in very handy in the beginning of the year. The fish start to move deeper and really start to school up. I have heard people say that these fish don't eat in the winter months. I find that to be very untrue. Fish will eat all year long, yeah they're cold blooded but that doesn't mean they don't eat. I like to find channels with rock piles, stumps, trees, or anything else for that matter. Most channels can run for quite a ways, so look for irregularities in the channels on your electronics until you find that sweet spot.

As far as the baits I use, its the same ol same ol. I try and search with a crankbait, if no takers, I go straight to the jigs. Usually its a Gary Yamamoto hula grub. These tend to have a small profile in the water and still give good movement. Let that jig sit there for a while, then a while longer, and then a while longer. Sometimes when I find myself fishing to fast ill start to count. I move the jig, count to a certain number, then move the jig a little bit again. If all else fails, pull out old faithful rubber worm. I usually will use a drop shot because of the depths I'm fishing.

So stay dry, stay warm, and good huntin!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Spro BBZ-1 4" Shad

So I picked up a couple of these little guys after watching some videos on youtube. Took it out to Folsom Lake yesterday. This thing looks good in the water. It has the perfect swimming motion to it and a good size to boot. Only fished It for about 20 or 25 casts but in that little time I had one little bump and spooked another fish when it hit the water once. Though I didn't catch anything, it was a promising outing for the lure. I cant wait to take this little guy to the delta. I would have thrown it more but I had other things to try.

They have about 5 or 6 colors now and three rates of fall. They have the floater witch I would guess floats and weighs 3/4 ounce. They have a slow sink witch has a ROF of 3 inches per second and weighs 7/8 once. The one I was throwing was the fast sink which is 1 foot per second and weighs 1 once.

Don't be afraid to pick this swim bait up. It has a price of about $18-$21.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Crankbaits: The Perfect Body

After I've headed out to the lake and have decided to throw a crankbait, how do I choose the perfect one. Well I'll have to admit, I started writing this post and found out that I don't really know as much as I should about crankbait selection. So I did a little research and this is what I found.

There are other important factors to the cranbait other than color, the rod, and line you use. Colors are going to stay for the most part the same no matter what type of bait your fishing. Colors tend to be based on water conditions, weather, and bait.

Running depth is critical. You could have all the right equipment in the world but if you are not putting that bait where the fish are, your missing out on more bites. So this brings us to lip styles. Here are a few different types of lips you'll find on a crankbait.

It is important to know that abilities of each one. The angle of the lip tells you how your bait will dive and can give it a little more wobble in the water. The size of the lip will determine some of the running depth. Get familiar with crankbait lips. Once you have taken a crankbait out of the package it doesn't tell you the running depth anymore. Know what size lips go how deep will save you some time.

The bodies of your baits are really where the wobble comes from. Fat bodies are going to have wide wobble and skinny bodies are going to have a skinny wobble. Also keep in mind that there are wood crankbaits and plastic crankbaits. People will argue that wood cranks are more durable and give a bigger wobble. Plastic cranks tend to be a little cheaper cause they can be mass produced. Wood cranks tend to be less popular than plastic ones.

Notice the body difference...
Do you want your crankbait to sink or float. There will come a time when both of these come into play. Say you have a school of bait that is being engulfed by bass, sometimes I will reel that bait into the ball and then just kill it. At this point I don't want my bait to float to the top. That wouldn't be realistic. I want that puppy to sit there and act confused or injured. This will work with the lip less crankbait as well. When you kill the bait it will not suspend, but slowly flutter to the bottom like an injured fish.

I hope this article is help to someone wanting to learn more about crankbaits. Also use the web, there are some great articles out there about selecting cranks but I didn't wanna plagiarize them.

Friday, December 26, 2008


The spinner bait is by far one of the most popular lures for bass anglers. Think back to the last time you were out on the lake and had a hard time getting that first bite. If you didn't already have a spinner bait tied on, I bet you thought about tying one on. This bait is really one of the most versatile lures in our sport. It can be fished at most depths needed to catch those bass and under any conditions. You can throw it anywhere on the lake, into cover, flats, bait balls, you name it.

So lets understand the spinner bait a little more here. Most spinner baits are composed of wire formed into an "L" shaped pattern. Attached to this wire will be a swivel and a blade ( or multiple blades), a weight, a skirt, and a hook. Now there are variations to the basic spinner bait but for the sake of descusion in this blog well just stick to these components.

The most important features when selecting a spinner bait are going to be water color, bait or forage your imitating, and blade shape. Lets start with water conditions. In muddy water I throw my blacks, chartreuse, reds, and sometimes white. Fore clear water try to match your bait fish as close as possible to color and size. I use my salt and pepper, rainbow, chartreuse, purples, and greens.

