Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fear & Loathing on the BBTS Tournament Trail: Limerick Lake



Tournament number 4 of the BBTS was this past weekend on Limerick lake. The weather did not exactly play nice as we fought 50km winds all day long as well as cool temps.

Im happy to say we finished in 6th place.. just 0.15lbs out of 5th place and the money. We ended up with 12.40lbs in the bag, all caught prior to 10am. the rest of the day we struggled to cull only adding a few oz here and there. With only 1 event left in the schedule this year we sit in 10th place in the team of the year standings. Not bad for a couple of rookies fishing a wack of new lakes.

How the Day Broke Down:

We had pre-fished Limerick nearly two weeks ago, and had 3 or 4 spots we really wanted to hit. Luck for us we drew #4 for the launch and were able to beat the pack to spot number 1 on our radar. But to our surprise and horror the water level at spot number 1 was about 1 foot lower then when we pre-fished it. No water = no fish.

Wanting to stay out of the wind we worked our way further back in the back channel and bay area, we tried to avoid the main lake as much as possible. We dropped the frog rods (very hard for me to do) and started to flip timber and any clump of pads we could find that housed water.

We quickly found a pattern and stayed with it, flipping up and down any shoreline that contained the right combination of timber, pads and water depth. We had our first 5lbs in the first hour and by 10am had over 12lbs in the boat.

Running out of water to fish in the back bays, we decided to hit the main lake and see what can be found.. big mistake.. the water was turning, and we got seriously knocked around. deep weed-beds were un-fishable and we ended up running for cover looking for more timber.

here is a short video clip of the conditions.. this is not a main lake spot, this is a side bay area

video



We were never able to recreate the bite we found early in the day, and although we picked up a few oz here and there, we never found the kicker fish that would put us into the money spots. Again we left the lake looking for that 4 or 5lb fish that would have made our day.

All in all there was some pretty decent weights brought to the scales. A two way tie for first place with 15.5lbs bags was nice to see. The winner was decided by the team with the largest kicker fish, and a 5.5lb largie help put Allan Balduc and Basil Testeroney  in top spot.. congrats



I could not finish this off without sharing some pics of the nice fish from the day on the water. These are the only 5lb fish to hit the scales on this day.






This was another well run event by the BBTS team. Its great to have those relationships with the resorts and marina owners. The team at Limerick Lake lodge was awesome, they had free coffee set up for us at 6am and were there to support and take pics during the weigh in. Thanx to both the BBTS organizers and the Limerick lake lodge team.

Weapons:

As mentioned it was time to put down the frog rod and start to flip. I had two flipping rods set up. The first was a DX795flip, this rod is a beast, hauls big bass out of heavy cover but does not fatigue the arms and shoulders. The second rod was a 735C, i have said it before and I will say it again, this is the best all around rod on the market today. Both rods were paired up with Shimano curado reels.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Ultimate Bucketmouth's Lunker Ugly Frog.. X-Rated or Misunderstood?


In my quest to fish every form or frog I can get my hands on, Im bound to come across some duds, and some highly unusual things.. this frog meets both of those descriptions.

How do I even try to explain to you how this frog works, looks and feels.. how many baits have you seen that need a X-rating because they seem to have a penis? this is a first for me. Another first is actually needing instructions on how to rig a frog. this is not your average nose hook bait (more on that in a minute).. actually nothing is really average about this frog.. but then again nothing is really great either.

How do you fish an x-rated frog?

well thats a good question. First off, you better have some large hooks.. this bad boy needs to be fished with a 7/0 oversized worm hook (Owner). A traditional 11/0 hook will be needed for any other brand.

The hook is pushed through a section of the frogs belly and not the frogs nose (see image below). the point of the hook is then slid into the penis section (Im sorry but its true!). This allows the hook to run weedless when in the water



Unlike may other frogs in the soft bodied market, this is not as much as a swimming frog as it is a sitting frog. when in the water the head sits above the water level and the legs and hook hang down similar to the way a real frog would sit in the water. But I forgot to mention, if you really want to achieve this you need to add some weight the the legs. They recommend adding insert weighs to the knee section. If you dont weight it, this frog lays perfectly flat on the water



If you check in with Ulitmate Bucketmouth, they give you two ways to fish this bait, the first being the weighted knees and slow retrieve with many pauses, allowing the frog to sit in the water with legs down.  The second way is unweighted, you give the frog short pops back to the boat and on the pause the frog will float with the entire body sitting on top of the water.  This will give a large silhouette to any fish underneath it.



