Lake Neely henry BASSMASTER FANTASY FISHING: HELLABASS PUNDIT PICKS BASSMASTER ELITE SERIES

This week we break down LAKE NEELY HENRY Bassmaster Elite Series event out of Gadsden, AL. This is the 6th fantasy fishing event of 2021. Be interesting to see if an Alabama angler like Gerald Swindle, Steve Kennedy, or Scott Canterbury can bring home the Victory this week.

Be sure to tune into BASS Live, cause Coosa River spots are super mean and big, they should be a blast to watch. I expect spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, topwaters, swim jigs and so much more power fishing to be strong players this week.

See Full Pundit Picks here – http://bassmasterfantasy.com

Audio only Podcast – https://anchor.fm/hellabass/episodes/65—NEELY-HENRY-Bassmaster-Fantasy-Fishing-HellaBass-Pundit-Picks-Bassmaster-Elite-Series-evub9s

For the Neely Henry video version of the picks, watch the video below:

Traditional Bucket Picks:
Bucket A – Josh Stracner
Bucket B – Wes Logan
Bucket C – Luke Palmer
Bucket D – Jake Whitaker
Bucket E – Bill Weidler

Drain the Lake Picks:
Scott Canterbury
Greg Hackney
Justin Hamner
Steve Kennedy
Wes Logan
Bill Lowen
Josh Stracner
Bill Weidler

How to wacky rig a Senko (A Better way)

How to Wacky Rig Senko?
Wacky Rigging in its simplest form is taking a Senko or soft plastic stick worm and hooking right in the middle with a wacky style hook. Normally fished weightless or with a very small wacky jig head. While that will catch fish, there is a whole lot more to wacky rigging & being efficient in how you fish a wacky rig.

What size hook for wacky rigs?
There are a ton of great hooks for wacky rigging, my two go-to hooks are VMC Neko Hooks in sizes #1 & 1/0. I find that octopus-style wacky hooks often skin hook fish in the mouth & I lose more fish with those hooks.

Best weedless wacky hook style for bass
Best style wacky hook for catching more bass!

How to Fish a Wacky Rig?
The beauty of a wacky rigged soft plastic worm is that it pretty much creates its own action. Cast it around likely areas that hold bass, like docks, trees, laydowns, stumps, pads, weed clumps, etc., and let the rig slowly sink to the bottom. More often than not, bass will eat the bait on the initial fall, if not give the bait small pulls and lifts, letting the bait fall on semi slack line on the way back to the boat. Rinse and repeat and be ready to get bit. Still not sure how to fish a wacky rig? Watch the video below to see its effectiveness for catching bass.

Better ways to Wacky Rig Worms
One of the downfalls of wacky rigging is that you burn through a lot of baits. Because you are just hooking the bait in the center, baits often easily rip in half or fly off when landing a fish. The most common way to improve this is by using a simple O-ring tool make help keep the baits on your hook. While the O-ring helps immensely, there is an even better solution. For the ultimate in bait preservation, the Arsenal Wacky Bands and Tool take the cake.

Best tool for wacky rigging senkos & neko style worms

If you are more into visual learning, watch this How to Wacky Rig Video Below.

Best Way to Wacky Rig

Why should you use Arsenal Wacky bands?
Soft plastic worms and stick baits may seem relatively inexpensive, but if you are on a hot bite, you could easily go through a couple of bags of worms per day and that can add up if you are just wacky rigging with just a simple wacky hook through the worm.

What do popular Senkos & Stick worms cost?
Here is a quick chart for the cost of popular wacky worms:

Average Cost of Senko Style worms

This chart quickly shows you why investing in a good wacky system, like the Arsenal Wacky tool will quickly pay for itself and save you a ton of cash! When most bags of soft plastics cost over $5 each if you can an extra fish or three per worm, the savings add up fast and we end up with less lost worms falling in the water as litter.

If you like to fish Wacky Worms in deeper water or current, think about making your own wacky jigs as I show in the video below. This video will help you simplify your gear & reduce the amount of tackle you need to carry, which is great especially if you fish from the bank or a smaller boat like a kayak.

Fish Wacky Senkos Deeper

If you want to continue to learn how to catch more big bass and suck less, make sure you subscribe to everything HellaBass!

