Category Archives: Bass Basics

Christmas Gifts & Stocking Stuffers for the Bass Angler

Whoa, been awhile since my last post here, but I have done a little blogging over at the KrugerFarms.com and NBC Sports Blogs, feel free to subscribe to those as well.

But either way, time is rapidly getting away from us for Christmas shopping, so I am going to share some of my ideas on great Xmas gifts for bass fishermen and women.  You may use these ideas to help build a better list for your loved ones or hopefully your loved ones can stumble across this list and use it to get you something cool that fits your passion come Christmas morning.

http://cdn2.content.compendiumblog.com/uploads/user/a4e707ba-e52c-41ea-b5df-e22be41ea981/4cc0b3b2-3aa5-4c38-8f3b-f31ea00b4f69/Image/ad5cb18a751a979216239cce079e10a8/santa_fishing.jpg

Fishing lures make great stocking stuffers, heck you can even hang them from the tree and make them part of the decorations!  So here are a handful of baits that I love, that have a coolness factor and just plain catch bass and will make great stocking stuffers for your favorite bass angler.
Evolve Nervous Walker Frogs
BassTEK Tungsten Jigs
Lake Fork Ring Frys
Soul5 RoverMax 115
Rapala DT6 Crankbaits
Super K 1/4oz Swim Jigs
Evolve Kompak Craws or Darkstar Swimmers

If your loved one is a little more deserving there are a lot of great options out there. Here are a handful of products in the $10 – $50 range that make great gifts.  Beyond tackle, I also listed a few sun protection clothing items, anglers get exposed to a ton of UV rays, so sometimes its best to cover up with good Sun Gear!
Sunline FX2 Frog/Flip Braid
Rapala Touch Screen Scale
Rod Glove Rod Covers
Simms Sun Gloves & Sun Armor

If you need something for someone on the very very good list and want something that will really get their attention under the tree, you might want to think about getting them a new rod or reel.  Other plus cameras and polarized sunglasses make great gifts.
Dobyns 735C or 702SF
Shimano baitcasting or spinning reel at any budget
Costa Del Mar or SPY Polarized Sunglasses
GoPro Camera

If you want to see what is on my personal list, check out my Pinterest board, creating a gift wish list on Pinterest is a great way to keep an active list that you can share with friends and family for Christmas, Birthdays or any gift occasion!

Well Merry Christmas All and Good Fishing!
Rich

Learning to setup your electronics

Whether we are talking GPS, sonar, depth finders, fish finders or whatever you want to call them, this is a great time of year to learn a few things on how to set them up and get the most out of your electronics.  Let’s face it, today’s modern GPS units have come along ways since the first basic LCD Fish Finders hit the market years ago.

I am no expert on today’s modern electronics, but I make an effort to learn as much as I can, and I find a great way to learn is to check out tutorial videos on YouTube.  Manufacturers like Humminbird, Lowrance & Garmin make some good videos, but there is also some great stuff put out there by Pro Staffers and general users.

Here are a couple of my favorites, if you have some good ones or find some good ones, post a link in the comments below!

Super neat trick to better understand side imaging whether is Lowrance or Humminbird

This one shows common images & tell you what they are for a Humminbird Side Imaging unit

This video does a good job of showing an advanced technique of catching drop shot fish using a Lowrance HDS Fish Finder

Doesn’t hurt this guy had super sweet Dobyns Rods to feel those smallies either!

Hope a few of these videos and others that you search on YouTube help you find and catch more bass!  There are a ton more videos on how to setup sonar, mapping, updating software, managing waypoints and the list goes on and on….

When you’re in the fishing business, you already know how important it
is to always be prepared with all the tools that you need to do the job.
You’re well aware of how important safety is on the job. You know that a
hard day’s work should be rewarded with a nice profitable catch, not a
stay at the hospital – or worse.

And this is exactly why you should never settle for less than the
absolute first class when it comes to outfitting your boat with all of
the marine hardware supplies that you need. Because when it comes to
dangerous fishing and trawling work, lives are always on the line.
Anything less than top notch equipment simply won’t finish the job, and
may even be putting lives at risk.

