Sunday, October 28, 2012

RadioWolrd Ice Fishing Seminar 2012 - GO!

If you are looking to improve you ice fishing knowledge and skill, you dont want to miss out on Radioworlds  4th Annual Ice Fishing Seminar and Sale. This really is the best place to fill your brain all you need to know about ice fishing.. tips, techniques and gear.

I attended the first and 3rd annual shows and Im looking forward to taking in this years seminar. Im always blown away by the caliber of speaker that the Radioworld crew are able to drum up, they included some of Ontario's best ice anglers and reps from all the major players.

If I haven't mentioned it already this show is FREE, yeah you heard it right FREE, as an angler always willing to learn and grow I will say that I have paid admission fees of $60 and more to take in seminars the caliber of the RadioWorld show and the fact that they still offer it from free is amazing

If you are interested in taking in this years show click HERE and drop the RadioWorld team a line to register. The guest list will continue to grow as we get closer to show time, but book now as it was a sold out house last year

I did'nt even tell you about all the free gear they give away during the show (and food). I hope to see you there and on the ice this season

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

BassJunkies Best of 2012

Just like in 2011 the products  listed below do not have to be "New" just new to me. Sometimes we as fisherman are late getting to a bait that has been on the market for years, but when we do finally get around to using it, good or bad, we can help but share. So below are 5 products that contributed to my success in 2012

Deps Slither K

Im a frog guy, you all know it, so there was no way I was going to complete a "best of" list and not include a frog bait. This year there was some pretty serious competition in the frog market, between the Booyah Pad Crasher and the Jackall Iobee there was no shortage of high quality high performance hollow bellied frogs, but for me, the Deps Slither K was the best of the best.

A small profile frog with super soft body, the Deps Slither K is a dream to fish with. It moves incredibly well in the water and the short fur tail imparts more action then the standard rubber strands used on most other frogs (and it poses less of a hazard to your hook-up ratio). If it was not for it's hefty price tag I would expect to see this frog in every fisherman's arsenal. I had great success with the Deps Slither K and have to say it provided me with the highest hook-up ratio of any Frog I used this year

Zoom UltraVibe Craw

Again this bait is not exactly new to the market, but, it sure was new to me, and I fell in love fast

I have told this story here in the past, but will rehash it now. I have a friend that bought a large lot of Zoom baits off another angler, nearly 300 packs of various Zoom products, and obviously he could not use it all, so being a good guy he contact a group of buddies and offered up some of the baits to us. When he posted the list of available baits, the first 5 guys to responded with the following "I'll take every speed craw you have". This alone was enough to make me head out in search for this bait, and Im glad I did.

The Zoom UltraVibe Speed Craw is a nice compact multi purpose bait that can be pitched into thick pads or flipped and swam through weed-beds. With two leg sizes to choose from you can switch things up and offer the fish a big meal or bite sized snack.  I threw both of these baits all season long with great success. I prefer the smaller Ultra-Vibe to the larger Super Speed just for it's fall alone. Personally when fishing this kind of craw I am usually slipping it through pads or sliding it over timber. If you want a reaction bait that can be swallowed hole, the Ultra Vibe is your bait

War Eagle Screaming Eagle Spinner-Baits

If you read this blog on a regular basis you may be sick of me talking about Screaming Eagle spinner-baits from War Eagle.. but I cant help it, not only are they the best spinner-bait I have ever thrown but they have also increased my confidence level in spinner bait fishing and in turn have made me a better spinner-bait angler.

The small shape yet heavy frame allow you to do whatever you want with them. You can burn the screaming eagle over shallow water and weeds, or you can slow roll over deeper water and bang around in the timber. The un-painted head and flashy blades really focus a fishes attention on the bait when it passes, and a quality hook keeps the fish stuck. I keep it pretty simple when fishing a screaming eagle, I carry two colors both of which are white!

If you are still trying to get your bearings when it comes spinnerbait fishing pick-up a screaming eagle (or 10) you wont look back

Lazer Trokar Hooks

Im actually going to eat a little crow here, back when Trokar hooks were introduced I like most anglers were skeptical of the sharpness claims and even more skeptical of the price tag (that one still hurts). But they were new so I bought some. Over the next few years I use Trokar sporadically but was not exactly blown away by what I was seeing.  As I moved into tournament fishing I was more and more cognizant of the quality and sharpness of the hook i was using. During a couple practise trips I broke out the Trokar's and was quickly impressed as I hooked into short striking fish all day. There were times that I did not even have to set the hook, the fish would come up from under the timber wrap it's lips around the hook and even the smallest amount of pressure stuck him.

