Category Archives: Top Lists

Top Bass Fishing Picks from ICAST 2015

Not sure which items, lures, lines, rods, etc will be the long term winners or generate the most buzz this week, but based on the online coverage, here are the items I will most likely be trying this summer and fall as they become available.  In no particular order….

Terminator Walking Frog:  First off, I am a sucker for a good frog, hopefully this one fits the bill.  Especially since my go-to Frog from Evolve has been discontinued, I need a new lead frog in my box.  Here is what Randall Tharp has to say about it.

 

Randall Tharp new Frog by Terminator

Posted by Bass Angler Magazine on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Rapala and Storm have had some really good track record of late on new baits, so I have a good feeling about this frog coming out under the Terminator label.  So far the pictures look pretty sweet!

Rapala Frog
New Terminator Frog!

Sunline Assassin FC:  This new Fluorocarbon from Sunline is touted as the Bee’s Knees!  We all know that Sunline makes great line and Assassin is supposed to have new P-Ion technology that creates a smoother surface and increase resistance to abrasion.  Based on Tackle Tour’s review, this will give you almost the performance of Sniper and Shooter but at a more competitive price point!

Sunline-Assassin_FC
Hopefully every thing that Sunline Sniper provides at a better price!

GoPro HERO4 Session:  Smaller is always better right?  Thinking this could finally be the lighter GoPro option to comfortable wear on my visor to add POV shots to my bass fishing videos.

gopro-hero4-session_small
GoPro Session should make a great POV camera

Big Bite Baits Swimming Mama: This actually appears to be a reboot of the Wave Worm Tiki Swim Bug.  The Tiki bug is not widely popular but a great bait, now with 1 more per pack and more colors, that is a good thing!

Big_Bite_Baits_Swimming_Mama
Swimming Mama should be great flipped or as a jig trailer

Nichols BPM Magnum Swimbait Head: I believe I have seen this on a flipping jig from somebody before, but this idea of pegging plastic horizontally with a tooth pick is pure genius, check out the video to see how it works.

Lock & Load your magnum swimbaits with this head!
Lock & Load your magnum swimbaits with this head!

Not a terribly long list, but I think these are some good ones.   Also, new for this year but before ICAST, check out the Dobyns Fury Rods, awesome rods for $109!

Best Valued Rod on the Market!
Best Valued Rod on the Market!

Bass Fishing Podcasts worth Checking Out

After getting several comments on my Facebook page asking what fishing podcasts I like to listen to, I knew I needed to write a blog to list them out.  Most of these posts and time listening to these podcasts was done while shoveling.  I have been busy and not doing a ton of blogging, but while walking my dog and catching up on some episodes, I figured I better knock this blog out before my boat gets back from its spring check up at Extreme Marine.

In no particular order or ranking, here is a list of podcasts that I am subscribed to on using Podcast Addict App on my android phone.

Bass Squad Podcast
This podcast is spearheaded by former UWSP college fishing angler TG.  It’s an eclectic mix of nerd reports, interviews, ramblings, but for the most part it centers around bass fishing and it pretty entertaining.

FLW Outdoors Podcast
Joe Opager and Jody White  both employees at FLW Outdoors do a weekly show recorded on Wednesdays.  Covering all things FLW fishing from BFLs, Rayovacs and Tour events, plus pro interviews, fantasy fishing and more.

The Outdoor Scoreboard
Best way to describe the TOS, is a couple of good ol’ boys from the Tennessee River Area talking all things bass fishing and some SEC sports.  Matt & David don’t take themselves to serious and have lots of guest interviews from all levels of bass fishing from highschool to Elite Series and more.

Ultimate Bass Radio
This is actually a California based radio show hosted by Kent Brown.  It definitely has a bit of a west coast slant, but cover a lot of tour level bass fishing and general fishing as well.  Downside is the all the commercials you get form a normal radio show are all left in.

Fantasy Fishing Insider
I may be slightly biased as I am often a contributor / co-host in the podcast.  Greg, Jason & I focus mostly on Bassmaster Elite Series fantasy fishing and occasionally if Greg is not too busy we do FLW picks as well.  Fair amount of guest interviews and quite a bit of slap stick and mockery along the way.

