Finding Bass During a Mixed Spawn Season

 

Finding Bass During a Mixed Spawn Season

Yamaha Pro Mark Davis Offers Two Solutions For Catching Bass This Spring

Warmer-than-normal winter temperatures have shuffled bass spawning schedules on many lakes throughout the country this spring, but Mark Davis has seen it before, and the veteran Yamaha Pro knows just how to approach the problem.

“With the milder winter, bass began spawning much earlier than usual this year so when a fisherman heads to a lake this month, he’s probably going to find some bass in post-spawn, others on spawning beds, and even a few still in the pre-spawn stage,” notes Davis, a three-time B.A.S.S.® Angler of the Year and winner of the 1993 Bassmaster Classic.® “The fish are doing a lot of different things, but not a lot of them are doing the same thing.

“It’s a real curve ball, because some bass may be in water only a foot deep while others can be in water 20 feet deep, and the rest of them are somewhere in between.”

The first solution Davis offers for catching some of these fish is for an angler to simply begin fishing the way he wants to fish, using the lures and techniques in which he has the most confidence. 

He should decide which type of spawning fish he wants to catch, choose an area of the lake where that is likely to be happening, and then concentrate entirely on those fish. For example, if he prefers to go after post-spawn bass, Davis suggests looking for slightly deeper water in the 15 to 20-foot range and fishing a deep diving crankbait, a football head jig, or a Carolina rig and staying in that area of a lake.

“If you decide on this approach, you really need to forget about any shallow water bass,” emphasizes the Yamaha Pro, “because if you don’t commit totally to what you’re doing, you’ll never fish as effectively as you need to. Just remember, you’re probably not going to find a lot of bass because they’re so scattered.”

Davis describes his second, completely opposite solution as “junk fishing,” in which a fisherman does work both shallow and deep water. If he sees a potential shallow water target, he can cast to it, then turn and make his next cast toward standing timber in deeper water. He might follow with a third cast ahead of the boat to still another spot. Junk fishing usually involves a lot of running to different places, and it frequently means fishing entirely new water each day. This spring, it’s been a technique used by many of the tournament pros in both Bassmaster® and FLW® events.

“This is how I fished the recent Bassmaster® Elite tournament at Toledo Bend,” Davis admits. “I started the tournament in deep water looking for post-spawn bass, and I caught 24 keepers the first day, but all of them were small fish, and I only weighed in about 12 pounds. You can’t even place in a Toledo Bend event with weights like that, so I changed completely. The rest of the tournament I junk-fished water down to about 10 feet, working shallow for spawning and pre-spawn bass, and I eventually finished 36th overall.

“It wasn’t the way I wanted to fish, but on Toledo Bend, there is a huge bass population, so I actually moved up in the standings each day. On lakes that don’t have a large population of fish, a spring like the one we’re having now can really make fishing difficult.”

Another part of the problem, adds Davis, is the increased fishing pressure bass are receiving now, which also makes them more difficult to catch. Because fish are seeing more lures than ever before, and many are being caught and released multiple times, anglers need to remember to keep trying different lures and retrieves until some combination starts bringing strikes. 

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com Today!

Original Source; Yamaha Outboards.com 

Yamaha Pro Brandon Palaniuk Wins Toyota® Bassmaster® Texas Fest on Sam Rayburn

 

Yamaha Pro Brandon Palaniuk Wins Toyota® Bassmaster® Texas Fest on Sam Rayburn
THIRD ELITE VICTORY FOR THE 29-YEAR-OLD IDAHO PRO KNOWN AS “THE PRODIGY.”

Yamaha Pro Brandon Palaniuk finished Sunday’s Toyota®Bassmaster® Elite Texas Fest with a catch of 21 pounds, 12 ounces to capture the win on Sam Rayburn Reservoir with a four-day total of 93 pounds, 12 ounces.  It was the third Elite victory for the 29-year-old Idaho pro known as “the prodigy.”

Palaniuk started Wednesday’s opening round with his biggest fish of the tournament — a largemouth that weighed 8-4.  He caught the bass in deeper water than what was being fished by most of the field. That gave him the confidence to stay away from the shallower areas that were holding large numbers of bass, but not necessarily the size it would take to win

I was torn between deep and shallow,” he said. “There were so many fish shallow, and you could get so many bites, but I just wasn’t getting the big fish that I needed. I just kept telling myself the big fish were out deep, and if I could stick it out and get five to 10 bites a day, I could have a chance to win.”

