FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Tips & Techniques Features

No category of lure is as flexible as soft-plastic lures – both in action and in use. Not only do soft plastics move freely, even when deadsticked, but the range of their use is limited only by the angler’s imagination.

03/12/2014

C. Moore, C. Niedermier, K. Jackson, R. Robertson and J. Samsel.


How to use this old-school sonar to find fish-holding structure
There was a time when experience almost always trumped equipment when it came to finding fish. If you wanted to be a better fisherman, you got out there on the water and paid your dues. You learned the spots that produced at certain times of the year, and culled the 90 percent of the water that was almost always void of bass. The last decade or so of fish-finding technology has changed the paradigm, however. Now anglers can buy a Lowrance HDS unit, cruise likely looking spots on any lake and literally see bass.

03/11/2014

Matt Williams; Electronics images by Bruce Samson


You can rip rattle baits through winter grass beds like everyone else, or you can offer bass something different: a swim jig. Veteran bass pro Ron Shuffield says a swim jig is one of his preferred cool-weather lures when bass set up camp on grass-line edges. It’s a lure that can be worked quickly, or dragged more slowly when conditions warrant a change-up.

03/10/2014

Curtis Niedermier


If you want to win tournaments, stop fishing for limits of keepers and instead focus on catching quality fish.
A five-fish limit is the first measure of success and job one in a tournament. But it’s how you see that quintet shaping up that sets the tone for your performance. Is it an open audition where anything that measures will do, or do you want five stars that’ll rock any stage?

02/21/2014

David A. Brown


How to avoid that awkward feeling of your line going limp
How many good fish do you lose in a season of fishing, whether it’s in a tournament or just when you’re fishing for the fun of it? If it’s more than you can count on your fingers, perhaps it’s time for some constructive self-criticism. Are the fish at fault, or are you? In case it’s the latter, we offer the following advice, observations and tips from some top pros regarding how to put the odds of landing a fish successfully more in your favor.

02/14/2014

Colin Moore


Home in on winter bass by locating these surefire structures on a lake map
Two things stand out about winter bass fishing: The fish get a little bit pickier about where they want to be, and anglers don’t want to spend as much time running a bass boat around a frigid lake trying to find them.

02/10/2014

Curtis Niedermier with map images courtesy of Navionics


Going on the record with your favorite fishing icons
I wouldn’t say it was a perfect season, but it sure worked out. I mean, it was a good year, but not a great year. I was surprised to even have a shot to win after Beaver Lake (he finished 68th). Honestly, it was never even on my mind until someone mentioned right before Chickamauga that I had a shot at winning it.

01/02/2014

Sean Ostruszka


Treats to stock under an angler’s tree this Yuletide
Naughty? Nice? Who cares – Christmas isn’t far away, and any bad behavior can be overlooked for a while as we celebrate the season with presents for those nearest and dearest. As is our custom, we’ve appointed ourselves Santa’s helpers and came up with a few gift ideas. We’ve also selected goodies that cover a range of price options. Regardless of their cost, the following gear, gadgets and clothing would make any angler beam with joy.

12/23/2013


Regular maintenance will keep your rig looking like new
If there is one thing I hate worse than seeing a nice bass boat with a filthy finish, it’s seeing one with dirty carpet. I like to keep my stuff clean, but not just because it looks good. A bass boat is a huge investment, and the more you can do to protect that investment the better the returns if you ever decide to sell or trade it.

12/02/2013

Matt Williams


Busting those winter-fishing myths
Not surprisingly, bass fishing has its own set of myths: Bass don’t eat topwaters when it’s sunny, big fish only eat big lures and so on. Winter fishing seems to take myths to a whole new level. Maybe the long hours in freezing cold numbs the mind as much as it does the hands, but one could write an article about how many myths there are regarding this chilly time of year – and whether or not they’re true.

11/07/2013

Sean Ostruszka


FLW Tour pros weigh in optimal drag settings, the best hooks for braided line and how to decipher when grass mats are too thick for punching
If I use heavy-gauge hooks for flipping grass with braided line, why not use the same gauge hooks for fishing all soft plastics?

10/28/2013


FLW Tour pros sound off on the effectiveness of rattling baits
Though some anglers contend that rattling baits don’t necessarily attract strikes, and might even deter them, the preponderance of evidence favors the rattle crowd. Virtually every hard lure made nowadays – crankbaits, jerkbaits, stick baits and so forth – can be had in rattling and silent versions.

