Saturday, January 17, 2009

Crankbait Gallery

Friday, January 16, 2009

My First Crankbait

So I went out today and picked up a new airbrush. The last one I bought was practically useless because is would only spray a 3/4 inch pattern. I picked up the Iwata airbrush and I'm in love. It will do everything I need it to I just have to learn how. I picked it up pretty fast and the createx paints I used were a lot easier to handle and clean than the laquer im used to.

So I did up a couple of cranks for the first time and thought I would show them. I still need to get some techniques down and get some more creative patterns but this is what I got so far. The picture quality is not that great, I took it with my cell phone.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mono vs. Fluorocarbon


Monofilament is popular as a line material because of its low memory and suppleness, which make it easy to cast and handle. Furthermore, mono boasts excellent knot strength and abrasion resistance, and has an inherent stretch that makes it forgiving when subjected to sudden strain. It's also fairly inexpensive. But stretch can also be perceived as a disadvantage of monofilament, since it may reduce the sensitivity needed to detect subtle strikes, as well as limit the angler's ability to set the hook solidly in certain situations, such as when bottom fishing in deep water. Mono also absorbs water, and can lose as much as 15 percent of its rated breaking strength when saturated. Lastly, mono weakens considerably under repeated exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. Fluorocarbon's biggest selling point is its low visibility. This is due to its refractive index - the degree to which light bends or refracts as it passes through a substance - which can be as low as 1.42. That's very close to the refractive index of water (1.3). The refractive index of nylon monofilament is higher than that of fluorocarbon, coming in at about 1.52. Braided lines have virtually no stretching capacity. On one hand, this has the great advantage. When you are fishing at greater depths you always maintain direct contact with the bait. On the other hand, when you are fishing with the light power rods you must adjust the drag more softly than when using monofilament lines of the same breaking strength. Braided lines are 3 – 4 times stronger than monofilament lines of the same diameter. They are perfect for sea and surf fishing.


Fluorocarbon also contains more material than mono, is non-porous, and has a harder finish. It's virtually a solid material that's denser than water. That means it sinks and doesn't absorb water, the latter quality enabling it to maintain its rated breaking strength whether wet or dry. Furthermore, it has a diameter that's comparable to or smaller than monofilament of the same strength, and also has very little stretch. Both features enhance fluorocarbon's sensitivity and hook-setting ability. Lastly, fluorocarbon is very abrasion-resistant and less susceptible to damage from the sun and chemicals. On the down-side, original fluorocarbon is much stiffer than nylon monofilament and retains a fair amount of memory. That's why fluorocarbon has excelled as a leader material, but hasn't been manageable as a fishing line. Another drawback has been price, since fluorocarbon leader material costs considerably more than monofilament and braided lines.

Lake Beer

One day Jon and Joe went out fishing. Joe decided to catch some bait fish and threw out his cast net. When he pulled it in he saw a golden genie lamp. Joking around he rubbed it and out popped a genie.

"I will grant you one wish, and one wish only." said the genie.

Joe said, "I wish the whole lake was beer!"

Just like that the lake was beer.

"You idiot!" said Jon. "Now we have to pee in the boat."

Three Old Men

Three old men were sitting on a park bench. The one in the middle was reading a newspaper and the other two were baiting imaginary hooks, and then proceeded to fish.

A few minutes later an officer approached the man reading the newspaper and asked, "Do you know these two guys?"

"Yes, they are my buddies."

"Well can you get them out of here? They are scaring people."

At that moment the old man set down his newspaper and furiously began to row.

Fine Tune Your Crankbait

Can a Guy Get Some Rain?

Not only do we need some rain to fill up our water ways, but I like to get out and do a little fishing when we have a light drizzle. I don't know about anyone else but I always seem to do well with a sprinkle hitting the water. I don't know if its because of lower visibility, the light hitting the water, oxygen at the surface, or maybe all these combined. So the bait fish become more active in the rain? I'm not really sure, I just know that we better get some rain to help fuel my addiction and to fill up these damn lakes.

More and more tournaments are getting cancelled or postponed. Not goo for the sport out here.

Moon Effects On Tide

This is a piece of an article that tacked about the moon and its properties in relation to bass fishing. If you can't quite grasp the concept of tidal waters (like me) this should be a good start. I didn't get the whole article because the rest of it is pointless. Let me know if this is of any help.

