Fall Crappie Fishing Hacks

Fall Crappie Fishing Hacks thumbnail

The season of harvest festivals and the outdoor extravaganza of leaves changing colors is also a special time for crappie anglers.

These fishermen know autumn offers some of the best opportunities to catch aggressive crappie without much competition from fellow anglers. The cool fall weather drops water temperatures and triggers crappie into a feeding frenzy as the fish fatten up for winter. This feeding spree produces some of the best crappie action of the year, but many outdoors men miss the fun because they target the fall hunting seasons.
Let’s take a look at how you can catch fall crappie on lowland and highland reservoirs.

Lowland reservoirs

In early autumn, target stumps 4 to 8 feet deep along river channel drops on the main lake. The most productive tactic for taking crappie along this structure is slow trolling 1/32- to 1/16-ounce jigs with long poles. Main lake flats and points are also good spots to spider rig for early fall crappie.

Lowland reservoir crappie move into the creeks as the water continues to cool in the fall. Fish around any shallow wood cover with a float and 1/32-ounce tube jig combination or jig with an offset spinner. By late fall crappie scattered along the creek banks move out and congregate on flats close to the river channel. You can catch these schooling fish from 3 to 6 feet deep with a slip float and either a minnow or a 1/16-ounce tube jig.

Highland Reservoirs

Sunken brush piles at depths of 20 to 25 feet are the key spots to catch crappie from the clear waters of deep highland reservoirs in early and late fall. Cooler weather triggers a migration of baitfish into the backs of coves and major creeks where crappie follow their forage. Look for these panfish in sunken brush piles close to the creek channels and as the water keeps cooling down key on shallower brush. When fishing the off-color water in the upper creek arms, you can catch crappie as shallow as 2 feet deep in autumn. Minnows, tube jigs or a jig-and-minnow combination work best when the crappie hold in the brush piles. Matching the hatch is a key to the lure selection for clear-water fall crappie. Try natural shad colors for your jigs and make sure your minnows match the same size as the shad crappie are eating during the various stages of autumn.

Striper Fishing – A Floating Line Myth. Sunk. 

Striper Fishing – A Floating Line Myth. Sunk.  thumbnail

I see it all the time on internet forums. Someone wants to know what’s the best line to use for striped bass: floating, intermediate, or full sink. They get many responses, and it’s nice that people want to help. Unfortunately, there’s usually some bad information in the mix of suggestions. And it almost always involves a floating line.

There is one frequent flier that dominates the bad advice airspace. It appears so regularly that it commands a gospel-like gravitas. Like any good urban (or in this case, saltwater) legend, it gives the reader permission to believe. Its exact wording is a variation on this theme: “It’s hard to stay in contact with your fly in waves or surf or a rip with a floating line.”

It baffles me. Because I don’t have any trouble maintaining contact with my fly when I’m using a floating line.

So, anglers who use floating lines in the surf can be placed into two groups. Those who have trouble staying in contact with their fly. And those who don’t. One is a dead-end, a self-fulfilling prophecy of you can’t. The other is full of wonder and possibilities. Which group do you want to be in?

Before you answer, I’d like to tell you a couple of stories about fishing in the surf with a floating line.

Last summer, I fished on Block Island twelve hours before Hurricane Arthur hit. Anyone who is familiar with advance hurricane swell in New England knows that the breakers can be impressive. Even so, the waves that night were not what surfers would call gnarly. When I arrived at my spot on the southeast side, the swells were a very manageable three feet, with occasional four-foot sets.

I was fishing a boulder field, and I was mystified by a small group of rocks that kept poking their tops out of the waves. I couldn’t remember them ever being there. In one of those well, duh, moments it dawned on me that those weren’t rocks – it was a school of stripers, seemingly aware of what was approaching, and eating while the eating was good.

On my first cast with the floating line, the sand eel fly settled into a trough just to the right of where I reckoned the bass would be waiting. I hadn’t accounted for the wind, which had been picking up since the afternoon. Still, the line snapped to attention on my first strip, and a couple of minutes later I was releasing a barely sub-legal striper back into the Atlantic. This went on for the better part of an hour; the only reason I stopped was that I didn’t like beaching the fish on the rocks in an exponentially increasing shore break. I hated leaving a school of active feeders, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I tucked the point of my Big Eelie into the hook holder just as the first wave of tropical rain began to tattoo my jacket hood.

