Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Live Target Family

Over the course of the off season (also know as the ice season) I have been slowly building my Live target family.

Live target has continued to grow their product line and provide a family of baits that allow you to target many species at any depth. My first live target bait was a standard perch bait, after getting my first look at it, I was not sure wether or not I should fish with it, or buy a frame a for it, but after a day on the water it was pretty clear that these baits are made for fishing. Not only do they have a quality realistic paint job, but they are a high performing lure with great rattle action, and what appears to be a quality hook.
(Unlike some other cranks on the market you wont find me changing out the factory hooks)

Obviously the one issue that always pops up when you talk Live Target is price point. But at this time they are not much more expensive then your average rapala, but I would argue that they will out perform your average rapala. A perk to these baits is the colors provide will work on more bodies of water then your standard crank bait, Personally I have been buying them in perch, crawfish and blueegill colors, and at a variety of depths

As a Bass angler in Ontario Canada,the lakes I fish are loaded with perch, pumpkinseed and crawfish. So for me color selection was simple. As stated above I started out with a perch bait, in two depths options. The first and larger bait is a 0-1" diver, this bait is great to rip over weed beds, the second smaller bait dives from 4-6ft, I love using it along weedlines, and trolling in over 10feet of water. Both baits have seen many fish, and still have that great orginal paint job

When I decided to expand the family the next logical choice for me was to go crawfish. The Live Target crawfish line is larger then the other lines in their arsenal, offering many color variations. In my area I have had success with the standard red/black craw bait as well as the fire reds, so I stuck with what I new and matched those colors. (this year live target added a crazy blue craw that I hope to add to my arsenal soon)

Not one to throw a lipless crank very often, i have not spent time with the Live targer lipless craw. I did purchase one this off season and hope to get it on the water more ofter. The larger profile and weight of the bait really drew my attention. It hasa great rattle and shoudl really call those fish in

The last species or should I say color selection, is pumpkinseed. My local lakes are filled with "dink" gills that are perfect for a hungry largemouth. I have expanded my size selection on the gill color to incorporate the smallest size that they have available (2 1/4 inches long 1/4 oz) and to include the largest size, the new wakebait (3 3/4inches long 1 3/8oz).

Im very excited about throwing the wakebait this season. I have been using the Mans -1 baits for years and with the new Live Target wake bait with jointed tail, I think I will have a new fav on my hands

I know many of you are thinking that I missed somthing, how can you talk about live target and not talk about the frogs baits that took top honors at the Icast show, well, I have 4 on order and when I get them in my hands, you will be the first know

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Support Your Local Bait & Tackle Shop(s)

Recently while listening to the radio on my way to work I heard about a national event called "Record store day". A group of well known musicians are the brains behind this event (and website) and are trying to give notice to the Independently owned record shop (over 700 of them in the US alone). With MP3's, Ipod's and other forms of digital music, a good chunk of the population has never been in a classic record shop, and as a music lover I find that sad.

But since we are hear to talk about fishing, the above got me thinking about the small independently owned bait & tackle shops in all our backyards. They are suffering the same fate as the record and books stores, Internet shopping and the rise of the super store (BPS, Cabelas, Gander Mountain, etc.) has left them nearly obsolete and the younger generation of anglers spends more time in on-line chats forums telling fishing stories then on the floor of the local bait shop.

Independent shops are an important part of fishing in the community and need to be supported. They can help grow fishing in the area and help pass along the rich history that the fishing community or local lakes hold.

Im not here to say boycott the big guy, that is not the message I want to get out, they to have an important roll to play in the growth of this sport we love, But we do need to remember the little guys who paved the way, the guys who sold you your first rod, that told you about the secret fishing hole that no other kids knew about, and the guy who handed a dozen worms to my dad each sunday morning before we hit the lake those are the guys we need to support, and maybe one day we will even have a "national Bait shop day"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

To Wacky or to Wicked Wacky, now thats a good question?

I have been wacky worm fishing for about 4 years now, 3 of those years the wacky worm was my go to bait. Once i started I was hooked and have almost lost the feel for standard senko fishing, it just does not feel right in my hands anymore.

When I started to compile gear for wacky rigging, the Gamakatsu wacky hook was a no brainer, a perfect circle hook with a relaxed weed guard that helped keep me from hooking up in the weeds but did not from hooking up in general.

I have found on average the 2/0 hooks are the perfect size when fishing a standard 5-6 inch senko, they make for nearly perfect hooksets and need very little attention (other then sliding the weed guard back into place. This year Gamakatsu came out with a wicked wacky hook, fmy first thougths were, why mess with a good thing?" followed by the side of my brain that likes new toys saying " ooh, I want those"

As always the toys win in the end and Im the proud owner of some Wicked wacky hooks. They arrived in the mail today, and I got a chance to man handle them

The pro's to this hook are obvious, it is a true quality Gamakatsu hook, sharp and strong with a great hand tied weed guard. The guys at Gamakatsu made this hook a double technique hook, it is a wacky rig hook as well as a drop shot hook, (another technique I have been working on). The cool tube down the back of the hook can be used to thread your line through and ensure it stands out straight while drop shoting, i did not even notice this when I bought them, it was kinda like a surprise perk.

the con's of this hook are few.., the weebguard is not as nice as the one on the standard wacky hook, and I do not feel it will keep this hook as weed free, as always with Gamakatsu, they are pricey, at just over $4 for 3 hooks. (in the 3/0 size).

All in all im happy with my purchase and will be sure to give it a shot on the water this season, i see the wicked wacky hooks role as more of a drop shot hook, but I will be sure to add it to my wacky arsenal as well

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bass Magnet Lures - Mom & Pop shop with big Company Quality and Selection

While constantly trolling the fishing site blogs, I came across a company called "Bass Magnet Lures" they are a Mom and Pop plastics company that seems to be growing by leaps and bounds.

Last season they hooked me with their monster tube they call the tubzilla. This is a great pitching bait with a fitting name. I used the product with success last season, but had a hard time finding more Bass magnet lures in my area.. and Im in their back yard.

But, last week when in the Belleville area I came across a bait shop that carried Bass Magnet, and I was able to grab some worms as well as a craw bait. Super happy with what I found and glad to be able to further test the growing arsenal of Bass Magnet lures

If you have not seem or heard about Bass Magnet Lures be sure to check them out. They are a home grown Ontario, Canada based company that make a great product. They are not set up for mass production and will not be found in the larger retailers, so look for them on-line or in your local bait shop

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fear & Loathing on the BBTS Tournament Trail

The last couple seasons I have been a co-angler stand-in on a small series of tournaments called the BBTS or Bancroft Bass Tournament Series. This year I have decided to fish the entire series and get a feel for tournament fishing.

After some ups and downs in my first couple tournaments (a 2nd place finish and Big fish money in a 2009 event and a 25th place finish in the same event in 2010) Im looking forward to fishing an entire series (6 events) this coming summer. I will be posting my results in each tournament, hopefully with some pics of some (money) fish. My Co-Angler (Dustin Lemmon) and I are both proud to be sponsored by the businesses we work for, My entry fees are paid for by EIKON Device, (tattoo manufacturing & supply) and Dustin is sponsored by York Regional Police. In return I will be donating 30% of the winnings (if there are any) to the Charity of Eikon's choice.

Check in for updates as it gets closer to tournament time..