Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tackle Update: Introducing the Biovex Kolt Ridge Tail

From time to time I find myself very excited about the introduction of a brand new bait. Over this past season, I was very fortunate to be able to test the newly introduced Biovex Kolt Ridge Tail, a internally weighted 4" paddletail style swimbait.

My first impression of the bait was favorable, the basic design mimics standard size baitfish perfectly and the ridges along the body offer added vibration and better buoyancy while being retrieved. The tail was noticeably beefed up and instead of just pointing down like many standard paddletail swimbaits, this one points up and down, allowing for a very heavy pulsating action while retrieved at slower speeds. In addition, the Ridge Tail has an additional eye on the underside of the body, perfect for adding a treble "stinger" hook or for adding spinner blades for added flash and vibration.

My first outing with the bait and I instantly gained confidence in its ability to catch big fish. I was fishing a riprap bank on the south side of the dam on the Mississippi River, looking for post spawn smallmouth. I had made a few passes and was managing a few bites from time to time but nothing much to brag of. I was going in between baits using a shakey head worm, a flat side balsa crankbait and a texas rigged Reaction Innovations Beaver for the numerous laydowns that lined the bank.

Needing a bigger bite, I decided it was time to debut the Biovex Kolt Ridge Tail. I tied it up to a G Loomis GLX 843 with a Shimano Core 100 Mg and 15 lb. Seaguar Abrazx Fluorocarbon. I let the bait fall to the bottom and at a slow and steady retrieve I got bit on the very first cast, a solid 4 1/2 pound smallie. On the next cast I caught a chunky 3 pounder and on the third I caught another smallie just shy of 5. On my fourth cast, again I got bit but broke off on a good one that got me wrapped around a jagged rock. Unfortunately that was the only prototype of the lure I had but needless to say I had more shipped to me the next day.

All year I secretly used this bait to find and catch fish but it wasn't until recently that I started adding a spinnerbait blade to the bottom for added appeal. More times than not, the added attraction delivers a few more bites but there are times when just the standard gets the nod. If it's windy and there's weather, the blade is a must but on slick sunny days the lone paddletail gets the job done as is.

This upcoming weekend I'll be shooting a video in northwestern Minnesota throwing swimbaits for late fall largemouth with North American Fisherman. The Biovex Kolt Ridge Tail will be a go-to for putting some pigs in the boat. I guess the secret will be out! Check back for the video soon.

With the new craze of the Alabama Rig sweeping the nation, I can't think of a better bait to use on this rig. The Biovex Kolt Ridge Tail will be available to the U.S. in early 2012. Check back soon as I'll be doing a contest where the winner will get their hands on this bait before anyone else in the country!

See you on the flip.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tackle Update: Holy Alabama Rig!!

After reading buddy Rich Lindgren's Blog, as well as fishing with him today, I've gotten a overdose of knowledge on a new rigging technique that blew up this weekend on Alabama's Lake Guntersville. Only fitting, the rig I speak of is known as the Alabama Rig and not only did Paul Elias us it to catch over a 100 pounds of bass to win the FLW Tour event and win by a mouth dropping 17 pounds, but all the final day pros turned to it to make the top 10 as well.

The pre tournament buzz was that this event was going to be a grind and that bites were few and far between. That was until Elias showed up with a staggering 26 pounds and followed it up with a 29-03 the following day. Word didn't take long before other anglers got wind of what he was throwing and figured a way to get their hands on the hot commodity. The amazing thing was that the weights went up considerably for the anglers that made the adjustment.

Photo Courtesy of BassFan

The Alabama Rig, is an umbrella looking rig consisting of a hard body that trail five wires which have a swivel attached to each wire. What you do with it from here is basically wide open, though Elias used it to fasten five separate five inch swimbaits that when retrieved mimic a small school of shad perfectly.

Using a 7' 11" Flippin' Rod with 65 lb. test braid he targeted ridges and quick-dropping points around the causeways. Out of all the anglers throwing the A-Rig, Elias was definitely fishing it the deepest targeting schools suspending in 20 to 30 feet of water. Other pros in the top 10 reported using the rig much shallower, focusing in on schoolers to catch impressive limits.

