Formulating success with four jig techniques
They’re as simple as fishing lures get. Yet, there’s nothing simple about them.
Lessons help overcome troublesome water clarity
Fish long enough and it’s bound to happen. The perfect trip goes awry with the inflow of sediment into an otherwise pristine paradise. Chocolate milk, brown gravy and molasses are all fine on the breakfast table, but they can turn an angler’s stomach when describing his favorite fishing spot being overrun with dirty water. During spring, rainy tournaments can go from a blowout to a washout in one evening.
Overlooked holding areas for river walleyes
There are several key differences among obvious fishing spots, subtle holding areas and dead water. Obvious fishing spots attract both fish and fishermen; dead water draws neither; and subtle holding areas draw fish but few anglers. The latter go overlooked because such areas are often indistinct or lie within the no man’s land between obvious fishing spots.
Fish softly but still carry your big stick
The worm and weight spiraled end over end between the tules like a South American bola on its way to snare wild game. The rapid pitch-and-twirl combo hit the water with a near-silent entry, and the dark corner of the reed clump was motionless. Professional angler Michael Rooke of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., stood statuesque, peering into the water for what seemed like an eternity. Slowly, he raised the tip of his rod.
Go against the norm and put weary walleyes in the boat
The cameras rolled as waves and wind gently bucked the angler up and down in the chop while he explained the nuances of his new weapons. It wasn’t difficult to explain how pulling different crankbaits than the norm can be effective. However, pro angler Jason Kerr of Holly, Mich., had limited experience trolling the new Z-Man ChatterSticks on Lake Erie.
Seven must-have colors for every tackle box
We’ve all been there. Standing in an aisle, surrounded by adjectives like “hot,” “bleeding,” “sparkle” and “tiger,” an angler’s eyes detect a foreign color. Instantly, his mind is triggered, bringing an entire lure inventory to the forefront of consciousness for analyzing. Like a supercomputer crunching data, his mind begins scrolling through boxes of lures in an attempt to identify the hue somewhere in the collection.
Get ready for an incredible $10 million season
Every sport is defined by its athletes. Most team sports are defined by positions and the standouts in those positions. In fishing, it’s a little different. Namely because anglers compete against variables they can’t control (the bass, the weather, etc.) no matter how much they train. However, this sport is often defined by the techniques, and certain pros are considered the best at those techniques.
FLW Outdoors Magazine editors give their product picks for the coming year, highlighting what’s in store for bass anglers.
FLW Outdoors Magazine editors give their product picks for the coming year, highlighting what’s in store for walleye anglers.
Scouting tactics for ice fishing during open water
A typical fall ice fishing primer is all about getting anglers excited about new products and developments in ice fishing technology. They’re great stories for anglers who like to spend more time organizing their gear than actually straddling a slushy hole.
Bennett breaks the bank and the records
If what is junk to one man is treasure to another, Duracell pro Michael Bennett of Lincoln, Calif., found a virtual scrapyard of finny riches roaming the shallows of South Carolina’s Lake Murray during the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol.
This category of soft baits may be the most versatile of all
The topic of naming and classifying fishing lures is a large one. Bass have been caught on thousands of variations of hundreds of designs, especially in the soft-plastic arena. Every year, however, anglers scramble around, searching for something new and something different in the never-ending quest to outsmart ever-smarter bass.
Transmitting bottom contours through lead and line
It’s no secret, walleye anglers have embraced technology. Large-megapixel sonar displays, GPS mapping and other electronics have some anglers’ boats rivaling NASA space stations in terms of electronics. And while many of those nifty gadgets were originally developed for a different industry, leave it to walleye anglers to pick up these tools and run wild with them.
Practice silence and stealth when they matter most
Two things help Captain Rob Gorta produce redfish in skinny water for his clients on a daily basis. For Gorta, silence is golden. His approach traces one of stealth, during which he avoids noise of any type. Gorta will even slip an anchor over the side without a ripple rather than try to ram a push-pole tip into the bottom of the flat and create sound waves fish can hear.
A straight-down lesson in deep-water trolling
Downriggers get lures deep, and they keep lures at precise depths. While trolling 60 to 100 feet (or more) deep, like salmon or salt anglers, may be a rare stretch for walleye anglers, hitting the 45-foot mark is not when on big water.
Apply big-water tactics to little locales
At one point, top professional anglers in competitive fishing were just weekend anglers with aspirations of going pro. They spent time learning to catch bigger bass more efficiently on smaller bodies of water before applying their experiences to larger lakes and rivers. Now, they can travel to lakes all over the country and piece together limits of keeper bass, falling back on their years of fishing small lakes.
Work the water column for bigger bags
By fishing at different depths in the water column, it quickly becomes possible to go from catching a couple of fish to a limit of fish. And by understanding what factors are likely to move fish throughout the water column, anglers can better learn to work different depth zones to be effective catching bass above and below.
Become a master troller with planer boards
Some of the most feared pro walleye anglers on the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour often share one common denominator – they have mastered the art of trolling. More often than not, tournaments held on the Great Lakes are won by trolling. The Great Lakes, however, aren’t the only places where savvy trollers can steal the show.
Catch redfish on a drop-shot rig
In October 2005, fishing pros Andre Moore and Kim Bain – both of Alabaster, Ala., and both of whom fish the Wal-Mart FLW Tour bass circuit – arrived in Orange Beach, Ala., for the annual Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series Championship.
Ledges offer year-round untapped fishing for inshore anglers
The notion that ledges are fish havens is nothing new. In fact, offshore anglers targeting grouper, snapper, kingfish, and even billfish and tuna have successfully fished them for decades. Knowledgeable inshore fishermen have long scored on ledges as well. But often there are small, overlooked, fish-filled ledges that many inshore anglers fail to notice.
Using lead-core line to troll for ’eyes
Some anglers never get the lead out. They’d rather use standard trolling tools like monofilament line and snap weights than learn something new. Others prefer lead-core line over anything else.
Ted Takasaki and Scott Richardson
Family values turned family boat business into pioneering leader in the industry
A walk through a museum says a lot about the history of things. In the small town of Flippin, Ark., a unique museum, the Forrest L. Wood Outdoor Sports Gallery, tells the history and tale of hard work and family.
Jason Sealock and Curtis Niedermier
Going deep with big swimbaits
Many anglers think swimbaits are only topwater lures. Sure, that’s the most exhilarating way to catch them. But for some reason, they only envision it on lakes in California, Texas and Mexico. Yet, there are lakes nationwide that have been hiding big fish because no one has ever tempted them with truly oversized offerings.
Redfish pros spill their secrets on fishing lipless crankbaits
As dawn broke at the day-one launch of the Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series event in Fernandina Beach, Fla., last May, I began to busily nose my way through the lures redfish pros had tied to their rods. I quickly fumbled for my notepad like an overzealous law officer who had witnessed a minor traffic violation. I frantically scribbled: Rat-L-Trap – McKenzie-Bertha.
Lake Erie walleyes can be caught in more than just the middle of the water column
Things sure seem to change awfully fast. Back in the late 1990s, most of the guys in the know on the Great Lakes trolled their lures in the middle of the water column and had success catching large walleyes. Fast-forward a decade or so, and the number of Shad Raps I run in the middle of the column (15 to 17 feet) is equal to the number of times I’ve been to the moon.
Capt. Ross Robertson