Striped bass don’t read internet forums or hang out in breachway parking lots. This fifteen-pounder was part of the school that was feeding in a strong rip. The bait, sand eels, was trapped between the rip and the shore and the stripers were feeding with impunity. It was one of those magic moments (rather, episodes — it lasted close to 90 minutes) where it was a fish on every cast. You guessed it. I was using a floating line.

Flash backward several years. Same island, different wave conditions. Our plan was to fish all night, and the trip started poorly. A ferocious north-northeast blow turned the harbor of refuge in Point Judith into a maelstrom of foam and chop and weeds. The ferry was pitching and rolling even before we cleared the breakwater. Once safely ashore, the normally sheltered Great Salt Pond provided no relief from sustained winds of twenty miles per hour. That banshee howled all night; it’s the only wind I can ever recall that made my ears hurt. One keeper bass was all I could manage. By five in the morning, beaten and bowed, I wearily trudged across the sand to one of the west side beaches for a desperation look-see.

Try to picture what the pre-dawn ocean looked like after nearly twenty-four hours of winds gusting to thirty-five knots. White-capped anarchy comes to my mind. I had no motive other than what-the-hell desperation when I made my first cast into a trough about twenty feet off the beach. Seven casts later, I had landed eight stripers. I had switched over to a full-sink integrated line in the middle of the night, and those first fish were obviously sitting in that trough, or cruising the shore break wash. But when I looked one hundred feet down the beach, I witnessed a scene that every striped bass angler dreams about.

It was an all-out blitz. Sand eels were spraying in desperation, their flanks reflecting the orange of sunrise. Seagulls excitedly chattered overhead, seemingly more stoked about the carnage than I was. And somewhere underneath, there were stripers. Untold numbers of them, rolling on the bait as they gorged themselves on an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet.

I quickly swapped out the full sink for the floating line and a seven-foot leader. I don’t know how many stripers were in the school. I suspect it was hundreds. They ranged in size from eight to over twenty pounds. The blitz was taking place about sixty feet off the beach, and the wave chop beneath the floating line was substantial. Yet, for two hours it was bass after bass after bass. I caught them on the strip and I caught them on the dead drift. I lost count after the first dozen. The only reason I left is because I had a ferry to catch.

This all began with a question. So let’s close with one: If it’s so hard to stay in contact with a fly in waves with a floating line, how did I manage to catch all those stripers?

For me, the answer is self-evident. Perhaps your answer is still out there, on the water, waiting to be discovered. I encourage you to find it. As an old Rhode Island sharpie once said, “The path of the obvious is perhaps the most difficult path of all to find and unravel, but it is well worth the effort and the results are measurable in pounds not inches.”

Article by North East Fly Fishing Guide Steve Culton, check him online here.

Photo Essay: Stripers in New Hampshire

2019 Cheeky Schoolie Tourney Kicks Off Striper Season

Catching Bass In The Fall Transition On Frogs, Jigs, and Dropshot

Come along for an awesome topwater morning! We launched the bass boat in total darkness so we’d be ready for first light. As soon as you could see, the bass began exploding on our frogs! Once the sun was up we headed to the docks in search of bass with jigs, dropshot, texas rigs, and an old faithful curly tail grub. Ross England has filmed several finesse videos with us in the past but today you really get to see him approaching docks. Hop in the boat and enjoy a great day of fishing on Clearlake!

During the Fall transition, low light is a critical time for catching big bass. These fish are adapting to changing conditions and will often feed heavily at first and last light when their odds of success are the highest. Once the sun is up they’ll sit in the shadows and wait for their next feeding opportunity. Understanding when its time to fish reaction baits and when its time to slow down and finesse is the key to consistent success.

In today’s video we began by targeting the active morning feeding period with three different frogs (linked below). Once the sun hit the water the active bite vanished. If we had stayed in this are it would have been a struggle all day to get bit so we opted to move across the lake to an area covered with docks. By switching to hard cover (dock pilings) and shadows we were able to consistently catch fish the rest of the day.

Ross England has made a career targeting bass in docks. He loves to finesse fish amongst the pilings and today we got to see it in action! He used a combination of dropshot and curly tail grub to coax midday bass out from under the docks. It was a pleasure to watch him methodically approach each dock and successfully locate the bass within.

