Friday, July 27, 2012

Test Drive: Snag Proof's Ish Phat Frog

For those of you who read this blog on a regular basis (or the Frog Pond for that matter) you know that Im not a huge fan of Snag Proof products. For the most part they look unfinished and lacking in some of the major advances currently available on the market today. But with that in mind I have recently been spending some time test driving the Snag Proof Ish Phat frog, and I think I may have made a new friend!

Below is a brief recap of my experience so far, and as a reminder this is just a "Test Drive" a complete review will be done and submitted on the Frog Pond (soon)

Conditions: Heavy Pads, sparse Timber, Open water
Fishing Time: 3hrs 
Fish Hooked: 5
Fish Landed4
Hook-up Ratio: 70%


There are many Pro's to this frog but I will focus on what I feel are the two most important ones. First and foremost we need to talk about the 2 air chambers. The Phat frog was designed to be "unsinkable" Snag Proof accomplished this by adding a second "sealed" air chamber in the body of the frog. Unlike most frogs that will fill up with water due to an opening (usually around the hooks) the Phat frog has added an internal air pocket that is sealed and thus will not fill up with water, but still compresses when struck. The second chamber  is more like the one seen in all other frogs on the market and may pick up some water that will need to be expelled, but this will not effect the frogs performance or sink this battleship. 

Pro #2 is the new and improved stance, no, not the long slender body profile (but I do love that too), but the actual legs themselves. The Ish Phat frog improves on what has been one of my long time complaints about other Snag Proof products. By taking the legs from the side of the frog and placing them on the ass end, it gives the frog less drag when pulled over structure and it makes sure the legs are 
out of the way of the hooks, and your hook sets. This is a huge plus in my books


There is not much that I can complain about when it comes to the Ish Phat frog, as mentioned above the frog is extremely well designed and moves very well in the water. If I was to focus on a couple areas of improvement I would have to say that the body is firmer then most high end frogs on the market today and this may effect your overall hook-up ratio. I believe they could produce a softer shell that would still allow this frog to do what it does best.

 It can also be priced a little on the high side, yes this is a good frog, but I don't believe it should be priced over $10 and compete with some of the designer frogs (can I use that term?). If you find it under the $10 mark you are doing well. 

the Breakdown

I was very impressed with the Ish Phat frog and after spending a few hours with it I was comfortable enough to use it in a tournament a week or so back (and it resulted in a few fish in the boat). This frog is the cream of the Snag Proof crop and should not be overlooked. I will be spending some more time with it over the next few weeks to ensure no annoyances creep up, but at this time Im happy to report that the Ish Phat frog will be a standard in my frog fishing arsenal for the foreseeable future.

Rod: Dobyns 736c
Reel: Daiwa Advantage
Line: SunLine FX2 Frog Line

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Post #200 - Boy are my fingers tired!

Anyone getting sick of these milestone posts yet! lol

Sorry guys, but when I started doing this back in April of 2011 I never knew that I would enjoy it as much as I do, and I never dreamed that people would read it as much as they have been.. 200 posts and over 40,000 readers later! This has taken a passion of mine an allowed me to put "pen to paper" so to speak. I enjoy sharing with you my experiences on the water and my thoughts on products and trends, and although Im sure we don't always agree, I appreciate you taking the time to read

again, thanx for reading and I hope you stick around for the next 200 posts

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Kingston Canadian Open 2012 - Final Results!

Well today wrapped up the 3rd annual Kingston Canadian open and it all came down to some familiar names and faces. As with 2011 he brother tandem of Cory and Chris Johnston was a force to be reckoned with with, Cory won the event with an overall weight of 71.9lbs and his brother finished in 4th with just over 62lbs

Another famous Canadian fishing family was also out in full force, both Bob and his son Darrin had the lead in the Pro and Amateur side of the event up until the last few minutes of the day, Bob was knocked back to third but Darrin placed 2nd respectively

Alright here is your top 5 on the pro side along with a pic..

1) Cory Johnston 71.9lbs

2) Dereck Strub 65.45lbs

3) Bob Izumi 63.85

4) Chris Johnston

5) Rob lamframbois 61.9lbs

What a gerat event, like last year it was extremely well run with lots of goodies to keep the kids happy and as you can see there are tons and tons of monster fish.

If you are looking for the full results breakdown, it can be found here
I have been trying to post it here but the list is way to large and hard to ready.

If you want to see all 80 photos I shot of the event (every team) please check click here

Again congrats to the winner Cory Johnston.. that $35,000 paycheck is well deserved

Friday, July 20, 2012

Kingston Canadian Open 2012 - Day 2 Results

Sorry for the delay guys, here are the day 2 results.