10/25/2013

Colin Moore


Trebel hooks are not all created equal so here's what you need to know
As a general rule, the treble hooks on the lures of most tournament pros aren’t original equipment. Less-expensive stock trebles are usually replaced with ultra-sharp premium hooks of the angler’s choice.

10/18/2013

Jeff Samsel


Try this reaction tactic to fool dock-dwelling bass this fall
Well-honed casting skills are required to send a crankbait deep into the reaches of a dock. It can’t be skipped on the surface easily, but even an average caster can make a crankbait go where dock bass are likely to be if he employs a trick that Walmart FLW Tour pros Bryan Thrift and Wesley Strader call “driving,” or “steering.”

10/08/2013

Curtis Niedermier; Illustrations by Ron Finger


Cool new products for the modern fisherman
The following products were originally featured in the 2013 August/September issue of Bass Fishing magazine.

09/26/2013

Colin Moore


When lake managers draw down reservoirs, fish behavior changes, and savvy anglers alter their strategies accordingly
As summer winds down, however, things can change quickly on a drawdown lake – a reservoir where lake managers reduce the water level in late summer and early fall. Come practice for the EverStart showdown, Dan Morehead’s fish were nowhere to be found. In fact, despite the amazing pre-practice, Morehead didn’t catch a fish during the first day and a half of practice. The dropping lake and progressing season had caused everything to change.

09/23/2013

Jeff Samsel; Illustrations by Ron Finger


Four top Walmart FLW Tour pros weigh in on some of tournament fishing’s toughest on-the-water decisions
Tournament fishing isn’t just about catching fish. It’s about making sound decisions based on experience and applying the proper strategies to make good things happen when they count the most. Of course, sometimes it’s just about trusting your instincts.

09/09/2013

Matt Williams


Accuracy, repeatability are required to scrape bass from the abyss
Anyone who follows big-league bass fishing knows pro David Fritts is legendary for his ability to sniff out and catch bass on a crankbait. True, Fritts is handy with other styles of lures. But he is the iceman with a crankbait, particularly when the bass relate to cover or structure in deep water.

09/05/2013

Matt Williams; Illustrations by Mike Mathison


How to outfit a jig for any situation
A jig trailer seems simple enough: a piece of molded soft plastic that dangles from a jig’s hook to add bulk, enhance action, temper the fall and suggest a crawfish or other food item. Those basic functions, though, are somewhat divergent and sometimes work against each other.

08/22/2013

Jeff Samsel


While there is more than one way to get to a fat bass that is buried up in the jungle, few methods are more effective than flipping or punching. Both are short-range techniques built around a hard-core fishing system that includes thick line and a stout rod, and any number of lures and rigs designed to slip in and out of thick cover with the skill of a grass snake.

08/09/2013

Matt Williams


Eventually, your rod collection will grow to the point where it’s cost-effective for you to acquire the tools and learn the skills to make slightly advanced repairs, such as replacing a broken line guide. The task does require some special equipment, but if it keeps your favorite rod in the game without having to wait a couple of weeks for a local shop to fix it, the cost is worth the investment. And a few tools still cost less than replacing one of today’s specialized high-end rods. You might also consider going together with a fishing buddy to split the cost.

08/08/2013

Ross Robertson


How two of the best break down large expanses of vegetation
Lakes filled with matted grass produce some of the best bass fishing in the country, but can leave even professional anglers feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. If you understand why the bass use the grass, as well as the prime locations to begin your search, in what situations each species of grass is favorable to bass habitat and how to break down these large grass mats, you’ll unlock the best bass fishing of the summer.

07/22/2013

Walker Smith (photo illustrations by Ron Finger)


Bulge the surface or slow-roll the depths with bass fishing’s classic bladed bait
What bass lure is more versatile than the spinnerbait? Not only will it work in water that is clear, stained or muddy, a spinnerbait will catch bass that are holding in shallow water or deep around all sorts of structure and cover such as grass beds, brush, laydowns, rocks, ledges, docks and stumps. Adding to the versatility of the trusty lure, it can be adapted to situations when the fish want something moving quickly, slowly or at a retrieve speed somewhere in between.

07/04/2013

Matt Williams


Striking it rich in untapped wetlands
Call it a bayou, bog or pond. Call it a marsh, swamp or slough. No matter what you call it, there are thousands of acres of backwater wetlands connected to major lakes, rivers and reservoirs that hold shallow-water bass year-round.

07/01/2013

Rob Newell


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.

05/23/2013

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.

05/23/2013

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.

05/01/2013

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.

04/02/2013

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.

03/07/2013

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.

01/04/2013

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.

12/13/2012

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 southernswimbait.com 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.

11/14/2012

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.

