Side Imaging Tricks To Actually See Fish!

Is your depth finder too confusing? Not with Tim’s help! He’ll teach you everything you need to know so your unit reads with picture-like clarity. His quick tricks for adjusting your side imaging units will clear everything up and provide a picture with real detail so you can find fish and structure more easily. 

The tricks to side imaging are a combination of sensitivity, contrast, and frequency. Many anglers fail to understand the importance of changing frequencies in different environments. Tim goes in depth about the differences between the 455khz, 800khz, and Mhz (Mega) Frequencies and what each can do for your overall image quality. Regardless of the brand unit you’re using, switching between 455 and 800 kHz will completely change your picture. 

For anglers looking for a starting point, Tim recommends setting both your sensitivity and contrast to 50%. This is an excellent starting point on virtually any unit. From there you can begin following his advice and making adjustments to get the most out of your unit. Below is a breakdown of the unit Tim uses as well as some of the other great options on the market at different price points. 

Tim’s Electronics… 

-Humminbird Solix 15 Chirp/Mega/SI/GPS: http://bit.ly/2Hazsej

-Humminbird Solix 12 Chirp/Mega/SI/GPS: http://bit.ly/2AE2YDB

-Humminbird Waterproof Ethernet Switch Port: http://bit.ly/2zTArsD

-Ethernet Cable (2) 20 ft: http://bit.ly/2Df42jh

Smaller/Budget-friendly units…

-Humminbird Helix 7 G3: http://bit.ly/2SoFl8a

-Humminbird Helix 5 G2 (Awesome unit for the price): http://bit.ly/2fsOu1I

-Lowrance Hook 2 9 series: http://bit.ly/2kBj3l8

Our favorite Equipment For Mounting these units…

-BalzOut Mount: http://bit.ly/2HnxLtu

-Kong Electronics Mount: http://bit.ly/2MohNwS

-Kong Wave Tamer Mount: http://bit.ly/2wsJVbA

Crankbait Tricks For Winter and Early Spring Bass Fishing!

You’ve been going to slow! High Speed Burner Reels in Winter? Really? Oh that’s just the beginning… Come along for a day on the water with Matt and Tim as they burn crankbaits and draw reaction strikes from bass in 46 degree water. The guys hold nothing back as they teach how to trigger a feeding frenzy with the Tactical DD Crankbait. 

Winter was always considered a slow fishing period. Many anglers Winterize their boats and give up completely. Unbeknownst to the masses some of the best fishing of the entire year exists in the dead of Winter. By experimenting with a new style of fishing we’ve been able to consistently trigger reaction bites from the coldest of bass under the harshest of conditions. They key is a combination of speed, sound, and action. 

In November of 2019 we released the Tactical DD Crankbait with River2Sea. This crank is designed for these exact cold water conditions. It sold out immediately and has been nearly impossible to find ever since. Today the crankbaits are back in stock so we headed out on the water to teach you exactly how to use them. Don’t settle for one bass here or one bass there, its time to trigger a feeding frenzy in cold water!

Below is a breakdown of the baits, colors, equipment, and upgrades we use to maximize our time on the water with the crankbait. 

Our Crankbait… 

-River2Sea Tactical DD 75 Crankbait: http://bit.ly/37dclbX

Today’s Colors: Mirrored Minnow, DD Minnow

Other Great Cold Water Crankbaits… 

-Spro RK Crawler 55: http://bit.ly/2NFPA5t

-Megabass Deep Six: http://bit.ly/2A3clKP

-Megabass Deep X 300: http://bit.ly/2sSQHpt

-6th Sense Curve 55: http://bit.ly/37hZ1TD

Favorite Colors by Bait… 

Tactical: Mirrored Minnow, DD Minnow, Glass Minnow, Ghost Minnow

Deep X 300: Stealth Craw, Sexy Ayu, Megabass Sexy Shad

Deep Six: MB Gizzard, Shadow Craw, Ito Wakasagi

RkCrawler: Missouri Craw, Phantom Brown, Red Crawfish

Curve 55: Craw Bomb, Ghost Missouri Craw, Red Claw

Hook And Component Upgrades…

Split Rings- Owner Hyperwire Size 3: http://bit.ly/2v8ArBX

Hooks- Owner ST-56 Size 4: http://bit.ly/2cVg7xW

(These hooks are smaller than “stock” but work extremely well)