Moon Effects

Please keep these facts in mind as we explore the effects of the moon: The moon and the sun have been timing instruments used by the earth's creatures since the beginning of time. It is only in the last few hundred years that man has used a clock, and man is the only creature that has a clock. All other creatures still keep time by observing the sun and the moon. There are two mechanisms that creatures use to keep track of the sun and the moon. The first, and by far the least obvious, is sight. Animals see the sun and the moon and react accordingly. The second, and far less obvious, is gravity. The moon has 1/6th the gravitation pull of the earth and it is close enough to our planet to have major gravitational influences. In some ocean bays the tide can vary as much as 50 feet! The sun has 2 million times the gravitational pull of the moon, but the sun is so far away that it exerts only about 1/3rd as much gravitational pull on our planet as the moon.

Tides are caused by changes in local gravity due to the positions of the moon and sun, primarily the moon. High tide occurs when the moon is directly overhead, and low tide occurs 6 hours and 12 minutes before and after high tide (when the moon is on either horizon). Ocean creatures have been timing their activities on gravity and the tides for millions of years. And bass evolved from ocean fish. There is much circumstantial evidence that suggests bass have retained their gravity/tide reading ability.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Shavin Crankbait Lips

After watching "Wining Ways" the TV show where Timmy Horton stated how he shaved his crankbait bills, I gave it a shot. He uses a belt sander but I just used a normal hand file. I wouldn't recommend it though, it wasn't easy. Anyways I got the bait to swim straight eventually and I cant wait to take it out to the Cal Delta. Here's the article if your interested.

Timmy Horton's Crankbait Cure

By Tim TuckerBASS Times Senior Writer, September 2006

Former BASS Angler of the Year Timmy Horton is a crankbait fanatic.
In tournaments, diving plugs have long been one of the Alabama pro's mainstays. In his workshop, cranks are often the objects of considerable tinkering.

"One of my favorite things to do is modify crankbaits like a No. 6 or No. 7 Fat Free Shad, or a 6A Bomber," he said. "I'm always working on them and experimenting with different things."

One of Horton's tinkering tools is a handheld belt sander."The first thing you want to do is make sure the bait is tuned properly before you start to sand it," he explained. "After you sand it, you might mess it up and have to make adjustments then."

With the big Fat Free Shads, Horton shaves about a 1/32-inch swipe along both sides of the plastic bill at the point where it enters the nose of the bait."And then I go back to my swimming pool and make sure the bait is still running properly," he noted. "If it's running off to the right a little bit, I need to shave a little bit off of the left side of the lip. If it's running off to one side, I shave off the opposite side."

Why would you give a crankbait a shave? "It makes the bait run a lot tighter," Horton replied. "It makes it roll instead of the usual action. And it gives it a lot tighter wiggle. It also gives you a unique lure that nobody else will have. And you can really toy with them by making a Fat Free Shad that will run 10 feet instead of 14 feet or vice versa.

"The reason I want a No. 7 Fat Free Shad that will run shallower with a tighter wobble is that I still want that big-bodied bait. I remember Rick Clunn winning a tournament at Lake Texoma. He was fishing shallow, but he still wanted to fish that big-bodied crankbait. This is the same situation. That's what this [modification] does. And you usually don't see a lot of big-bodied baits with a small lip. But I can take a belt sander and modify them and get them down to the right size."

By shaving off the kick-out points on the bill of a Fat Free Shad, Horton believes the transformed tighter wobble makes it an excellent cold-water cranker. With a Bomber 6A, he shaves the front point of the lip, giving the lure a more subtle action that pays dividends on waters where the bass receive substantial fishing pressure.

"Bass feed on a crankbait by the feel of that thing wobbling through the water. And what you're actually doing is taking some of the action off of the crankbait, which is what you have to do in high pressure situations."

A word of caution: Horton says it's best to practice these modifications on spare lures first, rather than on your favorite crankbaits, "because it takes some time to get used to doing it."

If anyone has anymore tid bits on this I'm all ears.

Fishing Still Hot in the West

Besides the frigid cold winds, I absolutely love fishing in the winter. I got out today and struggled at first locating the fish. 3 hours into the day I found them on a main lake hump in 4 feet. I didn't expect them to be there being that the water temp is in the 45-47 degree range. We caught 7 fish with the smallest being 2.5. I'm very fortunate to live where the water doesn't freeze. We have the opportunity to fish all year although I don't take advantage of it as much I should.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bass Fishing Catching On As High School Sport

Brian McDonald understands why people snicker at the mention of Vernon Hills High School’s new bass fishing team.Even McDonald, the school’s athletic director, has trouble promoting the coming Cougar Bass Fishing Classic tournament without cracking a smile.“I’m still trying to say it with a straight face,” he said. “To put bass fishing out there as a sport, it makes people chuckle a little.”But students across the state are casting out lines in search of a big catch now that Illinois has become the first state in the country to adopt bass fishing as a high school sport.