Below is a breakdown of the equipment we used during today’s video. You’ll also find links to the videos we’ve done with Ross in the past as well as a link to his guiding website.

Videos Featuring Ross…

-Dropshot Fishing Tips: How To Catch Fish All Winter : http://bit.ly/2kCiNFZ

-Dropshot Tips For Big Bass! Ft. Ross England : http://bit.ly/2k7U9Na

Ross England’s Clearlake Guide Service Website: http://bit.ly/2mb7DIP

Matt’s Baits In Order Of Appearance…

Frog- River2Sea Bully Wa 2 (Little Allen, Ghost): http://bit.ly/2axyR2a

Creature- Keitech Crazy Flapper 4.4 (Green pumpkin Fire): http://bit.ly/2c3cXrp

Jig- Dirty Jigs Finesse Jig 5/16 oz (Green Pumpkin Craw): http://bit.ly/2eJinXo

Jig Trailer- Yamamoto Double Tail 4″ Grub (Watermelon): http://bit.ly/2db9w1p

Underspin- Owner Flashy Swimmer 5/0 1/4 oz: http://bit.ly/2e8O4Y7

Underspin Swimbait- Keitech 4.8″ Fat Swing Impact (Pro Blue Red Pearl): http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

Ross’s Baits…

Frog- Jackall Kaera (Glitter Bluegill): http://bit.ly/2Fz6SA3

Grub- Yamamoto 4″ Single Tail Grub (Smoke Blk Flake): http://bit.ly/2kFzGPZ

Grub Hook- Revenge Darter Hedz 1/4 oz: http://bit.ly/2cHMZbm

Dropshot Worm- Roboworm 6″ (Margarita Mutilator): http://bit.ly/2asZyH3

Dropshot Hook- Owner Mosquito Light (Size 1): http://bit.ly/2zQVKx3

Matt’s All-Around Dock Combo…

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

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

Line- 50 lb Power Pro Maxcuatro: http://bit.ly/2clBRiQ

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

Ross’s Finesse Combo…

Rod- Powell Endurance 7’3″ Medium Light: http://bit.ly/2QyFvNk

Reel- Shimano NASCI 2500: http://bit.ly/2g278cC

Line- 8 lb Power Pro Braid: http://bit.ly/2aFg46b

Leader- 8 lb Seaguar Red Label: http://bit.ly/2LOVEwA

Fall web.jpg

The 3 Easiest Set-Ups For Bottom Rigging Live Bait

The 3 Easiest Set-Ups For Bottom Rigging Live Bait thumbnail

I love all things fishing, whether it’s chasing smallmouth in the spring, muskies in the fall, or slab crappie through the ice – it’s all good to me.

Growing up just outside of Chicago my early fishing experiences were fishing local rivers and ponds where I mainly targeted drum, carp, and catfish. As I got older my fishing interests changed and I began to focus on more mainstream species like bass and panfish, musky, and northern pike. Gearing up with technique-specific rods and flashy artificial rigs became my new preferred method as I distanced myself from natural bait rig fishing.

I still love chasing ”sport” fish with artificial methods, however, I’ve recently started to rekindle my relationship with live bait rigging.

Sometimes I just want to feel the tug from a fighting fish regardless of species and other times I just feel like sitting comfortably and enjoying time outside, live bait bottom rigging helps me do both of these things.

Here are three live bait rigs that I like to run. Each rig is a user-friendly set-up with gear that you can find at any Walmart or local tackle store.

Night crawlers will always be the best livebait but I have also fished successfully with minnows, crickets, shirmp, leeches, waxworms, redworms, bluegill, smelt, suckers, cutbait, crawfish and chicken livers as bait.

Simple Split Shot Rig

live bait rig

A split shot weight pinched a foot or so above a fishing hook is as simple as simple gets. Stop at any Walmart, tackle-shop, or gas station in Wisconsin and you should be able to find the essentials to make this little rig work. The beauty is how cheap and easy this little rig is.

Start off by tying a hook to your line by using any strong knot. Then, simply pinch a couple split sinkers roughly 6-14 inches above your hook. Using a set of pliers to secure each split shot tightly to your line will help prevent weights from sliding around. Use lightweight rigs with longer leaders in shallow water with light current and add heavier weight and shorter leaders when fishing in deeper water or faster current.

