Thursday, March 29, 2012

El Grande Lures.. Sizes Does Matter

If you have ever laid your hands on the Gila Monster bait from El Grande Lures, you will quickly notice just how much they believe in their slogan "Size Does Matter", and in case you have never seen or fished with their products, you should also know that that they could just as easily change that slogan to "Quality does Matter" or "Service Does Matter", because this is one company who has all three of these  nailed down.

El Grande lures is an up and comer in the soft plastic bait market, they may not be widely known outside of the US, but those who use their products rarely forget them. I want to take a minute to introduce you to a pretty awesome line-up of baits and colors..

(Bama Bruise Color)

Go big or go home right? so lets start this off with the Gila Monster.. at just under 9"inches of length this King Lizard can rack up some seriously hungry fish. It's slender profile makes this beast a great bait to use while Carolina rigging or while pitching into the slop or other cover. It falls really well and that long tail stands up just long enough to ensure any on-lookers get a good eyeful, and hopefully a mouth full.

This is one serious bait, and if you dont plan on throwing it with a 6/0 or 7/0 hook, you better plan on missing a few fish. You can probably get away with a 5/0 but why try? This big bait is definitely worth your time and money. The color options are pretty sweet as well,  I recommend checking out the Bama-Bruise (close to red shad) and the Komodo. 

(Foxy Fred & Shiner Boom R Ang's)

Next up is the BoomRAng, a slightly different take on traditional jerkbait. The BRA is the brain child of Fred Roumbanis, and has a wicked forked tail, and some seriously sexy colors choices. Coming in at 6 inches on length this bait is can be fished multiple ways, including the traditional T-Rig, and Carolina rig.. Personally I think it will find some time on my Alabama Rig this season.. yes I said it!

The BoomRAng has some decent shoulders on it, and comes equipped with a belly slot and slight indentation across the back to protect the hook point. It swims really well and you could run this bait with anything from a 3/0 to 5/0 hook and still not effect the action at all.

As mentioned above I believe the color choices for this bait are one of it's biggest strengths, I love the Foxy Fred, the Shiner and Tilapia, but I think I could find a use for baby bass and shad too.. oh hell I think the entire color selection is worth a look

(Toad & Black/Yellow)

Now what kind of a Frog Fisherman would I be, if I didn't include the El Grande Sapo  in this list of goodies? The Sapo is a traditional Buzz frog, the second smallest bait in the El Grande arsenal this frog is just 4-inches in length. It has a deep hook slot on it's back and will accommodate up to a 5/0 hook with ease. the two out-turned feet churn some serious water and the legs are the right mix of soft yet firm so they give off a great motion in the water  yet still hold up to the abuse doled out by big fish attacking from cover.

With only 3 color choices there may not be allot to choose from, yet El Grande still managed to cover the spectrum. If I had to choose One, I would go with the Toad color, but my second choice would be the black/yellow.  To be honest, I own all three, but that's just me.

(Mardi Gras & Mississippi Mud)

so now on to a tung twister.. the Hatch Match Stick, or the Match Stick for short. This beefy little stick bait is slightly tapered at both ends with a wide scaly belly,  measuring in at  5.25 inches in length the Match Stick is a great skipping worm and also excels weighted and un-weighted while fished on a T-Rig.

For a guy who throws a wacky rig 80% of the time (while worm fishing) Im still working on the proper presentation when using the match stick wacky. It is not your traditionally shaped stick bait and Im still trying to get a feel for it in the water.

Like with the rest of the El Grande Lure arsenal the Match Stick comes in a pretty impressive array of colors, from two tone to some crazy three tone baits, you wont find a more unique color selection on the market today. If I was to name my top three I would have to recommend the Mardi Gras, the Blue Gill and the Mississippi Mud, three very different colors that should have you covered in any situation

(Green Pumpkin/Chartreuse Swirl, Blue Gill, RedBreast)

Im going to finish this article off with the product that drew me to El Grande and that is the El Grande Tube, a very high quality 4" tube bait with some seriously styling color options. I really can't get over the look of the blue gill and redbreast tubes. The site photo really does not do them justice, then need to be seen up close and personal. Before I even fished with them I placed a second order for a few more packs

What stands out even more then the colors is the quality, with a 1/4inch solid head and a thick yet pliable body these tubes will hold up well no matter how you fish'em.  But where this tube really excells is as a flipping tube, the slender profile and slight ribbing offers up a great presentation and a nice fall.  