11/01/2012


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.

09/28/2012

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.

08/16/2012

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?

07/30/2012

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.

06/26/2012

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.

04/24/2012

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.

04/11/2012

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.

04/09/2012

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.

01/24/2012


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.

01/17/2012

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.

12/29/2011

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 ...

12/12/2011

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

12/08/2011


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.

11/29/2011

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.

11/29/2011

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.

11/22/2011

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.

11/07/2011

Sean Ostruszka


When bass get in the middle of the water column, a drop-shot rig can be key
Suspended bass – whether largemouths, smallmouths or spots – are notoriously difficult to catch. They’re among the most finicky and flighty targets an angler can pursue. In fact, confronted with suspended fish as the primary pattern, most anglers punt and look for a secondary pattern. That’s not always the best option; just consider what happened in August 2010.

10/27/2011

Pete Robbins


When walleyes lurk among the weeds, casting and cranking a baitfish-imitating plug is an outstanding way to lure them out
Here’s a simple walleye-fishing fact for you: Walleyes love weeds. Here’s another: Walleyes in weeds love crankbaits.

10/27/2011

Jeff Samsel


Tour elites delve into the science, new angling applications regarding these shallow-water hunters
Jacob Powroznik might very well have been the first to coin the term. It was the fall of 2006, and the Gillette/Duracell pro had just hauled in 15 pounds on the third day of the EverStart Series Northern Division tournament at Kerr Lake to finish seventh. When asked about his pattern, the Prince George, Va., pro told media that he had targeted “wolf packs.”

09/09/2011

Rob Newell


Looking for a versatile lure for summertime bass fishing? Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre suggests you take a look at the swim jig.

08/09/2011

Joe Balog


How to change your rigging system to maximize the deep bite
Nothing is the same 72 feet below the surface. That is, nothing is the same in the deepest depths of walleye country as it is in the 10- to 30-foot range where most walleye anglers fish. In fact, once you cross the 50-foot mark, the thick band of water between the surface and giant bottom-dwelling walleyes calls for an entirely different set of presentation skills, especially when it involves a live-bait rig.

08/09/2011

Ross Robertson


Clean house with this cold-water killer
The mop-style jig notched its first big-money victory at Lake Murray on a chilly day in February 2006. Spring weather had been trying to break out early in the Carolinas that year, and a string of warm days had pulled a lot of fish shallow. Tournament week marked the return of bone-chilling cold, however, and by the time the Walmart FLW Tour event began many bass were retreating back to deeper water.

04/30/2011

Jeff Samsel


A review of the top new designs to hit the market in the last two years
Advancement in lure design, crankbaits in particular, is a never-ending game that results in countless new products anglers can try. On one hand, that’s part of the fun of fishing. On the other, it’s expensive to buy new lures every year, especially when they may not produce any better than such tried-and-true stalwarts as Rapala Husky Jerks, Shad Raps and Reef Runners.

04/30/2011

Ross Robertson


Local soft baits hit national scene
Wishing and politics share some similarities. When it comes to elections, all politics are local and only a few select candidates manage to generate the widespread appeal that might elevate them to the national stage.

04/12/2011

Dave Csanda


Lowrance StructureScan isn’t just for deep water. Here’s how it can help you in the shallows
Go to a Walmart FLW Tour event this year and check out the pro’s boats before takeoff. You’ll see proof of the trend that is changing bass fishing. That trend is the ever-expanding use of side-viewing sonar technology such as Lowrance StructureScan.

03/15/2011

Curtis Niedermier


An in-depth look at the trends and tactics that excelled in 2010
Each year 150 of the world’s best bass anglers suit up to fish the Walmart FLW Tour. To find success on the water each day they reach deep into the wells of their fishing expertise. Along the way, they wring out every last drop of angling innovation to match the challenges posed by a variety of differing lakes and conditions. And the tactics and techniques they apply to catch winning stringers provide information that benefits all bass fishermen, no matter their skill level.

02/24/2011

Rob Newell


Walleye only regularly published periodical dedicated to walleye fishing
MINNEAPOLIS — FLW Outdoors, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, has rebranded the walleye edition of FLW Outdoors Magazine to just Walleye. FLW Outdoors produces FLW Outdoors Magazine (bass) and Walleye, each the world’s leading authority on their species.

02/14/2011


Electronic edition enhances magazine content
FLW Outdoors Magazine has offered quality information for expert and aspiring anglers – as well as everyone in between – for many years now. Beginning in 2011, the magazine will support an electronic edition with enhanced content and online convenience, and fishing fans can check it all out free of charge for a limited time.

