Tips & Techniques Features

How two Walmart FLW Tour pros prepare for intermittent current flow
Early in his career as a tournament angler, Evinrude pro Dan Morehead became convinced he’d found the winning spot for an upcoming weekend event on Kentucky Lake. His premonition proved to be correct, as his ledge eventually produced 31 pounds of hungry largemouths. But it didn’t happen the way he’d expected.


Pete Robbins

Mark Rose suggests fish location based on current
Predicting bass location on a ledge based on current is not a sure-fire science. Actually, it’s completely unpredictable most of the time. There are just too many variables.


Curtis Niedermier

Spawning baitfish create solid opportunities to target bass. Making the most of them begins with understanding the bait’s spawning behavior and whereabouts.
If you’ve ever toted a plate of cupcakes into a room filled with children, set the cupcakes down and watched what happened next, you can imagine what occurs when the forage species of bass spawn. The bass soon figure out that their favorite foods are congregated and captivated, and they show up for the feast.


Jeff Samsel

Bulge shallow crankbaits at the surface for an explosive springtime bite
Just as the best bass pros are multidimensional, sometimes the best lures are too. Take shallow crankbaits for example. Not only can they dive and deflect off cover; many can also be made to wake the surface. Wakebaiting is a technique that lies somewhere between cranking and topwater fishing, but whatever the definition, it excels when other crankbait patterns flicker in effectiveness.


Paul Strege

Logic suggests that locals should dominate tour-level events, but the stats prove otherwise. So we asked several top pros to explain why, and they revealed that fishing “in the moment” always trumps “fishing memories” on the tournament trail.
How is it then that locals get beat so often? How can anglers who have never laid eyes on a lake come in and win tournaments against guys who have years of experience there? The answer, according to a few of today’s top pros, rests in the ability to “fish the moment;” that is, to tap into the current behavior of bass and not what they were doing last year, last week or even yesterday.


Rob Newell

Pro Stephen Johnston reveals that not all bass spawn alike
On a dim morning in early February, pro Stephen Johnston and I set out onto Lake Amistad to see if there was anything the Hemphill, Texas, angler might do to catch a respectable stringer after a sharp cold front sent prespawn fish into a frustrating funk.


David A. Brown

Once one of the hottest baits, the tube has since been replaced in the minds of many anglers by sleeker, sexier models. But two top tour pros say this classic never lost its luster.
Each year, dozens of new soft-plastic lures hit the market, touting unique profiles and fish-catching features. A few become tackle box mainstays, while most just drift off into the past without leaving a big footprint in bass fishing.


Paul Strege

How swimbaits in the cold months can boat you a limit … or the biggest fish of your life
They’re both transplants, and they both hold a secret for winter fishing. National Guard pro Justin Lucas and EverStart Series pro Matt Peters of both reside in the southeastern U.S. (Alabama and Arkansas, respectively). They didn’t always, though. At one point in time each called California home.


Sean Ostruszka

In the process of this transition, FLW Walleye Fishing will cease publication following the November/December 2012 issue, but that doesn’t mean we want to lose you as a reader.


EverStart pro Randall Tharp is an all-around juggernaut when it comes to power fishing, especially on grass lakes where he can get back to his roots of frogging and flipping for giant bass. Which is why I jumped in the boat with Tharp at Lake Guntersville last fall for a lesson in how to break down matted grass and how to catch big, buried-up largemouths. Trust me, there wasn’t a spinning rod in sight.


Shaye Baker

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the vastness of it all when gazing across an expanse as large as Lake Ontario. Where do you find fish in all this water? EverStart Series Northern Division pro Joe Lucarelli showed me last summer. I watched the New Hampshire angler mentally box off a manageable section of this Great Lake, search a diverse range of habitat and dial in several quality catches through patience and discipline.


David A. Brown

A five-step game plan to score big in after-dark tournaments
It’s summertime, which means bass anglers with a taste for competition are probably tossing their weekly allowance – and their pride – into the kitty at jackpot tournaments down at the local res. What is it about fishing for gas money and bragging rights that makes summer night tournaments such an anticipated tradition?


Sean Ostruszka

If this had been a fishing charter, I would have demanded my money back. My day on Pickwick Lake and Lake Wilson with Tennessee pro Curt McGuire was a straight-up lesson in looking – that is, preparing to catch fish, but not necessarily catching them.