Thats it, you have now seen El Grande's current product line, but only a small fraction of the colors that are available. If you liked what you see here, be sure to jump on-line and check out more. And if you are looking to keep up to-date on the new products and/or colors, be sure to check out their facebook page.. HERE, and click the like button

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Protect your Investment.. The Rod Glove has you covered

If you are anything thing like me, then you probably have hundreds if not thousands of dollars tied up in your rod and reel arsenal. That's right, that collection of sticks and metal can at times be worth more than your first car ( a Mercury Topaz in my case), yet many of us neglect to protect them on and off the water

As anglers we are constantly on the move transporting our rods/reels from house to truck to boat, and back again, over and over, day in and day out for 8 plus months a year. During that time your rod tips and or eyes are often scraped up or knocked off, and your reels begin to more and more like that old car of yours as the paint starts to scrape off.. also known as "boat rash". So what do you do, how do you protect your investment.. well that's easy.. The VRX family of products has got you covered

We have to start off at the top, with the product that really launched the line. The Rod Glove is in my opinion the best quality rod glove on the market today. There are many others that have tried to knock this baby off or duplicate it's success, but between product quality and selection, you wont find a better overall product then the Rod Glove and the price is highly competitive with the other lower end brands out there.

The Rod glove currently has a total of 15 color options and different 3 lengths/sized available in both Casting and Spinning models. And if you are looking for that specialized touch, they also will do custom branding. The selection truly is endless.

To give you the run down on my personal preference, I like to stay with the "standard" length for my spinning gear and the "shortie" and "standard lengths for my baitcasting rods. I find they leave just a little extra room between the bait glove and reel, so that you can keep larger baits tied on when without the Rod Glove getting in the way. Color options are easy.. I love that Dobyns Orange, and you cant do wrong with plain old black either.  If you want something with a little edge check out the Spyder or Stinger color options.

When it comes to rod production the Rod Glove has got your back both in and out of the boat. The slim design ensures your rods stay tangle free while giving protection to the eyelets and the rod tip.

Tip: If you are a Dobyns rod user, I recommend placing the foam tip that your rod came with into the tip of your rod glove. Not only does this add more cushion and protection to your rods tip, but if by chance a rod glove goes overboard, the foam tip will keep it afloat so you can go back after it

Ok, well now that we have your rod arsenal covered it is time to look at protecting those reels. The Reel Glove is a quality neoprene that is highly stretchable in all directions, and with  two available sizes it should cover all the baitcasting reels available on the market today.

This product is great for on the boat, while traveling or when putting the reels in storage for the off season. The stretchy shell will easily cover the entire reel while on or off the rod, and will protect it against nicks, scrapes and that nasty boat rash (there is no over-the-counter cream for that!)

Currently Reel Gloves are only available in bait casting sizes, but watch the VRX Facebook page as there has been some sightings of the new spinning reel version that should be hitting the market soon. Priced at $5.99 each a Reel Glove really is a no brainer, and is a cheap form of insurance keeping your investments looking  like new

We all do it, every Saturday morning or Friday night we pack the car or truck with 8 or 12 rod and reel combos while getting ready for our early start. We just toss them in, and try to keep them tight, but then as we get driving or round a sharp corner, all hell brakes loose and those 12 rods are pointing in 12 directions like a game of pick-up sticks gone wrong. That does not have to be the case...

The Rod Glove Wrapz are a great way to keep your rod arsenal organized while in transportation. The soft neoprene wraps are easy on your blanks and eyes, yet strong enough to keep everything held tightly together. Sold in packs of two (a 10" and a 15") they are designed to use one wrap around the top (or tip) of your rods, and the longer version goes down closer the the reel seat. This applies even pressure and ensures a tighter safer wrap.

I honestly don't leave home without these. By bundling my rods in groups of 4, and wrapping each bundle with a set of Rod Glove Wrapz, I can easily transport my rods from the house to the truck, and then stack them in the vehicle knowing that they will stay securing in place.. and out of my way.