01/06/2011

Patrick Baker


More than 100 products compiled
In years past we’ve done our best to pick out some of the best new products released at ICAST for our Buyer’s Guide. This year, we wanted more. We have compiled more than 100 products for this year’s Buyer’s Guide, making it our most comprehensive guide ever. Don’t worry, we still weeded out the products that should be weeded out, but we’ve included all the new products that we would normally showcase later on in the year, allowing you to see all the newest products in one place. To help you with your holiday wish list, we have also kept up the tradition of spotlighting some of our favorites.

12/14/2010


More than 100 products compiled
In years past we’ve done our best to pick out some of the best new products released at ICAST for our Buyer’s Guide. This year, we wanted more. We have compiled more than 100 products for this year’s Buyer’s Guide, making it our most comprehensive guide ever. Don’t worry, we still weeded out the products that should be weeded out, but we’ve included all the new products that we would normally showcase later on in the year, allowing you to see all the newest products in one place. To help you with your holiday wish list, we have also kept up the tradition of spotlighting some of our favorites.

12/10/2010


Advanced planer-board tactics
It’s been more than 25 years since Gary Gehrman rocked my trolling world. Prior to that day in the boat, I had always associated planer boards with trolling for Great Lakes trout and salmon. Walleyes, after all, bit on jigs and rigs along the edges of structure and on crankbaits fished in the shallows. After spending a few hours trolling down the middle of the lake with Gehrman, walleye fishing was never the same.

08/26/2010

Dave Csanda


Need five fish when nothing is working? Here are seven lures the pros use
Every tournament fisherman dreams of catching a jaw-dropping sack of bass. The dream is sweetest, of course, when the catch comes on the final day of a major tournament, with hundreds of fans watching and thousands of dollars on the line.

07/15/2010

Mark Hicks


Escape the slow dog days of summer in a lake by making a run upriver
It’s 9 a.m., and the thermometer is already pushing 90 degrees. You slide on your sunglasses because the big fireball in the sky has climbed high enough into the humid air to warrant shade. Immediately, the first sweat of the day forms on your brow and streaks down the inside of your sunglasses.

07/14/2010

Rob Newell


Using big blades to improve efficiency and quality
In the United States, “bigger is better” isn’t just a saying; it’s a way of life. Trucks, houses, value meals, fish – we want things big. And that thinking is starting to expand into spinner fishing.

07/14/2010

Ross Robertson


Heavy snap weights and superline offer an alternative to lead core
Four crankbaits wobbling on the ends of four long lengths of lead core are effective at seining the depths for deep walleyes. That is, until one of the crankbaits snags a leaf, stick or some other assorted debris. Then it runs sideways. With the other lines nearby crisscrossing in the same water depths, it doesn’t take a fishing genius to know a tangled disaster is in the making. Time to crank in that line – all 150 feet of it.

05/22/2010

Will Brantley


Just because you can’t see bass on their beds doesn’t mean they aren’t there
It was a bit of a shock for Alvin Shaw to see a group of boats working over his bedding fish. Those fish were supposed to be his backup plan for day one of the 2005 Wheeler Lake FLW Tour event. The State Road, N.C., pro had locked upstream to Lake Guntersville to fish ledges for postspawn bass, but they weren’t biting. So to see a crowd sight-fishing was heartbreaking.

04/01/2010

Curtis Niedermier


Using ice-fishing lures in open water
Northland Puppet Minnows, Northland Buck-Shot Rattle Spoons, Salmo Chubby Darters and other ice-fishing lures have a stereotype of being solely for the winter months. It is as if the lures only work when there is 18 inches of ice somewhere above them. Thing is, they are still lures that mimic what walleyes want to eat. And anglers like Dusty Minke have taken to never storing their ice boxes.

04/01/2010

Sean Ostruszka


Slow down with subtle falling lures
Big bass inhaling fast-moving lures. That’s the norm for prespawn giants in east Texas. It has been for years and assuredly will be for years to come. So when the FLW Tour visited Lake Travis in February 2007, anglers no doubt had visions of egg-laden sows gorging on lipless crankbaits.

03/16/2010

Pete Robbins


High water, swift current, soupy mud equals … great springtime fishing?
Ice-fishing is fun and all, but by the end of February, you’re admittedly tired of walking on water and using stunted fishing rods. You’re craving a warm day, the smell of some outboard exhaust, some time watching your graph, pitching a jig to shallow water and feeling the thump of a giant walleye. You’re ready for spring.