Needless to say I was hooked (yes bad pun intended). From that point on I started using Trokars on all my rigs and even added a few Trokar tipped spinnerbaits ( I wish they make stinger/trailer hooks for Spinnerbaits). The sharpness of these hooks is incredible, and to this date I have not experienced any of the hook point rolling issues others have described (and believe me, I spent some time in the timber).

Hook quality is important, and my eyes are now open to what a difference a Trokar hooks can make. Over the course of this off season I will be building back up my hook arsenal and I expect that Trokar will dominate the collection

Dobyns Savvy Micro-Guide Series

Yes, yes the debate rages on, but if you are in the market for a micro-guide rod you wont find a better one then the Dobyns Savvy Micro. I personally gave this rod a serious work-out this year and I really  love it. I own the SS704c and it has spent most of it's life working Jerk-baits, buzz baits and the occasional spinner-bait.  Like all Dobyns rods the Savvy micro is light weight, perfectly balanced and tough as nails. The micro guides although still under heated debate did improve my casting distance (very evident while throwing buzz-baits) and seemed to better handle fluorocarbon lines then rods with standard sized guides.

If you are in the market for a micro guide rod, I recommend giving the Dobyns Savvy a try, you will be very impressed with it's handling skills

SuneLine FX2 & Super Sniper FC

In the line category I cant pick just one, so I'm going to have to go with a brand.. SunLine. This was my first year using SunLine brand fishing line and I have to admit I was super impressed. The FX2 frog line is the perfect hollow body fishing line, it is round smooth and very tough. Under close inspection this line looks like rope (that's where it gets it's strength from) but unlike rope FX2 casts very well and will not effect your distance or accuracy as some other stiffer braids will. One other perk I found with FX2 is it's ability to hold it's color, I hate have green dyed hands after a day on the water, most major braid manufacturers have not yet perfect their color stay formula, Sunline has.. no more green hands (now if we could only correct bass thumb)

The second Sun-Line product I used this past season was the Super Sniper FC flourocarbon line. Like FX2 Super Sniper FC is very strong and durable, yet it is still limp enough to cast lighter baits accurately and for distance. The line stayed soft and supple all season long and really makes me excited to try Sun lines premium line-up

Well there you have it, 5 products that really made my take notice in 2012. Obviously there were many other baits that caught my eye, but none provided me with the level of success seen in the above 5 products. I just hope their sophomore season proves to be as productive as their rookie season

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dobyns October Tip of the Month: Patrick Bone

The Dobyns Rods tip of the month for October comes from FLW angler Patrick Bone. It's hard to argue with a man holding an FLW trophy (even harder when it came with a $25,000 cheque).

Here is Patricks fall tip:

October is a time that fish will move up shallow. I like to go after fish that are sitting under the docks. When it comes to skipping docks the right rod is everything. It has to have enough tip and yet enough backbone to get the fish out from under the docks. I prefer a 7 footer like a 704C or a 705C. Lately I have been using a 735C and it is great. When I skip a jig under the docks I thread a small piece of plastic worm onto my jig before I put on the chunk. A piece that measures about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch gets the job done. This piece will prevent your chunk sliding up the shank of the hook when skipping the jig under the dock. Good luck and good skipping.

If your interested in check out any of the past TOM's click the below link

If you would like to read more on Patricks FLW win click HERE

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rant: How to Keep your Private Fishing Hole Private!