How to find early spring bass on rivers

Bass fishing rivers like the upper Mississippi River can be intimidating to many anglers especially in the early spring. In reality, river fishing can be more predictable than lake or reservoir fishing once you understand that current really drives bass in rivers.

A recent fishing trip on Pool 4 of the Mississippi river really got me thinking about this topic, here is a video of my trip if you are more of a visual video learner instead of a reader. Either way, I am going to share some basic tips & lures that will shorten the learning curve for you when it comes to early spring bass fishing on rivers.

Early Spring Bass Fishing in April near Wabasha, MN

There are two main strategies or paths to find bass on rivers in the spring. You can either figure out where they winter and start looking close to there and follow them out or you can figure out where they spawn and back out from those areas until you collide with them.

Understanding wintering areas can be a little trickier to nail down on some rivers, but spawning areas are usually a little easier to identify from my perspective.

Smallmouth Bass like to have a little current and some hard bottom where they spawn, they typically avoid dead water for their spawning on rivers.

Super K Klakken Bass

Chunky Largemouth that fell for a Fire Craw Bladed Jig

On the other hand, Largemouth are much more apt to find completely slack or no current areas with firm bottom for their reproductive cycle. For largies, I like to look for dead-end backwaters and sloughs with good cover, like wood, grass and some firm bottom or stumps to target as spawning areas.

Once the water temperature gets above 50 degrees, those fish won’t be too far away from where they plan to spawn. River fish are also pretty dependable biters in the spring. I love covering water with 1/4oz Super K Swim jigs and 3/8oz Bladed style jigs (Chatterbaits). Black and blue always seems to be a solid choice on rivers around me in the spring. Keep on the move until you run into a few fish and where there is a few, there is often a bunch not too far away.

If you are interested in checking out Super K swim jigs, use Code HELLABASS15 on their site to save 15% off!

Also, below is a list of other great products for catching bass in the early spring on river across the country. Tight lines!

Super K Swim Jigs – http://bit.ly/SuperKSJs
Strike King Menace Grub – http://bit.ly/2y22Zzt
SuperK Klakken – http://bit.ly/Klakken
Arsenal Tactical Minnow – http://bit.ly/TactMin
Zman Jackhammer Chatterbait – http://bit.ly/2nSdTpD
Strike King Thunder Cricket – http://bit.ly/ThundCrick

Need more help about how to fish chatterbaits vs Swim jigs and when to throw each one, check out this video below

Swim Jigs vs Bladed Jigs

Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing: HellaBass Pundit Picks Bassmaster Elite Series LAKE FORK

This week we break down LAKE FORK Bassmaster Elite Series event out of Emory, TX. This is the 5th fantasy fishing event of 2021. Can Lee Livesay defend his home turf? Are you ready for the New Mercury Drain the Lake Fantasy Fishing Game? Either way, with both a bass Spawn & a Shad Spawn going in, this should be smash fest tournament to watch on Bass Live this week!

See Full Pundit Picks here – http://bassmasterfantasy.com

Audio only Podcast – https://anchor.fm/hellabass/episodes/62-Bassmaster-Fantasy-Fishing-HellaBass-Pundit-Picks-Bassmaster-Elite-Series-LAKE-FORK-ev7cue

Lake Fork Video Fantasy Fishing Picks RECAP

Traditional Fantasy Fishing Game Picks:
John Cox
Stetson Blaylock
Luke Palmer
Chis Zaldain
Jamie Hartman

My Mercury Bassmaster Drain the Lake Challenge roster for Lake Fork:

  • Jason Christie 
  • Keith Combs 
  • John Cox 
  • John Crews 
  • Darold Gleason 
  • Ray Hanselman 
  • Lee Livesay 
  • Luke Palmer 

TN River Knoxville Elite series fantasy fishing picks

Video Version of HellaBass Picks

This week we break down the Tennessee River Bassmaster Elite Series event in Knoxville, TN.  This is the 2nd fantasy fishing event of 2021.  Will this be Brandon Lester’s 1st Elite Series Victory?