Here in Minnesota, this rig would be illegal to use as we are only allowed to use one bait per rod but throughout most the country, numerous baits on a single line is lawful. The Alabama Rig may had been off the radar but after the splash it made this weekend, no pun attended, it guarantees to be an overnight sensation.

For more information on the Alabama Rig visit their site at or check out their YouTube instructional video.

Cost of these rigs is a bit mind numbing but after seeing how much people threw down for Basstrix Paddle Tail Tubes, Chatterbaits and now Reaction Innovations Vixens, $24.95 is peanuts considering what they seem to be able to offer.

I know personally that after seeing what Elias and the rest of the top 10 did, as well as taking into account what other traditional baits weren't able to do, consider my order in.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Brent Homan Story

For those that visit my website or follow my fishing know that when I'm not on the water setting hooks, I'm often busy writing articles about what has worked for me on the water as well as keeping up with this blog dedicated to literally everything I encounter along my avid fishing path.

Recently I signed on with BassEast which promised to be a good opportunity to promote myself and my sponsors. My first task at hand was a bit of a challenge in that I was asked to write about a gentleman by the name of Brent Homan.

To make a long story short, after getting to know who Mr. Homan was I jumped all over the opportunity. In the end, this ended up being to me the single most important thing I've ever written in the sport of fishing. For once it wasn't about me, it was about something much bigger. One man's sacrifice can truly change others lives, myself included.

Please follow this BassEast Link to read the whole story in it's entirety.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Smallie Heaven!

Autumn is in the air. Our exceptionally late summer weather has finally been replaced by chilly nights, stiff northern winds and cooling water temps. Usually we would already be in full on smallmouth smack down by this time but as I mentioned the late 80 degree weather has put everything on hold. Until now.

As I write this entry, the smallies are bunching up into more than impressive schools and are putting on their feed bags in preparation for old man winter's presence. Some of my favorite guiding holes are just a week away from smallmouth bliss other areas I've been fishing are full on snapping!

If interested in information regarding guided smallmouth outings please email me at We offer fully outfitted trips with the best of the line tackle and equipment. The window is short so contact me today!

See you on the water!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Season in Review

Another bass filled tournament season come and gone leaving time to look back and reflect on some of the higher points of the season as well as some of the lower ones. This reflection process is very important to me as I'm easily my own worst critic. I take a lot of pride in my hard work and am always looking for that added ammunition to continue motivating myself to higher levels.

My main goal at the start of every season is to be a better bass angler when that season ends. This may seem like common place for a guy that spends as much time on the water as I do but in the grand scheme of things it's not a given. In fact, I think it's easier to instead get caught up in your norm, sort of rely on what has gotten you there in the first place. This isn't necessarily laziness or lack of enthusiasm, actually it's more like stubbornness. Frankly, it's a challenge to have the confidence to make a change. I feel that confidence if groomed can be what will push me to accomplish my biggest goals.

I feel I did good this year at staying out of my comfort zones and forcing myself to be more versatile. I set out to get a better understanding of my electronics. I have thousands of dollars worth of equipment on my boat but knew that I wasn't getting near that in return from them. Our electronics are our best tool when on the water, they're our eyes under the surface. They crack the code of mystery that inhabits the underwater world. These tools expose not only fish but more importantly their forage and even more important, their actual living habitat. Combine Side Imaging and traditional sonar with gps and Navionics mapping data and I don't have an excuse in the world for not finding fish. It's right in front of my eyes. I honestly believe one of the biggest differences that separates regular pro bass fisherman from tour level bass fisherman is their understanding of their electronics.