Braid Rod/Reel Combo… 

Rod- G Loomis IMX Pro 845 CBR: http://bit.ly/2og0BmK

Reel- Shimano Bantam MGL XG: http://bit.ly/2H44yjG

Line- Power Pro Maxcuatro 20 lb: http://bit.ly/2clBRiQ

Leader- 12 lb Maxima Ultragreen: http://bit.ly/2ae97J9

Fluorocarbon Rod/Reel Combo… 

Rod- G Loomis IMX Pro 906 CBR: http://bit.ly/2og0BmK

Reel- Shimano Chronarch MGL HG: http://bit.ly/2n8DghB

Line- 12 lb Sunline Assassin: http://bit.ly/2h4LNjm

Budget-Friendly Rod/Reel Combo… 

Rod- St Croix Bass X 7’2″ MH Moderate: http://bit.ly/2r0xWAs

Reel- Shimano SLX HG: http://bit.ly/2NfdOnk

Line- Sunline Assassin 12 lb: http://bit.ly/2h4LNjm

NEW Tactical Bassin Apparel… 

TacticalBassin Reaper Hoodie: http://bit.ly/2TwBWs7

TacticalBassin Shadow Hoodie: http://bit.ly/2FVD9Rs

TacticalBassin Sun Shirt: http://bit.ly/2TvFMBD

TacticalBassin Hooded Sun Shirt: http://bit.ly/38cVi9G

Sand Hollow Utah – Fishing Tips & Report

Sand Hollow Utah – Fishing Tips & Report thumbnail

Here’s some Sand Hollow Utah Fishing Tips and a Report on what you can hope to find in these colder winter months. Inside this post you will learn some fishing techniques, and a map of some of the best area’s to catch a fish. Plus, I’ve got some of the action on film for evidence to give you a better understanding of these techniques. Hopefully, this fishing report will help you catch a few fish even when things are cool out at Sand Hollow.

Continue reading “Sand Hollow Utah – Fishing Tips & Report”

Essential Fishing Tools You’ll Need for First Time Anglers

Essential Fishing Tools You’ll Need for First Time Anglers thumbnail

We all look for comfort and relaxation. With a chance to put your feet up and de-stress, you will be sure to find the freshwater-fishing experience just as invigorating as a nicely pleasant trip to your spa of choice. Although lounging underneath the sun on a quiet day will see to it that your worries are fixed and your troubles are put to rest, there are a few things you might want to worry about the plan beforehand, like the equipment needed, especially if you’re a first time angler. 

Continue reading “Essential Fishing Tools You’ll Need for First Time Anglers”

Bass Attacking Big Swimbaits!! Epic Underwater Footage!!

Watch underwater as big bass ambush swimbaits and glide baits! Its amazing how aggressive these fish get when a big meal swims by. With Spring fast approaching Matt shares a few tricks about how big bass behave that will help you catch the fish of a lifetime during the prespawn. If you haven’t added a swimbait to your arsenal, you’re about to get an underwater view of what you’ve been missing!

New swimbait fishermen are full of misconceptions. The most dangerous to your success is an assumption that big bass will hit a swimbait really hard. While this MIGHT happen, it is far more likely that the bite will be a subtle but clear “tick”. If you’re waiting for a bone-jarring strike you will miss the biggest bites of your life. Pay close attention to this underwater footage and you’ll notice that the biggest fish seem to calculate their strikes while smaller fish lash out aggressively. 

