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Sunday, April 30, 2006

3:16 No Bull Frog

If you watched BassCenter this past week you saw what I am talking about. There is a new top frog in town, the 3:16 No Bull Frog, it is made by 3:16 Lures Company, same people that brought you the Mission Swim Fish. This 7" monster frog is sure to the the attention of the big fish in your favorite lake or pond. Its a soft plastic handpour that you use a 6/o - 8/o work hook. Check out the website for more details.

Dean Rojas and his Bronzeye Frog may need to step aside for awhile....
If anyone has one or used one, let us know what they are like. In doing some research on this new frog, I found a cool site for swimbaits -!

Be Afraid... VERY AFRAID!
Bassin' Blog

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Choosing the Correct Fishing Line

Days are changing and it seems like you are at a serious disadvantage if you use one fishing line for everything you do. For years I would just switch brand and/or weight of monofilament to another. Now there are 3 main stays when it comes to choosing fishing line and none of them are the answer for every situation or technique. I am going to breakdown why I choose Mono, Braid and Fluorocarbon and for what situations. These are not the answers, just my thoughts and guidelines to get you started. Experiment and find out what you like best.

Braided Line (Super Lines) – This is a fairly broad category in itself. There are many types and brands of braided lines, and the all have there differences and advantages/disadvantages. For the most part, I am not a big fan of braided line, it just feels uncomfortable for me and its probably mostly a confidence thing. I think it stems form the fact that I like to feel a fish when I fish soft plastics, I do not set on the first tap. Thus when I lift to feel or weigh the fish with my rod tip, braid has no stretch, so the fish feels me faster and I feel more fish drop my bait. I mainly use braid for slop fishing (frogs& spoons etc.) and heavy flipping. So far I like Power Pro Braided Line and P-Line Spectrex IV Braided Line for my super line fishing. There are many anglers that use braid for just about everything, I am not one of them. One thing braid does, is increases sensitivity. It’s a great option for newer anglers; it helps them feel bites and contours. It also makes up for bad hook sets and less then average rods.

Monofilament & Copolymers – This was my mainstay when I first started fishing. I used Silver Thread AN40 for everything; it was a very good line. I still use mono for many things. I like a heavy mono for some flop and heavy cover situations. I like the feel and the way it loads up, almost like a bungee cord when you set into a big fish. For the most part, I use a ton of Cajun Red Line line, its red, tough as nails and very affordable. I have recently purchased some Gamma Copolymer Line & fluoro lines, I anxious to spool them up and test them out. Heavy mono is what I use for most of my dock fishing. I pair 20lb Cajun Line with a 7ft baitcasting rod. The heavy line and baitcasting rod give me a lot of power to horse fish out from under docks & piers. It also seems to help me skip, that stiffer heavier line almost pushed the bait back under the dock, lighter lines tend to sink into the water quicker and reduce distance on skipping for me. Mono is a must for topwaters as well, it floats so it helps the action. I also you some mono for jerkbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits based on how the depth I am fishing. If I shallow cranking, I will likely use mono because I feel it helps the bait rebound of cover and structure. If I am fishing these baits where more depth is desired, I probably will go with Fluorocarbon.

Fluorocarbon – I have only been using fluorocarbon based fishing lines for a little over a year and I find myself using them more and more. I started out with P-Line Floroclear Line , which is a copolymer line coated in fluorocarbon. I really liked this line in 10lb & 12lb, for crankbaits & jerkbaits. I feel like I get a little more depth to the sinking properties and I get a better feel from my baits. The low stretch also gives better action to my Husky Jerks & Pointers. It has been good for spinnerbaits, lipless cranks and other deep water applications. I tried using it in heavier sizes for fishing around cover and I started to break off on hook sets. I never have problems with Cajun line in the same situations. I think by going with a true quality fluorocarbon like Gamma Edge may solve these problems. I recentl tried some 16lb Gamma Edge on a baitcaster for a swim jig, I thought I got excellant performance. I also really like fluorocarbon for finesse fishing with jig worms, Shakey Heads , Mojo Rigs and drop shotting.

