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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Power Outages: What else is there to do but go fishing?

So we got a little bit of snow and it kept the power out for 4 days. Me and the father in law got out on the lake for the day to freeze our tails off. We had a good time though. Here what we were onto all day......





a limit a 4's is a fun day on any body of water. It was well worth the pain and suffering.

Skeet Reese F650 Monster Truck!

Unconventional Florida Bass Fishing

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Master Series on Power Fishing with Kevin VanDam


Simply getting a strike isn't good enough for me. I want the right kind of strike — the kind in which the bass gets the bait deep into its mouth and stays hooked up all the way to the boat.
Sure, there are instances where that doesn't happen due to uncontrollable circumstances, but I want to control all the variables I can.
 
I do that by analyzing every strike, every caught fish as to precisely how that bass attacked the lure. These clues guide me to the best lure, size, color and presentation I can offer on that given day.
It compliments my power fishing style. By covering water quickly, I gather more information and this helps me dial in the most efficient pattern faster, and, ultimately, gives me the best opportunity to boat more bass.

Any contact with a bass — even the one that follows but doesn't take the bait — is important. When a bass follows, I know I'm in the right area. I just have to find the presentation that will get that fish to commit 100 percent.

A lot of times all that's needed is a simple lure change, subtle color adjustment or retrieve speed to make him react.

It's not unusual for me to change lures even though the one I was using caught fish. I'm always tweaking my lures and presentations to attract the most aggressive strike.

The first step to choosing the appropriate lure is identifying the forage and seasonal pattern.
Knowing the forage tells me whether the bait should be on bottom to emulate crawfish or bottom feeding baitfish or worked above the bottom to emulate baitfish roaming around. Bear in mind that can change from place to place and there may be days when the fish are feeding on and above the bottom.
Most of the time we can determine the seasonal pattern, but in the spring that's not the case because of the blend of prespawn and spawning fish.

So, if I run a spinnerbait by a bush and a bass smacks it without getting hooked, that could mean it's spawning or guarding fry.

Rather than pummel the area with a spinnerbait, I'll try a vertical presentation, such a jig or soft plastic lure, and probably get that same bass to bite.

Color Matters

Lure color becomes a top priority when I'm getting mediocre strikes, especially in clear water.
I've seen days when I could get a few fish on a pearl white Caffeine Shad, but a change to alewife or watermelon would make them eat it better, and I catch every one of them that makes a pass at the lure.
Bright, colorful lures may be better in dirty water, but I've also seen situations where a change to a more subtle color triggered more aggressive strikes in stained water. Be prepared to experiment.
When fishing crankbaits, pay attention to how each bass is hooked. If the hooks are outside the mouth or you're losing them, a color change may be in order.

Colors can vary by seasons and different waters, too. In springtime I use a lot of orange-bellied jerkbaits because bass tend to eat that better than those baits with white bellies. Yet, in summer, white tends to be better. My assumption is that around the spawn, orange-bellied bluegills and sunfish are predators around nests and bass' natural instincts are to chase them away. During the summer, they're focused on shad.

Some of the most color-conscious bass I've ever seen are those in clear lakes where blueback herring exist. You can use a chrome/black back jerkbait — a color that is excellent anywhere else — but they only get half-hearted looks in blueback herring waters. Switch to a translucent jerkbait with a green back and they gobble it up.

I've seen similar things happen on the smallmouth lakes around my home. Throw a green pumpkin tube with red flake and they won't bite it, but use one with purple flake and you're going to get a lot more bites.

Monitor the Fall

The rate of fall is critical when fishing vertical lures.

Choose your style of bait or jig trailer based upon how the bass are positioned on the cover or structure. If they're suspended off the bottom, a bait with swimming appendages is my first choice because it sinks slower, stays in their face longer, and has more action. When bass are on the bottom, or protecting a nest, a tube or jig is better.

