Sunday, January 25, 2009

Slinging Grubs for Schooling Smallies

With day time highs not breaking zero degrees and night time lows hovering around - 30, the only thing I've had on my mind is fishing. When the forecast showed a few days of almost 30 degree weather, I instantly tied up a couple spinning rods with a few select baits and headed to my favorite winter smallie water. I tied on a Biovex Kolt Grub (Green Pumpkin), with a 1/16 oz. Kalin's Jig Head and on another rod I went with a Yum Tube (Green Pumpkin), rigged with a 1/8 oz. Kalin's Jig Head. As far as line I used 8 lb. Vicious Fluorocarbon, and spooled it onto a Shimano Stradic 2500FH with a G Loomis 6'6" IMX meduim action rod and a Shimano Sustain with a G Loomis GLX 7'1" medium acton rod. These setups are perfect because they have the sensitivity to pick up those delicate cold water bites, yet have the backbone to get good hook sets and play the fish, as well as the length to be able to cast light weight baits as far as I need to.

Unfortunately because of other obligations I was only able to get out for a few hours in the afternoon. We arrived at around 1:30 and I instantly started throwing my tube to select rock piles in the area. After about 30 minutes with only one missed bite I moved along and started fishing some small points. Being that the current goes only one way, this set up the points to be the perfect ambush areas for small schools a good sized smallies. The current carries sediment that causes there to be a shallow and deep side off the points. The deep side is going to be on the down river side of the point, and that is exactly where I ended up finding my smallies. I started by throwing my tube and caught a couple nice two pound fish, but I was getting hung up frequently in all the debris, so I switched to the 1/16 oz. Biovex Kolt Grub and was rewarded with more and better quality fish. I would throw the lightweight bait up stream and let the current push it across the point like an injured baitfish and the smallies would come up from the deeper water and grab it.

Unfortunately for me I had to leave early as well to give a lesson on pouring soft plastics otherwise I may have stayed till after dark trying to coax smallies into biting. So at around 4 o' clock we headed back to the cities. I had caught ten good smallmouths with two of them being over three pounds. It felt good to get out there and set some hooks. Although the next week is looking mighty frigid, however next weekend is shaping into a pretty nice one. I'm looking forward to getting out yet again soon. If anyone is interested in going on a winter guided smallmouth trip please don't hesitate to email me at, to book your trip.

Speaking of guided fishing trips, I was recently contacted by Sport Smith, of, to help him with a corporate ice fishing trip on Lake Minnetonka. After hearing the details I was more than excited to help out and for good reason. Sport put on one heck of a guided trip. We spent the better part of the early morning setting up a nice big tent to house all the guests, than drilled the holes and set up the heaters. There was plenty of room for everyone to move around and mingle and of course, catch fish. Everyone one was furnished with panfish set ups in the tent and then we set tip ups around the house for northern pike. Sport picked a great dropoff on the weedline that hosted all sorts of different fish species from bluegill to crappie and even largemouth bass and pike. Inside the tent was coolers full of water, soda and beer, along with more than enough coffee and hot chocolate. Sports father Bill was a great grill man, serving up hot dogs, burgers, and chicken kabobs, along with baked beans, potato chips and even cookies. John Haynes, Sport and myself stayed busy helping people land fish, taking pictures, and keeping bait on hooks. It was a blast for everyone involved! What a great way for a company to give back to their employees, have some fun and most importantly, create some some quality team building time. Please email me at, for more information on our corporate ice fishing events. Great Job Sport!

On another note, I am very excited about a new line up of hooks that are hitting the markets this winter. Youvella USA has teamed with Fish Harder Companies and is getting ready to start sending out their new edgy products in the next month or two for public purchase. A rep with Fish Harder Co. has informed me that they will be available to local tackle shops as well as big box retailers like Bass Pro Shops as soon as February. I'm particularly excited about the release of the Little Flip Hook and it's bigger brother the Pro Flip Hook. The Little Flip was designed to flip and pitch finesse plastics with heavy gear and in heavy cover. The unique pro designed hook keeper keeps today’s soft plastics firmly in place. The Pro Flip was designed to keep the soft plastics perfectly in line with the hook point for optimum penetration. The pro designed hook keeper keeps plastics from sliding down the shank, helping you fish harder, longer. Look for more innovative and efficient hook designs to come from this company in the future.