I hope this helps you make better decisions when you are faced with ever expanding option of the fishing line wall at your local sporting goods stores.

Tight Lines,
Bassin' Blog

Monday, April 24, 2006

River Bassin'

My first official & "legal" MN bass outing was this past Sunday - April 23rd. My buddy John & I took his boat down to Red Wing, MN and launched it on Pool 4 of the Mississippi River, Colvill Park. Water temps ranged from 54-58F, a little warmer in one cut where there seemed to be some warm water discharge. We started on some main river rip rap bank, no real luck. I worked that with a craw colored Bandit 200 until I lost it to the rocks. Turns out that was the only lure I ended up losing. That is pretty good in the river.

We hit the next cut with rock and flooded wood. I had one smallmouth follow and flash at my Husky Jerk. Then I caught one, 13" largie, on a 3/8 Chart White Secret Weapon Spinnerbait with tandem gold Indiana blades. Fished the rest of the cut with little luck. Saw a few white bass bustin' every now and then.

John & I headed to some WI backwaters and worked some more wooded banks. I caught a really nice white bass on the spinnerbait right away. About halfway back into the cut John banged a nice 2lb largemouth on a Lil' Critter Finesse Jig tipped with a Smallie Beaver. About 2 casts later I got a 12" bucket on a texas rigged Gambler B.B. Cricket . That was the end of our success, fished a couple more hours with out a tap. I need to find some new areas.....

Still better than work,
Bassin' Blog

Friday, April 21, 2006

Duck Rally & CastingKids - April 22nd

Sorry for the lack of posts, work travel got the best of me this week. So I am going to try tocatch up a bit this weekend.

If you have not heard about the Duck Rally at our Capitol this Saturday – April 22nd, you have now. This is a very important event to support legislation for dedicated funding for conservation projects here in our great state. Check Out the Website -

There are many fun events going on down there. Duck calling contests, local radio personalities….

This is a great and fun way to get involved and support a very worthwhile cause. If you are like most sportsmen, you are not much for sitting down and taking the time to phone or write to your representatives. This is a great way to show your support by getting yourself and your buddies down to the capitol this weekend. The weather looks like its going to be great, so grab your duck call and your cammo and garner attention from the legislators to get this bill done!P.S. Gopher Bassmasters is holding a CastingKids Contest at Gander Mountain in Lakeville as well. 10am-1pm -

Bassin' Blog

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Non-Boater's Secret Weapon

A Co-Angler’s Secret Weapon

If you fish a lot of tournaments as a co-angler, you are probably always looking for ways to get an edge on your competition. Especially when top prize for the co-angler in some of these tournaments is a new boat!

Whether you are in a draw style tournament or you sign up as a co-angler, fishing as a non-boater can be a very challenging situation. Among the many challenges, probably the biggest challenge what tackle should pack? You cannot bring everything, because there is not room and its bad non-boater etiquette to clutter up the boat and it can make for a difficult fishing day for both anglers. Sometimes your partner will clue you in on what you will be doing or what he/she may be catching them on, but often times partner’s are protective of their patterns and will not tell you anything until after you are on the water for take-off. If even if you are well informed, everyone knows things change on the lake on a day to day or hour by hour basis.

How many times have you been out on the water as a non-boater and found yourself needing something you decided not to bring so you could save space? There is one thing I found that can tip the tackle scales in your favor. What if I told you, it is possible to carry nearly every spinnerbait combination possible in a tackle box that is equal to medium sized hook box? You would say, yeah right! Well its true, thanks to the innovation of Secret Weapon Lures. They have developed a unique spinnerbait system that allows you to carry a handful of spinnerbait heads, extra skirts and wide array of blades all in one small box. You can make blade and skirt changes in just seconds as water conditions dictate. And on top of all that, these spinnerbaits flat out catch bass. They have a true running head design and that creates a spinnerbait that never rolls and it even slow rolls great. Check out these great baits at

So now that you can fit all your favorite spinnerbaits in a small box, just think of all the other stuff you can fit in your tackle bag….. Find your Secret Weapon Starter Kits and ProPacks here! You can cash in on all your old spinnerbaits with eBay!.