We have all had it happen to us, our spot, our fishing hole, our sacred place that we truly believe belongs to us, gets stolen, boosted, taken away.. How does it happen? why does it happen? Well, we may never truly know how our private fishing hole became public knowledge.. but at time we can only blame ourselves!

here are the top 3 reasons you lost your private fishing hole

1) The Internet

10 years ago this would have been unheard of. But with the onslaught of fishing forums and social media sites Anglers are posting photos and at times geographical information on where and when they are fishing. Many of us are cognizant of this and take steps to avoid spot recognition.. here is some do's and dont's when it comes to posting photos on-line

Do's: Take a moment to look around you, is there any landmark or highly distinguishable piece of nature that will give away the spot you are fishing. A Pink Cottage or split tree is pretty obvious, a simply fur tree will not be. watch your backdrop as I can assure you other anglers will be paying attention when they look at your photos

Before posting your photos on-line use the crop feature in your photo editing program, this will allow you to remove any items you missed when on the water, and will allow you to better centre the photograph so the focus is on your fish and not the background

Dont's: The dreaded photo shop blur. We have all seen it, the entire background of a photo blurred or blacked out. This looks awful, and ruins the image. If you follow the above steps you wont need to alter your photo with effects that take away from the fish

On larger bodies of water naming the lake is not an issue. If you start calling Okeechobee "Lake X" people are going to think your crazy. But if you have a small lake with limited resources you may be best to avoid naming it. Some-one may call you out, but who cares, your lake is safe

2) Word of Mouth

When you find a new fishing hole it can be hard to keep it a secret. You will want to share it with friends and or fishing partners.. this is a good thing. But what you need to consider is that these friends also have friends and fishing partners. So for each friend you tell, you can expect them to share the sport with a few of their friends and so on and so on. Be sure to share this info with friends that have the same fishing ethics as you do, or at least make they cough up a spot you can hold as ransom on yours (I may have to try that)

I always go back to the time in which my room mate told me about one of his dads fishing holes. A few weeks later I headed out to fish this spot only to find his dad already there, and fishing. He recognized me immediately and was polite about it. so we spent the hour fishing together. The next day he called his son and laid into him for giving up the spot (to this day I have never caught a single fish there)

3) Fishing & Parking in High Traffic or Visible spots

I think the majority of us realize this one, if you fish the same spot day after day, week after week, month after month, you are going to be noticed. Even more so when you are driving one of those fancy bass boats we all love. Anglers take notice of this kind of thing, most guys leave a lake with a mental image of all the boats they saw fishing that day, the ones they thought were "local" and ones they thought were "pros. Where they were fishing and many even notice how long a guy sits on a spot. So if you do all of the above when on the water.. what makes you think others are not doing the same damn thing to you!

Obviously Im not telling you to stop fishing you favourite spot, or it wouldn't be your favourite spot. But what I am saying is pick your times, you may not want to spend an entire Saturday afternoon of the long weekend parked in a favourite spot knowing there is 3x as much boat traffic on the water. (watching you). Weekday trips are great for fishing hot spots, the lake is nearly empty and you have most spots to yourself.

Parking is also a tactic to keep you secret spot hidden, especially on smaller lakes. I fish one lake that has small boat access only, if it was not for the 2-3 trucks parked in front of bushes I would not even have known there was a spot to drag a boat down. Each year more and more people fish this small lake, and it is solely based on the traffic and word of mouth

My last story in this mini rant has to do with a small lake I fish with my tournament partner. He showed it to me, and thus far I have kept it private. But this year he made friends with a TV Angler who he gave the spot up to. My partner assured me that when filming they would remove the landmarks and not say the name of the lake. This is all well and good, but the only parking for this lake in right along the the busiest stretch of HWY in the area.. so for 6 hours a day 4 times a month, every car and truck driving this hwy got to see the fully wrapped truck of this TV angler. Again, this was his spot and his choice, but I did dig into him a bit about it.

That's it, my mini rant is over, I hope you took something away from this, and remember the more clues you leave to how good your spot is, the more people will search it out. So if you want to keep you private fishing hole private, turn off your computer, shut your mouth and fish hard.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ice is Near & the 2013 IceShanty Tournament Sign-Up is Now!

Ice fishing is an addiction, and like any addiction if you want to survive it, you need to find a place that will except you and your addiction for who and what you are... ok this may not be a great life philosophy, but it sure as hell works for ice fishing.

If you are addicted to Ice fishing (like me) there is one place you can always turn and be accepted with open arms.. With over 45,000 active members you and your addiction will feel right at home. I personally have been a proud member of the IS community since 2005 and in that time I have improved my fishing skills and mets some great buddies in the process.

