Featured Reviews

This time of year we are usually testing a bunch of new topwater offerings that debuted at ICAST. This year has been no different and we have discovered that there are several gems.   Today we are looking at something that is truly special and has been putting fish in the boat since the first… [Continue Reading]

It’s often said, “Summertime is buzzbait time!” Yes, summertime can be a great time to throw a buzzer but don’t limit yourself to the dog days.   We’ve been using the Jackall Firecracker High Impact Buzzbait for a several months now and have caught fish with it from spring to fall. We still haven’t put… [Continue Reading]

The spinnerbait bite is  just plain fun when it’s on. Sometimes however, just like any other genre of lures, the fish can turn off to a particular size of blade configuration, vibration, color or action which requires you to change it up. One of the ways you can do that is carry different profiles including… [Continue Reading]

Winless No Longer, John Murray Brings It Home at Toledo Bend

John Murray wins Elite Series at Toledo BendMany, LA — 11 years is a really long time.

11 years is a really long time to pursue something.

11 years is a really long time to pursue something without the big payoff.

That is precisely what John Murray has been doing, and finally, he got to hoist the trophy and the big check. And just like he’s been doing for the past 11 years as a part of the Series, he had to fight for it. And he fought like hell. [Read more…]

Jordan Lee Explodes on the Scene, Wins Bassmaster Classic

Jordan Lee Wins Bassmaster ClassicHouston, TX — There’s an insider saying that goes, “You can’t win the Classic on the first day, but you can lose it.”

Apparently, Jordan Lee never heard the expression before.

In the first round, Lee didn’t even manage to weigh in a limit, bringing only 3 fish and 8 pounds 6 ounces to the scales. Prevailing wisdom would have been to count the young Alabama native out.  [Read more…]

Horton Takes The Title, But The Real Star Is The Big O

Tim Horton Lake Okeechobee

It’s been 10 years since Horton last won on the Elite Series

Okeechobee, Fl — Hurricanes, fluctuating water levels, and habitat and vegetation issues, Lake Okeechobee has endured them all, and through all, one fact remains—you can put a huge bag in the boat.

With the top seven finishers of A.R.E Truck Caps all weighing in over 70 pounds of Florida bass, this tournament was yet another reminder. [Read more…]

Daiwa’s new Cronos Rods A Cut Above

img_1321One of the pieces of equipment that has seen an explosion of R&D over the last several decades is the rod. Yeah, I’m old enough to remember when you picked up a couple of rods that you threw every bait you had with.

 

Have things changed for the better in that regard? Unequivocally, yes! These days the materials used, the way they are used and how they are used are light years ahead of those old sticks.

Today, there are so many technique specific rods available that it’s almost too much. However, there are still many that are designed to cover a wide range of applications and bait weights. The Cronos rods by Daiwa are one such series.

[Read more…]

Daiwa’s Tatula CT Type-R Hits All the Right Notes

img_1315At ICAST 2013 Daiwa debuted the Tatula and Tatula Type-R casting reels. At that time, they became the workhorse reels in the line up.

They were affordable, durable, cast extremely well for their price point and built on some promising technologies including the T-Wing system (TWS). We have one of the original Type-R’s and it hasn’t skipped a beat over the last three years.

 

Since then, Daiwa has continued to build on those technologies with many of the reels in their current line of casting reels using the TWS as well as continuing to improve on other newer features.

This year, Daiwa chose the Bassmaster Classic as the venue to introduce their latest Tatula, the CT 100 and CT Type-R 100. The CT is a more compact version of the Tatula that has shed not only weight but girth while maintaining and building on the proven technologies of the original Tatula.

[Read more…]

Jackals’s Jaco 58, A flat Sided Contender

img_3098Fall is a great time to fish shallow with a number of baits including crankbaits. The trick is to select one that not only mimics the size of the bait but also runs at the depth that you are looking to target.

 

Over the past several years, flat sided baits have become more popular as they tend to put off more flash as well as a different vibration than a standard, rounded body bait will.

This seems to more closely resemble the frantic nature of baitfish in certain circumstances.

One of the baits that we always have tied on for this situation is the Jackall Jaco 58. This little bait has caught fish for us from So-Cal to Georgia, largemouth to spots, and some species that weren’t even on our minds at the time.

[Read more…]

The New Rapala Skitter V 10-The Best Rapala Topwater Plug Yet?

img_3089We’ve been fishing another new topwater bait literally since the day that we got it in the mail. It’s kinda fun to come home, find a new bait waiting for you on your doorstep and take it out that night with absolutely no expectations of any kind in terms of performance. Just tie it on, let it fly and see what happens.

 

Such was the case for us with the new Rapala Skitter V 10. We received the Bone Chartreuse color which doesn’t really mimic anything that swims in our local waters, but color is more a secondary consideration for topwater baits.

The real issue is the action, sound and the presentation that the lure is capable of once in the water.  Profile, especially in low-light conditions, is more important than color.

[Read more…]

Answering the $64 Question, How Good is the Duo Realis Popper 64

IMG_3084Since the topwater bite is still hot, it’s a great time of year to be throwing a popper. With that in mind we’re going to look at another bait that is always in the front of our tackle box for this season, the Duo Realis Popper 64.

 

We always like to have more than one choice in whatever genre of bait we’re using because the fish can get turned off to a particular action or color. When this happens, switching to something that has subtle differences will often get those fish biting again.

The Duo Popper 64 is 2.5” long and weighs in at .33oz. This bait has an unusually shaped cup that looks like a squeezed, rounded square with the smaller edge being the top while the longer edge is the bottom that protrudes out a little more than the top.

[Read more…]

G Man Could Not Be Stopped, Wins Second AOY Title

Gerald Swindle AOY ChampionOnamia, MN — Perennial fan favorite Gerald Swindle would not be denied in 2016. The Alabama native fought hard all year, and this weekend, received the payoff.

Gerald Swindle is your 2016 Bassmaster Angler of the Year.

While he failed to put a limit in the live well on day one, he would solve the puzzle, and bring a hefty 22 pounds to the weigh ins on the final day. The title is the second AOY in his career. [Read more…]

Ott DeFoe Hoists First Trophy In Wisconsin

80d837e2-ffd1-4a4a-b70b-28ff85349ba7-1473630574792La Crosse, WI – In 2011, Ott DeFoe won the Bassmaster Rookie of the Year.

Five years later, and the Tennessee native gets to raise an Elite Series trophy overhead. A rabid field nipped at his heals to take home the final win of the season, but DeFoe was not going to be shaken, and he held onto that number one spot for three days. [Read more…]