**From left to right: Youvella USA Little Flip Hook and the Youvella USA Pro Flip Hook.

I recently read a great article on BassZone, about a persistent pro named Mark Burgess and his determined drive to make it to the top level of bass fishing. It goes to show that with hard work and endless determination dreams can come true. In fact it's the only way they will.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Schooled by Denny Brauer

With the day time high floating around 15 degrees, Rich Lindgren and I decided to head over to Warner's Dock in Wisconsin for a seminar by the BASSMASTER legend, Denny Brauer. Denny has always been a role model of mine, mainly because of the style fishing that he excels at, he's the master of flippin' and pitchin'.

There's good reason why we would venture all the way out to Packer land to hear Denny speak. Please keep in mind I hate the Packers, but Denny has got a long list of credentials that should make any die hard fisherman sit and listen. Starting his list of accomplishments is his 16 wins on the BASS tournament trails, where he has totaled well over two million in tournament earnings. He is the 1987 BASS Angler of the Year, as well as the 1998 FLW Angler of the Year and his most notable victory has got to be his 1998 BASSMASTER Classic win on North Carolina's High Rock Lake, where he beat out second place finisher George Cochran by a whopping ten pounds!

During the seminar Denny broke down some of his basics to fishing shallow water. Gave some tips and techniques to flippin' and pitchin' and also went through some of the equipment that works well for him on the tournament trail. Given that he spends a vast majority of his time in shallow water working isolated cover, he was eager to show off a new Ardent reel that he help develop, the F500 Flip-N-Pitch. Being pretty much a Shimano snob myself, I have to say that reel intrigued me. It is the first reel on the market to not employ a star drag system or a levelwind guide. Ardent has factory preset the drag on the reel to a hefty 22 pounds and when your main duty is pitchin' a few feet of line at a time there is no use for a standard levelwind, in fact it would only complicate the reel. Tackle Tour recently did a great article on the new Ardent F500, if interested click here to check it out.

The second part of the day included a Lowrance seminar put on by walleye pro and fishing electronics expert, Doc Samson. I personally am going to sign up for an advanced class to better help me understand my Lowrance units and be sure I'm getting the most out of them. There's so much out there in the world of fishing electronics that the more I can learn the more successful I will be.

I also learned today that the BASSMASTER Elite Series has dropped three tournaments next year on Pickwick Lake, Big & Little Bay de Noc, and Lake Champlain and instead added a no entry postseason for the top twelve in the Angler of the Year race. Though the biggest change has got to be the $25,000 dollar entry fee cut. Instead of the standard $50,000 dollar entry for the season, BASS has cut it back to $25,200 in hopes of helping the anglers financially in these current rough economical times. So far there has been no changes to the already set 2010 season.

That's all for now, hopefully the upcoming weather will be sympathetic and give me the chance to get out and jerk on some smallies! I mean seriously, is asking for 25 degrees to much? I'd also like to thank Warner's Dock for putting on such a educational free seminar! Tight Lines!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Tackle Update: Introducing the Shimano Chronarch D

I am proud to inform that Shimano has set a date this upcoming March to release the new Shimano Chronarch D. Being that I'm a die hard Shimano junkie, this has got me trying to think of the many reasons why I need to get a couple of these for this upcoming season.

Personally my favorite reel on the market is the Shimano Core, followed closely by any Chronarch ever made, and the great thing about this reel is it's a hybrid of both. It wears the exact frame of the Core but instead of magnesium, the new Chronarch is made of lightweight aluminum. Another new feature I'm excited about is the CH100D7 is the first Chronarch offered in a high speed 7.0:1 gear ratio,making catch up time minimal on those giant hook sets! The CH100D5 will be offered in a 5.0:1 gear ratio, sure to be one of the premiere crankin' reels on the market.

Tackle Tour recently posted an excellent review of the new Chronarch D, offering the first inside look at what is soon to come. They do a great job explaining the differences and similarities of the current and past generations, as well as highlight some of it's key new features.

Shimano has consistently pumped out the best the fishing industry has to offer and after the success of the new Citica and Curado, you can be rest assured the Chronarch D will be everything it's cracked up to be.

Blog Archive