Slip Sinker Rig

live bait rig

Arguably the most popular of the three, the slip sinker rig is easy to use, highly effective, and it doesn’t take much tackle or experience to complete. Start off by sliding a egg sinker or bullet weight up your line. Follow that with a small bead or bobber stop. Putting a bead or bobber stop between your swivel and weight will protect your knot from being damaged when the weight slides up and down. While the bead is nice and definitely serves a purpose, it’s not completely necessary.

After that, tie on a barrel swivel. The barrel swivel will serve as a stopping point for your weight and bead while also helping prevent line twist. Finally attach leader line to the second line tie on your swivel, and follow that up with your prefered hook.

I almost always use braided main line and fluorocarbon or monofilament as my leader. Using heavier main line (braid) compared to leader line helps me save part of my rig when getting snagged.

Three Ray Rig

live bait rig

The Three-Way Rig is a live bait fishing technique that is very popular among river anglers. If you’ve never seen a three-way swivel, they’re exactly what they sound like, a pyramid-shaped swivel with three-line tie points.

To rig- Tie one end to your mainline. The other two line ties are for your weight each needing an individual leader. Use shorter leaders for the fishing weight (8-20 inches) and a longer leader for your hook (14-42 inches). This set up allows for your weight to sit directly on the bottom while the hook end can sit more freely and naturally in the water column. The three-way rig works well in current because it allows the weight to stay directly on the bottom while the hook is being pushed up higher into the moving current. Some anglers even use floating jig heads to help push their bait up higher. Up north, anglers are commoningly trolling three-way rigs with live bait and artificial lures to target Walleye.

5 Finesse Fishing Tricks For Early Fall Bass

Early Fall can be awesome bass fishing! The fish are gorging on baitfish as we head toward the cooler months. You can throw all sorts of reaction baits to catch them but what do you do when conditions don’t line up and the fishing gets tough? Do you struggle to catch fish when everyone else is talking about how great it is? Today you’re going to learn to finesse fish through the tough days and its going to make a huge difference for you!

Tim loves to power fish but when the going gets tough he immediately reaches for finesse tackle. The beauty of Fall is that bass become incredibly predictable. As the grass dies back the fish pull up against hard cover. Dock pilings, lay down trees, rocks, etc… all become easy targets that consistently hold bass. Because fish are pulling to cover you can fish effectively with slow moving baits like dropshot, tube, Neko rig, etc.

We’re not suggesting that you stop reaction fishing (Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, etc…) during the Fall. Instead, recognize there are great opportunities for both fishing styles and when the fish stop responding to fast moving baits, immediately slow down. You’ll be amazed how many fish you can catch on what would have been a very tough day.

Below is a breakdown of the baits and tackle that Tim shows in the video, including key colors for Fall fishing.

Dropshot Baits…

-Reaction Innovations Flirt 4.95” (Lickety Split, Morning Dawn) : http://bit.ly/2CMB33J

-Damiki Armour Shad 3” (RP Blue Pearl, American Shad) : http://bit.ly/2KtPDAT

-Keitech Swing Impact Fat 2.8 (Electric Shad, Rainbow Shad) : http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

-Roboworm Straight Tail Worm 4.5” (MMIII, Prism Shad, Aarons Pro Shad) : http://bit.ly/2asZyH3

-Bite Me Small Smasher – (Silver Smoke Blue, Green Pumpkin Purple Flk) : http://bit.ly/2ZpCOCY

-Strike King Dream Shot 4.25” (Brown/Purple, Moon Juice) : http://bit.ly/2KNXuK9

Dropshot Terminal…

-Swagger Tackle Tungsten drop shot weight (3/16th, 1/4oz) : http://bit.ly/2UY7cgx

-Owner Mosquito Light hook size 1 : http://bit.ly/2zQVKx3

-Lazer Trokar Dropshot hook Size 1 : http://bit.ly/2ahxJOr

Shakeyhead Worms and Terminal…

-Dirty Jigs Shakeyhead 3/16th, 1/4oz : http://bit.ly/2aFOs0V

-Reaction Innovations Flirt 4.95” (Lickety Split, Morning Dawn) : http://bit.ly/2CMB33J

-Roboworm Straight Tail Worm 6” : (Aarons Pro Shad, MMIII, Prism Shad) : http://bit.ly/2asZyH3