Teams have formed at more than 60 schools, and a state championship will be held this spring.Coaches acknowledge bass fishing is viewed more as a low-key hobby for older men in khaki vests and floppy hats than as a competitive sport for teenagers. They too have been surprised by the enthusiasm among students. At Oak Lawn Community High School, an after-school meeting to gauge interest last spring drew 50 students.

Bass fishing attracts some students who might not otherwise be involved in athletics and teaches them about conservation, coaches say. It also provides opportunities for parents and children to spend time together, lots of time—say, 8 hours in a boat.That’s the major appeal of fishing for Sarah Warner, a Vernon Hills senior, who will join her team in its first tournament Wednesday against Libertyville High School at Independence Grove Forest Preserve near Libertyville.“It’s a good time for us to talk and bond,” she said of fishing trips with her dad. “We go up to my uncle’s lake house in Wisconsin and bring food and music.”The high schools are catching on to a larger trend. Bass fishing has become a multibillion-dollar industry with magazines, television shows and clubs dedicated to the sport.

A collegiate championship has been around since 2006, and professional tournaments dole out prizes of up to $1 million.The Illinois High School Association voted last year to add bass fishing to its official list of 35 sanctioned sports and activities. Officials expect at least 100 schools will join the spring tournament. Teams can sign up until Nov. 1.“We were looking for some other activities that could get kids involved,” said Dave Gannaway, IHSA assistant executive director. “We thought we could get at a whole different group of kids with this.”At the two-day bass fishing state championship in May, students will be on the water for at least 5 hours each day. The winner will be determined by the total weight of their five best fish.

In the winter when students can’t fish, they will study the contour, water temperature and clarity of lakes to determine the best places to fish. “This fits in with other curriculum areas: the sciences, math, ecology,” Gannaway said.Oak Lawn Community High School athletic director Pat Keeley doesn’t fish, but he has been learning about the sport since his school started a team. He never knew there were so many fishing spots nearby, such as forest preserve lakes and the Des Plaines and Cal-Sag waterways. The club will do cleanup projects and build fish cribs in the forest preserves.“Fishers take the conservation aspect pretty seriously,” Keeley said. “Otherwise, their sport goes away.”The Oak Lawn school board voted last week to add a bass fishing club mostly in order to recruit more students to after-school programs. Research shows involvement can boost academic performance, school officials noted.“The bottom line is, it’s an opportunity to reach out to students who are not involved in traditional sports,” Keeley said. “We’re interested in anything that gets kids involved.”Craig Warner, whose daughter, Sarah, joined the Vernon Hills team, is thrilled he can now root for her at a school event.“Everybody else gets to watch their kid at football games,” he said. “Finally this is something she can do, and of course, dad will be sitting right there.”

On Thursday, students practiced shoreline fishing during a regular physical education class at a pond on the Vernon Hills campus. Coaches incorporate fishing into class periodically to build interest and recruit students while giving team members a chance to practice.The teenagers were catching only water plants until 17-year-old Sarah Manning squealed with delight. She pulled a small fish from the water before it quickly dropped back into the pond.“It’s OK, I’ll get another one,” she yelled to the coach before casting her line again.Coach Jerry Miceli drove a golf cart around the pond passing out live worms and fake maggots for bait. He said they want to reach students such as Dan O’Roark, a 16-year-old who isn’t involved in other athletic teams this fall.“Fishing is for everyone,” O’Roark said. “It’s nice to be out by yourself—no cities, no cars. It’s just peaceful.”Miceli tells students fishing is something women and men can do their whole lives. Meanwhile, like everyone else, he defends the decision to start a team.“All my buddies are busting my chops,” Miceli said. “They say, ‘you’re coaching fishing?’ I still can’t believe how many kids want to get involved.”

Freelance reporter Janice Neumann contributed to this report.

Fishi In The Livewell

For anybody that lives or fishes in a state that has hot summer temperatures, I have a few tips as to not only keep your fish alive for the tournament or day of fishing, but to keep the fish healthy after you release them. I once had a fish die on my live well during a tournament. Though I got penalized half the weight of the fish, I felt that I should have had a bigger punishment. I don't even eat bass so I didn't know what to do with it after weigh in. The only thing I could do is go home and do research so as this would not happen again in an effort to preserve our fisheries.

During those hot summer days, water in the live well can well exceed that of the water in the lake. Sometimes its not enough to just recirculate water to the live well. Fill live wells early. This usually will be colder water earlier in the day. Always bring extra ice. Ice in the live well is a great way to keep the water cool. Remember though, once you have cooled the water in the live well down, if you bring water in form the lake its most likely warmer than the live well water, thus will melt more ice. Do this a couple of time and next thing you know your out of ice and have no way of cooling down the live well water.