The main colors I tend to use.

Blade shape can be very vital to the productivity of your spinner bait. There are two types of blades you will see on these baits. One being the willow leaf blade and the other being a Colorado blade. Each of them are equally as important and its important to have both styles in your box. Now these blades vary in size as well.

The willow leaf blades is more sleek and slender. It has a skinny profile that allows it to sink faster and be retrieved faster.

The Colorado blade is more rounded and allows the bait to sink slower. It also allows for more vibration to be put into the water for the bass to feel. They are generally used for slower retrieves.

Hopefully this helps next time your out and want to pick up that spinner bait.

Lure Making

If anyone has ever tried to make a lure, no matter what kind, shape, or size, its not as easy as people make it look. You have probably read articles or watched video on this subject that fool you into thinking that you can just whip one of these babies up in just a few minutes. Truth is, the people that actually sit down and write articles about making lures, do so because they have done it time and time again and have a good system to do it in a timely manner. With that being said, I'm not trying to disparage anyone from making their own lures. Its a great hobby, a means for a little fishin cash, but most importantly there will be that one creative person every now and then that comes up with their own little twists and end up inventing this new lure that takes the fishing world by storm.

There's just something about catching a fish on a lure that you have made from beginning to end, it's very very rewarding. Ive only made a few lures that were actually successful, most of them jigs. Jigs are probably the easiest to make and as far as time goes. For very little money you can buy some lead, mold, hooks, rubber or silicone, and some powder paint, and be on your way.

I'm currently working on getting more supplies so that I can put some post up with picture of the process and the final results. Stay tuned for that.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

When the Bite Gets Tough

Most people say that when the bite gets tough, slow down. Well I like to take a little different approach to tough times. I go to the polar opposite and speed up. For instance the other day I was out at a local body of water that is fed from the bottom of another lake. This water is cold year round but being that its December, its down right frigged. I knew the fish were there somewhere but I couldn't seem to get them to bite on anything.

Originally I was fishing fish a Zara Super Spook and had no takers on the top water. Switched to a small baitsmith swim bait that has a slow rate of fall. No taker there either. Next thing I tried was slow rollin a spinner bait near the bottom. No taker again. Now I know this body of water well so I knew the fish where there, I just wast giving them what they needed. By this time I'm very frustrated and ready to call it a day. Well what the heck, I'm gonna tie on a speed trap and just give her hell.

First cast with the speed trap I catch a 3# smallie. Second cast burning that speed trap, another 3# smallie ( thought it was the same fish for a second). I said to myself, "well that was fun, lets do it again". So I cast out to the same spot and for the third cast in a row I get another 3# smallie. I couldn't believe it. After that I found no more fish but it sure made for one heck of an outing.

I thought outside of the box and did something different and I was rewarded for it. Remember when times get tough to go to the polar opposite of whatever it is your doing. More times than not, I think you'll find that it will produce.

Top 4 Rubber Worm Colors For Clear Water

Most people don't care for the idea of having to finesse fish. For me, there is no other way to go after fish once they are located. I fish mostly the west coast and therefore a good majority of your waters are clear. There are four colors I turn to in these crystal condition.

My first color of choice is the Margarita Mutilator 3 (above). I'm not sure what this is supposed to imitate but my guess is a bluegill. This one here is a Robo Worm but the brand does not matter to me. Fish don't know brands, they know color and size. This is a highly effective color.

Next is Aron's Magic. It is mostly green but does have some brown and purple in the belly. Again not sure what is imitates but bluegill and bass would be a logical guess.

Prism shad makes for a great alternative when other colors don't work. The name speaks for what is imitates. Almost every body of water anywhere in the U.S. has some type of shad in it. Think of this when deciding what colors to use.

So my number four color in my box in Oxblood. It tends to have a real earthy tone that fish love. Earth tones work great in clear water.

If your having trouble catching em in clear water, try these colors out. They are all very common and can be fond at any local tackle store including Walmart.

Rigging The Huudleston

So let me start off by saying that there is no right or wrong way to rig your hud. Here's a few things that I do to my ROF12 that seems to improve my hookup ratio. notice I say hook up ratio, I have yet to really find a way to get the fish to bite the bait a bunch more, but when they do it seems that I hardly ever miss them. Take the tips you might like and use them, and just disregard the rest.

Most people like the Huddleston ROF12. In most cases these baits are gonna be swimming pretty close to the bottom in most lakes. Therefore I don't care to have hooks on the bottom of the bait. It doesn't make sense to put hooks where they can get snagged more often.

