The weather has taken a turn for the worse around here and with the high temp averaging 15 degree’s the fishing has been impossible. Not being one to settle for ice fishing I just have to sit and wait until the temps get back into the 30’s. Then at least my line won’t freeze up instantly on me. Next winter I’m planning on competing in some national tournaments to get me out of the frozen winters around here and to help me climb the ladder of professional fishing. So until then, this means I have some time on my hands. I decided I would add an entry devoted to some of the new tackle I have been adding to get ready for next season.
Lately I have been stocking up on my swimbait selection. This is unusual for me since I rarely if ever throw a swimbait. I have always been weary to throw such gigantic, awkward looking lures, at our northern bass. Originally I thought that swimbaits where for other areas such as California, Mexico, or even Texas. I am quickly realizing that may not be the case. Steve Kennedy fished a hitch colored Basstrix Paddle tail tube on Lake Onondaga, in New York, during a BASSMASTER Elite Series event, and caught a crazy limit of fish to claim a close second place finish. Onondaga is a similar natural lake to what we have in Minnesota. It really got me thinking. It is almost unheard of to throw a swimbait around here. If I can manage a way to effectively make this a part of my arsenal it can only help me become more of a diverse angler.
Lately I have been scouring through my latest editions of BASSWEST USA magazine researching all the different makes and models of swimbaits. BASSWEST USA is out of California and the west coast is responsible for the blow up of the swimbait. After much reading I came to a conclusion that soft plastic swimbaits would probably be my best choice for the conditions I will be facing in my upcoming tournaments. For one they are generally less expensive than their more durable counter parts. With all the toothy critters around here, the thought of loosing a $60 dollar bait on a two pound pike isn’t that tempting to me. Sure their teeth can tear up the soft plastic body of the bait however there is a new “must have” product available called Mend-It. Mend-It is the first non-sticky, no mess soft plastic bonding system of it’s kind. Not only will it repair your expensive swimbaits but it will patch up your last Gambler Cane Toad in a quick hurry as well, possibly saving a tournament for you. Here is a list of some of the hottest soft bodied swimbaits on the market:
1. Basstrix Paddle Tail Tube
2. 3:16 Mighty Minnow
3. Huddleston Deluxe Shad
4. California Swimbabies Baby E
5. Poor Boy’s Baits Silly Rabbit
Also I have been stocking up on my deep crankbaits as well. Towards the end of last season I started really having some good success crankin’ deep structure for big bass. It made me realize how much more I could develop this to give me more confidence and better my odds of doing well in tournaments all over the country. This technique catches some of the biggest bass literally all over the U.S. and yet it is probably one of the least used techniques. I decided to get a couple rods that I will devote to this style of fishing all year long. I went with a 7’0″ Lamiglas XCF 705 R for my deep crankin’ and a 7’0″ Lamiglas XC 704 C for all my mid range crankin’. For crankbaits I opted for a vast range of styles but a small range of colors. Instead of getting all caught up with the color possibilities, I am going to concentrate more on the area I am fishing and my retrieve, than on the color of the bait. I’m sticking with the four colors that have always proven successful for different conditions. Colors such as Chartreuse Blue, Red (craw colored), shad, and natural. Murky water I’ll go with more my vibrant colors, clear water would call for natural colors, and any where that shad is dominate I would go with shad imitators. Here is some of the crankbaits I have added recently:
1. Strike King Pro Model Series 5 and 6 (Sexy Shad)
2. Lucky Craft Flat CB D-12 and D-20 (Green Apple, Mad Craw, Chartreuse Shad)
3. Jackall Lures Muscle Deep 15+ (Purple Chartreuse, Chartreuse Shad)
4. Jackall Lures DD Cherry 48 and 55 (Chartreuse Shad, Crawfish)
5. Rapala DT-6, DT-10, and DT-16 (Parrot, Red Crawdad)
Well the good news is that the 10 day forecast is giving the possibility of 30 degree weather towards next week. I’m really hoping that will actually hold up and I can get out for some pre Christmas fishing. Until then I’ll keep my fingers crossed!