Luckily, you never have to settle for second or third rate equipment
when it comes to stocking up your vessel with hardware supplies. A quick
browse through any major search engine on the internet will turn up
hundreds, if not thousands, of top notch equipment manufacturers and
suppliers.

One of the industry’s chief hardware suppliers is Alario Brothers. This
family owned company has been on the scene for many years now, and is
considered by many to be the top rated supplier of nautical hardware
currently operating on the modern international market place.

Log on today to see what Alario Brothers can do for you. If you’re
serious about safety, and serious about your hardware, you won’t be
disappointed.

 
 

5 Lure Challenge

I was invited to respond to a Avid Angler Challenge, basically what 5 baits would you pick with to fish for the rest of your life.  So you only get 5 and you are stuck with them….

Seem easy at first, but 5 is not that many compared to what I keep in my boat and being a tournament bass angler, you need to be ready for anything!

1. 1/2oz BassTEK Tungsten Jig – For color, I’d tie up a custom skirt with a Green Pumpkin & Brown combination.  I probably fish a 3/8oz jig more now, but since I am stuck with one, the half will help me fish deep structure better when I need to.  I can swim it, flip it, drag it, stroke it, bass jigs are super versatile. 


2. Baby Brush Hog – To be versatile in most water clarities I’ll go Green Pumpkin Blue.  I like this bait, because ti catches fish of all sizes, tough bites and good bites.  I can fish it on texas rigs, shakey head, as a jig trailer as well mojo and c-rigged.  Just a great bait that gets bit in all conditions.
http://www.basstackledepot.com/basstackle/zoom/Brush-Hog-Green-Pumpkin-Blue.jpg

3. 1/2 oz Chrome/Blue Lipless Crankbait – Not sure on brand, probably a Red Eye Shad or a Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap.  Either way, as long as your patient, you can work any water column that needs a baitfish presentation and chrome blue catches fish everywhere.  So if I am only going to have one crankbait, this would be it.
http://www.basstackledepot.com/basstackle/rat-l-trap/RT25SP.jpg


4. Lake Fork Ring Fry – Doesn’t matter which color, as long as it is green pumpkin.  This bait is an awesome do nothing looking bait that plain catches fish.  It probably most resembles a bluegill.  I often work this bait weightless like most others would fish a senko, but you can rig it most of the same weighs mentioned about the Brush Hog above.  The on other thing I would ask of this bait, is to fish it weightless and it would as act as my frog as well over pads and duck weed.
Lake Fork Ring Fry 609 Green Pumpkin
5.  Yellow Magic Popper – Sometimes you just need a topwater, when fish are keyed on bait, it is a must, plus a supper fun way to fish.  I would go with Bone or shad pattern.  To me, this is the best topwater I own and have ever thrown!
Japanese Popper

Do you think you can narrow your baits down to 5?  Leave a comment and let’s hear it!


Some upcoming events

In case it has creeped up on you and you dind’t realize it, next week is the Northwest Sportshow.  If you are a serious bass angler, it is clearly the best show all year around this area.  I will probably go one of the first evenings and most of the day on Saturday.  I plan to bring my camera & video camera, hopefully capture what’s new & cool, then bring it to you here on the blog. 

Here are a seminars that could be helpful to us bass anglers:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
7:00 pm Fishing Electronics Made Simple Scott Petersen Room 101 H
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Friday, April 01, 2011
1:00 pm Fishing Electronics Made Simple Scott Petersen Room 101 H
Saturday, April 02, 2011
4:00 pm Bass Fishing Tips and Tricks for River Fishing Brad Leifermann Room 101 H
7:00 pm Bass Fishing Tips and Tricks for River Fishing Brad Leifermann Room 101 H

When:              Wednesday, March 30                1:00-9:00p.m.
                       Thursday, March 31                     1:00-9:00p.m,
                        Friday, April 1                              11:00a.m.-9:00p.m.
                        Saturday, April 2                          10:00a.m.-9:00p.m.
                        Sunday, April 3                             10:00a.m.-5:00p.m.
 