BTL – Bass Talk Live – Added 5.1.14
Thanks to a few comments & suggestions, I have started listening to Mark, Matt & Drew breaking down bass fishing as well as some fringe topics.  Usually multiple shows per week, this is actually a live webcast you can watch and participate via live feedback, but I just catch the replays via podcast.
http://www.thebasscollege.com/topgreenCopy.jpg

Most of these are on iTunes for you iOS people…  But I subscribe to all of these by entering their RSS feeds into my app on my phone.  Then my phone does all the work automatically downloading new episodes and I listen to them at my leisure with phone and headphones or through my truck speakers.

If you got suggestions for other bass fishing podcasts, leave and comment below, I’ll check it out and maybe add it to this list and my listening queue.


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

6 Strategies for Cold-Water Bass

How to Welcome Chilly Temps, Bag Both Smallies and Largemouths with ‘Jack of All Trades’ Bait
By Jack Busby

When the water temperatures plummet in fall, tournament bass angler Rich Lindgren employs numerous cold-water tactics, relying largely on one “jack of all trades bait” called the Kompak Craw for finicky bass in waters below 50 degrees.

“You can fish the bait a lot of different ways, depending on the situation,” says Lindgren. “I typically have rods rigged with the bait on a shaky head, football head jig, finesse rig, jika rig…just for starters. I like having one bait that I can fish so many different ways. Let’s me concentrate on fishing, not lure selection.”

SHAKY HEAD RIGGING

Lately, he’s been fishing Evolve Bait Co.’s Kompak Craw on a thin wire 4/0 EWG shaky head and says it recently out-fished the stalwart tactic of dragging tubes over rocks for fall smallmouth an impressive 13 to 1.

“Dragging tubes definitely catches fish—from the Great Lakes to southern smallie waters—but there’s something about the Kompak Craw on a shaky head that lights up smallmouth bass. Rather than a horizontal drag, a shaky head orients the bait at 45-degrees—mimicking a fighting craw or goby feeding on the bottom. A simple drag, shake and dead stick is typically how I fish it. More sitting, though, than shaking.”

The bait’s design lends itself to shaky head rigging, as there’s a bump in the plastic that holds the hook barb just barely under the plastic, eliminating the need to expose the hook. “Even during tough, short bites, hook-up percentages are super good.”

Lindgren says the shaky head routine is a go-to for cold, clear waters less than 15 feet deep. Anything deeper and he’ll fish the Kompak Craw as a trailer on a BassTEK tungsten football head jig.

 

FOOTBALLIN’

There’s nothing like knocking helmets with bass in deep water. Football head jig aficionados will tell you they live for the ‘thump.’ And while effective on deep structure bass all season long, the football head bite definitely comes alive in fall and early winter, typically around sunken islands, isolated rock piles, points and ledges in waters from 15 to 40 feet.

To find these high-probability areas, Lindgren says he studies digital GPS mapping and uses Humminbird Side Imaging to look for fish on these deep water spots, marking waypoints for precise casts.

“During summer months I’ll fish a BassTEK football head jig with large, flappy craw trailers, but as the water temps go down, you really need something subtle. Fish are moving slower and they won’t eat if it takes too much energy. The Kompak Craw is precisely the thing, whether I skewer it onto a football head jig with silicone skirt, or my favorite, a combination silicone and hair football head jig. Hair moves in a way that mimics life even at a standstill in cold water,” says Lindgren.

 

FINESSE JIG TRAILER

On natural lakes – especially those of the Midwest – Lindgren searches for remaining green weed clumps in 8 to 10 feet of water, relying on a finesse jig to slowly and methodically find willing largemouth bass.

“I’ll idle just off of weed flats, using Side Imaging to find isolated clumps, funnels and spaces in the larger beds. Again, I’ll mark waypoints and go back and strategically work those areas with a BassTEK tungsten finesse jig with Evolve Kompak Craw trailer, which pulls through the weeds without collecting debris. I have a rod rigged with blue and black jig and Leech Fleck Kompak Craw, and a rod with green pumpkin jig and Pumpkin Oil or Cali-Melon Red Kompak Craw.”