I will personally be taking in the weigh in on Saturday, so check back for pics and of course the final results

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kingston Canadian Open 2012 - Day 1 Results

Being that this great event is in my backyard, Im going to try to keep you posted on the daily results. So stay tuned each night for a quick recap (as quick as I can get the numbers).

On Saturday I will be headed downtown to take in the final weigh-in and hopefully snap a round of pics to show off some of the monster fish being brought to the scales.

well thats enough jabber, here are your Day 1 results..... for a pdf download version click here

1) John MacDonald     23.40
2) Chris Johnston       23.10
3) John Whyte           23.05
4) Derek Strub          22.50
5) Josh Myers           21.25
6) Bob Izumi            21.20
7) Dave Rochette      21.15
8) Steve Voros         20.95
9) Tom Tarasoff       20.90
10) Mike Desforges  20.75

Rob Laframboise sits in 15th with 19.75

Updated: 07/20/2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fear & Loathing on the BBTS: Jacks Lake

Tournament #2 on Jacks Lake is officially in the books and up until about 1pm I was real nervous we were looking at a repeat performance of our showing on Weslemkoon. lucky for us the walk of shame was avoided as we ran into some nice fish late in the afternoon... here is how our day went:

I got us started off on the low note by drawing the worst possible blast off position.. Last!, thats right we had the dubious distinction of blasting off in the #30 spot and being the official event starters (that means we actually sit at the staring gate and yell out boat numbers when it is there turn to blast off). The only thing good about going last is that it gives us the opportunity to watch the direction that all other boats headed. This allowed us to change up our starting spot on the fly and gave us some insight as to some spots we have never seen or fished previously. (we were surprised at the amount of boats that headed "west"

Once we finally got off, we made the short run to our fist spot. This is where our 2012 pre fish failed us, this year we avoided the spots we had successes in and tried to learn a new portion of the lake, but if we would have checked in on some of our old spots we would have noticed a slightly lower water level and less weed/pad growth. Needless to say spot one did not produce a single keeper, so we were on the move new territory that we had tested during pre-fish.

 Spot #2 was a long run for our starting spot and we quickly realized that there were 2 other boats sharing what we hoped would be a productive  part of our day. Pulling up short we moved on to a deep weed line we had found by accident and proceeded to work it over with everything but the kitchen sink.. jigs, spinner baits, top water and drop shot rigs. These all produced fish but nothing worth adding to the live well.

It was 10:30am and our 4th spot before we actually landed a fish that we could keep, and it was a tiny one. Grasping at straws we moved from the smaller weed beds back into some of the many bays and started to focus on larger pad sections and timber, following this pattern we eventually added 3 more keepers to the live well at a total weight under 5lbs.. yep spirits were low for sure.

As the afternoon wore on we decided to head over to the our most productive area from last years event We had checked in on it a few times throughout the day and each time it was already full of boats, so around 1pm when we saw it was finally empty, he headed on in for the kill.. it was not even 10 minutes later and we had what would be our biggest fish, a just over 4lb large mouth. As we continued working the section we continued to cull fish, and when we left the area we had turned our 5lb bag into a alb bag.

At this time the wind was back in our sales and with confidence boosted we hit up a couple brand new spots and culled the last of our tiny fish to get us to what would eventually be our final weight.. 11.48lbs.

this was good enough to land us in 12th place and 16th place in the overall Team of the Year standings. It feels good to make up some ground on the overall standings and with our current weight we are now only 2lbs out of the top 10... a very doable feet.

Alright now for the rest of the field.. the event winners were Russ Watkins and Jay Hotzak with an outstanding 19.48lb bag.. great job guys..

(Russ Watkins & Jay Hotzak)

This year Jacks lake coughed up yet another monster fish, Grant MaCauley weighed in a 6.14lb largemouth and would tell anyone who listened that he caught it on a micro tube and bobber combo! crazy!

Here are some more pics of the day that was, it was great event, and nice crowd to watch the weigh is always a bonus.

 Some of the above pics were provided by the BBTS website, if you are looking to fish a tournament or two this season, be sure to check out their website as I think there are still some spots available.

Again congrats to the winners, and we will see you all on August 5th on Chandos Lake

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pre-Fishing.. Timing is Everything

There is a lot to be said for per-fishing, it really gives you a leg up when your not familiar with a body of water. It gives you an opportunity to try out new baits and see whats working and what you can leave at home, and more importantly it is just another great day on the water fishing with friends

The tournament series that I fish, has a pre-fishing moratorium in place 1 week prior to an event. although this can be hard on anglers (water levels and structure can change week to week) it is also helpful to those non-local anglers who cant fish the lake each night of the week. Taking the moratorium into consideration my tournament partner and I have to plan out our pre-fishing schedule pretty thoroughly, and try to get to each lake prior to the moratorium but not so far in advance that the lake and conditions have time to change drastically. This is a very fragile balancing act that we do each year, and although no amount of pre-fishing can hurt your changes, the changed in the lake can sure make things interesting

Last year, we had two incidents in which our pre-fishing schedule bit us in the butt. The first was on Limerick lake, due to our  busy work schedule we needed to pre-fish Limerick approximately 3 weeks prior to the tournament start date. By the time the tournament rolled around the water level dropped so drastically that the area in which we had prepped for our starting spot was nearly un-fishable and we were left scrambling to move to our follow-up spot.  Not only did this throw us of our game, but it was also a kick to the confidence as we had some great success on the spots we pre-fished. With these out the equation we moved on to some deeper water spots and were still able to string together a 5 fish bag, but we did not enjoy the same success we had during pre-fish.