They say extensive research has gone into this design and that this is a realistic big fish frog. I personally dont see it. It is huge, but life like is a stretch, it looks like a chalk outline of a dead frog and it swims just as poorly. The large heavy body may allow for great distance when casting and the "interesting design" may allow you to fish it weedless and still get a good hookset.. but you have to fool a fish first. and personally I dont think the fish are that crazy

the fact that these have been found on sale from $0.99 to a $1.49 for a pack of 4 should have told me something. But these are the things I do for you guys. As you know I usually recommend that you give it a try for yourself, but on this one I will warn you.. if you are fishing with kids.. cover their eyes, there are something you just dont need to see.




Weapons of Choice:

If you are going to take the plunge and try this frog, you will need to use similar equipment as you would with a hollow body. I would recommend a Dobyns 736c. this bait does not have much swimming motion, and the heavy bait will need a rod with good backbone to control it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gary Dobyns Making the Perfect Rod (Part 2)


Back in June I shared with you an article called "making the perfect rod", the article was from http://www.insideline.net/ and was writen by Terri Battisti. Well since that day I have been waiting on part 2

today the wait is over.. check out the below link to read part 2 on Making the perfect rod.

Making-the-perfect-rod-part-2

for those of you who missed it, you can still find part 1.. here

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Evolve's Nervous Walker Frog- Making Bass everywhere nervous!


I have to admit with the big guns in the marketplace already making a splash in the Hollow Body field.. Live Target, KVD Sexy Frog, Spro.. it was a littler nervous to say the least about pulling the trigger on Evolves new frog "Nervous Walker".. but Im glad I did.

When my nervous walker arrived (courtesy of Tacklewarhouse) I was instantly impressed with the high quality, bright color paint job that would rival any frog on the market.. even Koppers Live Target. But in taking this bait out of the package, thats when you really get to see what this bait is all about!

the soft supple plastic used makes for by far the most easily collapsable frog I have ever laid my hands on. Under the slightest pressure the body of the bait folds up and exposes the hooks (sorry no matter where I looked I could not find who makes there hooks).

the second perk to this frog is the beads inserted into the hollow body.  I dont know about you, but adding a rattle/beads to my hollow bodies is a must, the extra sound, commotion and weight really helps to call the hawgs in close. (if this is not something you do.. I would recommend giving it a shot)

the third perk to this frog goes back to my opening paragraph, these frogs are well designed, well painted and although they may not be quite as realistic as the Live Target frogs, they do look awesome, and the bright color selection is something I love to see.  Weighing in at 5/8oz and 2.5 inches in length, this will not be the bully in your arsenal but they fish bigger then they look. They share length with many frogs on the market but the wider body design may help when "walking" this frog.

UPDATE: 08/25/2011

I though this was some valid info to share. The frog fishes very "heavy" it casts far and lands hard. It is much heftier then other frogs on the market and although it swims well, i feel lots of drag or resistance on the retrieve.  Great for long distance on windy days 

Evovle scared me away earlier this season when I saw the "original" and "pulse" series frogs. those strange looking things with $20 price tags made me shake my head.. but the nervous Walker has restored my faith, and has me eying up another member of the Evolve family.. the pond doctor. I would recommend giving this bait a try. (at $6.99 this frog is cheaper then most of its competitors)

Weapons of Choice:

I recently decided to add a second frog rod to my arsenal. A Dobyns 736C will be the newest member of  my rod family. it's sole purpose in life will be to throw hollow bellies. It has many of the same traits as the 735C with just a bit more backbone



Monday, August 22, 2011

Frog Hooks.. the large the small and the way to many

You may be surprised by this, but there is almost as many frog hooks available to anglers as there is frog designs them selves! Many companies have created their own hook to be used with there specific frog.. do we need this many options? will a sizmic toad hook work just as well on a gambler toad? will a double hook get you higher hook-up ratios then a traditional 3/0 hook? well I cant claim to know all the answers but I will tell you what works for me..

To save my fingers and your eyes Im really only going to discuss three different hook options that are available when soft body frog fishing, they are..