So if your not recirculating water to bring in fresh oxygen, then you must put some type of oxygen supplement into the water. There are a bunch of different brands out there, but I use catch and release formula. I have heard of people using hydrogen peroxide to but I would do my research on that first.

I keep a thermometers in the live well. Its a little cheapo that I pucked up at Wal-Mart for a few bucks. Most of the things I read say to try and keep the live well temp between 65 and 68 degrees.

Don't just take my word for things. Do your own research and you may just learn something new.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mojo Bass Rods

There has been a lot of hype about this new "Mojo Bass" rod that's sold by St.Croix Rods, so I'm gonna jump on the band wagon. I bought one of these babies for myself for Christmas and just got it in the other day (the 6'6 MH). At the I CAST show this past year the VP of St.Croix stated that these were good rods for young anglers that want to turn pro someday. For the money you cant beat these rods. They are sold in 12 different technique specific sizes. I Have only flipped a senko in the local pond with no luck, but the feel is amazing. There are no other rods that can compete with the Mojo Bass for the price.

They run anywhere form $90-$120 dollars (most of the 12 rods cost $90) and comes with a 5 year warranty form St.Croix. Give these rods a look next time you go into a tackle shop that carries them.

High School Bass Fishing?

Check out this article from FLW Outdoors about high school bass fishing.

Illinois sanctions high school fishing curriculumMidwestern students afforded opportunity to hit the lakes, go bass fishing and earn high school activities credits in the process

By Vince Meyer - 17.Dec.2008

When the bell rings to end the school day in Illinois next spring, high school students will go outdoors to practice baseball, softball, track, golf, tennis, soccer and bass fishing.Bass fishing?Yes, the game that recalcitrant students once played hooky to pursue is now sanctioned in Illinois, making it the first state to offer fishing as an official high school activity. But today’s student won’t head out with a cane pole and a can of worms, but with all the gear a serious tournament angler needs to succeed. And he or she won’t fish just for bragging rights, but for medals and first- through third-place trophies.

Bass fishing has been sanctioned by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) in an effort to reach students who otherwise might not participate in extracurricular activities, said Dave Gannaway, IHSA assistant executive director.“We’ve added journalism, water polo, cheerleading, and now the board has approved bass fishing,” Gannaway said. When word got out, the phone started ringing with calls from people offering help, Gannaway said. And schools were quick to sign up – 217 so far. The new program will need financial help to succeed, for the IHSA is a nonprofit organization that relies on revenues it generates at state tournaments and sponsorships.“It’s common that we will look for sponsors to help offset costs that come up in any of our programs,” said Kurt J. Gibson, IHSA assistant executive director. “In a new program like this, we won’t know with certainty what the annual costs or generated revenue will be until we run the event once. But we’re confident, based on conversations we’ve had with a number of potential sponsors, that we’ll have no trouble putting on this event at a minimal cost, if any, to our association.”Already the IHSA has received commitments from Country Financial, an insurance company, and Plano Molding Company, a tackle-box manufacturer, Gannaway said.Of the 217 schools that will compete, many will enter two boats in sectional tournaments that begin April 24 on lakes statewide. From those sectionals, 48 two-person teams will qualify for the first state championship May 8-9 on Carlyle Lake.Tournaments will run for at least five hours and no more than eight. The state final is a two-day event with a five-fish limit per boat per day. Culling will be allowed. The winning team will be determined by overall weight, with big-bass awards going to the individuals who catch the biggest bass. A separate casting contest will be included.

TV coverage is planned, Gannaway said. Each school will provide its own boat and an adult driver (coach). Students will not be allowed to operate the outboard motor, but may operate the trolling motor. Students must provide all equipment, such as rods, reels and bait.Bass clubs throughout the state have offered their services, Gannaway said, and many have offered to provide adults to serve as boat captains.“A person only needs to be approved by the local school board as the IHSA considers bass fishing an activity, not a sport,” Gannaway said. “Therefore, the coaches do not have to meet the sport-coaching bylaw.”So for now, at least, bass fishing is considered an “activity” and not a “sport” in Illinois. Just don’t tell that to the hundreds of students who will brave cold weather in the coming months to practice for the state tournament.High school fishing serves as bridge to college fishing leaguesCoincidentally, starting in January 2009, FLW Outdoors – the nation’s leading tournament fishing organization – is launching the National Guard FLW College Fishing tournament circuit. The innovative circuit is slated to offer the most comprehensive, competitive and lucrative collegiate fishing tournament trail ever unveiled. And just to make sure that students learn the true value of an outdoor education, FLW Outdoors will award a $100,000 prize package to the eventual collegiate national team champion.As such, the new Illinois high school bass-fishing program couldn’t have been unveiled at a better time.“(The Illinois program) definitely will be a feeder system for our collegiate (bass fishing) program and an even greater opportunity for The Bass Federation,” said Kevin Hunt, FLW Outdoors’ director for college fishing. “It will give the students an opportunity to better their skills. I’ve talked to several people in Illinois, and they’re all excited about it.”