So there you have it, 3 ways in which the Rod Glove family of products have you covered. This is some seriously cheap insurance on your very expensive investments, most of the above products will cost you less then 5% to 7% of the product you are protecting..  So take a minute to think it over, then pick yourself up some Rod Gloves so you and your gear are ready for this coming season

P.S..  I did not touch on another cool product in the VRX family, if you are looking for a great way to product your gear as well as keep those trebles under control, be sure to wrap your baits with a "bait glove"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Switchin out your trebles.. a must?

A highly debatable topic, It is like a religion to some, and yet others scoff at it? How important is changing out your treble hooks? Well simply put it can mean the difference bewteen hooking and landing your personal best. 

I dont want this article to be about telling you what brand is best, and why you should use a certain type of treble hook. But what I will do (as always) is give you my opinion, and that is.. well over 80% of the baits/lures you have in your box right now, would be better baits if you replaced the stock treble with a premium grade hook. 

Lets look at some of the main arguments we have with ourselves and others about why we dont switch out those trebles.. 

"It's too expensive"  

I get it, changing out hooks on your entire collection of baits is expensive, you can pay $6 and more for a quality pack or trebles, and for many of us, that is the price of a whole new bait, it is hard to ask anglers to buy a pack of hooks instead of reaching for that shinny new jerkbait. But what we need to remember is that these hooks will make a $5 bait fish like a $20 bait.

"the hooks on my bait feel sharp" 

yes of course they are sharp, but sharpness is only one aspect of a good quality hook. Strength and durability are other key components, and standard hooks are not designed to last as long or stay sharp as long as premium quality hook. 

"some companies are using very high quality hooks on their product right out of the package"

This is a true statement, and it ties back into the old adage.. "you pay for what you get". If you spent $5 on a new crank bait there is a good chance the hooks are not premium quality. This does not mean you bought a cheap or poorly made bait, just that you may want to upgrade the hooks to make it a better bait 

Please don't confuse the above statement.  Spending more on a crankbait does not always mean the product is better, or will catch you more fish. But higher priced baits often use higher grade components, and will out last the lower priced options. Often concessions are made to get a bait to a lower price point and premium hooks are usually the first to go.

"The process is time consuming"  

yes it can be, if you dont have the right equipment. So invest in a pair of split ring pliers, you may already have a pair and just dont know it. This speeds up the process dramatically. And if you are like me, you never need an excuse to play with or sort thru your tackle.. but this gives you one

Thats it, those really are the most common complaints or arguments made by anglers who dont want or like to switch out their stock trebles.. and for those of you still not convinced, I bet one or more of the above statements rings true for you,  so what I would suggest is that you take a small challenge this season and buy your self one pack of trebles of your choice, and switch out the hooks on one of your favorite baits.  I really think you will be surprised at the difference it makes and quickly see the results of your labour on and off the water.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dobyns DX744, where have you been my whole life?

I dont often post just all out love fest's for a product, but I feel like I need to make an exception here.

This past off season I purchased a few new casting rods and did a complete overhaul of my casting reels (saying goodbye to Shimano and welcoming in Daiwa). One of the rods I purchased was the Dobyns Champion Extreme DX744. A rod that came highly recommended by other members of the Dobyns team as well as friends... and I quickly saw why

My idea behind the purchase was to help me migrate my Texas rig fishing over from spinning to casting gear. But once I got this rod in my hand I knew this was not your average t-rig rod, simply put, this rod is a thing of beauty. It is perfectly balanced (a Dobyns Staple) super lite, and has the perfect amount of backbone thru tip that I have ever  seen or felt on a rod.

Last week when this gorgeous spring weather hit, I took the rod out into the yard to get in some testing and lets face it.. some practice.. Immediately I noticed a difference, not only was there a different feel, but honestly cast after cast I noticed improved accuracy.. something i don't usually see while in my mid winter form (straight off the sofa). I fell in love with this rod instantly

Truly a multi-purpose rod. Yes, I have found my new T-rig rod, but there is much more to it then that. I will be giving this rod a test run with my collection of swim frogs, I believe although it will not have the same strenght of my 735c it will provide increased accuracy and feel, It will allow me to better work the frogs in and around cover, and still give me the ability to pull them out when I need to.

I will also give the DX744  a workout with my topwater baits like the IMA Skimmers, It seems to have that perfect amount of tip to walk those babies with ease, and the forgiveness not to rip the hooks out of the fishes mouth even on a hard set.