You may be wondering what sparked this early October post about ice fishing, well it's easy, every year holds one of the most advanced on-line tournaments the sport of ice fishing has ever seen, and registration is currently underway for the 2013 tournament. With anglers from all over the world competing for crazy prizes supplied by some of Ice fishings most innovative companies, you cant don't want to miss this one

If you want to join all is ice addicts, click the HERE and register on one of the most addictive sites on the world wide wed (thats not porn related)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall Fishing Bait & Color Selection

Fall is in the air, you know what that means! the temps drop but the scenery and fishing improves!

Ok, I know not all of you will agree with me, as Fall fishing can at times be trying, the cooler temps have the fish on the move and put you in constant search mode. What I like about the Fall is that I get to fish some pretty exciting baits that I don't use during the summer months.. like buzz baits, or lip less cranks, even jigs.

If you are looking to improve on your Fall Fishing success, check out some of these proven fishing catching beasts.

Top Water: Buzz Baits & Poppers

We all love to throw top water, it is in our blood. But as the temps drop you may find your fav walking bait is not producing like it once did. So what now, what are your options?  Easy, slow down and make some noise

Buzz Baits as are great spring and Fall bait, they make some serious noise and let you cover a lot of water while searching for fish on the move or in transition. I prefer to stick with single blade buzz baits and run them in both white and black. The Cavitron is a great choice as it can be run slower then other buzz baits and still stays on top of the water. Fish really inhale these baits, so be prepared to spend a lot of time straightening them back out. Another caution is that the long body with heavy blade does not have a lot of give, so when battling jumping smallies it can be hard to keep tension in the right area and thus you lose some fish (speaking from experience here)

Poppers are another great top water bait for Fall fishing. They are the perfect slow moving loud bait that can call fish in from great distances. They are more productive then walking baits (for me) and I believe it has to do with the fact that they stay in one place for longer periods of time. This lets the fish key in on them, get angry and feed. Rattles are a perk when using poppers in the Fall, extra noise is a plus!

Spinner baits

Spring, summer and fall, you will rarely look at my rod arsenal and not see a spinner bait tied on. I love to spinner bait fish, and fish seem to love the spinner bait, so it's a win/win

In the fall months similar to top water fishing I like to slow things down a bit. I use larger spinner baits that will allow me to slow roll them over and around structure. Like always I use white skirts, and I like the tandem of silver and gold blades. If you want the extra weight without the size, the War Eagle Screaming eagle is the perfect bait for the job, it's comes in at 1/2oz but with the profile of a 1/4oz spinner bait.

Fishing points, rock or weed edges and you will find success with spinner baits. If you have the patience to let them drop into deep water you are a better man then me, and you will find success in spots ignored by other anglers

Tube Fishing:

I don't throw a tube as much as I should, I really enjoy tube fishing and have a fair amount of success with it. In the Fall months I tend to break out a tube more often, and use them in two different ways...

first and foremost I will opt to drag a tube in medium to deep water situations, from 8-20ft. Cast it out and let it bounce around on the bottom causing a ruckus. This tactic can be tricky as many times you are waiting to feel nothing instead of a hard strike. Often when dragging a smallie will simply pick you bait up off the bottom, when you feel "nothing" or a "mush" set the hook. When dragging it is very important that you can feel your bait on the bottom, if you can't, slow down or bulk up

If you are not into dragging, you can also throw a tube on a drop shop rig. I have had great success with this method. It gives the tube a great slow flutter but the weight still makes contact with the bottom so you know where your bait is at all times.

I fell in love with El Grande Lures tubes this season, and that is one of the big reasons I joined there team. They are ultra durable but still give off an incredible action. The Below pic shows off a couple of my favourite colours including the "red breast" (bottom) and bluegill (middle)

In the Fall months smallmouth bass are on the feedback, they love a quick bulky meal and tubes offer them exactly what they are looking for.

Jig Fishing

If you only throw a jig once a year, you need to make sure that it's during the fall season. Similar to a tube bait, a jig offers feeding fish the meal they crave. Big, bulky slow moving, but with lots of life like action, a jig allows you to fish deep, shallow and anywhere in-between. Whether its flipping at structure or swimming whats left the weed beds a jig offers you versatility and the chance to hook big fish on every cast

For the most part I prefer darker coloured jigs, opting for blacks, and dark browns and greens. I was in the mood for Fall colors today so pictured below is a Black Angel Jig in the "peas and carrots colour". I use Black Angel as I love the long tail like strands they leave on each bait. The quality is great and each one takes the abuse you would expect to put a jig through over the course of the season. Check out their swim jigs, finesse jigs and the hit man football jig.. very cool

LipLess Crankbaits

This is not exactly  my area of specialty, but if you were to poll a group of anglers on their fav Fall baits, you are going to hear "lip less" crank more then once, and whether it is a go to bait for you or not, you cant deny they are fun to throw and they catch fish.