Where:            Minneapolis Convention Center
                       1301 Second Avenue South
                       Minneapolis, Minnesota
 
Tickets:           Adults (16 and older) $10; Senior Day, (Thursday, March 31st only,
                       62+) $5; Children (15 and younger) FREE
 
Advance tickets can be purchased online at
NorthwestSportshow.com 


Web:               Visit us at NorthwestSportshow.com, on Twitter
@NWSportshow, or 
                        find us on
Facebook

Also of note, a fellow bass buddy of mine, Glenn Walker, has a bass fishing basics seminar on April 9th at Belzer’s down in Lakeville.  Looks like fun stuff, some giveaways, I think I will probably drop in for this one as well.


Must see bass fishing video

Kind of a bonus blog entry today, I usually do not do more then one entry per day, but this was too good.  Things you will learn/see in this video:
Instructional info on catching schooling bass
Early glance at Prototype Lipless crankbait from Ima Lures
Bill Smith hooking Michael Murphy in face with said Lipless crank
The entire removal process

It is a little graphic, but very educational.  Not sure if I am more impressed with Murphy on his calmness and toughness during hook removal process or how he finished his cast with the jerkbait even with hook in face.  Bill Smith had to feel a little dumb hooking his Ima ProStaff teammate on camera.

This actually happened to my in my very first club bass tourney at age 14, fishing with my uncle, I took a Zara Spook right under my chin about 10 minutes into the day.  Pretty much the same drill, push hook through, cut the barb off and back it out.  Slap a band-aid on it and finished the tourney, only weighed two fish though.

Share with your buddys,
Rich
RichLindgren.com 
Rich’s Bassin’ Forum
Bass Fishing Tackle Blog


Good Read on Tungsten and Bass Fishing

Tungsten Weights:
Are They Worth The Extra Cost?

Story By Margie Anderson

Who could ever have imagined that anglers would be paying more than $5 for a single worm weight? Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?
“You have to keep in mind that if something puts otherwise impossible fish in the boat for you, the check you cash after a tournament makes it well worth the few bucks you spent at the tackle shop,” says professional bass fisherman Gary Dobyns. “Tungsten weights opened up the whole world of punching to us. Bass school up under thick, dense mats of weeds when the sun is high, and it is almost impossible to get anything but a tungsten weight through those mats. The lead you’d have to use would be as big as your finger, and a lot of times it really turned the fish off.”

In fact, that very dilemma is what led to the first tungsten weights. Sam Aversa was a pro bass fisherman who wasn’t content to simply flip the edges of impenetrable weedbeds. He wanted in there. His company, Penetrater Weights, was one of the first to come out with tungsten weights. Tungsten is much harder and denser than lead, and the slick finish he puts on them adds to the ease of penetration.
There are different grades of tungsten. Dobyns explains that tungsten is actually a powder that is compressed into different forms.

Mixing the tungsten with other metals like tin, nickel and copper will lower the price of the weights but will increase their size. Tungsten is by far the densest element you can buy for less than precious-metal prices. It is actually as dense as gold, but it’s harder and about 100 times cheaper. Not only is a tungsten weight smaller than lead, it’s so much harder that it doesn’t get hung up as much.
“The hardness of the tungsten also makes it more sensitive,” Dobyns says. “It transmits vibrations up your line better. I know it sounds gimmicky, but it’s true.”

Punching
When you’re punching a tungsten-weighted plastic worm through a massive tangle of weeds or debris, getting the lure down there isn’t your only problem. Once you get bit, you’ve got to pull a wildly thrashing bass out of there, and it isn’t going to want to come along peacefully. Dobyns uses 65-pound test line and a hook that is made specifically for punching. A good, stout flipping stick is a must because you’re going to need a lot of power to haul a big bass out of cover that thick.
Punching isn’t limited to matted weeds or lily pads. Big floating rafts of debris get washed into Western reservoirs during spring when the snows melt, and getting through those is every bit as difficult as punching through the weeds that will grow later in the year. In summer, the water is cooler under there, and the fish also like the shade.