1) Standard EWG hooks
2) Double Frog Hooks
3) Twist Lock Hooks (weighted and un-weighted)



Standard EWG




Lets start off with the traditional EWG hook, these are readily available in all tackle shops, and are made by any hook company worth mentioning, the have a decent price point (for the most part) and will come in red or nickle. You can buy EWG hooks in thin or thick wire, for frog fishing the thicker wire hooks are preferred. they provide the extra strenght needed to pull big fish out of heavy cover and the little extra weight will give you some increased casting distance as well as help the frog sit down better on a strike. (If you are fishing a floating soft plastic frog be aware that the thicker wire hooks may force your frog to sink.)

When it comes to Frog fishing for the most part you will be looking for a hook size in the range between 3/0 to 5/0. In some rare instances you may need to jump up to 6/0 or 7/0 but this will be a rarity. I can get away with fishing 90% of my frogs on a 3/0 hook

The only downfall to EWG hooks are the damage the eye of the hook may cause to the nose of the bait on the retrieve or strike. most soft plastic frogs are made to swim, and after a few hits or being beaten in cover the eye of the hook will quickly wear the frog nose and increase the amount of dead baits you have. EWG hooks have a bend in the eye that will position the nose of the bait in a slightly downward position. this can effect the swim and bang up the nose quickly on hard retrieves.



Double Frog Hooks



double hooks started to flood the market a few seasons ago. The allowed the angler to set up a soft bodied frog similar to the way you would fish a hollow body frog. Owner, Tru Tungsten and Gamakatsu all currently produce a double frog hook. They are made in the same sizes available in standard EWG hooks, but take a little getting use to when it comes to rigging.

some of them double hooks can be pinched together and inserted into the frog the same way a EWG is rigged, others are firmer and you will need to use one hook to bore a path into the frog and then slide the head of the hook into place. Either of these methods work, but like with all soft plastics the more you insert and reinsert a hook, the quicker you weaken the plastic.

Not all frogs are created equal, and with the crazy amount of body types available today, not all frogs will be wide/narrow enough to be fitted with a double hook. This can cause frustration since you will have hooks that wont work for all the frogs in your arsenal. Companies like Tru Tungsten list the frogs that will work with their hook, this is a help if you decide to go this route.

The last con i see to the double hook set up are the hook points. Unlike rigging your frog with a traditional EWG these hooks are not easily barried into the soft plastic to make the frog run weedless. I found I was adjusting the hook more when using this set-up and continuously got caught on the pads. Hollow bodied frogs balloon out around the hook points making them slightly protected. Soft plastic frogs do not provide you with this option



Twist Lock Hooks



The twist lock hook is one of my favorite options available today. There are multiple options available including weighted and non-weighted, red, nickel and of course some size options. When looking at the twist lock hooks you should be looking for the frog option and not your standard EWG although they will work as well.

The Frog version of a twist lock hook has a slightly different body design then that of the EWG, it is made for frog designed bodies and although many of these hooks sport names that make it sound like they are designed for a specific frog, they will give you more versatility then both the standard EWG and the double hooks mentioned above. One complaint I have is that the frog versions of this hook appear to only be available in a thinner to medium wire. Some situations really call for a heavy wire, and from what i have seen this is not an option with these hooks

The key to the twist lock design is that it puts less stress on the nose of you bait and will increase the baits life span. Unlike traditional hooks the twist lock does not bore a hole in the front of your bait and can be reapplied multiple times on the same bait, even if the bait has a tare/rip . The head of the hook does not have the same extreme bend that most EWG hooks have, this allows your frog to site flatter on the hook and swim straighter on the retrieve. (some EWG hooks make the nose of the frog bend down)

these hooks are not as readily available (in my area anyways) and may need to be ordered on-line. They are priced well and stand up to multiple fish

Tips:

As stated above almost every company under the sun make the frog hooks nowadays.. find one you like and work with it. My personal preference is to use the Zoom twist lock hook (5/0) or to move over to Owners 3/0 EWG when a smaller hook is in order.

I do not throw weighted hooks on my frogs.. this is a personal preference. When fishing soft plastic frogs I like to be able to burn them across open water in between cover. The weighted hook pulls the frog down quicker ons the kill and forces me to increase my retrieve speed. If you are having trouble casting your frog for distance you should look at your rod and reel set-up and alter that instead of increasing the weight on your frog


When all is said and done there is a world of choice available to anglers today. the hooks I described today may not be the best for your style of frog fishing. be sure to play around and test out the options available to you. If you know of a hook design I did not cover, let me know, I would love to give it a try.