1. I cut off the stock hook.
(If your want to leave the stock hook I would recommend sharpening it.

2. Then I use 60lbs braid and tie a double clinch knot.
Also glue the knot with sum kind of strong glue.

3. Then I tie a size 4 Gamagatsu treble hook so that when the knot is clinched, it sits right next to the dorsal fin on the bait.

4. Now just rub on your favorite scent, give it any last minute touches and start chuckin that puppy.

The only other recommendation I can give if this doesn't work, repeat the steps twice so that you have two hooks on two separate leaders. Then put one hook on the each side of the bait. This will help when the fish are attacking from the side.

My Favorite Swim Baits

1. By far my favorite swim bait would have to be the River 2 Sea bottom walker. It comes in five sizes and 12 colors. I use the 4'' silver side mostly. This is a small profile bait that swims right along the bottom and in my opinion is the most versatile. Another good thing is that this bait is only about 10 bucks for a 3 pack.

2. My second favorite swim bait is the ever popular Huddleston. This has the perfect size for my local trout. Its 8 inch profile makes for a good meal for a spot of large mouth. These are a little more pricey making me weary of fishing them near cover. These run about 25 dollars now. What I like about these is that there are many way to tweak and tune them to your fishing style. One thing I always do with these baits is cut the gill with a razor blade and color it red. Then you stick a little piece of a toothpick i there to make it stay open. To me this looks more realistic to fish that may be trailing the bait.

3. Finally the last swim bait I use is the basstrix. This little bait can be fished in the thick cover. I love fishing this little guy in the Delta because of the numerous amounts of tulles and thick vegetation. They come in 5 and 6 inches, and about 15 colors. I have also had great success using these baits in shallow flats. I have had more hit on this bait than any other swim bait in my arsenal.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Law Inforcment and Fire Tourney

So in May 2008 we traveled to Clear lake for a law enforcement and fire tournament. This was a great tournament put on by Sonoma County Sheriffs Department. It only cost $100 dollars per team. That included payouts to about 5th place, as much tri-tip and hot dogs you can eat, a raffle with literally 100 prizes, and free beer. Not to mention half the money went to the sheriffs department.

I'll make a long story short for you. My fishing partner ken and I started out in Soda Bay. I was throwing a 6" osprey and about 20 casts into the day she hit it, an 8.66 lbs giant, the biggest bass I have ever caught. Needless to say the bite turned off after that. Ken was able to put 4 more in the boat that day as I tried to be a hero with the swim bait. I guess it worked out for us. We took 3rd and big fish of the tournament by one tenth of a pound. It made for a good little payout and an even more enjoyable experience.

I will defiantly be at this tournament if it is held again in 2009. Great atmosphere for the whole family, good food, great raffle, and a good time.

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Strugling Economy

Man oh man have times become hard. With the tough economy how does anyone afford to go fishing anymore? The truth is a lot of people don't. So what are us fisherman supposed to do? Well I've come up with a few things that may or may not help you out. It works for me so maybe you can tune this to fit your lifestyle.

My planning before a fishing trip starts long before I even know the day that I wanna go. It starts with saving money everywhere I can in order to keep a little extra change in my pocket. Where I noticed the biggest saving for myself was cutting out coffee and energy drinks. Everyday I go to work I would stop to get a coffee for now and an energy drink for later. So that alone was close to $7.00 I was spending before I ever got to work. For all the mathematically impaired people out there that adds up to $35.00 a week. For me that's half of a tournament entry, or gas for the boat, or a swim bait, or, well you get the picture. Cutting out on things that are not something you absolutely need can go a long way.

Another way I started to keep a little change is eliminating bank fees. Taking money out of the ATM for most people costs about $2-$5 dollars. I was getting money out one time a week so that saves me about $10.00 a month right there. I just go into my bank to get money out now. They don't charge me for that. Figure out how you can get money out of your account without being charged by the bank. It your money, you should have access to it when you want it for free.

I also found that I was getting lazy with my bills. I would wait until my bill was late before I got around to paying it. Not because I didn't have the money but because I was being lazy. For instance my cell phone bill would cost me about $60.00 dollars a month. When I'm late paying it I get charged $10.00 from Verizon. All adds up doesn't it.

So these are just a few ways I start saving for a trip before I even know I want to go. Keep track of that cash your saving so that when you go fishing you know that its with money you have saved. Also it makes the trip more enjoyable knowing that I worked for this chance to catch that donkey bass.

I would love to hear how other people save a little change. If you have any good ideas just post it here, thanks.

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