The second incident occurred on Paudash Lake, in this instance my partner could not make the pre-fishing day at all and I fished the lake with a few friends, we had a great time and hammered some decent fish. The issue on Paudash was slightly different to the situation on Limerick in that the pre-fishing took place nearly 4 weeks prior to the tournament and in "summer like" conditions. By the time the event rolled around fall weather was in full swing and the fish were on the move.. this resulted in our worst tournament bag of the season. I will admit that we were not the only ones to struggle, but seeing as this was the first time in which we did not weigh in 5 fish, we were extremely disappointed in our results.

All in all finding fish can at times be a hard thing to do, so when you put in the work and find some fish you believe can get you a paycheck, there is nothing worse then arriving at the lake on tournament day only to find all your hard work is for naught. Dont get me wrong, pre-fishing is a great way to learn a lake and boost your chances of success on a tournament day, but that being said timing is everything and if the timing is off, some times it's just better not to know.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Practice = Confidence, The Art of Breaking in new Baits

I buy a lot of new baits, some would say I buy too many new baits, namely my wife, but I do have to  admit there are times when I tend to agree with her (although not for the same reasons).

My wife would say I buy too many new baits because,  one: I have an entire room dedicated to fishing equipment and two: because she see the bills.. but for me the only time I question the amount of  baits I buy is when I cant even keep up with them, and a new bait sits on the shelf unused, and unwanted

Yes similar to the plot line from the original Toy Story movie, fishing baits can and do get neglected. the reason being?.. Confidence! Many of us get limited time on the water and the time we do get we really want to have success. This is why "old faithful" is always tied on in place of the "newbie". I get it, Ive been there, and believe me when I tell you, I have have bags and bags of baits that have been rarely (if ever) used sitting in my fishing room quietly singing "you've got a friend in me"as they wait for their turn on the water

Where am I going with this mini rant you may ask?.. well, what it comes down to is,  that a season or so ago I made a conscious decision to get better in a select number of fishing aspects or techniques, and the only way to do this was practice, I started making short weekly trips equipped with only a few select new baits that I wanted to learn and get better with. By traveling light I had no choice but to use the baits I had with me, I left the frogs at home and put away the wacky rig and started to really focus on various techniques such as Spinnerbaits, jigs , and various flipping baits. These trips can range from 1 hour to 5 hours in length and the idea is to learn and get a feel for how a new bait fishes, throwing it in various situations and water types will quickly show you how and where a bait will fish.

One trip does not make or break a new bait for me, I have had times in which I put away a bait 3 or more times prior to really getting the hang of it, and there are times I have had great success with a bait only to follow that trip up with back 2 back poor outings. The longer you use the bait and try to figure out why it is or isn't producing the more apt you are to find success with it.

My best example of how this has worked for me can be traced back to spinnerbaits. I struggled with this technique, I had a hard time finding a bait that I liked to throw and that I could get to produce. I continued to purchase a few new spinnerbaits each season to give them a shot. On some of my weekly trips I would pack a 2 or 3 spinnerbaits and throw them each for 30 minutes to an hour. I quickly learned what felt good to me and what didnt, and even more importantly I learned what baits I could catch fish on.. and I have been catching fish on one ever since

All in all this is not for everyone, but these trips have proved very useful to me.  Not only have I gained confidence in a bunch of new techniques, but I have also started using many new baits that had previously been collecting dust in my fishing room. I really recommend you give this a shot.  It's easier then it sounds, just put aside a few hours a week, grab a couple rods and  pack a small bag with your new gear (I know you have some!).  Remember, Practice equals confidence, and maybe if your lucky and your wife sees you playing with you new toys, she may even let you buy more!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bass Master Drops an ICAST 2012 Sneak Peak!