Weapons of choice:

There is no better rod on the market today for frog fishing with soft plastics then the Dobyns 735c, at 7'3 it has all the backbone needed to haul large fish from deep pockets. The soft tip allows for great castinf accuracy and allows you to throw this frogs long distances. For your reel look for somthing that can pick up the slack and burn a bait back over open water. I put my trust in the Shimano Curado series reels with 50-65lb powerpro braid



Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wal-Mart donates 36 Million to Anti-Fishing Groups



My confusion level was on high yesterday as word spread from board to board in many fishing forums in both Canada and the US.. the topic was this.. Wal-Mart a major sponsor of the FLW fishing circuit donated $36 million to an anti-fishing group!

The press release that really got things moving was from the "Recreational Fishing Alliance" and can be found here. The release claims that walmarts donation will help "fund the demise of both the recreational and commercial fishing industry" in the US. Furthermore the report is calling for support from anglers to stop purchasing tackle from Wal-mart and adding the giant to the anglers boycot list.

I personally have been a long time anti- Wal-mart consumer, and this double speak now adds fire to the flame. How can a company that sponsors one of the worlds most popular fishing tournament series, turn their backs on the everyday angler? Obviously they are protecting their interest ($) and will hide behind the enviromental impact of this issue. To me this stresses the fact the big friendly walmart cant be trusted with my tackle money

I encourage all anglers to read the release and read any other info that comes your way on this topic. I believe that this info needs to be shared.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Stay Tuned more frog reviews to come!

(photo from www.Tackelwarehouse.com)

My latest order of frogs has arrived! Yes I have an addiction, and the only way to get my fix is by ordering new frogs and of course fishing with them.

I placed an order with Tacklewarehouse last week and here are a few products that you can expect a review on over the next couple weeks...

Evolve's  Nervous Walker Frog


Strike King's Rage Toad (reader request)


Ultimate Bucketmouth's Lunker Ugly Frog (this is an odd little frog)


KVD Sexy Frog

All of these bad boys will spend some time on the line over the next few weeks and I hope to share with you some results.. big results.

Also watch for a frog hook review coming sometime in the next week.. the fishing is heating up, and so is the frog bite.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Frog Review: Koppers Live Target "Mini" Hollow Body



As with most anglers when i find a bait i love, it is hard to convince me that there is a better product available. Even harder to get me to switch from a confidence bait to something different.. but this year Live Target has done just that, they have completely restored my faith in traditional hollow bodied frogs and left me with a huge collection of Scum frogs that may never see water again!

I wont get into too much detail here because I have discussed these frogs on a previous post. But what i did want to go over is the new size that was introduced at this seasons ICAST event. the "mini" for a lack of a better name (I think it is actually called the 45T)  is the newest member of the Live Target family and believe me, if will find a place in your tackle bag.

This frog comes in at a tiny 1 3/4 inches long.. a half inch smaller the the medium sized frog (55T) and a full inch smaller the the full size model (65T). I dont know about you guys, but so far this season I have had the majority of my success on the 55T.. it seems to be the perfect fit to match frog sizes in my section of Ontario.




Pros:

as an avid frog angler I throw both hollow bodies and plastic frogs daily. This new mini I believe will help bridge the gap between the two techniques, the smaller profile allows for more erratic movement, this movement is similar to the movement provided by soft plastic frogs. The mini can be burnt across the top and open spaces with ease. It will excel in lightly padded areas where the frog will spend a good amount of time in open water between cover. It is also a fishes version of the 1 bite brownie.. this little guy can be slurped up even by fish in the 1lb and under category

This frog shares all the "pros" of it's siblings. The ultra sharp and strong hooks are second to none and the soft plastic body is easily compressed and allows for some of the best hook-up ratios I have experiences in years.

Cons:

the biggest con this bait has will be the size/weight. when working a heavily padded area this bait wont call the fish in like its bigger heavier brothers. It will also get knocked around a bit more, the Live target frogs are light as it is, so with the smaller frog you will have to be patient with your hooksets. this frog will easily be sent flying up into the air on a missed strike or a violent hookset.

It is also not the easiest to cast. I throw most hollow bodies on my Dobyns 735c rod with a shimano Curado. I really had to play with the reel to get some distance with this frog.. the windy day did not help

Tip:

to add a little weight and sound, dont be afraid to add some rattles or beads to this bait. not only will it improve the sound, but the extra weight will help it sit down better on the water/pads.