And another thing, if the fish are biting the legs or tails off your creature bait, try a tube or another compact soft bait that they'll get in their mouths better.
It can go the other way, too. If you're losing fish on a Texas rigged tube, they might eat a 6-inch lizard better. It's all about trial and error, and it can change from one day to the next.

When fishing shallow targets with pitching or flipping techniques, pay close attention to where the strike occurs. If the bass bite as the bait is sinking, they probably aren't on the bottom and a lighter weight or slower falling bait might be more appropriate. If they bite on the bottom, go heavier.

Refine Your Tackle

I also make adjustments in treble hooks on hard baits. If I'm missing or losing fish, I change the hooks to increase my hooking percentage. Mustad offers a large variety with extra short shanks, round bends and Triple Grips. One of my favorite adjustments is to go to an oversized Triple Grip hook with short shanks, wide gaps and more holding power.

During spring when the water is cool and fish are swallowing the bait, it doesn't matter. But during summer and fall months, when they are trying to kill the bait by attacking it before eating it, extra wide gap hooks improve your odds.

Also, make sure the hooks you are using aren't flexing too much. I've seen smallmouth pull off a jerkbait that has flexible hooks. You need a stronger hook for bigger fish so the hooks aren't giving way under pressure.

 However, don't overcompensate and hurt the action of the lure. In some cases, heavy hooks can cause a jerkbait to sink or a topwater to sit too deep in the water and that will restrict the action.
Your rod is another consideration. When burning a crankbait over the bottom, I want it deflecting erratically when it strikes an object. The way a rod "unloads" after the bait deflects can make a difference.

That's why I'm not a fan of pure graphite rods for cranking. When a bait fished on a graphite rod hits something, the lure tends to straighten up quickly and move forward. With glass, or a blended glass, it works more like a rubber band and enhances the erratic action.

I'm convinced that small details are critical to getting more strikes and try to stack those details in my favor. It makes a difference in how many fish you land, and if you're a tournament angler, how many checks you cash.

Ike's beard goes for charity


Michael Iaconelli has put his beard, more accurately a long-whiskered soul patch, up for public auction. As you read this, it's on eBay, available to anyone who wants a fishing collectable and who wants his or her money to go to a worthy cause.
The whole thing started when Ike agreed to shave his beard for his wedding. Becky — his fiancĂ©e at the time, now his wife — wanted it removed. Ike, being a reasonable man, at once saw the wisdom of her thinking. He told her she could shave it off the night before the wedding. She did just that.
Never satisfied unless he's helping someone less fortunate, Ike immediately began looking around for a charitable opportunity. He found it in his friendship with Eli Delany, whose son, Luke, suffers from autism.
Luke is schooled at the New England Center for Children, a nonprofit that specializes in the treatment of autism. They're "dedicated to bringing out human potential and creating productive lives for children with autism" and are generally considered to run one of the best autism programs in the country.
"It's a great program and a great school. They've been in business since 1975 and are considered first-class by everyone in the business," says the 2003 Bassmaster Classic champion and 2006 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year. "That's the kind of charity we want to be involved with and one you can feel comfortable with when you bid.
"Autism is a serious problem confronting our society. Some estimates put the rate of affliction at one child out of every 91 born. That's a diagnosis every 21 minutes. It's out of control. We have to do something. This is one way to help."
The auction will also promote the "Fishin' with a Mission" decal program that began in 2009, a program designed to promote autism awareness among the fishing public.
Bidding ends on December 3, 2009 at 17:56:57 PST. As of this posting, the highest bid stands at $405.
Ike's whiskers, mounted in a professional display case along with a signed Certificate of Authenticity will be shipped to the winning bidder free of charge. Your purchase may be tax deductible. Settlement can be made through PayPal.
For more information about Luke Delany, the auction or the Fishin' with a Mission decal program go to www.mylittlebuddysboat.com. For more information about the New England Center for Children and its programs, or autism in general, check out their Web site at www.necc.org.