Its also important to note that bass are far more likely to completely engulf soft baits while hardballs almost always end up on the outside of the fish’s mouth. With this in mind, its extremely important to control hard bait fish as their aggressive head shakes are very likely to rip the hooks out during the fight. You have time to make a few more changes to your gear as well as to your mindset before Spring arrives. Take the steps to prepare and this will be the year you catch a giant bass!

Below is a breakdown of the baits in the video as well as some of our most consistent swimbaits for big, prespawn fish. We also included links to our favorite swimbait equipment along with some “budget” options. 

Favorite Spring Hard Baits… 

-S Waver 200 and 168 (Light Trout): http://bit.ly/2aiu8Sh

-Baitsanity Explorer Glide (Trout, Shad): http://bit.ly/33bQyxY

-Storm Arashi Glide (Bluegill, Oikawa Mesu): http://bit.ly/2nHdrL1

-Jackall Gantarel (HL Bluegill, RT Spawn Gill): http://bit.ly/2adZI3R

Favorite Spring Soft Baits… 

-Savage Gear Pulse Tail Trout (Trout, Hitch): http://bit.ly/399bx97

-Huddleston 8″ (Trout, Hitch): http://bit.ly/2UVHiuQ

-Little Creeper 8″ Trash Fish (Shad, Hitch): http://bit.ly/2hmXtg1

-Osprey Tournament Talon 6″ (Chart Shad, Bluegill): http://bit.ly/2bqsLS0

Hook/Split Ring Upgrades… 

-Owner Hyperwire Split Rings (Size 5 and 6): http://bit.ly/2aTH3f1

-Owner ST-36 Trebles (1X strength, sizes 1/0 and 2/0): http://bit.ly/2cWpeyw

-Owner ST-56 Trebles (3X Strength, Size 2 and 1/0): http://bit.ly/2cVg7xW

Favorite Rod/Reel Combo… 

Rod- G Loomis IMX Pro 966: http://bit.ly/2x9kxuS

Reel- Shimano Tranx 300 HG: http://bit.ly/2kYsvRw

Line- 80 lb Power Pro Maxcuatro: http://bit.ly/2clBRiQ

Leader- 35 lb Sunline FC-100: http://bit.ly/2O4UElB

Budget Rod/Reel Combo… 

Rod- Dobyns Fury 806H: http://bit.ly/2bGvlVV

Reel- Shimano Cardiff 300: http://bit.ly/2cvhtMO

Line- 80 lb Power Pro Braid: http://bit.ly/2aFg46b

Leader- Maxima Ultragreen 30 lb: http://bit.ly/2ae97J9

NEW Tactical Bassin Apparel… 

TacticalBassin Reaper Hoodie: http://bit.ly/2TwBWs7

TacticalBassin Shadow Hoodie: http://bit.ly/2FVD9Rs

TacticalBassin Sun Shirt: http://bit.ly/2TvFMBD

TacticalBassin Hooded Sun Shirt: http://bit.ly/38cVi9G

Top 5 Baits For Muddy Water Bass Fishing

Don’t be afraid of mud! Murky water can be a real challenge, especially in Winter. If you’re tired of being stumped by cold, muddy water, this video is for you! Knowing what baits to use and when to switch between them will make a huge difference. Don’t let muddy water intimidate you anymore, its time to adapt and overcome with these quick tips. 

The key to muddy water is understanding when its holding active fish and when it causes them to shut down. In Winter, the distinction is water temperature. Not a specific water temperature but whether the incoming water is warmer or colder than the water in the lake. If its warmer, the baits discussed in this video will help you catch bass consistently. 

Focus on lures that have flash, vibration, and bold colors. Focus ultra shallow as the water rises and around cover as it stabilizes. Below you’ll find a breakdown of the baits (with color recommendations) that were discussed in the video. 