Lip less cranks do a couple things really well, first off they make a ton of noise, and as we have talked about a few time today, that's an import thing during the Fall, secondly similar to a spinner bait they allow you to rip in,  around and through cover, but unlike a spinner bait you can pause a lip less crank and try to entice the fish to kill it. I guess i should specify here that "suspending" lip less cranks are my bait of choice. They allow me the vary my speed without feeling rushed, and sometimes pausing a bait for just a few seconds does way more damage to a fishes psyche then ripping a bait past them

As mentioned above this is not exactly my wheelhouse, but I do carry some Rat'l traps as well as Cotton Cordell Suspend Spots. Both are a quality bait and really get the job done.

Honorable Mention:

You had to know you might find the Alabama rig here somewhere. It is the hottest most controversial bait currently available, and guys are using it all season long with success. yes, even in the Fall.

I have only ran my Alabama rig a few times, first in the early spring then a few times while goofing around in the late summer months. I really like the way it moves when rigged Texas style and not with jig heads. The extra weight  and open hooks were really getting me into trouble so I opted to run skin hooked EWG hooks with these Bass Magnet lures swim baits. Here in Ontario we can only  run the Alabama rig with 4 hooks, so I have added a Colorado blade to the centre arm giving my rig some additional flash

You can work the Alabama rig in any situation you would normally throw a spinner bait. I love pulling it across the top of weed beds or rocky points. I'm still looking for my first double header but I have managed a few fish on this rig so far, and to be honest i enjoy throwing it.

Alright so that's that, if you were not to sure what to do when the calendar hits October, now you have some options. I know I missed many a good bait, so feel free to add to the list, like you I'm always willing to learn and adapt

Weapons of Choice

Cavitron Buzz Baits thrown on a Dobyns 705cb Glass
War Eagle Spinner baits thrown on a Dobyns DX744
El Grande Tubes thrown on a Dobyns SS703C (some guys like to power down to a 742)
Black Angle Jigs thrown on a Dobyns 734C
Lip Less Cranks thrown on Dobyns 805CBRM

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Celebrating 50,000 Views with a contest: Signed Dobyns Hat

Damn, this is a milestone I have been excited about hitting. 50,000 views is something I thought would take a couple years to hit at least, and Im excited and honoured that it took just over 1 year to reach this feat.

In honor of the 50,000 views I wanted to run a little contest. A couple months back Gary Dobyns was nice enough to provide me with a couple signed Dobyns caps. These hats have been signed by both Gary and Richard Dobyns and one of them is up for grabs...

Here is all you need to do..

1) Like the BassJunkies Fishing Addiction Facebook page (Here)
2) Like the Dobyns Rods Facebook page (Here)
3) Post a pic of you and a fish you are proud of to the BassJunkies Facebook page (Here)

If you have already liked both of the above pages, jump right to step 3 and post a pic. This is not a popularity contest, all you have to do to enter is post the pic. All names will be placed in a draw and the winner announced the first week of Novemer

It is that easy!

Again thank you for reading, and I hope to see some great pics of your fish

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall Fishing: Photo Journal

The calendar has officially flipped over to read "October" and with it Fall fishing is in full swing. This last weekend of September was gorgeous, so I took some time out from a buys work schedule to hit the water and take in those amazing fall colours.

Originally this post was going to be all about fall fishing, the baits to use, the baits to avoid and how to find fish during this early fall transition.. but I was blown away by the sights and sounds of Fall and decided to switch things up and post this photo journal from my day on the water (It does not help that the bite was tough either)

This pics where taken on Dog Lake and Loughborough lake just outside of Kingston, Ontario.

As I mentioned the bite was tuff today. I was able to pull in a few fish, but none with any real size to them. This little guy was the first fish of the day, so he had to pose for a photo op

One bait that always calls them in during the Fall transition is the good ol' Ratl' trap, and since the colors of this baby blend well with the soundings I thought I would include it as part of the Fall scenery