Palaniuk spent a lot of time idling around looking for the usual summer post spawn hot spots, like the tips of points, humps, and ledges. While moving from spot to spot on straight banks, he found several brush piles with incredible numbers of crappie and one or two bigger dots that he believed were bass –  and he was right.

“I knew that if I was hooking 8- or 9-pounders in brush piles on a lighter line, there was a chance I was going to lose some,” he said. “Those fish are so strong, and that stuff is so thick. And it wasn’t like I was fishing the outsides of it. I was throwing directly into it and trying to get it to drop directly down into the center where the fish were.”

On the final day, he had all of the kinks worked out and was ready to catch the winning bag.

“On Sunday, I had the least amount of big bites I’ve had all week,” he said. “But I executed 100 percent — and that was the difference maker.”

Palaniuk’s win earned him the $100,000 first-place prize and automatic entry into the 2018 GEICO® Bassmaster Classic® presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods® on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell.

Yamaha Marine products are marketed throughout the United States and around the world. Yamaha Marine Group, based in Kennesaw, Ga., supports its 2,000 U.S. dealers and boat builders with marketing, training, and parts for Yamaha’s full line of products and strives to be the industry leader in reliability, technology, and customer service. Yamaha Marine is the only outboard brand to have earned NMMA®’s C.S.I. Customer Satisfaction Index award every year since its inception. Visit www.yamahaoutboards.com.

This document contains many of Yamaha’s valuable trademarks. It may also contain trademarks belonging to other companies. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only and are not intended to be an endorsement.

Original Source:  Yamaha Outboards.com 

When it comes to Marine Electronics for Kayak Anglers Lowrance has you Covered

 

When it comes to Marine Electronics for Kayak Anglers Lowrance has you Covered

Fishing consumer trends are clearly indicating that – as with TVs – the growing trend with fishfinder displays is that “bigger is better.” Following a record-setting year in 2016 with the Elite-7 TiTi is showing signs of being the new frontrunner – another indicator that fishing consumers are continuing to make room for bigger, brighter and easier-to-view displays. Another trend in the consumer market is the growing popularity of kayak fishing. Kayaks offer anglers an affordable and portable option to bass boats and center-consoles, and in many cases open up waters they may not normally be able to fish due to local regulations or a lack of boat ramps. Once kayak fishing took off, it didn’t take long for kayak anglers to include fishfinders into their equipment list and rapidly kayak manufacturers began designing with electronics in mind. Most fishing kayaks today come with pre-cut transducer holes, wiring passages, and storage for batteries and screen covers. Even though the boat is smaller, kayak anglers want the same thing their motor-powered counterparts do – bigger, brighter and easier-to-view displays.

Lowrance gear on Hobie kayaks in Duck Key FL

Designed for anglers looking for one unit to do almost everything, the Elite-Tidisplays in the next two years.

Including cutting-edge features like an easy-to-use touchscreen interface, Bluetooth® and wireless connectivity, proven Lowrance navigation technology and high-performance sonar – including CHIRP, Broadband Sounder™ and StructureScan® HD with SideScan and DownScan Imaging™ – the Elite-Ti Series displays offer incredible value at an affordable price. CHIRP sonar offers improved fish-target separation and screen clarity, while the StructureScan HD sonar imaging system with exclusive Lowrance® DownScan Imaging delivers photo-like images of fish-holding structure on both sides and directly beneath the boat.

For the ultimate in on-the-water navigation, Elite-Ti displays feature a highly accurate, built-in GPS antenna that displays position on a detailed C-MAP Insight map, with thousands of lakes and rivers and detailed coastal contours to 1,000 feet. Optional chart upgrades include Lake Insight HD by C-MAP, C-MAP MAX-N, Navionics HotMaps® Premium, Navionics+ and Fishing Hotspots® PRO.

With enhanced sonar performance, built-in high definition charts, waypoint sharing and advanced charting options, the Elite-Ti Series offers features and a price point that competitors like the Humminbird HELIX G2N can’t match. The easy to use touchscreen is a Lowrance-exclusive, as is the TotalScan transducer capable of Broadband, CHIRP sonar, StructureScan HD and DownScan Imaging, all in one unit. The enhanced sonar performance of the Elite-Ti offers better clarity of targets than the Helix G2N and greater sonar range where it counts. Simply put, the Elite-Ti finds fish faster than all the rest. The Elite-Ti Series is also priced at $300-500 less than comparable units.