03/16/2010

Will Brantley


Where students don’t fall asleep in class. They get up early to hit the lake
In the spirit of friendly college rivalries, it is time for some college debate aimed specifically at anglers. We surveyed all 2009 National Guard FLW College Fishing anglers in the country on their clubs, their schools, their fishing lifestyles and more, and we scored the results based on the factors we thought most important for a college angler: proximity to bass fisheries, tournament opportunities, club activities, etc.

02/01/2010

Curtis Niedermier


Testing new tackle is a major task for FLW Outdoors Magazine each year. Relying on tournament pros, field editors and in-house staff, dozens of products hit the water each year, and it all starts following ICAST in summer. As usual, manufacturers didn’t disappoint in producing great new gear for 2010.

12/08/2009

FLW Outdoors Magazine Editors


Testing new tackle is a major task for FLW Outdoors Magazine each year. Relying on tournament pros, field editors and in-house staff, dozens of products hit the water each year, and it all starts following ICAST in summer. As usual, manufacturers didn’t disappoint in producing great new gear for 2010.

12/08/2009

FLW Outdoors Magazine Editors


Like the idea of catching 75 or more smallies in a day? Start fishing wing dams
Sunken beneath the expanse that is the Mississippi River, where a turbulent current wages war against chunks of granite, lies angling bliss for anyone venturing to the Midwest.

10/30/2009

Sean Ostruszka


Crankbait tricks for the nontroller
The back of the package made it sound easy. All it said for instructions for your new crankbait was “dives 7 to 9 feet.” That seemed simple enough. Chuck it out, pull it back on a frozen rope, and the crankbait should attain the described depth, and presumably, bring a fish back with it.

10/30/2009

Noel Vick


Having a pattern to yourself means finding one that never existed
My earliest memories of a TV include a giant “color television set” that took up half of my parents’ living room and weighed as much as a 150-hp outboard motor. That monstrosity of simulated wood grain and glass received a whopping 13 VHF channels. That’s right, 13 channels. Ironically, the same thing could be said for the way bass anglers described bass fishing patterns back in the days of rabbit-ear antennas, glass tubes and VHF.

09/22/2009

Rob Newell


How to quickly find and slowly pluck walleyes from weeds
“Find one piece of fruit and it can expose the entire tree.” It’s quotes like this one that make me think Berkley pro Tommy Skarlis needs to come with a disclaimer.

09/22/2009

Sean Ostruszka


Forrest Wood Cup, Walleye Tour Angler of the Year issues great for collectors
The Forrest Wood Cup edition of FLW Outdoors Magazine has left the printers and should have been mailed to mailboxes and newsstands near you.

09/15/2009


Take advantage of the early morning bite all season
Nothing compares to the sense of urgency that overwhelms a tournament angler at daybreak. Last-minute nerves and a recheck of the game plan has the mind pulled in every direction while jockeying for position among a flotilla of bass boats. But the thing that really accelerates the anticipation is the itch to make the most of the morning bite.

07/30/2009

Mark Hicks


When it comes to live-bait fishing, few things inspire more confidence than a wiggling leech
On the totem pole of respect, not many of Mother Nature’s creatures rank lower than leeches. These invertebrates live their lives under logs and rocks and carry the stigma of being parasitic bloodsuckers, although some scavenge and eat invertebrates even farther down the totem pole than themselves.

07/30/2009

Will Brantley


The first step toward becoming a crankbait master is learning how every variable affects the system
I have a favorite crankbait. It dives to about 10 feet, has a green-and-white shad pattern with iridescent sides, and I’ve seen some good fish eat it on nearby Kentucky Lake.

05/30/2009

Curtis Niedermier


Formulating success with four jig techniques
They’re as simple as fishing lures get. Yet, there’s nothing simple about them.

05/30/2009

Sean Ostruszka


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.

04/01/2009

Jason Sealock


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.

04/01/2009

Al Lindner


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.

03/01/2009

Jason Sealock


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.

03/01/2009

Jason Sealock


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.

02/26/2009

Sean Ostruszka


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.

02/01/2009


FLW Outdoors Magazine editors give their product picks for the coming year, highlighting what’s in store for bass anglers.

11/22/2008


FLW Outdoors Magazine editors give their product picks for the coming year, highlighting what’s in store for walleye anglers.

11/22/2008


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.

10/01/2008

Curtis Niedermier


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.

10/01/2008

Matt Williams


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.

08/19/2008

Will Brantley


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.

08/18/2008

Jason Mitchell


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.

07/03/2008

Mark Sosin


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.

07/03/2008

Curtis Niedermier


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.

07/03/2008

Jason Sealock