Bassin' Blog

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

The weather was so nice on Friday I had to get out of work and I headed to Crystal Lake in Burnsville, MN to make a few casts from shore. I decided to go with the tiny clown colored Husky Jerk, but I changed out the front factory hook with a Red #12 Eagle Claw Treble. I also covered it in Carolina Lunker Sauce Gel for added attraction. I ended up catch 4 small bass and a bluegill. There were a ton of bluegills on the shallows, and they were whacking at my tiny Husky Jerk, they just were not big enough. I also stopped by Marion after Crystal and caught one more small bass and had a few more strikes that did not connect.

Bassin' Blog

Friday, April 14, 2006

Venom Lures throws their hat into the Chatterbait Ring

Looks like Rad Lures' competition gets stiffer day by day. Venom Lures now has a new chatterbait style lure called the Venom Rattle Shake. Its got a much cooler name, if that counts for anything. If I order some of these, maybe I will get them before MN Bass Opener...... Then again who knows.
Click to View Product Details
It seems pretty similar to the Rad Lures Chatterbait and the Gambler Swim Blade. I have no idea which is better, or if there is any difference between any of them. If they all work, its all good, because there is such a demand for them, they are almost impossible to get. I read in my latest Bass Times that Steve Kennedy largely depended on a Green Pumpkin Chatterbait style bait on his Top 10 finish on Lake Amistad. I would welcome any info anyone has on any of these baits and the successes or non-success that they have had.

Bassin' Blog

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Couldn't get enough

So after coming up empty handed on Tuesday, I felt compelled to head back on Wednesday afternoon since it was so beautiful out. This time it was not so crowded near the frontage road of Lake Marion. I gave my silver Inline Spinner another try and managed to catch a little 3.5" largemouth bass, not very glorious, but the first of the year none the less. I worked my way over to the culvert that goes under I35. No more takers on the Inline Spinner, but I could see tons of small sunfish hovering in the current.

I switched to my miniature clown colored Husky Jerk, the sunfish were very intrigued by it as it darted and suspended in the water. Several took a stab at it, but could not get a hook. I watched a guy get a decent crappie on a piece of crawler hung below a float. I worked my way back to the car with the Husky Jerk and caught another dinky bass that was a whopping 5 inches. Maybe later this week I will get to double digits ;) None the less, it was good to be out in the warm sun and making a few casts. I think I will take tonight off and actually try digging my boat out so it is ready for fishing.

Bassin' Blog

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

First Fishing Outing

I could not take it anymore. I packed my ultra-lite spinning rod in the car in the morning before work. On the way home, I swung by Lake Marion in Lakeville to make a few casts from shore. The place I intended to fish (frontage road near I35) already had a handful of people fishing it, so I just kept on driving. I stopped on the west side of the lake where the walking path provides easy access.

I saw plenty of small bluegills wandering the shallows over there, but they seemed pretty skiddish and unactive. I spent about 30 minutes poking around with the only lure I had. I tied on a silver Inline Spinner , that definitely was not the ticket. No bites, nibbles or nothing. Then again, I had low expectations, it was more just to say I went fishing, it was good just to wet a line.

If I get off of work at a decent time today I may try again. This time I brought a tiny clown colored Husky Jerk .

Got Skunked :(
Bassin' Blog

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Hot New Shows on Bass Saturday

You may have noticed a couple new shows this morning on the Saturday morning lineup on ESPN2. "Bass Insider" and "A Day on the Lake". I only saw a few minutes of Bass Insider, but it looked pretty solid. I guess we will see what the upcoming episodes in the coming weeks.

The more exciting new show for me is, "A Day on the Lake". This is a spin off of one of my favorite sections in Bassmaster magazine. The basic premise, a BASS Tour Pro tackles a lake that they have never been on and have a limited time to figure it out and catch some fish. This is often the situation, that you and I face every weekend when we check out a new lake. This could easily climb its way on to my Top 10 favorites show list. I believe there is a a ton to be learned from watching these pros when they are put into these situations. So tune in and tune up your game!