Neko Rig Terminal, Parts, and Worms…

-G7 Worm Tube Pliers. : http://bit.ly/2PRMNrG

-G7 Worm Protect Tubes Size 6 for 5” Senko : http://bit.ly/2PWEkUs

-Yamamoto 5” Senko (Electric Shad, Natural Shad) : http://bit.ly/2axAmNS

-Z-Man Zinker Z 5” (Smelt, The Deal) : http://bit.ly/2ZVJANs

-Owner Sniper Finesse Neko Hook Size 1 : http://bit.ly/2kfdv37

-Swagger Tackle Pagoda Nail Weight 1/16th, 1/32nd : http://bit.ly/2iGNSFW

Tubes and Heads…

-Dry Creek 3.5” Tourney Tube (Old Ugly, Green Pump Purple Copper Flake) : http://bit.ly/2cJwI6r

-Big Bite Baits Tour Tube – (Green Pump Purp Cop Flk, Dark Grn Pumpkin Smoke Purple) : http://bit.ly/32e23VR

-Bite Me Big Dude Tube Head : http://bit.ly/2CV3o7S

-Bite Me Flat Eye Tube Head : http://bit.ly/2diyVXK

Finesse Swimbaits and heads…

-Megabass Dark Sleeper (Donko, Wakasagi) : http://bit.ly/2TyR1GT

-Keitech Easy Shad 3” (Electric Shad, Pro Blue Red Pearl) : http://bit.ly/2bxJK6H

-Keitech Swing Impact Fat 2.8” (Electric Shad, Pro Blue Red Pearl) : http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

-Damiki Armor Shad Paddle Tail : RP Blue Pearl, American Shad) : http://bit.ly/2KtPDAT

-Dirty Jigs Guppy Head (1/8oz) : http://bit.ly/2nyUJRS

Ned Rig Worms and Heads…

-Swagger Tackle Tungsten Flanders Head (1/8oz) : http://bit.ly/2KcIB6M

-Missile Baits Ned Bomb (Fishalicious, Goby Bite, Super Bug) : http://bit.ly/2XCOGwd

-Roboworm Ned Worm (Hologram Shad, Prism Shad, Desert Craw): http://bit.ly/2j9F0X

Fall finesse web2.jpg

Amazing Underwater Footage of 10 Underspins and Swimbaits!!

Come underwater and see why bass eat Underspins in the Fall! We’re comparing 10 different underspin and swimbait combinations to see which have the best action for different Fall bass fishing conditions. Whether you prefer a shad profile, bluegill, or small baitfish, we’re looking at the best of the best in today’s underwater video!

Bass ambush baitfish in the Fall and the underspin is one of the most consistent ways to catch them. A topwater may be more glamorous but a slow moving underspin on the bottom consistently catches giant bass that are unwilling to chase faster moving offerings. Choosing the right underspin for the lake or conditions can be a very difficult process to learn with a lot of wasted time and money. The purpose of today’s video is to help you understand the differences between popular underspins and to see some of the “stand outs” that have that extra fish catching potential.

This video will be followed in a few weeks by an in-depth instructional video to teach you how to unlock the full potential of underspins. Sometimes they are best fished mid-column around baitfish or suspended bass. Other times they’re best crept along rock bottoms or even through sparse grass in the shallows. We’ll explain all of these different scenarios and more very soon but today’s video was designed to help you select the baits with the most potential for where you fish.

Below is a complete breakdown of the baits shown in the video. The links are displayed in order of appearance and include the color shown, trailer used, as well as the sizes that we prefer for each offering. Additionally we will include rod and equipment recommendations for this fishing style.

The Baits…

1) Blade Runner Screw Lock SpinTrix 3/8-3/4 oz (Anchovy, Grey Shad): http://bit.ly/2oocg0a

-Keitech 4.3″ Fat Swing Impact (Ghost Rainbow): http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

2) Hog Farmer War Pig HD 3/8-3/4 oz (Blue Gizzard, Green Gizzard): http://bit.ly/2pcQnRP

-Keitech 4.3″ Fat Swing Impact (Pro Blue Red Pearl): http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

3) 6th Sense Divine Underspin 1/2 oz (Baby Shad): http://bit.ly/2mhRUrr

-Keitech 4.3″ Fat Swing Impact (Electric Shad): http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