So thats all I have to say about that, and with all the hype on this frogs already out there, I will try not to bore you with much more.. I will leave you with this.. "FOR SALE: A Collection of 30 Scum Frogs (various colors and sizes available)


Weapons of Choice:

As mentioned above I like to throw hollow bodies with a Dobyns 735c. for this guy I may switch it up a bit and use something in the 8ft range with a bit more whip. Dobyns 805 or 804





Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dobyns Rod Pro Staffer Paul Mueller - Takes home top prize in Forrest Hills - FLW Event




This is just a short post to say congratulaions to a fellow Dobyns team member on his vicroty at the FLW Forrest hills event this past weekend.

Paul Mueller as he took home  the co-angler championship along with $60,000 in cash. Mueller had success on day three throwing swimbaits on a Dobyns 7ft swimbait rod. He had the biggest bag of the field on day 3 and secured his victory with 28.7lbs over the three day event, beating out the 2nd place angler by just over 1lb in total weight.

Again Congrats to Paul on this sweet come from behind victory (paul was in 10th place after day 1)

Frog Review: Yum Money Frog



As you can see from reading some of my other blog posts I have been on a bit of a  YUM money series kick. I recently gave the Money Craw and the Money Hound a try with success, so thought it was time to break out the YUM Money Frog.

I gave the bait a thorough work-out this past weekend while spending 3 days on a heavily padded lake. It was put to the test against a favorite frog of mine.. the Gene Larew 3 legged frog.. although it did not fair as well as my old faithful, there still may be a place in my bag to give this one another shot down the road. here are some pro's and con's

Pros:

the Money frog has a thick fairly durable body, the kicking legs have more bulk to them then most soft plastic frogs and will not easily tear after a few hits. The leg design is similar to the Money craw arm design and gives off good motion in the water when buzzed from pad to pad.

This bait easily stays on top of the water when pulled from the pads into the open. It does have a slow sink, so long pauses will cause the bait to fall beneath the pads.

I really like to color options available. they have a great mix of natural colors with high vis accents that allow you to see the frog even when casting long distances in heavy cover.


Cons:

I had a few issues when using this bait for the first time. First and foremost unlike many other soft plastic frogs this bait does not have a top slit or notch to help keep the hook point weedless. The plastic on the bait is firm and the hook point has a hard time staying buried. this causes snag issues when in thicker weeds and pads.

When pulling the frog in open water between the cover, you need to keep up a high rate of speed, the bait has a tendency to helicopter when not supported by pads/weeds or a high speed retrieve. I tried various hook placements to ensure the hook was centered but I was unable to rectify the issue.

I also had a hard time finding the perfect hook size for this bait. The length of the frog is conducive to a 3/0 hook. When using the EWG hooks the lack of hook keeper allowed the hook to much room to move and it constantly popped up. I moved to a standard offset worm hook and remedied this issue for the most part, but this also provides less hook, when setting the hook.

Not a fan of the packaging from this product. As an angler who likes to make quick changes on the water, this bait takes time to remove and place back in the package. The Money Craw and Money hounds had similar issues when launched, the packaging of the Money Craw has since been rectified

Pricing:

the Yum money frog comes in at a whopping $8 a pack and only contains 4 frogs.. yep thats $2 a bait. I easily used up 3 of the frogs in a 5 hour days. The nose of the bait is the least durable part, and was the cause of most of my "dead bait" issues.


When all is said and done the Money Frog ranks in last place when it comes to the YUM Money series of baits. I had high hopes since I fell in love with the money craw earlier this season. But the issues listed above on top of a very high price point, make this a bait that I wont be replenishing any time soon. I have not given up yet, but there are many more frogs in the pond if ya know what I mean.

Weapons:

I was throwing the YUM money from with my Dobyns 735c, one of if not the best frog rods on the market today (believe me, i have tried many). My reel of Choice was a Shimano Curado with 50lb PowerPro line. The Hooks used were both Gamakatsu in the thicker gauge for heavy cover.


Monday, August 15, 2011

6th Annual Trip with the Boys - Paudash Lake & The Duke



A few buddies and I have two annual trips that we take.. we leave the wives at home and take 3 days or so to do some fishing on various lakes and cottages in Ontario.