For a rod the calibur of the DX744, I knew no simple baitcaster would do, so I decided to spend some extra cash and break one of my own person rules in the process (never spend over $300 on a reel). 

So i splurged and purchased a Daiwa Zillion 100SHA, a tiny little reel that packs some serious punch and more speed then I think I will ever need (31.6 inched per crank). Coming in at 8.6oz this small framed reel sits incredibly well on the DX744, and as a combo I dont think I have even found a better pair. Speed, Balance and Power, three things that make this pair a deadly duo, not only to the fish, but also to my wallet, as I know just like Lays chips, I just cant have one

P.S, I know you are checking out my reel grips in the above pic, for those of you who have not used them, I highly recommend you give them a look. The are extremely comfortable, and give you that extra grip in wet condition. (Check to make sure they fit on your reels befor you order a wack)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Gene Larew Three Legged Frog.. Now with a little more kick

With the bass season fast approaching I have been slowly building back up my arsenal in preparation for my second full season as a tournament angler, and if there's one thing that I burn through every year, it's frogs. So when Tackle Warehouse decided to put my fav soft plastic frog on sale, I though I would take advantage and order a wack of packs.

When they finally arrived, my openitious kicked in (a serious condition that forces me to open new  products immediately) and upon opening the box I was very surprised to see that each pack had a bright orange sticker stating "NEW"emblazoned on the front of the pack.. 

I thought to myself "this is not a new product?" but then I remembered reading about some changes that where on the way to the 2012 version of the Gene Larew 3 Legged frog.. curiosity and a mix of fear got the best of me and I had to rip open the pack to take a closer look (what if they ruined it?) 
And sure enough a change did occur, a metamorphosis if you will,  and my fast moving swim-frog now had a little more kick.. with the addition of a small round paddle to the end of each of those 3 perfect legs.

what does this mean to me? essentially the addition of the "paddles" is an attempt to turn a swimming frog into a buzz frog, and the reason I love this frog is because I prefer swimming frogs, and the Three legged frog is one of the best , I like a more subtle motion, less churn, and the ability to move over and around cover with ease.. will this change anything?

The short answer to that question is.. No

Overall I don't believe the small paddles will effect the frog all that much, yes, they will add a slight buzz to the movement, but not enough to drastically alter what I love about the frog, and certainly not enough to slow it down. (We we not talking about the same paddle feet seen on Gambler Cane toads or even Stanley Ribbits).

 And worst case scenario if I hate those little nubbs,  I can just slice them off, since it appears they have just added them to the standard legs they have always used.

I know, I know, change is a good thing, but not when it comes to your equipment. We have all heard stories of guys that buy out all the local tackle shops when they hear their favourite bait has been discontinued, but what do you do when it has been changed? simple, you do the only thing you can do.. fish it

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A mouse and a weasel walk into a bar.....

Well just days after writing up my blog on my mini mouse collection, that collection grew.. this past weekend I added two more mice, or more accurately 1 mouse and a weasel?

The ZMan UltraMouse is made of the same crazy elaZtech material as all Zman baits, and comes pre-rigged with a 4/0 hook. Like with the UltraFrogz, the hook is not your standard EWG and does not have an hook eye, so it needs to be tied similar to a spinnerbait. You tie direct to a bend in the hook and will have to adjust it slightly as you go. 

The mouse itself is very durable, it can be stretched, prodded and pulled, but you better not store it with other soft plastics.. or your apt to loose them all... damn that alien elaZtech material

I enjoy fishing the Zman products, though they do take some getting use to. They are a bit lighter feeling on the rod, and the sticky material can cause friction when pulled over cover (pads, rocks or timber), but
with 6 colors to choose from and some great 3D eyes, this is a nice looking meal for a bass looking up

Now for The Weasel, a bait Im pretty sure is at the end of it's life span since I cant find it available from any major retailers, other the Mann directly.

This unusual frog/mouse bait is strange in the fact that it has a lip/bill, and as if that is not odd enough,  unlike other baits the bill is not a diving bill, but more used to impart erratic movement. The bill is hollow like the rest of the bait, and when you put pressure on the line the weasel wiggles, squirms and does a slight dive.

I have yet to fish with the weasel, but it appears to be built with the same quality standards of other Mann's products. The body is very soft, and the tail is made of a soft rubber that moves very well, but has enough stretch so it is not easily ripped from the body. There was not many color options available at the time of my purchase, so i went with the ugliest one they had

As I mentioned above this is not an easy product to find, and when you do it will be priced anywhere from $7.99 to $9.99.