4) Damiki Rig Underspin 3/8 oz (Ayu, Natural Shad): http://bit.ly/2kcZmTU

-Damiki Armor Shad Swimbait 3″ (Flash Shad, Gold Shad): http://bit.ly/2KtPDAT

-Damiki Armor Shad Jerkbait 3″ (Flash Shad, Pro Blue): http://bit.ly/2VQ7g6o

-Reaction Innovations Shiver Shot (Impact Bluegill, Bad Shad Green): http://bit.ly/2JCpY7S

5) Cool Baits Down Under Underspin 1/8 oz (Ol’ Faithful, Black Silver): http://bit.ly/2boS7QA

-Keitech 2.8″ Fat Swing Impact (Pro Blue Red Pearl): http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

6) Trokar Swimblade Underspin 3/0 1/8 oz: http://bit.ly/2kJTdip

-Keitech 4.8″ Swing Impact Fat (Shad): http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

7) Owner Flashy Swimmer 5/0 1/4 oz: http://bit.ly/2e8O4Y7

-River2Sea D Walker 120 (PB Red): http://bit.ly/2NwqBmz

8) Matt Allen Swimbait Head 1/4 oz (Blue Shad, Tennessee Shad): http://bit.ly/29RrTYN

-Keitech 4.8″ Fat Swing Impact (Shad): http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

9) Megabass Uoze Swimmer 3/8 oz (Gripan): http://bit.ly/2kmDjdK

-River2Sea D Walker 120 (PB Red): http://bit.ly/2NwqBmz

10) Gambler Duz-It 7/0 1/4 oz: http://bit.ly/2tv1WFW

-Keitech 5.8″ Fat Swing Impact (Pro Blue Red Pearl): http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

Our Favorite Underspin Combo…

Rod- Expride 7’2″ Medium Heavy: http://bit.ly/2nTq9FL

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

Line- 50 lb Power Pro Maxcuatro: http://bit.ly/2clBRiQ

Leader- 15 lb Maxima Ultragreen: http://bit.ly/2ae97J9

Favorite Finesse Underspin Combo…

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

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

Line- 30 lb Power Pro Maxcuatro: http://bit.ly/2clBRiQ

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

Budget All-Around Underspin Combo…

Rod- Shimano SLX 7’2″ Medium: http://bit.ly/2L3wppO

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

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

Underspin 2.jpg

Clear Water Tactics For Foolin’ Fall Fatties

Clear Water Tactics For Foolin’ Fall Fatties thumbnail

When conditions are right, deep, clear lakes offer typical shallow-water action for bass in the fall.

However, fall’s constantly changing weather can cause bass to quickly advance to or retreat from the shallows. The changing weather conditions can frustrate anglers who depend on a “here today, gone tomorrow” pattern for catching bass in thin water. For more consistent action on clear lakes, savvy anglers probe deeper water throughout the fall.

The depth of bass on clear lakes during the fall depends on the thermocline. On some clear-water reservoirs the thermocline will be 22 to 32 feet deep when the water starts to cool. In early fall baitfish start bunching up in the thermocline before migrating into the creeks. Once the baitfish congregate on the main lake, bass also start grouping up and become easier to locate.

Fall Fishing Clear Water

Keying on a creek or river channel also helps pinpoint bass during early autumn. An ideal spot is a point where there is a feeder creek on one side and the main channel on the other side so there is good depth on both sides of the point.

Bass on the points hug the bottom near break lines or move out into open water and suspend. If baitfish are also suspended in the open water, you can get into some fast action when the bass go into a feeding frenzy. Clear-water experts rely heavily on their electronics to catch both suspending and bottom-hugging bass from the deep. Manually setting the sensitivity of their sonar units allows them to detect their lures and fish movement. They can drop a plastic grub or spoon down to the fish and watch their screen for bass streaking up to the lure.