This year the trip was to Paudash Lake in the Bancrfot area and we stayed at Anchorage resort, a nice collection of cottages about 15 minutes outside of Bancroft. The cottages have everything you need to get you by over the course of a weekend. this includes a BBQ and a fire pit

for the 4 of us we decided to take two boats and have 3 single day tournaments switching up partners each day. This was a lot fun and Im happy to say I was on the winning team on both day 1 and day 2.


(my little guy was not in the running for big fish)

For those not familiar with Paudash lake, the lake is broken into two sides divided by a bridge and it contains 4 (or so) large bays. Pinpointing active fish was not problem as each bay had a healthy crop of year 1 and year 2 bass. The problem we had was finding the elusive "dukers" as one of my buddies calls them.


(Brad showing off why they may be small, but mighty!)

When we asked around on where to fish and what works, we got a variety of answers.. one that came up often was "laydowns" or fallen trees. By the end of the weekend we realized why the locals were so quick to give this info up.. this lake is nothing but "laydowms", they might as well have told us to "fish in the water" it would have been just as help full.


(Aaron starts off the trip with a nice 3lber)

All joking aside we came across a few patterns that worked well, and had a great time on the water. We each caught a ton of fish, and will be sure to head back to Paudash in the future. I know I will need to stock up on my plastics before I head out as I burnt through a couple pack of soft bodied frogs on the first day. the fish may be small but they are mean

We moved around and fished well over 80% of the lake in our 3 days on Paudash. Many fish were caught and all were released. The high point of the trip was this 5.22lb largemouth caught by "Kenny" on day 2 of our trip. In case you missed the pic of it above (yeah right) here is another view of a hawg by any ones standards.


(Kenny with the "Duke")

Weapons:

Dobyns 335C/Shimano Curado/Gene Larew Three Legged Frog
Dobyns 805CBRM/Shimano Curado/Baby BrushHawg
Dobyns DX703SF/Shimano Stradic/Tubes


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pimp'n your Reel - TH Reel Tuning & Cleaning

(Reel by: Calfish - Image from TH site)

Recently I added some reel grips to all the reels in my arsenal. And I thought that was the extent of pimp'n a reel.. but a friend pointed me in the direction of a very cool website that not only cleans and repairs reels, but also provides the ultimate pimp'n experience..


 the TH stands for Trey Harpel a fellow Dobyns Rod team member. His site is dedicated to the art of reel tuning and cleaning, something he has over 10 years experience doing. The prices look very reasonable with his experience and quick turn around, you will be very happy with your reels tuning

If you want to add a little flash to your reel, be sure to check out the painted reel section of the site. All paint jobs are completed by Calfish from Tackle Tour and there are some pretty cool samples available to look at.. Im not quite ready for a paint job yet, but I like what I see and may be sending some work his way in the future.

(Reel by: Calfish - Image from TH site)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fear & Loathing on the BBTS: Jacks Lake


well normally I would start off a tournament post with a pic of my partner and I along with our catch for the day. But seeing as the above fish, a beast, weighing in at 6.85lbs broke the BBTS tournement series record for largest fish weighed in at an event, there was no way I could  lead off with anything else.

A local team of mark Dunford and Terry Lucas won the event.. Terry's fish is what put them up over the edge, a 17lb bag with a kicker fish of nearly 7lbs.. wow, that thing is a beast.

Now that thats out of th way, we will move on to my results and my quest to break the 10lb mark this season. The first two events we finished with just under 10lbs and with our results on Jacks lake we made it a threepeat weighing in 9.85lbs.. good enough for 13th place for the day, and we now sit in 12th place for the team of the year standings with on three days of fishing remaining.

Our Day:

Our day started off with a decent draw.. #9.. but when we blasted off we quickly noticed 2 boats were already stationed in the spot we had marked as #1 on our hit list.

I quick direction change and we were headed to spot #2.. a bay in the back of the lake loaded with timber and pads. A prefish conducted a few weeks earlier had us on a spinnerbait pattern, this quick proved uneventfull and we switched to top water.. frogs, frogs and more frogs.. the bite turned on and within 45 minutes we had 5 fish in the live well, but a total bag weight of only 6lbs.. time to move on

Spot #3 was another back bay with similar structure as the last spot, the water was a bit shallower and we only managed a few dinks.. nothing that would cull.. time to move on

We decided to reverse directions and head back to spot #1.. three boars now visible we moved on to spot #4, a nice rock line that we had previous success on. The spinnerbaits and cranks again proved useless, not a single fish. Getting a littler nervous by this time as our bag was still very weak, the morning was now over and we had 3 hours left to play with.