Squarebill Crankbait… 

-River2Sea Biggie: http://bit.ly/2ahCzvo

(Cold Blooded, Delta Craw, I know It)

Spinnerbait… 

-River2Sea Bling 1/2 oz Willows: http://bit.ly/2diSwqq

(Iced, Powder, I Know It)

-River2Sea Bling 1/2 oz Indiana: http://bit.ly/2t5jecE

(Lemonade Twist)

Jig… 

-No-Jack Flippin Jig 1/2 oz: http://bit.ly/2fx8YBI

(Hematoma, Blackend Blue, Pay Day)

-Kinky Beaver Trailer: http://bit.ly/2XQ1kJ1

(Low Blow, Hematoma)

Swim Jig… 

-California Swim Jig 1/2 oz: http://bit.ly/2auXfmx

(Citrus Shad, Tactical Shad, Dirty Shad)

-D Walker 120 Swimbait: http://bit.ly/2NwqBmz

(Pearl, Ice White)

Alabama Rig… 

-Yumbrella Flash Mob Jr: http://bit.ly/2bgDGNu

-Matt Allen Swimbait Heads (1/8 oz): http://bit.ly/29RrTYN

-Reaction Innovations Little Dipper Dummy Baits: http://bit.ly/2brnU5I

-Keitech 4.8″ Fat Swing Impact Main Baits: http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

Favorite Combo For Shallow Muddy Water Fishing… 

Rod- Shimano Expride 7’2″ heavy: http://bit.ly/2nTq9FL

Reel- Shimano Curado 150 DC HG: http://bit.ly/2yHtsp4

Line- Power Pro Maxcuatro 65 lb: http://bit.ly/2clBRiQ

Leader- Sunline FC100 Shock Leader 20 lb: http://bit.ly/2O4UElB

NEW Tactical Bassin Apparel… 

TacticalBassin Reaper Hoodie: http://bit.ly/2TwBWs7

TacticalBassin Shadow Hoodie: http://bit.ly/2FVD9Rs

TacticalBassin Sun Shirt: http://bit.ly/2TvFMBD

TacticalBassin Hooded Sun Shirt: http://bit.ly/38cVi9G

Blade Bait Tricks For Cold Winter Bass ( A Day On The Water )

Today we’re on Clearlake throwing Blade Baits for Winter Bass. The blade is deadly in cold water and the bass on Clearlake don’t know what hit them! If you’re looking to catch more fish this Winter, take note as Matt teaches about the different baits, colors, and equipment to be effective with this awesome technique!

The blade bait finds its roots in cold water smallmouth bass fishing but its effectiveness reaches far beyond its original purpose. Big largemouth can’t resist a blade, even in warmer water temps. If your bass have gone deep for Winter but you don’t want to reach for finesse tackle, the blade is your best option to elicit a feed response.

With all of the new blades on the market in recent years its hard to know where to start. Which baits work the best? Why are there so many different colors? And what do you do with those stock double hooks? Matt is catching a ton of fish on the blade today but he still stops to answer all these questions and more along the way. Below is a breakdown of the baits and equipment he used in the video.