The perfect complement for kayakers, Lowrance also offers accessory packs compatible with the Elite-Ti. The Lowrance Kayak Pack is a portable kit that secures the battery, transducer and displays to a single box, making it easy to mount and remove from the kayak. The Lowrance YakAttack CellBlok battery holder with built-in transducer cable management that keeps excess transducer cable away from the active anglers. Lowrance also offers the ultimate transducer-mounting system for the sit-on-top fishing kayak – the Transducer Kayak Scupper Mount. Perfect for all Lowrance Skimmer® transducers, it’s easy to install in most any scupper opening without messy adhesives. The Lowrance Scupper Mount positions the Skimmer transducer, so it’s totally submerged in the water you’re fishing. That guarantees maximum sonar signal return sensitivity, producing the absolute clearest underwater returns of structure and fish possible.

Learn more at Lowrance.com Today!

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Lowrance provided Serious Excitement on and off the Water at the Bassmaster Classic

 

Lowrance provided Serious Excitement on and off the Water at the Bassmaster Classic

Lowrance® continued its domination of America’s tournament-fishing circuit late last month as Lowrance Pro Jordan Lee won the 2017 Bassmaster Classic Championship on Lake Conroe in Houston, Texas. A 25-year-old professional angler from Guntersville, Alabama, Lee became the sixth consecutive Lowrance angler to win the Classic when he finished with a three-day total of 56 pounds, 10 ounces, taking home $300,000 and the most coveted trophy in the sport. Steve Kennedy, who also competed in the event with Lowrance marine electronics, finished second with a total weight of 55 pounds, 1 ounce.

On the final day of the Classic, 15 of the top 25 competitors — including seven of the top 12 anglers – were using Lowrance HDS fishfinder/chart-plotters to navigate and find key fish-holding areas. For Lee, 2017 was his second appearance at the Bassmaster Classic. He finished 6th in the 2014 Classic at Lake Guntersville in Alabama.

During practice at Lake Conroe, Lee used his HDS-12 Gen3 with StructureScan® 3D imaging to identify an underwater “point” with a hard-bottom area that he thought would hold fish. He returned to the spot on the final day, where he was limited by mechanical issues on his boat, which held him in the same spot all day. Staying in that spot proved to be the difference as Lee jumped from 15th to first place with a 27-pound, 4-ounce, five-fish limit, the biggest single-day catch of the tournament.

At the tournament, there was plenty of excitement off the water as well. Lowrance announced the production of the HDS CarbonTM 16, a new high-performance fishfinder/chart plotter with a 16-inch screen – the largest ever produced by Lowrance.  

The massive 16-inch high-definition screen on HDS Carbon 16 displays provides an even bigger stage to showcase the clarity, high resolution and superior target separation of SolarMAX™ HD technology, exclusive to the HDS Carbon series. Setting up a four-panel split on the HDS Carbon 16 gives anglers the equivalent of four seven-inch screens on a single display.

Anglers in the market for a do-it-all, integrated system need a processor that can smoothly drive high-tech features like StructureScan® 3D with SideScan and DownScan Imaging™, StructureMap™, Broadband Radar™ and SiriusXM® Weather Chart Overlay. HDS Carbon 16 delivers on that front, taking processing power to the next level with a dual-core processor that allows anglers to switch between applications and simultaneously view independent sonar feeds with ease.

Lowrance SolarMAX HD display technology features high-definition views and clear visibility in all conditions with the widest available range of viewing angles – even when wearing polarized sunglasses. The new displays feature 1920×1080 HD resolution and are engineered to withstand higher temperatures than conventional units, offering enhanced reliability in warmer climates. The secret behind the new SolarMAX HD displays come from the implementation of the most advanced IPS (in-plane switching) screens in fishing electronics. With superior color accuracy and boosted high-definition reproduction, IPS screens are perfectly designed for viewing picture-like sonar images. Whether viewing menu panels or onscreen fish targets, the improved clarity and sharpness of SolarMAX HD displays are clearly evident from any viewing angle.

With Live Network Sonar, HDS Carbon 16 gives anglers the capability to view and control two independent, live sonar sources at different locations — like the front and the back of the boat — from a single display. This powerful feature provides anglers with a comprehensive picture of underwater activity with convenient and complete control. 