He’s also a big fan of fishing finesse jigs on reservoirs. “In fall and early winter, I look for areas of chunk rock and gravel around secondary points that transition into coves and creek arms. You can intercept a lot of fish in these locations with finesse jigs as bass move in and out.”

Cold water football bites can much more
subtle then when fishing in warmer water, so Lindgren relies heavily on
his Dobyns DX744C rods spooled with 16lb fluorocarbon to feel even the
most subtle bites.

 

NEKO RIG

A lesser-known, yet very effective, late season tactic is called Neko rigging. Basically a highly-refined finesse tactic that takes wacky-rigging to an extreme, it excels in shallow waters and around docks. Although typically used with stick worms, Lindgren says the Kompak Craw is perfect for the Japanese finesse technique. “I invert the bait, insert either a nail or small tungsten screw weight into bait’s head and run a weedless wacky style hook into the nose of the bait between the arms. When retrieved, the vertically-oriented bait puffs the bottom much like a cat – “Neko” in Japanes     in a litter box, hence the name.”

Lindgren says the Neko Rig is ideal for bottom-hopping shallow flats, shoreline cover and points, even when water temps are extremely low. “Especially in slightly stained waters, you’d be surprised how many fish you’ll find shallow in late fall and winter.”

 

PUNCH BAIT

During cold bluebird skies and cold fronts, bass will cling tight to cover – especially weed mats and clumps – for warmth. That’s when Lindgren turns to the Kompak Craw for punching right into the bedrooms of big, lethargic bass.

“Florida waters are a good example of where cold water punching can definitely pay off. And rather than using a bait that’s too obtrusive and can spook fish, the Kompak Craw is streamlined and punches great. It’s thick enough that it displaces water and fish know it’s there but it doesn’t flail; the appendages stay close to the body, moving just the right amount to draw strikes.”

Lindgren fishes the bait on a straight shank 4/0 flipping worm hook with weight stop and ¾ to 1 ½-ounce tungsten flipping weight, tied to 22-pound fluorocarbon for clearer waters or 50-65 pound braid in dirtier waters.  Spool that heavy line up on high speed reels and either a Dobyns DX795Flip or 805 Flip/Punch depending on how heavy the cover.

 

DROP SHOT

Yet another way Lindgren likes to fish the bait is on a drop shot, particularly over deep brush piles that he spies with his electronics. “I simply nose hook the Kompak Craw and let it flutter as I ply deep brush, barely shaking it, keeping my eyes on my Humminbird sonar, which I set to 200/83kHz for the widest transducer cone, with my chart speed jacked up all the way to ten. That refreshes data the fastest. It’s like sight fishing with my electronics.”


Tackle Junkie Support Group on Twitter #LBA

Are you a compulsive fishing gear shopaholic?  Bait Monkey on your back like a bad smoking habit?  Have to have all the newest lures, reels, rods, etc?  Take me for instance, I recently vowed not to buy any more gear to save money for a new bass boat to replace the one I broke.

 I have fell off the wagon several times:
1. Bass Tackle Depot had a 25% off sale, how could I not get a few items to restock for next year?
2. I found another place offering 30% off sale, Yikes!
3. Lost a big fish during a tourney under a dock on 20# Fluoro, went back to 30% off sale to get 25# Abrazx
4.  Local Gander Mountain had Yum Wooly Bugs & Money Craws for $1.48 a bag
5. Went to other local Gander Mountain to get more Wooly Bugs

Well, turns out you are not alone and maybe we can help…..  There is a support group that meets online on Twitter at hashtag LBA or #LBA.  We may not be able to cure you, but maybe we can turn you onto some hot deals, might as well save some money and hey there is safety in numbers, right?  “Collectively our biggest fear is that after we die, our spouses will sell all our gear for what we told them we paid for it!”

As a charter member on Twitter (HellaBass) of this group, I am adding an LBA tag to my blog as well in support of this group.

How does one join?  Pretty simple, check out this #LBA list on Twitter, follow the list and everyone on it, then start telling us your problems with Tweets with #LBA at the end.  We’ll likely follow you back and you’ll get added to the list!