Fall Fishing Clear Water

This vertical fishing tactic works best on bright, bluebird sky days. In the morning you can start with a topwater lure and look for surface activity along main lake points and channel swings. Once the surface action ceases, you can break out the spinning tackle and drop a 4-inch finesse worm on a 3/16- or 1/4-ounce darter jighead to the suspended fish. A curly-tail 4-inch plastic grub is another productive lure to vertical jig for suspended bass.
Suspended bass usually require some coaxing to entice them to bite. Try shaking the worm about 4 to 5 feet above the fish by popping your rod about 2 to 3 inches and then let it sit for a second before shaking the worm again. The shaking worm imitates the darting action of a small shad. You can also raise your rod tip a couple of feet and let the lure fall to entice bass into biting. When vertical jigging with the plastic grub, frequently lift your rod tip about 6 to 8 inches to help you detect strikes from bass suspended deeper in the water column.

Another effective lure for suspended bass is a jigging spoon. You can catch bass a lot faster with a spoon if you find more aggressive fish. A 3/4-ounce slab spoon in chrome or white presented on 15-pound test line works best in the clear water.

Fall Fishing Clear Water

Drop your spoon below the schools of shad you see on your electronics and then jerk your rod up about 3 or 4 feet at a time. Watch your line closely as you let the spoon drop because most of the time bass will hit the spoon on the fall. If the line stops falling and you see a slight twitch in the line, set the hook because a bass has inhaled the spoon. Jerking the rod during the retrieve also allows you to set the hook even if you miss seeing the strike.
When suspended bass ignore your offerings try a bottom-bouncing tactic to catch deep bass on points and flats. Select a 3/4-ounce football jig tipped with a twin-tail plastic grub or a plastic craw and steadily drag the lure along the bottom. The jig bouncing along the bottom imitates the crawling action of a crawfish, another favorite forage of bass in the fall.

Fall Fishing Clear Water

As shad migrate to the creeks later in autumn, bass suspend under the baitfish in the middle of the creeks at depths ranging from 10 to 25 feet. A 3/4-ounce spinnerbait with tandem willowleaf blades is a good choice for catching these suspended fish.

When you spot a large school of baitfish flicking on the surface, make a long cast and let your spinnerbait flutter right through the shad. The spinnerbait will bounce off the backs of the shad and when the lure stops bumping the baitfish, start retrieving it in a yo-yo fashion by pumping up your rod and reeling in the slack. Slow-rolling the spinnerbait just under the shad balls also catches quality bass in the creeks. If bass ignore your spinnerbait, try yo-yoing a smaller tailspinner through the baitfish.

ExoRibbon: Brand New Genetically Engineered Ribbontail from BioSpawn Lures

ExoRibbon: Brand New Genetically Engineered Ribbontail from BioSpawn Lures thumbnail

new biospawn exoribbon Payne OutdoorsMeet the ExoRibbon – Brand New Genetically Engineered Ribbontail, from BioSpawn Lures

As one of the first baits ever created for BioSpawn Lures, the ExoStick has always been a classic. After years of strong sales and anglers clamoring for more… BioSpawn decided it was time to release their take on another classic bait. Introducing the BioSpawn ExoRibbon. The same tested, fish catching body profile of the ExoStick… complemented with a thin curled ‘S’ shaped tail.

This ExoRibbon tail is unique and differentiated for both anglers and fish. Instead of going with the usual curl you see on most ribbon tail worms, the ExoRibbon took its design from the “S” in the BioSpawn logo design. After experimenting and testing different designs, found that this shape actually created a different fluttering action. The flutter created by the tail of the ExoRibbon looks just as good whether the bait is moving vertical or horizontal.

“A bait like this has probably caught more bass than any other bait in the history of bass fishing. The Exoskeleton ribbed body pushes a ton of water, gets those bass to really feel it. ribbon tail is going to give you a ton of action on every twitch. Classic bass catching lure with a little different take from BioSpawn,” says Seth Feider, Elite Series Angler and BioSpawn Pro.

A ribbon tail worm is easily one of the most well known and widely used soft plastic bass baits on the market and it has been for many years. From pond hopping to big-time tournaments, ribbon tail worms are almost always a great option. Typically Texas rigged with a bullet weight, this bait can be fished in nearly any conditions and at any depth. As new techniques continue to develop anglers sometimes forget how effective these classic baits. Keep an eye on the BioSpawn Instagram account to see the big fish this bait is catching this Fall in the hands of anglers across the country.

BioSpawn will also be releasing a 10-inch variation in the next month.