Well, it appears that in stores just like in your house, the mice like to hide. I had been in this shop many times and had never come across these baits. Im glad I did, and I glad I was able to share them with you. If your interested in the weasel I would check it out quick, as I dont think it will be around much longer.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Great Finds @ The Quinte Sportsman show

It has been a couple weeks since my stint at the Toronto Spring Fishing and Boat show, and the Toronto Sportsman Show is not until next weekend.. so what is a guy to do when he needs to get his fix? take in a local show of course! This past Saturday I decided to give my dad a call and see if he was interested in heading down to the Quinte Sportsman, Boat & RV show.. he was, so off we went. 

This show is celebrating it's 14th year and it was my 3rd time taking it in. I'll be honest I stopped attending about 3 years ago because the show was so small and with only one real fishing booth it was not worth the price of admission (or the 45 minute drive).. this year the event expanded and filled 4 buildings (rinks) way more then the single rink event I had attended in the past. With multiple fishing shops taking part, and a booth that looked to be filled with clearance or "buy outs" from Canadian and US retailers like Cabela's I knew there was deals to be found, or new gear to test.. here is what I found

Zoom Z Nail Worm

Part of the Zoom trick worm series, the Z nail is a bait I have never seen up close and personal prior to this weekend. With a long tapered body that is slightly segmented, this worm will definitely do some tricks in the water. Defined as a stick bait, Im looking forward to trying to fish this worm wacky, as well as breaking out the "J" rig. 

with a show price of under $3 a pack, I snagged a few 

Strike King Shadalicious 

This monster swim-bait has been on my radar for quite some time now, but not being an avid swim-bait guy, I was reluctant to shell out the $9.99 to $12.99 a pack these baits could be found for in many Ontario retailers.. but a show price of $5 persuaded me to take the plunge.  Time will tell if these see any use this coming season, but Im glad I got to strike them off my list without blowing the bank

Bass Magnet Lures

If you read this blog at all on a regular basis, you will have noticed that Im a fan of Bass Magnet lures. So I was excited to see a local retailer (Pro Advantage) had a bin full of BML product that they were selling for a price I could not refuse.. 3 packs for $10, I love a good bargin so scooping up some discontinued colors at a great price is just what I look for when attending a show. 

By the looks of it, I was not the only BML fan at the show, as it was a "use your elbows" event while trying to get in close to the bin. I picked up some tubes and some quiver sticks, both in colors I had never seen before. Im hoping the one is not a discontinued color as it sure is pretty

Well the damage was done, and I burnt through some cash. All in all it was a pretty good show, with a little something for everyone. I did not find anything mind blowing, but I did get to add two new products I have never tried (at show prices). And It was great to see how much the Quinte Sportsman show has grown, In past years I would spend 15-25 minutes at the show and this year we walked around for close to 2 hours.,  this time it wont be 3 more years till my next visit.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Addiction: El Grande Lures

Im happy to report that as of last night, I'm now a proud member of the El Grande Lures Field Staff Team. This growing company has a great selection of soft plastics unlike anything else on the market today, and Im glad to be working with them

Last year I won my first pack of El Grande Match Stick's during  a contest hosted on I was very impressed with the product and it's quality, so I started to dig a bit deeper, trying their Sapo frog as well as their tubes.. and although I will admit I have always been a bit afraid of the GilaMonster, I do currently have a few on order.

Check back later this season, as I get the chance to work through the entire line-up of El Grande baits, including the Boom R Ang, a Fred Roumbas approved jerkbait that will no doubt see some time on my Alabama rig.

thanx again to the team at El Grande Lures, if you dont know who they are, check them out

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring is coming, and so are the Froglets

With the recent influx of what I can only call "froglet baits" hitting the market  I thought we should take a minute to investigate.. "why?"
Obviously we all know that frogs are like to steak to a Bass, so what would make them hungry for steak bites and not a entire T-bone.. well its just Nature, simple as that..

FROG.LET (noun)
Definition: a young frog; specifically : one that has recently metamorphosed from a tadpole

Each year in early Spring (March or so) Frogs begin to lay their eggs, and over a 12 week period, they grow from egg, to tadpole, to froglet. Hitting that last important stage of growth just around the end of June..  During this time period Bass and other fish will instinctively be feeding on and off of  the influx of small frogs or "froglets", and the timing couldn't be more perfect for a frog fisherman.