David A. Brown

To enter the house of Western bass, sometimes you have to knock down the barricades first
They might appear as innumerable masses of swaying stalks, but the tules common to Western fisheries such as Clear Lake and the California Delta present multiple opportunities for bass anglers. Moreover, consistent success requires an awareness of multiple strategies and some knowledge of how to break through the tule wall and into the house of the bass that dwell within.


David A. Brown

You’d expect 2006 Forrest Wood Cup champion and National Guard pro Brent Ehrler to unleash a bag of Western swimbait tricks on unsuspecting Southeastern bass occasionally, considering his California pedigree. But when it comes to heavy soft-plastic swimbaits, those rigged with internal lead weights, he’d be the first to admit that he learned a lot of what he knows about them after he came East.


Pete Robbins

Prespawn bass fishing is widely known as a “zero-or-hero” season for many anglers. While it might be relatively simple to locate fish, it’s not always easy to make them eat. Pop-Tarts pro Greg Bohannan of Rogers, Ark., lets us in on the prespawn crankbait arsenal he uses to pry open the lips of tricky prespawn bass.


Walker Smith

If you own an Amazon Kindle or a Barnes and Noble Nook and are a fan of FLW, there is now another great way to access all of the compelling content of FLW Bass Fishing magazine. Beginning immediately, the digital version of the FLW Bass Fishing magazine will be available to all Nook and Kindle e-readers as FLW continues to improve and expand upon delivery methods for its online editorial content.


Although they hail from opposite sides of the country, National Guard pro Brent Ehrler of California and Chevy pro Bryan Thrift of North Carolina are both proficient with using jerkbaits in cold climates. Their styles differ, but each has developed tried-and-true wintertime techniques.


Steve Miller

Learn to use wind to your advantage and you’ll never dread it again
Here’s a riddle: What do we curse in the spring and fall but wish for in the summer? Answer: wind.


Alan Clemons

Advice, tackle for rigging soft jerkbaits for any situation
Soft-plastic jerkbaits are old reliables of the fishing world, with roots that trace back to the days of the Lunker City Slug-Go. Nowadays, every soft-plastic manufacturer has a jerkbait. Small wonder; it’s easy to use and effective. You can still fish it the simplest way, which is weightless on a worm hook. Or you can experiment with weighting systems and new hooks designed to amp up performance. Here are some terminal tackle and rigging options to consider ...


Curtis Niedermier

A complete guide to the latest, greatest, biggest, baddest, ultimate, coolest, most realistic, tournament-proven, lab-tested, longest-lasting, fish-catchingest new stuff for 2012
A complete guide to the latest, greatest, biggest, baddest, ultimate, coolest, most realistic, tournament-proven, lab-tested, longest-lasting, fish-catchingest new stuff for 2012


Aggressive or subtle, blade baits offer a unique attraction for hard-water walleyes
Walleyes under hard water often go from “just browsing” to lure-smashing in a matter of minutes. A blade bait can be a finesse and power lure, which allows ice anglers to stick walleyes even when they change moods. To ice the cake, blade baits not only trigger neutral and active walleyes, they have the capability to draw fish in to your hole better than other lures.


Ross Robertson

Pop-Tarts pro Greg Bohannan of Rogers, Ark., has enjoyed remarkable success on the Walmart FLW Tour, having scored 13 top-10s. In July, I shared a picturesque summer day with him as he prepared for the EverStart Series Central Division tournament on Detroit River/Lake St. Clair and collected several pointers. Among other things, I also learned that Bohannan isn’t just a threat on the lakes of the Ozarks.


Paul Strege

Weed-free and capable of the big bite, the jig just got a little more versatile
Versatility is everything in bass fishing. One-trick ponies, capable of dominating a particular event with a trademark tactic, often turn into one-fish ponies when the conditions or location changes. That’s part of what makes a jig one of bass fishing’s most effective lures. It’s as versatile in its uses as a top pro is in his ability to make multiple presentations work.


Paul A. Cañada

The presence of bait is a sign that bass might be in the neighborhood. But too much of it can be a headache rather than a blessing.
Two fall days. Two giant schools of shad. Two completely different outcomes.


Sean Ostruszka