To stay up to date on Seth’s season, follow him on Facebook and Instagram at @SethFeiderFishing.

new biospawn exoribbon Payne OutdoorsAbout BioSpawn Lures

Genetically engineered baits from BioSpawn Lures have been filling the boat for anglers for years, and the lineup is only growing even more! Creatures avoid predators by adapting to their surroundings and developing new defenses. BioSpawn creates artificial life-forms with attributes that stimulate predators to strike. Fine tuning everything from the ‘S’ shaped tail on the ExoRibbon to the precise amount of sections on the ExoStick, no detail is overlooked when creating the soft plastics in BioSpawn’s lineup. Press inquiries, please contact Eli Rosenberg, eli.rosenberg@catchco.com

About The Catch Company

The Catch Company is on a mission to help everyone “Explore Your Passion.” Our goal is for every Angler in America to fall in love with one of our brands. We have a unique approach to commerce and community to feed anglers’ endless appetite for product innovation, experimentation, discovery, learning, nature, and of course…fishing!

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Fly Fishing Podcasts Worth Listening To, part XI

Fly Fishing Podcasts Worth Listening To, part XI thumbnail

Through conversations in the real world and online, I’ve come to the conclusion that podcasts appeal to a wider range of age demographics than any other medium. While not a hard and fast rule, written articles and videos seem to have audiences that fall on one end of the spectrum.

It might be the fact that any kind of device makes accessing podcasts relatively simple. It could also be that simply hearing someone talk is an easy point of contact, or that even passive listening still communicates information.

Ultimately, I believe there is a real oral tradition within fly fishing. Not to downplay literature or art, but the spoken word reflects the spur of the moment on-stream, campfire, or drive home discussions that makes fly fishing what it is. That is something anyone at any age can appreciate.

Here are five episodes from five fly fishing podcasts that I think are worth your time:

Continue reading “Fly Fishing Podcasts Worth Listening To, part XI”

Fishing Tiny Backwaters For Angry Bass | Florida Bass Fishing!

Welcome to the everglades! The bass are big and aggressive in this beautiful backwater jungle! The environment is unlike any other fishery in the country but the bass and alligators both love to eat topwater and swimbaits. If you’ve ever wondered what its like to fish this amazing fishery, come along for an exciting ride through the backwaters of Southern Florida!

Tim met up with good friends Coop and Cobi for this adventure. The 3 anglers ventured deep into the swamp in search of big bass and they found what they were looking for! The most amazing part of the experience is that bass in this unique environment ate all the same baits as largemouth at home. The fish were happy to rise up on frogs, poppers, and vixens, and were just as likely to eat a glide bait. It proved yet again that a bass’ basic instincts are the same regardless of the environment it grew up in.

Below you’ll find a list of the baits and gear the guys were using as they explored the glades. We’ve also included links to Cobi and Coop’s instagram accounts, as well as a link to our “Edits” playlist for other videos with this style of editing. We hope you enjoyed this everglades adventure!

-TacticalBassin “Edits” Playlist: http://bit.ly/2meYhLY

-Coop’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yourfriendthatfishes/

-Cobi’s Instragram: https://www.instagram.com/cobi.pellerito/

The baits…

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

-Lobina Rio Rico Popper (Rick Clunn Aurora Ice): http://bit.ly/2RGNx4x

-Bully Wa 2 65 Frog (Little Allen): http://bit.ly/2axyR2a

-Z Man Jack Hammer Chatterbait 1/2 oz (Bite Delight): http://bit.ly/2popvj6

-Whopper Plopper 130 Topwater (Loon): http://bit.ly/2a7ipHL

-Reaction Innovations Vixen Topwater (Bone, Silver Flitter Shad): http://bit.ly/2rp11nr

-Strike King Rage Bug (TW Green Pumpkin): http://bit.ly/2aAsuiV

All-Around Combo (Jackhammer, Whopper Plopper, Glide Bait)…

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

Reel- Metanium DC HG: http://bit.ly/2qrSZvs

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

Leader- 15/20 lb Maxima Ultragreen: http://bit.ly/2ae97J9

Budget-Friendly Version of All-Around Combo…

Rod- Shimano SLX 7’2″ MH: http://bit.ly/2L3wppO

Reel- SLX 150 DC HG: http://bit.ly/2LWzw2Q

Line- 50 lb Power Pro Braid: http://bit.ly/2aFg46b

Leader- 18 lb Maxima Ultragreen: http://bit.ly/2ae97J9

Everglades web.jpg