I still have lots to learn in this department but can honestly say that I've learned a ton this past season. I've always been told by upper echelon bass fisherman that to consistently cash checks you need to consistently have thorough practices. To have the confidence to know fish are there by simply using what your electronics tell you is what separates the men from the boys. It allows you to cover water so much faster. I found myself being able to do just that this season, using my Navionics mapping data to find key looking areas and then idling over them scanning for sweet spots without ever needing to make a cast. Then come back during the tournament and whack a 5 pound largemouth, a fish that if hooked the day prior in practice never would have bit on game day when the money was on the line. This was so evident in helping win one of the biggest tournaments held in Minnesota this year. I put in countless hours scanning unfamiliar areas on Lake Minnetonka to find some hidden jewels which later helped produce a giant winning sack of fish to claim the top spot at the NABC event put on by North American Fisherman and Cabela's.

Working on different tackle presentations is always a fun yet challenging thing to do. It's hard to stay with something when you're more confident using something else but is necessary in making yourself a more rounded angler. I actually find that learning a new technique is the easy part of the job but to master it you need to learn when and where. This is the hard part for me as I tend to run myself a bit thin, to actually master a technique you need not only know the ins and the outs of the presentation but also develop that sixth sense for when and where to employ it. Looking back at this past season I'm very pleased at my progression in that department. I feel more comfortable with a variety of newer tactics and presentations that were missing from my arsenal. Still lots to learn but definitely on the right track.

There's no denying that I want to consider myself a professional bass fisherman. I'll be the first to admit there's still a ways to go to get to the level I desire but there's a lot of different things that make up this kind of title being it tournament winnings, guiding, writing and all sorts of other business ventures that go with the sport. This past season I stepped up my relationship with Biovex and LoveSoulDream out of Japan. I've been associated with this company for a few years now but with their launch into the U.S. market scheduled in Spring of 2012, it's opened a door for me to become more involved. One highlight of this upgraded partnership was the wrapping of my Ranger Boat which will showcase myself competing in some of the biggest tour qualifying tournaments at the national level. This is HUGE for me in my progression. There's no denying there will be a learning curve associated with this but I'm jacked up for the challenge. As I said before, I'm my own worst critic but I also have an insane amount of confidence in my ability. So much that there's no fear in jumping in head first. I'll take my lumps right on the chin with the best of them but there will be no taking the smile off my face when I succeed.

I also enjoy writing about my passion of bass fishing. It's odd in that I can't write out two sentences about something other than bass fishing but when I'm talking shop it just rolls off my fingers. I'm definitely not schooled at this as you can probably see from my numerous grammar mistakes but I'm striving at getting better at that. Writing is important because it's not only a great avenue for showcasing myself and my sponsors but it's also a great way to reflect back on all that's been going on. I've been writing for the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Outdoor Page for a year or so now as well as maintaining this blog since I first started my pursuit of competitive fishing. I've also had two of my articles published this season in the Spring and Summer edition of Bass Angler Magazine and have just been told that my third one will be in the upcoming Winter edition. Just recently I was added to the Bass East team to not only showcase myself as an upcoming angler but also to expand my writing to other topics within the bass fishing community.

I'm also looking forward to growing my relationship with Navionics from not only being a member of their Pro Staff on the water but also being a contributor to their new digital NewsStand. The Navionics NewsStand is the first to offer a navigation app that provides users access to boating and fishing articles published by the industry’s most recognized magazines conveniently accessible from within the Navionics app.

My guiding business had it's best year yet. We did a record amount of trips this year and all where a success. Such a success that we're booking fast with return customers for our excellent Minnesota Fall smallmouth bite. Please feel free to email me if your interested in receiving more information or to book a trip.

All in all I managed to have a pretty successful season, fixed some things that needed fixing, developed some new confidence in areas that were lacking and of course opened up even more that needs to be worked on. The 2012 season is where I'm putting most of my energy now. Developing a game plan for big national level professional tournaments is a challenge I'm looking forward to as well as making an even bigger splash into the business side of the sport.

My main goals to insuring a successful 2012 season is to continue with the same humble approach that I've been accustomed to. Continue to work hard, give respect where respect is due, and be sure to always give 110% both on and off the water. The new year may still be a few months away but my 2012 season starts now.

See you on the water!

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