Like you, I salivate whenever I think about ICAST (ok well maybe Im just speaking for myself here, but I digress. Icast is just around the corner, and for those of us itching to get a look at next years product mix Bass has our back, as they released a 28 item sneak peak at some of the cool new toys coming at your in 2013

I narrowed down the BassMaster list to my top 3, and  since im a little bias you had to know that two for the three are frogs baits

1. Snag Proof "Ish Popping Frog"

a bug eye addition to the Ish series, this frog has two separate popping holes, one on each side of the frogs head. This frog may look strange, but I cant wait to get my hands on it

2. Evolve Lures Nervous Walker Frog 

I dont know what to say about this ugly looking snub nose fromfrog, there is no real info available on what they have changed from the original Nervous walker.. I will say that it does look different

In the caption the BM staff talks about "humpping" this frog, or working it in an up and down motion in stead of the typical walking side to side (their words not mine!). Not sure if this frog was designed slightly different to take advantage of this technique, or if Evovle is just using the re-launch to push a new technique.

3. And the Havoc Line Grows (again)

Im not a Berkely guy, and up until the launch of the Havoc line the only product of theirs I used was their Ribbon Tail worms (great punching bait). But the Havoc line has really caught my attention and I currently carry baits like the Pit Boss, The Devil Spear, the Juice Worm and Craw Fatty. This year the line has grow again and at ICAST Berkely will be adding a Pit Boss Chunk and the Rocket Craw. I know these baits are not a huge surprise to most, as I believe that both of these baits are currently available on the Berkely site, but in case you have not seen them locally.. take a look!

 I will say that at first glance I had written off the Rocket craw, it just seemed to have to much going on. But then I took a quick look at the video on the Berkley website (HERE) and was super impressed by the action of the bait. This is not a typical flipping craw, it is more of a swim craw, does that make sense? and if it doesn't just watch the video.

As for the Pit Boss Chunk, this will be added to my arsenal for sure. I love the original Pit Boss and use it on a regular bases. The Chunk version will be the perfect jig trailer. 

* Please note that the images used above have been pulled direclty from the Bass Master Sneak peek (see above link).

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bed Fishing for Smallies - Paul Meuller Videos

You may have noticed that I post quite a few Paul Meuller videos, every video that I can get my hands on actually. 

The reason is, the dude is a flat out "stick" and makes some of the best free information and instructional videos available on the web today. If you have missed some of Pauls pervious videos be sure to click on the "HERE" or check out the Video label section on the bottom right hand side of my home page

before you do that though, spend a few minutes to watch 2 new smallmouth videos

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2012 Kingston Canadian Open of Fishing.. Coming Soon!

July 19,20, 21

It is now officially July, and with that my thoughts have turned to one if not thee premiere Canadian Bass fishing event of the 2012 season... The Kingston Canadian Open 

This is the events 3rd year in existence, and being that it is held right in my back yard it gives me a great front row seat to the weigh in and results. The Kingston Open really draws in a "who's who" of canadian anglers, it includes some of the sports top tournament names including Derek Strub, Rob LaFrambois, Mike Desforges and Doug Brownridge. On the celebrity side last years entrants included Bob Izumi as well as WFN's JP DeRose, both of which had pretty decent showings (Bob's son actually won the Amateur side of the event). For me this year my money is on fellow Dobyns team member Ryan Suassana, he had a great showing last year and is on a roll to start 2012

For those of you not familiar with the event, here is a quick rundown for ya, the Kingston Canadian Open is a 3 day Pro/Am event capped at 80 boats (160 Anglers). Top prize on the Pro side is a whopping $40,000 in cash, and on the Amateur side it is a $15,000 boat package.

As this is a Pro/Am event each boat will have 1 Pro and 1 Amateur angler, at the start of each day Amateur anglers will be paired up with a different Pro angler, so they dont get to As with most tournament formats, the anglers will be weighing in 5 fish bags at the end of each day, the anglers with the highest overall weight after three days will be leaving with some extra change in their pocket

(payout chart taken from

So if you are in the Kingston area on July 19 -21st, be sure to head down to the water front for one of the daily 3pm weigh-ins, not only will you get to see some of Canada's top anglers, but you will get to check out some great sponsor tables filled with new gear as well freebies.

P.S: This is a very kid friendly event, with free lawn chairs provided, concessions and lots of fishing gear being handed out, this is a great way to get your kids introduce to the tournament end of the sport.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Canada Day.. Now go fishing!

I just wanted to take a moment to wish all of my fellow Canucks here and abroad a happy Canada day. I hope you get to spend the day similar to how I will be spending mine.. On the water and with family and friends.

This weekend is shaping up to be a great one, a kids fishing derby on saturday (yesterday) and then off to take me niece and nephew fishing on Sunday (today). I see a BBQ or two in my future, then on Monday I  am off to Jacks lake to get in some pre-fishing  for a tournament I have coming up. I think we will put in a nice 8 hour day, then home for one more BBQ before the work week kicks back in on Tuesday

As you can see it will be whirlwind weekend, but that being said, it will be filled with the things I love, Family, Friends, Food & Fishing.. the 4F club

again, Happy Canada day, and remember "Fish life to the Fullest"