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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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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Fishing the late fall shift on northern lakes has its advantages. Largemouth bass can be relatively easy to locate and, for the most part, will be the largest you will find them all season long. Put that sonar imaging fish finder to work this fall to locate largemouths. Then, work your lure slowly and you, too, can end up catching some nice ones. Here are some tips to ensure your season winds down with some solid action. Seek Out Transition Zones Notwithstanding the certainty of a cold chill in the air, October and November are two months that are predisposed…
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While pink isn’t a common underwater color, these fising lures and baits can trigger aggressive bites. From season opener to autumn, I sight fish for bass whenever conditions allow. Although many smallmouth and largemouth bass are deep at this point in autumn, there are still shallow, sight-fishing opportunities. I find this most pronounced during unseasonably warm, sunny days. One trick I’ve learned is that using a brightly colored lure can help you catch more fish when sight fishing. Bright Baits – Score One for Visibility I use bright baits because I can easily see them, especially when wearing polarized sunglasses.…
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Casting, jigging, and dragging a football jig teamed with a bulky plastic are reliable ways to catch smallmouth bass. Try wetting one this fall, and you’ll quickly get hooked on the fish-catching power of football jigs. Autumn is a time for upsizing baits to catch trophy smallmouth bass. Big and chunky plastics top my list of presentations. Using a football jig head for rigging is an excellent choice. Here are three reasons why. Side step snags A football jig’s shape gives it a great advantage. Its elongated, oval head helps it roll over minor snags better than a ball head…
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Sure, Ott DeFoe qualified for the Bassmaster Classic in 2015. In fact, he double qualified by placing high enough in the Angler of the Year (AOY) points race and by winning a B.A.S.S. Open event. However, that doesn't equate to a great season in the mind of Bass Pro Shops pro DeFoe. Main goal accomplished in 2014 for DeFoe. "I ended up double qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic this year, "said DeFoe. "My main goal each season is to qualify for the Classic, I did that. However, I don't feel this was a good year."I did win an Open event…
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Tips on how anglers can use sound to their advantage. Unlike humans, fish have two sensors for detecting sound: the inner ear and the lateral line. These two systems work independently of each other to hear and feel particle motion and pressure changes. The systems are able to correlate and send signals to various parts of the brain to initiate a reaction or function. Catfish receive top rating for both lateral-line detection and hearing strength, according to a survey of prominent fish physiologists and fisheries biologists. The sauger is also given an excellent rating for its lateral line, while walleye,…
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High expectations are what many anglers fishing the Bassmaster Elite Series tour have each season. Some meet their individual expectations. Many never come close to getting where they'd like to be. Missile Baits pro John Crews has high expectations as well. Crews is a work in progress, but his consistent performance over the years on the Elite Series certainly ranks him among the top pros in the game. With a little tweak here and there, Crews could easily be the next big thing in pro bass fishing. Enjoyment key for Crews. "I set my expectations high each year," said Crews.…
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Light Tackle Muskies?

Saturday, October 11 2014 10:00 am - for Muskie Fishing
I fished a bass tournament on Barbee Chain of Lakes in Warsaw, Ind. It was May -- chilly, about 65 degrees and sunny. We set out for a day of bass fishing but soon found things would quickly change. As we were motoring to our spot, which looked like it should hold some fish, I took notice to the several fisherman surrounding one area. I watched as anglers cast these huge crankbaits -- almost as big as the fish I planned on catching that day. I thought to myself, "Wow, ten minutes of throwing those cranks, and I'm done".  …
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