The Insert Debate
Dobyns prefers to use Tru-Tungsten weights, which have a powder coating that wears like the tungsten itself. Since the coating is so hard and slick, there is no need for inserts.
Aversa’s Penetrater Weights don’t have inserts either. He says you can order them with inserts, but he doesn’t like them.
“It’s not a question of if an insert will fall out, but when,” Aversa says.
According to Aversa, there isn’t a glue that will penetrate the pores on tungsten, so nothing really holds well. Liners sometimes push out when you peg the weight, and a Teflon liner is particularly hard to glue in. So when he gets an order for weights with liners, Aversa doesn’t use Teflon but a special industrial glue.
These inserts are designed to protect fishing line from burrs on the weight.
“I think they kind of defeat the purpose of the tungsten,” Aversa says. “Since they are between the line and the tungsten, they tend to dull the transmission of the vibrations.”
Dobyns adds that if an insert cracks, it frays your line.
Arizona tournament angler Gary Key doesn’t understand the controversy about inserts. He’s used tungsten weights extensively and has never had an insert fall out.
“I suppose if you really banged one around the rocks it might eventually fall out, but so far it hasn’t happened to me,” he says.
Key claims that the inserts in the weights he uses are so thin and tight to the metal that they make absolutely no difference in the sensation you get from the tungsten.
As for inserts popping out when you peg a weight, Key doesn’t worry about that either. He uses bobber stoppers to keep his weights in place, so nothing gets pushed through the weight except the line itself.

Tungsten Down Deep
Key fell in love with tungsten before he ever even saw a mat of weeds. Fishing the deep, clear reservoirs of Arizona doesn’t offer much opportunity for punching, but it definitely calls for finesse.
“Tungsten weights cost a lot more than lead, but I think they’re worth the extra couple of bucks,” Key says. “First of all, they’re so hard that they really telegraph what’s down there. When I’m pre-fishing, they let me know when something is a rock or a stump or just plain mud. With a tungsten weight on fluorocarbon or braid, I can read the date on a dime.”
Key favors a long, skinny drop-shot weight that hardly ever gets hung up. He also uses larger tungsten weights for Carolina rigs. However, the tungsten Key really loves is the nail weight. He puts these tiny weights in wacky-rigged Senkos and just slays the bass.
“You can pitch these to trees and docks, but the real secret is that they are absolutely dynamite on deep-water humps and ledges,” Key says.
Without the little tungsten nail weights, it would take forever to get a Senko down there. Key likes to weight just one end of the Senko to make it wobble and dive.
Wes McCracken is another tournament angler who has found that tungsten is worth the money. A Texas rig is one of his favorites for fishing submerged trees, and he often fishes a very small Texas rig on spinning gear. He uses 12-pound test fluorocarbon and a 1⁄4-ounce or even smaller bullet sinker. For these lightweight worm rigs, McCracken uses a medium-heavy spinning rod with a fast tip and plenty of backbone. He can cast a 3⁄16-ounce sinker much better with this rig than with a baitcaster.
“It’s crucial to pick the right weight,” insists McCracken. “Sometimes one will outfish the other, even if the difference is really small. It changes the rate of fall. If you get bit on the fall, you know you’re using the right weight.”
Likewise, if you’re using the wrong weight, you’ll get slapped a lot but not bit. Sometimes even the type of weight can make a big difference.
“Jennifer and I were both fishing identical setups, but I was using tungsten and she wasn’t,” McCracken recalls. “I was getting bit way more often than she was. I hate to have to fish tungsten because it is so expensive, but if that’s what it takes, you have to do it.”