Matching the Hatch

Although June is not a traditional frog month for most anglers, I personally like to break out a frog no matter the weather or season, and I let the fish dictate.
So In the spirit of "matching the hatch" what better early season bait to use then a froglet, and if you are in the market for one, here are a couple you really need to check out

FGH45T by: Live Target

Like with their field mouse, and walking frog, the Live Target team have been in front of the trends as they pertains to frog fishing, and this is the case again. Last season Live Target introduced the FGH45T, the smallest version of their very popular hollow body line. Although not as small as the Lunker Hunt Pocket Frog or the Samurai Frog, it is small enough to be swallowed whole, and since it is a Live Target product you can rely on the fact that it has a high quality hook and body

(FGH45T vs. Full Size Live Target Frog & a Dime)

Pocket Frog by: LunkerHunt
Over the past few years Canadian Company LunkerHunt has been slowly building a very impressive collection of soft plastic baits, from senko's to tubes, and this year they have launched a line of Edu-Kits specifically designed to educate anglers on various techniques. One of these Edu-Kits contains the Pocket Frog, a very small froglet available in one size and a few select colors. I really like the size and colors and body shaope of the Pocket Frog, my only disappointment is that the hook appears to be barb-less. Not sure if this is a flaw on my frog or something done on purpose. This tiny frog is the smallest of the three, and nearly impossible for a fish to miss on a strike.

I heard about a the Pocket frog from a buddy and he had nothing but rave reviews from his time testing the prototype last season.

Update: This info was provided to my by the team at LunkerHunt,

"Big Bass have a tendency to inhale our pocket frog. Barbless hooks make releasing fish easier. I have yet to have a fish come unpegged. The hooks are super sharp and set at an angle to ensure solid hook ups. Just maintain pressure when fighting fish and you will be fine.

Another advantage to the barbless hooks that we discovered during testing is that the body of the frog tends to hold up longer without the barbs poking into it."

(Pocket Frog)

Samaurai Frog  by: Vok

Vok, Another company new to the frog market, unleashed two Frogs at the 2012 Spring Fishing and Boat show in Toronto last month. Both the Vok Croaker and Samurai frog are available in standard and Froglet size, but I recommend sticking to the Samurai series. When handleing the frogs they have very similar characteristics, but you will quickly notice the hooks on the Croaker are not lined up properly (turned in), and may effect your hook-up ratio. Unfortunatly the most unique color options are in the Croaker line, so I picked up one of each, and will worry about the hook later.
(Samurai Frog vs. Full Size Croaker Frog)

In fishing as in life.. "Size does Matter", but bigger is not always better. There is a time and place to unleash a froglet, so when you hit the water at the end of June this season, be sure to give a froglet a try.. I dont think you will be disappointed.. and your hook-up ratio will go sky high

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Canada U.S Walleye Tournament - The List keeps growing

Early last month I told you about the return of this great fishing tournament with it's 100% angler payout, and a guaranteed $5,000 first place prize, I bet you didnt think the pot could get any sweeter. Well, last week Shimano jumped on board and added the following.

SHIMANO Mystery Weight Award: Shimano will award the team winning our mystery weight award two Shimano Cumara rods, two Shimano Stradic spinning reels, and Power Pro line. (The value is approximately $1,000.)
By the way, if there is a tie for the mystery weight award, we will award the prize to whichever of the tied teams had the heaviest weight on Saturday.

 POWER PRO Contingency Award: If the tournament winning team has at least two rods in their boat spooled with Power Pro Super Slick aqua green line, Shimano will award them $500.
If the winning team does not meet this challenge, but the second place team has two rods spooled with that line, Shimano will award them $250.
If neither the first nor second place team has the two rods spooled with Power Pro Super Slick aqua green line, Shimano will give them a 1500 yard spool of Power Pro line

New:  for those coming from out of town, please check in on some of the great places to stay in Bobcaygeon. If you browse the below link, look for the the Canada/US Walleye tournament logo, any business with the logo beside it's name will be offering discount rates to anglers fishing in the tournament

This really is a community event, I love to see communities and their businesses support these events. it's great for fishing, and fishing industry tourism.

