Some anglers destroy the fish on topwaters, some manage only a few, fishing the same waters with the same lures. Why might this be? Fishing a topwater bait is a lot like Dancing with the Stars. You have to have all the right moves to be successful. The zig-zag action that drives fish crazy takes the right lure, rod, line and leader, not to mention a "10" in technique.  1. Choose a lure that's easy to walk. Most look like a tapered cigar. The Heddon Spook was one of the first and it's still great, but now there are many…
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  You could spend hours trying to narrow down what crankbaits are most important for putting fish in the boat. Crankbaits are available in all styles and shapes, making narrowing down the options a tough choice when stocking the tackle box. Here are six proven styles that will cover all the bases — and put fish in the boat. Wake Bait A wake bait is a shad-profiled bait with an angled and short square bill. It is the design of this bill that keeps the lure on top; creating a wake and a seductive side-to-side retrieve. An excellent choice for…
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Jerkbaits are a great go-to lure for fall fishing. Just remember, largemouth are often sluggish in cold water, so be conservative with your retrieves. Anglers can have a lot of fun throwing jerkbaits for largemouth in the fall. The method covers water and hauls in big buckets. Here are three great places to toss these erratic hard baits for bass this fall. Green weeds near deep water In the North Country where I live, many largemouth leave weedy, shallow bays and shorelines, and move to deeper water as temperatures cool. Healthy green weeds near deep water are prime resting spots…
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Ish needs to fish When the 2014 pro-bass season was about to start, there were several big-name anglers signed up to fish both the Bassmaster Elite Series and the FLW Tour. The list included Brett Hite (who won an event in each league), Randall Tharp (qualified for both championships), Greg Hackney (won on both tours and took home the B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year title), Jason Christie (won an Elite event), and Casey Ashley (won an FLW event), Steve Kennedy and Ish Monroe among others. Out of those who've been listed, only one stands out, but not for success. That…
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Bass are considered warm-water species, which means that most family’s favorite time to head to the lake (summer) is also when the bass bite is best. Temperature change, and how fish react to the mercury climbing or dipping, is important knowledge for fishermen. Knowing how fish react to their environment and throughout the various seasons can help hone your approach and improve your catch rates. Cold- and Warm-Water Fish All species of freshwater fish are cold blooded. Unable to maintain their body temperature at a constant level, as humans and other warm-blooded animals do, their internal temperature and functions are…
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No more Cinderella stories! If B.A.S.S. and their Elite Series were a politician they'd be accused of being a flip-flopper. Why you may ask? Pretty simple, rules baby, rules. In particular, changing them with frequency. The most recent is the elimination of the "win and you're in" rule at the Elite Series level. No longer is an angler guaranteed a berth into the Bassmaster Classic with a victory. It is now based solely on Angler of the Year (AOY) points. Eh, fine, really has been that way regardless of "win and you're in". However, the rule of winning a single…
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AOY Club: Gary Klein When fans of professional bass fishing talk about Gary Klein, they tend to discuss his professorial approach to the game. The amiable Mercury pro often gives some of the most insightful responses on stage at a Bassmaster event when queried about his day on the water. This is no show. Klein is that kind of angler. Thoughtful and focused, but not obsessed with titles and accolades. Still, Klein has managed to gain a level of respect among his peers that few anglers have. Perhaps it is his two B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY) titles, 1989…
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Normally a mobile approach to fishing river smallmouth is preferred, but there are certain conditions that call for dropping the anchor and focusing on areas where fish are concentrated. It’s one of the most underutilized pieces of equipment in my river guide boat: the boat anchor.  Some days I silently curse it, those times when I nearly trip over the plastic bucket it’s stored in as I step down from the front deck. It’s my belief that a mobile approach is usually best when river fishing, going to the fish rather than camping out in a given spot. Baits are…
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Like many of you, I use artificial fishing baits and lures 95 percent of the time when targeting bass.  But if there’s a period when it makes sense to dip into the minnow bucket, it’s during autumn. It’s at the time of year — at least in my part of the country where winters are an icy reality —  when bass tend to forage on minnows, big ones in particular.  This leads to a situation where large, live minnows can be effective. An angler’s gotta do what an angler’s gotta do and during autumn, that may mean dipping into the…
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Having had the chance to test St. Croix’s Legend X fly rod in a variety of venues during the past several months, I can say it’s one sleek fly rod.  If it had four wheels it would be a muscle car, yet one quite comfortable running down to the corner market to pick up the fixings for the day’s streamside fishing lunch. The Legend X is designed for targeting larger predatory fish – bass, muskies, northerns – big fish that often require the use of beefier, wind-resistant flies.  It’s a nine-footer that’s offered in four models, ones meant to throw…
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