Hey at least I am selling some old stuff to pay for my lapses, check out my ebay store!  See, I even sound like a junkie!

But seriously, I got Shimano, Loomis, All Star, Daiwa, Lakemaster, Lowrance and a bunch of Tackle to sell.



World’s Best Bass Lakes Revisited

Cruising around EarthSports.com today, I read a fun article titled “World’s Best Largemouth Lakes”   It immediately got me thinking about a list I created of my top destination lakes for bass that I wrote back in 2006.

There are definitely some similarities in the lists.  I definitely have some smallmouth destinations on my list , which don’t fit their list all that well.  I also have some Mexican lakes on my list, which I find interesting that they don’t.  I think, America’s best bass lakes would be a better label for the article I read, as no Mexican Lakes on list, also Lake Biwa in Japan is not on the list and currently has the World Record Largemouth.  Still a good list either way.  I would also probably put Diamond Valley or Dixon Lakes on the list over Castaic or Casitas these days.

Reviewing my list, I noticed I only included Florida Lakes in my honorable mention, probably because they were not that hot when I wrote my piece and if I didn’t have some smallmouth destinations, I probably would have had more room for those Sunshine State destinations.  After watching the latest FLW tournament on Lake Okeechobee , it would be really hard to argue not putting that lake right near the top of the list for American’s Best Bass Lakes!


Big Show Terry Scroggins w/ a 12-02 Fence Panda from Big O – Courtesy FLW Outdoors

Also, asked myself, what would i change or add to my list?  I would definitely add some Texas lakes, like Falcon, O.H. Ivie & Choke Canyon.  Lake Comedero in Mexico would be moving up.  I would specifically add Sturgeon Bay & Buffalo to my Great Lakes hit list.  And I am not taking any off, what fun would that be?

So what are your favorite lakes that are not on these lists?  What are we missing?  Any that don’t belong?


My Favorite Bass Fishing Podcasts

Bass fishing related podcasts are becoming increasingly popular, wether anglers are downloading them to ipods, other MP3 player or just listening on their home or work computers, its an increasingly popular way for anglers to learn more about bass fishing and their favorite anglers

So in no particular order, here are the podcasts I like to listen to, take a listen and see what you think. 

Armchair Anglers – Bo Crawford (you may have read some of his stuff on BassFan.com) and Clint do a great job, covering tournament bass fishing and other hard hitting topics like the Gulf oil Spill.  My only complaint is I only get one new episode a month.

Bass Fishing in the Midwest – Fortunately John Haynes’ interview skills are better than his fishing skills, he would admit to this as well.  It would be good if there was a little consistency from this show, guess I just need to keep a good eye on my iTunes account for new episodes.  Oh yea, closed circuit to MIckey, speak up next time!

Tournament Fishing Radio – Kory & Eric are based out of Missouri, they have a nice mix of national and local bass fishing coverage, but I do think they like swimming grubs a little too much
So take a listen to my favorite episode with Gues Mark Zona

And also are most recent episode about how to catch fish now on Mississippi River Pool 2!

Twin City Limits – Okay, so I am co-host of Twim City Limits, but take a listen, I am pretty sure you will like it.  You will learn to laugh at Lazy Ikes fantasy bass fishing picks as well and now that bass fishing is heating up in MN, lots more local tournament info and fishing tips.  Catch us on iTunes as well, if that is your thing.

Ultimate Bass Radio – I have only listened a little bit, decent show, just a little too west coast for me to really get into it, but I am sure some of my readers are West Side as well!

Bass Zone Radio – Mark Jeffreys know bass fishing, they always have top level pros as guests and they don’t take themselves too seriously.

Blackwater Bassin – Ken does a nice job, ecspecially if you are interested in the upper Mississippi River bass tournament fishing scene.

Well, that is my short list, if you got some recommendations leave a comment!

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My Top 10 Bass Baits of the past Decade

I recently did a piece for the Versus Network about my top bass baits of 2009, so to do one better, I am presenting you my top baits of the 2000’s.  There is a little overlap, but this is a larger list as well.  Here are my top producing baits of the last 10 years.