Here's to Spring,
Bassin' Blog

Friday, April 07, 2006

Complete Ice Out on Lake Marion

Finally at last, the light at the end of the tunnel. When I drove by Lake Marion in Lakeville, MN this morning there was not a bit of ice to be found. Look like Crystal Lake in Burnsville was completely open as well. Got my license, just a matter of time now!

Most likely will get the boat out to test drive and then head down to Pool 4 to start harassing the bass, since its legal over there.

Returning to sanity,
Bassin' Blog

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Overnight sensation: the Chatterbait

(Photo: Ron Davis)

"The Chatterbait works best when either a spinnerbait or swimming jig would be a choice, says Ron Davis. The Chatterbait has a tremendous vibration and frantic action like a startled critter hightailing it."

The Chatterbait begins as a jig with a silicone skirt and soft plastic trailer, and then appends a blade to the jig eye, which some say makes it akin to a spinnerbait. Except the blade doesn't spin like on a spinnerbait. The blade makes a Chatterbait wobble vigorously like a crankbait.

In mid-January 2006, FLW co-angler Bryan Thrift of Shelbyville, N.C., blew the lid off the Chatterbait, crediting it for his win in the Stren Series event on Lake Okeechobee, Fla. In the 2 months since, Thrift spilled the beans, Ron Davis' business problems have gotten much bigger and much better. First quarter sales forecasts for Rad Lures have skyrocketed from 50,000 to 75,000 pieces & there are currently over two million Chatterbaits on order now — with no end in sight.

"I had no idea that Bryan's win would do what it has done. Bryan was even apologetic about it. First, Bryan felt sorry that we got flooded beyond our wildest dreams with orders," says Davis. "We are now working round the clock to get Chatterbaits to the people who want them."

He continues, "Second, Bryan apologized because he had won 2 Stren series events as a co-angler in 2005 but did not publicize the Chatterbait at that time. Bryan didn't realize the impact that publicity by him would have on sales. In one event, Bryan was so far ahead that all he needed to do was catch one fish on the last day to clinch the co-angler win. When Bryan got that fish early in the morning, he sat out the rest of the day so his pro partner could get some rod time with the Chatterbait to win the pro side event."

"Top national pros, if they hadn't been using it, surely were aware of the Chatterbait and now that it's out in the open, they either have to use it" says CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail pro Ben Matsubu, who used the Chatterbait to help him take 3rd and $33,000 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir at the Southern Tour stop in March 2006.

"Meanwhile, Bryan was getting hammered on the Chatterbait on a day when fast-moving reaction baits weren't working," continues Davis. "Watching Bryan, many of the other boaters started slinging spinnerbaits, trying to do what they could to copy his success, but not catching any fish. While people say the Chatterbait blade makes it like a spinnerbait, fish may see it differently. What I mean is people who throw spinnerbaits, you can come down the bank behind them with the Chatterbait and catch fish they didn't catch."

"The Chatterbait is somewhat snag-free but not entirely snagless. It works best where there are no thick weeds or wood," claims pro Tom Monsoor from La Crosse, Wis. (Note: Monsoor is rightly famous for making his own style of swimming jig.) "Another situation where I feel the Chatterbait will do best is earlier in the season while the water is still too cold for my own swimming jig to produce," he adds. You can find Monsoor's Swimming Jig at

"The Chatterbait is like a lipless rattling crankbait in that it gives off heavy vibrations and therefore works in dirtier water than my own style of swimming jig," continues Monsoor. "An example is the last FLW Tour event on Pickwick. I caught all my fish on my own swimming jig in clear water the first day. The water dirtied up so much the second day that I had to switch to the Chatterbait in order to continue to do well in the dirty water." Another high quality swim jig is the Outkast Pro Swim Jig.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

All Wrapped Up!