If you have not registered a team yet, click HERE and join today. There is still room, but as the weather warms, spots will fill up quick

Friday, March 2, 2012

Call an exterminator, the Mice are taking over

Well it's not like this is a new thing, but ever since the launch of Live Targets field mouse at last years Icast event, there has been a mini mouse craze going on.. with new mice joining the field, and some old ones getting noticed all over again.

I have to admit I have had a few mice and or rats in my frog arsenal for years now. The first one I ever picked up was the Strike King "King Rat" a soft plastic rat that could be paired up with your hook of choice, it has some heft to it and can be cast a mile. Like most baits It does have it's flaws, and the texas rigging was one of them. I found it hard to keep the hook in place and when it crawled over the pads the hook would occasionally snag on one. To get the best hook penetration you would want to use a EWG hook, this means you have either too much hook on the bottom (causing the rat to flip) or two much hook on the top, leaving the point exposed. The texture of the body also made it a bit difficult to drag across large sections of pad, it does not slide as easily as other mice and will make your retrieve choppy

The next mouse I own is the Snag Proof Moss Mouse, this one is  similar to a standard hollow body frog and fishes just as well if not better then the average Snag Proof frog. Being that I was not a huge fan of Snagg Proof products when I tried the mouse, I was impressed with the slender body and the higher set hooks that should assist in a better hook up ratio (my complaint with many Snag Proof Frogs is the wide leg stance getting in the way).

This is not to say there are no issues with the Moss Mouse.. priced at half of what other mice are going for, you will quickly see that this mouse is cheaply made.  Low grade hooks and a plastic body that looks ruff around the edges (visible molding marks) are just some of the flaws easily spotted on this product.  In the water, I find the Moss Mouse is kinda flat, the tails imparts little to no motion and sits up in the water doing nothing to entice the fish when paused. Made of a very thin plastic I would be surprised if it held up to more then one battle. The Moss Mouse weighs in at 1/4 oz, and is not the best casting mouse available. It does sit well in the water and the way the weight is possitioned does help keep it upright.

(Moss Mouse)

  Newer on the mouse market is the Rat N Rat produced by MTL a Japanese import this bait was  launched at Icast 2009. This Rat has a unique twist not see on other mice, in that in place of legs, the RnR is equipped with two tiny colorado blades as feet, setting off some nice flash when walked across open water. The tail on the RnR is also longer and softer then most, it hangs down when paused and can actually be used to entice a bite by slowly twitching the mouse.

Although I have yet to fish it, the Rat N Rat appears to be a quality product, the body is soft/supple enough to be easily compressed when a fish hits, but strong enough to hold up during the fight. I love the color options available and could not pass up this blue gill imitation. Watch for a full review this summer, as I cant wait to get this one tied on.

(MTL Rat N Rat - Real Deal Color)

Live Target has to be credited with the upswing of the interest in mouse fishing, when their line of field mice landed at ICAST 2011 they caused quite the commotion.. and why not, they are a Live Target product, they look stellar and if they fish half as well as the frog line, they will be a winner.

I love the profile and the way the hooks stand up on this bait, although still completely weedless I feel more of the hook is exposed and when a fish hits it, the collapsable body gets out of the way and you get more hook into the fish. The thin body/frame also helps your hook-up percentage, while still allowing you to walk the mouse perfectly.  Personally the only faults I can find is in the sizes, I'm not super happy with the size options. The large size mouse is not big enough, and should be the middle of 3 sizes. (When I first ordered it I though I had been shipped the wrong size). When out of the package the tail and thin rubber strands add some additional size, but still not quite enough for me. I do like the motion these two features give off in the water even when paused. I have heard some complaints of sinking mice, i have yet to fish mine (due to ice) but I hope the reports are not true.. no one likes a wet rat

(Live Target Field Mouse)

Will 2012  be the year of the mouse? it is sure shaping up that way. Now all I need this ice to start melting so I can head out and break in some of these new baits. If your a frog fisherman looking for something new for this season, head on out and grab yourself a mouse. There are more and more to choose from, and I would not be surprised to see mice introduced from all the big guns in the coming seasons... this is not a bad thing, only 1 in 3 will get it right, and the fun part is finding that 1

Trivia Question: Who makes the Mouse show in the top image, but not discussed in the blog?