Tungsten — Not Just For Weights
The density and hardness of tungsten make it ideal for other bait applications as well. For instance, lure manufacturers have begun offering swimbaits that incorporate tungsten. Some of these lures have chamber and peg systems that allow you to quickly adjust the placement and number of tungsten balls in the lure so you can control the running depth and even the action of the lure.
Hand-poured worms with tungsten powder poured right into them are also available. This makes rigging much easier and makes the worms fall true.
Tungsten spinnerbaits have become common in the lure industry over the last few years.
When it comes to jig fishing, tungsten jigs have an obvious benefit — they can be flipped into tight quarters.

Not-So-Heavy Metals
Another benefit of tungsten is that it’s non-toxic. These days, that’s a big deal. Many states have already banned lead or are considering banning it because lead sinkers can end up in birds and kill them.
If using a non-toxic weight is your major concern, there are other, cheaper alternatives. Non-lead sinkers such as brass, bismuth and steel are available. While they are not as dense as tungsten, they have other benefits. They may be bigger than the same weight in lead, but the hardness of these metals means less line wear. Lead is so soft that it can deform, making sharp edges right where your line enters the weight.
The only downside to tungsten is the price. Its density and hardness make it an ideal element for weights, and to tournament pros and avid amateur anglers, the benefits are well worth the price.
Story By Margie Anderson

Carolina Rig Basics

I thought I would take a break from tournament coverage and do a post more focused on tips & techniques.  I found this info on Carolina Rigging which is very informative.

Carolina Rigging
D. B. Jackson

Carolina Rig

The Carolina rig is one of the most effective  bass fishing techniques on the planet. Two top 2008 Bassmaster Elite Series pros – Peter T and Kenyon Hill – consider it a mainstay in their arsenal on the tour. Between them they have banked over $1,000,000 using the technique.

And, the great thing about Carolina rigging is that you don’t need to be an expert to use it effectively. It’s easy to make and even easier to use.

The basic rigging is as follows: Thread a sinker and a bead to the main line running off your reel. Then, tie a swivel to the line. The bead should be between the sinker and the swivel.

Tie a leader to the other ring of the swivel and a hook to the far end. Attach your favorite soft plastic lure. Toss it out over your favorite structure or near your favorite cover and you’ll should be good to go.

Those are only the basics, however. To make your rig more effective give these refinements a try.

1. Sound: Beads are made from different materials. Each has its own unique sound as it smacks against the weight; some are loud and clank, others are soft and barely tick. Change beads to create a different sound.

2. Line size and strength: The line running from your reel to the swivel is important but isn’t visible to the fish. It’ll have no effect on lure action or movement. Heavy fluorocarbon or braid increases feel and sensitivity while reducing break-offs. Give one of them if you haven’t already.

3. Tie knots carefully: There are three knots in a Carolina rig – two on the swivel and one on the hook. That’s three places for trouble to develop. Take your time, tie your knots carefully and retie frequently throughout the day.

4. Adjust leader length: The length of your leader directly affects the way your lure looks to a bass. Short leaders tend to keep your bait near the bottom and restrict its action. Longer leaders do just the opposite.

5.  Hook size and design matters: A round bend model is not an offset worm style. And, neither is a circle hook. Make sure your selection suits your style of fishing and the bite pattern of the  the day. 

Buy good, high-quality hooks. Keep them sharp and make sure they’re big enough. Bass have very big mouths. They can handle a big hook.

6. Get creative with your lures: You can rig darn near any bait available with a Carolina rig. Hill used a 10-inch worm on his during the Pride of Georgia. And, don’t think plastic lures are your only choice.

Small, shallow-running crankbaits can be Carolina rigged. They wiggle just fine as they’re being pulled behind a sinker along the bottom. (Rapala minnows and Shad Raps are especially effective when fished this way along sand and rock bottoms.)

7. Vary your retrieve: Most anglers drag the rig back to their boat. That may work some of the time but it won’t work all of the time. Try varying the speed of your drag, give the assembly a hop every now and again. And never be afraid to do something different – radical – if you’re not catching bass.