Today’s baits… 

-Megabass Dyna Response (Jerking Gill): http://bit.ly/2R7FlvL

-Jackall Keeburn (Silver): http://bit.ly/2or8sy0

-Damiki Vault (Black Holo): http://bit.ly/2rnO7e2

Other Great Blade Baits… 

-Silver Buddy: http://bit.ly/2AcTelj

-Blade Runner: http://bit.ly/2XMNoQj

-Binsky Vibrating Blade: http://bit.ly/2mR2Vwe

Matt’s Favorite Blade Bait Combo (jerkbait combo)… 

Rod- Shimano Expride 6’10” Medium: http://bit.ly/2nTq9FL

Reel- Aldebaran 50 MGL HG: http://bit.ly/2uQ4oH8

Line- Sunline Assassin 10 lb Fluorocarbon: http://bit.ly/2h4LNjm

Matt’s Braided Line Combo… 

Rod- G Loomis IMX Pro 812 JBR: http://bit.ly/2QurcHi

Reel- Shimano Chronarch MGL HG: http://bit.ly/2n8DghB

Line- Power Pro Maxcuatro 20 lb: http://bit.ly/2clBRiQ

Leader- Maxima Ultragreen 10 lb Mono: http://bit.ly/2ae97J9

Hook Upgrades… 

Split Rings- Owner Hyperwire Size 2: http://bit.ly/2v8ArBX

Split Ring Pliers- Texas Tackle: http://bit.ly/2fT4Qw0

Hook- Owner ST-36 Size 6: http://bit.ly/2cWpeyw

Hook- Gamakatsu Finesse Nano Treble Size 5 and 6: http://bit.ly/2dWWAut

NEW TacticalBassin Apparel…

-TacticalBassin Reaper Hoodie: http://bit.ly/2TwBWs7

-TacticalBassin Shadow Hoodie: http://bit.ly/2FVD9Rs

-TacticalBassin Sun Shirt: http://bit.ly/2TvFMBD

-TacticalBassin Hooded Sun Shirt: http://bit.ly/38cVi9G

What is Float and Fly Fishing – How, When, and Best Setup Bass Fishing

The first time I heard about the float and fly I asked myself, “what is float and fly fishing all about?” After several years of experimenting with the technique, I can honestly say it is one of my favorite ways to catch bass. Whatever it is about the float and fly bass really seem to dig it. Here in this article we will do a deep dive into what is float and fly fishing. This post includes how to set the float n fly up for optimal results, when it can work well, and the best tackle to use for the float and fly. Get Stoked!

Continue reading “What is Float and Fly Fishing – How, When, and Best Setup Bass Fishing”

The Chicken Rig

The Chicken Rig thumbnail
Mike Iaconelli

The chicken rig is basically a weedless version of the Neko rig. It’ll let you fish this deadly bait setup in almost any type of cover no matter how thick or nasty.

The parts I use to build it are simple and straightforward. I start with a VMC Finesse Neko Hook.  I like the No. 1 or 1/0 size with the bait I’ll recommend in a minute but you can go up or down depending upon the size of the bait you’re using.

VMC Finesse Neko Hook
VMC Finesse Neko Hook

The Finesse Neko Hook is perfect for a chicken rig. It’s super sharp, the shank is just the right length and it has a couple of fluorocarbon barbs on it to hole the bait in place.

VMC Half Moon Wacky Weight
VMC Half Moon Wacky Weight

My weight is a VMC Half Moon Wacky Weight. It’s a nail weight with a kind of nub on the end. I generally prefer the 1/16-ounce size, but if I’m fishing deeper I’ll go as heavy as 3/16-ounce. It just depends. Stick it in the fat end of the Flute and push it into the dimple. Make sure it’s straight into the center of the worm. This’ll make the weight flat with the plastic.

Berkley Powerbait Flute Worm
Berkley Powerbait Flute Worm

A Berkley Powerbait Flute Worm is my go-to bait. It’s fat on one end and has a thin, straight tail on the other. It also has a series of three ribs on it that’ll help you rig a chicken rig correctly. It comes in three sizes. I usually start with the 5 .7-inch size and then go down or up as necessary.

My color choices vary. I try to match the hatch as much as possible but I also make sure that the fish can see the bait. They don’t have a lot of time to strike it so I want to help them as much as possible.

The Chicken Rig
The Chicken Rig

I thread the hook about two-thirds of the way down the worm and Texas rig it. I use the ribs as a marker. It’s important to keep the hook in line with the bait. You can twist the worm around the shank of the hook to help. A perfectly straight, in-line hook placement will give you a natural action and help avoid line twist.

This rig will drop the plastic down at an angle, but no two falls will be exactly the same. When it’s on the bottom the worm will stand straight up. Just a little rod shake will make the tail wiggle.  It’ll look exactly like the real thing.

I’m not going to cover tackle right now because so much of it varies by where you’re fishing and how big the fish are that you expect to catch. That said, this is a finesse presentation so I use spinning tackle. And, as you know by now, I use Abu Garcia rods and reels exclusively and I never use any brand of line other than what’s made by Berkley. I’m a professional. I only use the very best.