Click to SUB – https://goo.gl/Kp7v6l
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▼ SAVE MONEY & SUPPORT HELLABASS ▼
Get 15% off at ARSENAL Fishing w/ code: HELLABASS15 http://bit.ly/ArsenalShop
Get 15% off at OMNIA Fishing w/ code: RICHLINDGREN15 https://bit.ly/2VugPqK
Get 10% of Tungsten Tackle w/ Code: HELLABASS10 http://bit.ly/BassTEK

How to recycle used BAITS to make soft plastics

What was once old is new again! This old saying could not be more true when it comes to remelting your old used soft plastic fishing lures and turning them into brand new fish-catching baits! Keep reading & watching for a great Make Your Own Lure DIY.

Remelted Soft Plastic Lures
Examples of the many recycled lures I have produced from remelting my used baits

Let’s start with the reasons why you would want to do this:
1. Reduce littering, please never intentionally throw old or used soft plastic baits back into the water. These plastic baits do not dissolve or decompose in the water, never a good idea. Plus fish have been known to digest them and it is unhealthy for them to do so. So regardless, keep them in your boat & dispose of properly one way or the other.
2. If you end up recycling or remelting your baits, this ultimately ends up doing your small part to reduce the impact on landfills, so you can feel good about that.
3. It can be a lot of fun making soft plastic baits and a good way to keep busy when the weather is not conducive to go fishing, you can be in your garage making baits & doing fishing-related activities, which can help you stay sane until your next bite!
4. In the long run, lure making can save you a fair amount of money. Most decent soft plastics cost between $3-7 per pack. So if you buy a cheap mold for $30, you only need to make 5-10 packs of new worms, craws or swimbaits to be money ahead.
5. Lastly, there is great satisfaction in catching your favorite fish on a bait that you made yourself!

Learn to Make Your Own Soft Plastic Baits

If you are interested where to find all the tools needed to get started in remelting your old, here is a list below:
Cheap Senko Molds – https://ebay.to/2WPm1Xt
Misc Cheap Lure & Bait Molds – https://ebay.to/2WOZ5Yd
Soft Plastic Injectors – https://ebay.to/2vVcZNs
Glass Pyrex Cups – https://amzn.to/2UMEotz
Mold Clamps – https://amzn.to/2ybntJf
Infrared Thermometer – https://amzn.to/2QPpeCj
Gloves – https://amzn.to/3ar7Awt
Hot Plate – https://amzn.to/2xvd9f2
Used Microwaves – https://ebay.to/2UGdlA1

They made me a fantasy fishing pundit!!

Who would have thought that my little Fantasy Fishing podcast show on YouTube would end up getting me featured as a so called “Expert” on the Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing page…..

Don’t believe it either?  Check out my first Pundit piece previewing the first 2020 Bassmaster Elite Series event on the St Johns River.

New for 2020 is my newly created Fantasy Fishing Group called BEAT HELLABASS.  Make sure to follow the link, joing the group to win great prize packs from Bass Utopia & BassTEK on top of the great prizes from Rapala & BASS.

Also, new for 2020, I am launching a audio version for Fantasy Fishing edge that you can download via your favorite podcast apps.  Search Fantasy Fishing Edge or follow this link to the home page and go from there.

For those that love the original YouTube shows, those are not going away.  Follow this link or watch below.

Fantasy Fishing Podcast
Fantasy Fishing Powered by Bass Utopia

Fantasy Fishing Powered by:

Best fishing gift ideas for anglers 2019

What are the best gifts for the fisherman who has everything?

Fishermen and fisher gals are arguably some of the most difficult people to shop for out of anyone. So today, I am sharing 5 Can’t-Miss Ideas for you to add to your list or if you are looking for ideas for the special fisherman in your life!

Best Gift Ideas for Fishermen

If you don’t’ want to watch the gift ideas, check out my video if you prefer to read the ideas, scroll down!