1. Lake Fork Ring Frys (Both Sizes) – Primarily the larger size weightless skipped under docks and around shallow vegetation, and the smaller one on a mojo rig for scattered deep grass and rocky river banks.
2. Rapala DT-6 (Especially Parrot Color) – Best crankbait for extracting bass from typical MN weedlines
3. Baby Brush Hog – Paired with a 3/16oz Tru-Tungsten sinker and flip it around anything you see.
4. 3/8oz Tru-Tungsten Jig – If you read this blog, I need to say no more.
5. Yellow Magic Popper – A must have for the Mississippi River.
6. Reaction Innovations Vixen (Discontinued) – I think it kicks butt against spooks or sammys.
7. Rat-L-Trap – This is probably in every anglers top 10.
8. Secret Weapon Lure Quickstrike Spinnerbait – Most versatile spinnerbait around, fueled huge comeback in 2007 Weekend Series Nat’l Championship.
9. Lake Fork Tackle Fork Craws (on a mojo rig) – Great anytime you are around smallmouth.
10. 7″ PowerWorm (primarily for jig worms) – Simple and super productive on weedlines.

I am sure many of these baits will catch me plenty of fish in 2010 and probably even be baits that carry me through the next decade any beyond.  Happy New Years all!

 



Top 10 Bass Fishing Blogs that you should check out!

I was invited by Blogs.com to be featured guest and to create a Top 10 outdoor/fishing related blog list.  They do a lot of different lists like this.  I naturally gravitated to a list of Bass Fishing blogs, so here is my 10 favorite blogs that are not my own – see Blogs.com feature here.

Rich Lindgren’s Top 10 Bass Fishing Blogs

Bass East Blog

BassEast is a relatively young blog, but has great content. There are several young bass anglers co-authoring this blog and it’s linked to many other video and audio features that add to the Bass East conglomerate.

Bass Pundit

When I started blogging, Bass Pundit was one of the only other games in town. He has kept a good thing going and mainly sticks to fishing and bass related topics. I like to think of us as co-pioneers in bass fishing blogging– we were there before it was cool to have a bass blog.

Boyd Duckett :: Bassmaster

Boyd Duckett is a Bassmaster Classic champion and Elite Series tour pro. He does a good job of finding time to blog with his hectic schedule.

Carl’s “BassAckwards” Fishing Blog

Team BassAckwards is doing a good job of covering their Minnesota tournament fishing endeavors and mixing in some other relevant bass fishing topics.

Hardkore Fishing

Hardkore Fishing is blog from a tournament angler in New York. He has had a very good thing going talking about tournaments, product reviews and relevant fishing topics. It’s been awhile since he has posted however, and it worries me when good bloggers don’t write for awhile. Many good blogs go by the wayside that way.

I am a bass fisherman

This Louisiana bass blog was started out of spite, when the author was wronged by a popular bass forum. He has done a great job re-channeling his inner outdoorsman onto the pages.

JoshDouglasFishing.com Blog

Josh Douglas mainly blogs about his tournament success and challenges, mixes in fun fishing, guide trips, and some tips & techniques. Too bad he doesn’t allow commenting.

Minnesota Bass Fishing

I only recently started reading Jason’s blog but so far he’s got great info on his tournaments and shares thoughts on sponsorships and more.

Rattletrap Ramblings

Rattletrap Ramblings is all about bass fishing in Florida and the author’s campaign to move up the bass fishing tournament food chain and become a Pro Bass Angler.

Wired Angler

Wired Angler is a California-based blog. It’s a great place to learn about swimbaits and fishing the big bass waters out west.

Hope you enjoy these blog sa much sa I do!
RichLindgren.com 
Bass Fishing Today
Rich’s Bassin’ Forum
Bass Fishing Tackle Blog

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Bassin’ Blogs Top Articles & Archives

Hey,
Sorry, my fingers have been to frozen to Blog, its been -15F here in MN for the past few days.
Many of you that are frequent readers have not been around for the whole 2 years, so I thought I would share my top read articles in the history of this Blog.

So, here is your chance to look back on the most popular entries!  Notice most of them center around popular tournaments or baits, kind of interesting.  I Think in the near future I will do a Top 10 Entries of 2007 as well.

I hope you enjoy looking back as much as I….
Rich