Monday, January 5, 2009

2009 FLW Schedule

The 2009 FLW schedule has been out for some time now, so here it is.

Feb 12-15 Lake Guntersville Huntsville, AL

Mar 12-15 Table Rock Lake Branson, MO

Apr 23-26 Lake Norman Charlotte, NC

May 14-17 Beaver Lake Rogers, AZ

Jun 11-14 Kentucky Lake Benton, KY

Jul 9-12 Lake Champlain Plattsburgh, NY

Jul 30- Aug 2 Forest Wood Cup Pittsburgh, PA

Getting the Most for Your Money

Like most guys out there who get married, I got out on a budget for fishing. So I found myself saving all the money I could when I'm out fishing. So below is a list of things you may or may not already due that can save you a few bucks along the way. In this post I'll be talking about soft plastics.

Get the most out of your baits. I see fisherman all the time using soft plastics that just change their bait because they got a bite or caught a fish. Unless the bait is just completely destroyed or ripped in half, this really is not necessary. I understand that in a tournament situation you need every edge against your competitors. Ok, so change your baits out as much as you want then, but for fun days out on the water use that sucker till it can't be used anymore.

Lets take for example the senko. The average price for these per pack is about 5-7 dollars. So if your going through packs and packs of these things start asking yourself, "do I really need to be changing baits all the time". I use my senko's until they wont stay on the hook anymore. I don't miss bites and I still catch fish.

So how do you make the life of your bait last longer? Here are a few little tips to make your soft plastic baits go a little farther.

1. Shrink Tubing

Shrink tubing can be an excellent way to make your senkos last a lot longer. Slide the shrink tubing over your bait, heat it up so that the tubing is snug against the bait, then slide your hook right under the tubing so that it does not Peirce the bait. You will find that the bait last 2-3 times longer than normal.

2. A Good Keep

Use dart heads or jig heads with a good keep on them. This will keep your bait positioned snugly on the hook so that the baits don't fall off. Hooks are one place not to cut corners. Make sure to buy one that has a good keep.

3. Super Glue

I always keep a good old bottle of super glue with me. This has so many purposes to it. It can be used to glue your baits to the jig head or dart head, secure knots in your braided line, or repair torn soft plastic baits. There are a lot of different types out there, I use mend-it.

4. Boil Your Baits

Some baits can be referbed to new by just simply taking them home and boiling them. It will ofter fill in all the fine holes made by your hooks.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Top 4 Top Water baits

Here are my favorite 4 top water baits that I like to throw, and a tid bit on how I like to throw them.

The frog has been for a long time a big fish bait. If you have never fished one of these baits I strongly recommend it. I like to fish this bait in the thickest nastiest vegetation I can find. The two retrieves I use are walk the dog and your regular twitching retrieve. This bait is also very effective near standing timber.

The wake bait is a lure that has really started to make a name for itself in the last 5 years. There are a hundred different types of wake baits made today. This one is made by 3:16 Lure Co, Wake Jr. These work great near long point near deep water, and over the top of shallower rock piles. When using the wake jr a normal cast and slow retrieve is most effective.

The Zara Spook is one of the oldest top water baits on the market. This bait is a very simple but effective bait to use. Cast out as far as you can, and walk the dog back. It may be necessary sometimes to kill the bait and let it sit there for a few seconds.


Finally the buzz bait. These baits have there place in history. There are many tune ups and adjustments you can make to these baits to make them preform better. The trick to the buzz bait is finding the speed to fish it. The fish are either gonna like it burned fast or slow rolled. fish this bait over structure, grass, tulle's, etc. I like to keep the bait in the strike zone for as long as possible so my preferred method is reeling as slow as I can but so that the bait stays functional.

John Crews: Hook Selection

Bass Fishing with Stephen Pineau

Kelly Jordon: Kentucky Lake

Skeet Reese: California Delta

Bass Fishing Tips: Skeet Reese Drop Shot

Bass Fishing Tips: Lure Selection

Bass Fishing Tips and Techniques: Lucky Craft Pro Staff

Never Give up! Mike Iaconelli. 03' Classic

Say what you want about Mike... He gets me pumped up every time!