2010 Bassmaster Tournament Trail Schedule

Here is the link for the 2010 Bassmaster events.

proxy.espn.go.com/outdoors/bassmaster/media/print/schedule09

Bass Masters Christmas Guide

Here are some gifts that espn put together for all price ranges. Something I would add to this list though is a pair of eye surrender sunglasses. Great glasses with a life time warranty with no questions asked for only 39.99..... check them out. http://www.eyesurrenderonline.com/


 



Gifts for less than $15



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  • Plano 4642 Liqua-Bait Locker ($14.99)
    This nifty bait keeper by Plano is designed for simulated-live baits like Berkley Gulp! It (along with the whole Liqua-Bait line) features corrosion-proof latches and rubber O rings to seal in odors and liquids that would otherwise leave a funky smell in your boat. www.planomolding.com
  • Stick Jacket ($6.99)
    "Tame the tangle!" is what Stick Jacket says. These nifty sleeves fit over your rods and keeps your combos separate when transporting them. They also protect eyelets and tips when taking rods in and out of you truck or rod locker. www.stickjacket.com
  • Lazer Trokar flipping hook ($8.99)
    These are the highly-anticipated hooks that make a serious point. These surgically-sharpened hooks easily penetrate bass' jaws, and the unique keeper holds plastics in place until you decide to remove them. www.lazertrokar.com

Gifts from $15-$50


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  • Remembering George W. Perry ($19.95)
    This book is a must for big bass chasers and history buffs alike. Bill Babb — the preeminent historian on all things Perry and world record bass — details Perry's life before and after his world-record catch. www.whitefishpress.com
  • Ardent Reel Kleen reel cleaning kit ($19.99)
    This kit has everything you need to keep your reels in tip-top shape. It features a brush, Allen wrench, synthetic swabs, degreaser, Ardent's Reel Butter and Reel Grease and a silicone-treated cloth to keep them looking their best. www.ardentoutdoors.com
  • QVC LaserLure package ($34.99)
    On Friday, Dec. 4, Bassmaster Elite Series angler Mike Iaconelli will be on QVC (the home shopping network) offering a limited edition package containing two of Ike's signature color LaserLure baits (a deep diving crankbait and a floating jerkbait) in a Plano tacklebox with a letter from Ike himself. The package will be available from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m EST — when Ike is on! www.QVC.com

Gifts from $50-$100


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  • BASS Insider Membership ($59.88)
    With BASS Insider, you get exclusive content such as how-to articles, videos, blogs from top pros and Digital Bassmaster. Got a question? Ask the Experts gives you answers from Elite Series pros and experts in every field. Sign up today for a free trial: www.BASSInsider.com
  • Wright & McGill Tessera rod ($89.99)
    New from Wright & McGill is the Skeet Reese Tessera rod. These yellow rods take design cues from the old Eagle Claw rods, but everything about them is new. Bassmaster Classic champion Skeet Reese designed these rods to outperform sticks costing more than twice as much. www.wright-mcgill.com
  • Abu Garcia Vendetta rods ($79.95)
    These Berkley rods adopt Japanese styling with split grips, no forward grip and an emphasis on balance to create a lightweight, easy handling rod tuned to Garcia's Revo series of reels. www.abugarcia.com

Gifts for $100 and up


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  • Costa Del Mar Zane ($139.00 - $239.00)
    Polarization is a must for angling shades, but looking good doesn't hurt, either. Costa Del Mar's newest addition is the Zane, available in multiple lens and frame combinations. www.costadelmar.com
  • Motor Guide Kayak trolling motor ($279.99)
    This short-shaft trolling motor gives 'yakkers and canoe-bound bassers more range than paddle power alone. It sports 45 pounds of thrust and Motor Guide's digital technology. www.motorguide.com
  • Abu Garcia Revo Premier ($279.00)
    These sleek new low-profile reels are Garcia's flagship for the new year. Gold trim, along with upgraded drag and braking systems, makes this reel a hot item for the holiday season. www.abugarcia.com