Fish Harder Carolina Rig Components
Larry Thornhill

Ask any angler on the 2008 Bassmaster Elite Series tour and they’ll tell you that Peter “T” Thliveros is the master of the Carolina rig. Simply put, there is no one that has his level of experience and expertise catching bass with this simple, yet effective, technique.

Fish Harder Companies commissioned Peter T to design component parts for Carolina rigging.  They very best available to anglers today.

“We wanted nothing but the best and so, we went to the best. There’s nothing on the market today that compares to them,” says Tim Gregory, CEO of the Norcross, Georgia based fishing tackle conglomerate.

Peter T Smart Pegs
Tru-Tungsten® Smart Pegs are the most innovative on the market. The peg is designed to recess into the weight for better line protection and easy weight repositioning.  Works great for finesse carolina presentations with lighter weight bullet sinkers.

Smart Peg

Smart Pegs are available in two sizes and two colors.


Peter T Force Beads
These natural composite beads attract fish and produce an extremely loud and unique sound. Each bead is coated with a Duraseal™ coating for added durability and they match our colored weights and your plastic lure to make a uniform bait. They are lead-free and environmentally friendly. The added sensitivity will allow you to Discover the Feel® and the increased loudness will allow you to Fish Harder!

Force Beads

Force Beads are available in 2 sizes and 6 colors.


Peter T Finesse Carolina Weights
Tru-Tungsten® Finesse Carolina Weights increase sensitivity and minimize hang-ups using our insert free 97% pure tungsten. The rounded front easily works through grass and rock, while the concave design on the bottom maximizes sound due to the contact with our Peter “T” Force Beads.

Carolina Rig

Finesse Carolina Weights are available in three sizes and two colors.

Rich
RichLindgren.com 
Rich’s Bassin’ Forum
Bass Fishing Tackle Blog

Great Bass Fishing Video Tips from John Crews

Ran across one of John Crew’s videos on the internet and then noticed he has 29 great videos.  Here are a few of the better ones that I have watched.

First one, how he became a Pro

If you wait until the end, cool clip from Clarks Hill Elite Series as well

Here he talks about shallow cranking

Here John tells you about of a few of his favorite products that he is not paid to tell you about…

Over all there are 29 videos, you can find them all on YouTube!

Rich
RichLindgren.com 
Rich’s Bassin’ Forum
Bass Fishing Tackle Blog

Come See Me @ Cabela’s this Weekend

Hey all,

I will be at the Cabela’s in Owatonna this weekend for their big fishing sale this weekend.  I will be working in their fishing department from 10 – 2pm, maybe even a little longer.  I also will be doing some product demonstrations on Lead Alternatives such as Tru-Tungsten. Check out their full line of jigs, flipping weights, pegging systems and so much more!!  Outside the schedule demonstrations, I will be there to answer questions, help you pick out fishing gear and just talk fishing!!!

There are also some getting kids started in fishing seminars @ 2pm both days.

So if you have some time this weekend, stop in, take advantage of the sales and say Hi!!!!
Cabela's 
Here are the details from the Owatonna website:

Tru-Tungsten Products Demo 11:00 a.m.
Tru Tungsten has a great line of products for replacing all of the jigs, sinkers and other weighted systems containing lead. Step over to the fishing department and let Product Representative Rich Lindgren show you the advantages of the product line.
Location: From the front of the store, follow the wood walkway on your left to the fishing dept.

Tru-Tungsten - Discover the Feel!
Hope to see some of you there!
Rich
RichLindgren.com 
Rich’s Bassin’ Forum
Bass Fishing Tackle Blog

More Bass Fishing Info

If you have not noticed, I started a Bass Fishing Forum to augment this Blog and my webpage – www.RichLindgren.com

If you are looking for more bass info or other ways to post your questions or thought, check it out – http://richlindgren.proboards46.com

There is a classified section and a general section so far.  I know sometimes there are questions that do not necessarily match up with the topics on the blog and the forum is wide open place for all questions and ideas.

Hope you like it!
Rich
RichLindgren.com 
Rich’s Bassin’ Forum
Bass Fishing Blog

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