  1. Digital Handheld Scales – Having a scale is the difference between a fishing tale & a legit story & proof a true trophy catch. All anglers should have a quality scale for their fishing trips. If your angler owns a boat & primarily fishes from that, I recommend this scale, if they tend to fish from shore, other people’s boats or ice fishing, then check out this smaller more compact version.
  2. Long Sleeve Sun Hoodies – Sun Protection is nothing to joke about and sunscreen is just too easy to forget and when the bite is good, reapplying rarely happens. For me these long sleeve sun hoodies have been the deal, I never get burned any more & feel much better after a long day in the sun. Here are two links to two of my favorite versions, one from AFTCO & the other SIMMS.
  3. Boost Pack – This item is highly underrated & a must-have for any outdoors person. These small compact lithium boost packs have the juice to jumpstart a truck, car or boat. Plus they can keep GoPros, Smart Phones and other small electronics running all weekend. There are tons of options, here is a link to an affordable boost pack that has worked perfectly for my needs.
  4. Glide Baits & Swimbaits – Big baits are all the rage these days! Here is a list of affordable big baits that won’t break the bank but still catch fish!
    River2Sea S-Waver
    Arashi Glide Bait
    Baby Bull Shad
  5. Fishing Tackle Subscription Boxes – Think of these as Birch Box or Stitch fix for anglers. Basically you can sign up for 1, 3 or 6-month subscriptions and send them as gifts where they will get new handpicked tackle for them every month. Below are a few very popular fishing tackle subscription services:
    MonsterBass – #TheBetterBox
    Mystery Tackle Box
    6th Sense Tackle Bags
    Lucky Tackle Boxes
  6. BONUS – GIFT CARDS ARE AWESOME GIFTS
    Here are some of my fav stores to get Gift Cards for:
    Omnia Fishing
    Tackle Warehouse
    TheHookUpTackle
Omnia Fishing
A New Way to Shop for Bass Fishing Tackle

Tight Lines…..

HOW TO RIG A STUPID TUBE – REVISITED – BEST JIG HEADS & LURES

The Stupid Tube is not a new rig, but for some reason, it is one that most of the anglers that are in the know about this rig, don’t usually share it with their fishing buddies or the general public. It got its first major press back at the 2007 Bassmaster Classic where Terry McWilliams used the rig to carry him to a top 10 finish at Lay Lake.

If you wonder why so many anglers are so hush hush about it? Probably because it is so dang effective at catching all 3 species of Bass! In short, it basically is a weedless tube jig, so you get the erratic spiral and glide of your typical exposed hook tube jig, but you can throw it in places you would never dream of with a conventional tube jig.

Fully Rigged Stupid Tube

Make sense? Imagine a Texas rigged tube & an exposed jig head rig, had a super-powered bass catching baby!

Want to learn how to rig this bait and impress your friends and the bass in your local fisheries?

Two options:
1. Check out my original Stupid Tube Blog from 2009
2. For you, new school kids, watch my latest Stupid Tube Rigging Video below

How to Rig a Stupid Tube for Bass Fishing

I have called out my favorite jigs and baits in the video and will below, but essentially, take your favorite 3.5-4″ tube and pair it with a jig head that has a 60-degree flat eye line tie and a hook with a larger than average hook gap. Ordinary tube hooks often fail to have enough bite for this and the tube balls up on your hook & you miss fish.

Rig it up on 8-12lb fluorocarbon and fish it in all the places you wanted to present a tube jig, but would’ve constantly got hung. Skip that tube around trees and docks, drag it through standing timber or snaggy boulders and hold on!

Omnia Fishing
A New Way to Shop for Bass Fishing Tackle

Looking for a new Outdoor Shopping Experience, check out Omnia Fishing’s Lake & Species driven shopping experience. Omnia Fishing

Fun fall Bass fishing videos

To me, fall is a time of year, when many of my fellow outdoorsmen & women are lured away to deer stands, fields or blinds. That results in the boat ramps mostly empty for us willing to brave a little inclement weather.

To be honest, outside of that first couple of trips after a harsh frozen winter, this is my favorite time of the year. The great majority of my best days of fishing and most of my biggest bass weighed have come late into the fall season.

Here are a few of my latest fall fishing vids, enjoy!

Epic day of Fat Fall Smallies & Largies!
Fishing for that One Big Bite!

All that being said, I am quite okay with the ramps being quiet, so don’t feel any pressure to follow suit, you probably aren’t missing too much…..

Looking for a new Outdoor Shopping Experience, check out Omnia Fishing’s Lake & Species driven shopping experience.

Omnia Fishing
A New Way to Shop for Bass Fishing Tackle

Tight Lines…..

Bass Fishing Videos, News, Tips, Tricks & More