the decison was made to run up the lake looking for more top water situations.. we found some further out back bays with friendly locals who let us know there was not fish to be had.. we proved them wrong and were able to cull up to 7lbs..

with 1 hour left we made a run to a feeder creek that proved uneventfull during practise, we knew it was loaded with pads and worht a shot today. We locked the boat down and threw till our arms fell off, the pads were hot and we missed a few big blow-ups early on... it had been awhile since we had seen a fish..lol

In the last hour we culled up to our final tally of 9.85lbs.. all fish that day were from frogs.. live target walkers, live target hollow bodies, berkley freaks, and a 3 legged gene larew that also made some pike excited. It was a great day on the water, we just missed the 10, one more pound would have done it. Next stop is Limerick lake, i have a 2nd place finish under my belt on this lake so im hoping for big things

Congrats to Mark Dunford and Terry Lucas on the win.. here they are with there catch.. as you can see the brute dominated the bag


Weapons of Choice:

Dobyns 735c / Shimano Curado
Dobyns 805cbrm / Shimano Curado


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Reel Grips are the real deal!


You know a few months ago if you asked me about the "reel grip" product, I would have probably given you a smart ass remark about them being a gimmick, a product that is not really needed and just a cash grab.. boy would  I have been wrong

When placing an order with Tackle Warehouse this past spring, i decided to order 1 pair of reel grips to give them a shot. My one bait-caster has smaller reel paddles and although I loved the reel, it could be uncomfortable when used for long periods of time.

the grips arrived (black in case you wondering) and I threw them on my reel. Immediately i noticed and felt the difference. They added that something extra, made the paddles a bit wider, and much easier on the fingers when spending a long day on the water. They are textured (ribbed for your pleasure) and provide superior grip and comfort.

It was not long before I placed my second order, this time ordering enough to outfit the rest of the reels in my arsenal.. including some of my spinning reels. (Small reels like a 1000 Series Shimano Stradics are perfect for these grips). On the second order I also branched out and tried some various colors.. adding the orange/white, and metallic orange. the only problem I have now, is I much prefer the colors to the standard black so I will be placing a third order to replace the black grips with some more colorful choices.

here are some of the pros and cons to the reel grip as I see it..

Pros:

the reel grips come in a wide selection of colors, from the standard "black" for those of you who want to be discrete to bright Oranges that look great with my Dobyns Champion Extreme rods.

the grips fit a wide variety of reel with out issue. the soft rubber can be slid off and on fairly easily, but still stay put. They are durable and take abuse well. (I have pulled them off and on a few reels multiple times without weakening the grip)

these things are super comfortable.. from skeptic to believer after 1 use

the grips are readily available online direct from the source or from other retailers like tackle warehouse.

Cons:

not to many cons to these grips, for me they are slightly pricey coming in at $5 a pair.. if you are looking at one pair it was not really a price issue, but when buying for 10 or more reels the $50 price tag hurt a bit.

the grips will fit nearly all reels on the market, but you may have a hard time sliding them over any reel with a larger paddle. My Curado D series reel has wide paddles and it was a struggle to get the grips on. Once on they slide a bit with heavy use, but are easily slid back into place




Be sure to check out the reel grip website to see all the cool options they have for your reels. Also check out the new product recently launched.. a rod grip.. a 10.5 inch tube of plastic that sides onto you rod to provide the same grip and comfort that the grips add to your reel.. a cool idea and something I may have to give a test drive later this season

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Berkley NanoFil - Update



I thought I should post a mini update to my blog post on NanoFil line. Over the past week I have gotten the chance to spend some more time with this line, and found that some areas I have had understated it's usefulness.

With a few more uses the line seems to have softened slightly and I have seen some casting improvement. Throwing a texas rigged worm, this line allows for superior distance. I was able to hit spots 10-15feet further then when previously attempted. I dont know if this is standard, but the line has seemed to limber up.

Last night I was also in a situation in which the float-ability of NanoFil came into play. Casting a weightless worm long distances, the line sat up high in the water (or on top) and acted like a strike indicator. Many times I saw the line move prior to feeling the tap. the white color worked well standing out against the water and helped me increase my hook-up ratio.

I will continue to use this line over the short term and report back my findings. At this time I feel it has some applications it will excel at, and others Im still not sold on.