Abu Garcia IKE Finesse Series Spinning Rod & Abu Garcia REVO IKE Spinning Reel
Abu Garcia IKE Finesse Series Spinning Rod & Abu Garcia REVO IKE Spinning Reel

It’s a little difficult to make things clear about the chicken rig in a blog so I’ll give you one more tip. Go to my YouTube channel and watch the video I filmed in the shop. That’ll help with the details. (Subscribe while you’re there, so you get all the good stuff automatically.  It’s free.)

There’s really not much else to say about the chicken rig. Like I said before, it’s a super effective, weedless version of the Neko rig. Try it the next time you want to fish one in heavy cover. You’ll be amazed at how efficient it is under tough conditions.

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Ike In The Shop - The Chicken Rig
Ike In The Shop – The Chicken Rig

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Best Lure Colors To Catch Bass This Winter

We’ve covered bass location and lure selection but without the right colors, Winter fishing can be downright frustrating. Today we’re making color selection so simple, you’ll never doubt yourself. You can fish all Winter with a handful of colors and adapting to changing conditions is easy!

We’ve separated soft plastic color selection into 5 basic colors. While Green Pumpkin is the most important, you’ll also find great success with Margarita Mutilator (Purple), Black and Blue, Smoke, and Morning Dawn (Pink). With Jigs the selection becomes even easier. You can use 3 basic colors to meet a variety of conditions by changing your trailer color. In order of importance, we focus on Green Pumpkin Brown (Go To), Brown, Cinnamon, Purple (Supermatt Brown), and Black Blue Green Pumpkin (Blackened Blue).

Last comes hard baits. We focus entirely on ghost colors unless murky water conditions dictate that we throw a solid color. Our favorites include Ghost Minnow, Mirrored Minnow, and Ghost Pro Blue. There are of course exceptions to the rule. Below you’ll find a breakdown our 4 exceptions, including our favorite baits they’re offered in. We’ve also included our favorite jigs, crankbaits, soft baits, etc. And finally, we’ve included links to all of our NEW Tactical Bassin Apparel!

TacticalBassin’s New Apparel… 

-TacticalBassin Reaper Hoodie: http://bit.ly/2TwBWs7

-TacticalBassin Shadow Hoodie: http://bit.ly/2FVD9Rs

-TacticalBassin Sun Shirt: http://bit.ly/2TvFMBD

-TacticalBassin Hooded Sun Shirt: http://bit.ly/38cVi9G

Lures that come in “Margarita Mutilator” and “MMIII”… 

-Roboworm 4″ and 6″ Fat Worm: http://bit.ly/2awYSxM

-Roboworm Ned Worm: http://bit.ly/2j9F0Xy

Lures That Come in “Tramp Stamp”…

-Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver: http://bit.ly/29W3RZW

-Reaction Innovations Man Bear Pig: http://bit.ly/2s51oIV

Football Jig Available in “Blackened Blue”, “Supermatt Brown”, and “Go To”… 

-Dirty Jigs Football Jig: http://bit.ly/2d0iJbd

-Dirty Jigs Finesse Football Jig: http://bit.ly/2d2apsm

Our “exception colors” that work great from coast to coast are linked below.

Ghost Red Craw… 

-River2Sea TacticalBassin Crankbait (Blood Craw): http://bit.ly/37dclbX

-Spro RKCrawler 55 (Red River Craw, Red Crawfish): http://bit.ly/2BLmsVN

-Spro Little John (Blood Craw): http://bit.ly/2dDfuqt

Chartreuse/Blue… 

-Keitech Fat Swing Impact: http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

Bluegill Imitator (GP Or Blk Pur Pearl Blue)… 

-Big Bite Baits Smallie Smasher: http://bit.ly/2ZpCOCY

Desert Craw… 

-Robo Ned Worm: http://bit.ly/2j9F0Xy