The most recent stop on the Bassmasters Elite Series goes down in the record books and Preston Clark lays claim to the all-time 4 day total for a BASS event, 105-15. That is just plain awesome. tells us how he did it. Hopefully it does not get broke at Guntersville at the end of the month. If not, its probably safe until next spring when the Elite Series swings through these lakes again...

Speaking of wraps.... If you have not had a chance to see Mike Reynolds uniquely wrapped boat yet, here it is.

Click on Pic for Large View

Mike was not able to land any large sponsorship dollars for his wrap, so he thought he would do something unique. He used his own money to pay tribute to our armed forces. He has the seals for the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines displayed behind the text "THESE COLORS DON'T RUN!" Pretty sweet deal and I think this is really cool. Well done Mike! When I was down at Amistad in Del Rio where there is an Air Force base, he was a fan favorite and I am sure this will continue on every stop on the Elite Series. Mike's most notable moment before this wrap was his win last year at Clark Hills Reservoir.

Way to go Mike,
Bassin' Blog

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Santee Cooper on Record Pace

The wind and clouds hampered some anglers, but good weights were still brought in. Hackney & Wurm had the only two limits over 30lbs today and Preston Clark stayed on pace for the Record. Clark weighed a respectable 23-15 today, extending his lead to nearly 10lbs over Skeet Reese who moved to 2nd with 23-02. Clark's three day total sits at 92-10, which leaves a mere 16lbs from having the all-time 4 day BASS Record. The top 3 anglers are all still on pace for the record and the entire Top 12 has a legitimate shot at it. Steve Kennedy sits in 3rd with 83-0 and needs a managable 26lbs to reach Rojas' record. I think it is nearly a forgone conclusion that the record will fall on Sunday. On a side not, Preston Clark plans to prepay his children's college education if he takes home the first place $100,000 on Sunday.

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Preston Clark Palatka, Fla. 15 92-10 315 $1,500.00
Day 1: 5 39-06 Day 2: 5 29-05 Day 3: 5 23-15
2. Skeet Reese Auburn, Calif. 15 83-01 295
Day 1: 5 29-12 Day 2: 5 30-03 Day 3: 5 23-02
3. Steve Kennedy Auburn, Ala. 15 83-00 290
Day 1: 5 23-06 Day 2: 5 31-13 Day 3: 5 27-13
4. Kevin Wirth Crestwood, Ky. 15 80-12 285 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 27-06 Day 2: 5 31-15 Day 3: 5 21-07
5. Terry Scroggins Palatka, Fla. 15 79-14 280
Day 1: 5 33-06 Day 2: 5 27-12 Day 3: 5 18-12
6. Greg Hackney Gonzales, La. 15 78-07 276
Day 1: 5 21-09 Day 2: 5 25-11 Day 3: 5 31-03
7. Kelly Jordon Mineola, Texas 15 78-06 272 $500.00
Day 1: 5 31-15 Day 2: 5 31-10 Day 3: 5 14-13
8. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu, Ariz. 15 77-11 268
Day 1: 5 25-09 Day 2: 5 31-11 Day 3: 5 20-07
9. John Crews Salem, Va. 15 76-08 264
Day 1: 5 29-09 Day 2: 5 29-04 Day 3: 5 17-11
10. Aaron Martens Leeds, Ala. 15 75-10 260 $500.00
Day 1: 5 22-13 Day 2: 5 27-06 Day 3: 5 25-07
11. Mike Wurm Hot Springs, Ark. 15 74-05 257 $1,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-06 Day 2: 5 27-11 Day 3: 5 32-04
12. Bink Desaro Boise, Idaho 14 72-04 254
Day 1: 5 22-08 Day 2: 5 28-15 Day 3: 4 20-13

Dean Rojas & Greg Hackney are distancing themselves nicely from the pack in the AOY Race, amazingly they have both made the Top 12 in all 3 Elite Series Events. If this was a normal year with only 6 events, it would be hard for anyone to get back in, but with 11 events there is still a lot of time.

Good Luck Preston,
Bassin' Blog