In addition to integrated wireless connectivity, HDS Carbon 16 features Bluetooth® control of multiple Power-Pole® shallow water anchors and Bluetooth audio streaming from the SonicHub®2 marine entertainment system. Anglers can navigate with ease behind proven Lowrance navigation technology, high-resolution mapping with enhanced coverage of coastal and inland waters, a 10 Hz internal GPS antenna, and a multitude of mapping options accessible from the unit’s dual microSD card slots. HDS Carbon 16 is compatible with the most expansive selection of optional cartography on the market, including Insight Genesis™ custom mapping, C-MAP Insight PRO, C-MAP Lake Insight HD, C-MAP MAX-N+, Navionics® and more.

HDS Carbon 16 supports radar, SmartSteer™ control of Motorguide® Xi5 trolling motors and the Lowrance Outboard Pilot and full engine data integration highlighted by compatibility with Mercury® VesselView® Link.

Congratulations to Jordan Lee and all the anglers competing in the tournament. And look for more exciting developments from Lowrance in the near future.

Catch more fish, learn more at Lowrance.com  Today!

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Former Classic® Winner Jones Has a New Competitor on the Water

 

Former Classic® Winner Jones Has a New Competitor on the Water

This Season Alton Jones Jr. Joins His Father to Fish the 2017 Bassmaster Classic® and the Elites

Never, in all of his previous 26 seasons of bass tournament competition, has Alton Jones been concerned with how many fish any other anglers may be catching, but that will change this year. That’s because the Yamaha Pro’s 24-year old son, Alton Jr., will be joining him on both the Bassmaster® Elite circuit and in the 2017 Bassmaster Classic® as he begins his own full-time professional career.

They will be the fifth father-son duo to compete against each other in a Classic,® but the first to do so in the Elite Series. Although they have been fishing together for years, they have never before actually competed against each other.

“He’s a better fisherman than I am, too,” admits Alton, Sr., winner of six B.A.S.S.® events during his career, including the 2008 Bassmaster Classic.® “He’s more versatile, and he understands the fish better than I do. He may not have as much experience as the other pros, but he’s still going to be a tough competitor.”

“Little Alton,” as many know him, graduated from Baylor University with a degree in marketing in 2014, all the while planning to start fishing professionally as soon as he graduated. He spent the next two seasons fishing the Bassmaster® Open Series just to qualify for the Elites and did so through his consistently high finishes in the Central Division this past year. By winning one of those events on the Red River in Louisiana, he also qualified for the Bassmaster Classic® to be held next month at Lake Conroe near Houston.

“Dad had me in the boat with him when I was still an infant,” laughs Alton Jr., now also a Yamaha Pro, “and later I traveled with my parents to each tournament and fished every practice day with him for years. I always thought becoming a bass pro sounded good, but it wasn’t until the 2008 Bassmaster® Elite season that I made up my mind.

“That year, I fished eight Elites as a co-angler and loved every minute. It was an incredible experience because I got to fish with a lot of the top bass pros, and afterward I knew without a doubt I wanted fishing to be my career. I was ready to start immediately, but my parents wouldn’t let me until I earned a college degree. That was a long four years, but I’ve already realized the benefits of having that degree, particularly a degree in marketing.”

Understanding his son’s desire to turn professional, as well as to add extra incentive to complete his college education, Alton, Sr. made a fully rigged bass boat available for Little Alton to use anytime he wanted to, as long as he maintained good grades. Little Alton took advantage of the opportunity, fishing numerous weekend tournaments throughout Texas during his time at Baylor. Those events, in which he won several boats and cash prizes, helped prepare him for the Opens, and ultimately, he believes, for this season’s Elites

Although both father and son visited Lake Conroe before the impoundment went off-limits, they did so separately. The discussions they’ve had about the Classic® lake, as well as about other lakes they’ll fish during the season, have only been about general overall strategies. The experienced father has not given his son any specific information.

“He really doesn’t want any information,” emphasizes Alton, Sr. “He is his own man on the water, and he’s very confident in his own abilities to locate and catch fish. He’s proven that many times over, and besides, our fishing styles are completely different. He doesn’t need my advice.

“When I started taking him fishing with me, I wanted him to grow to love fishing just so he and I could spend time together,” says the long-time Yamaha Pro. “When B.A.S.S.®changed their rules about tournament practice partners, it ended that opportunity for both of us. 

“Honestly, what I’m most excited about this upcoming Elite season is being on the road together and having more father-son time. Am I concerned about fishing against Little Alton? Of course not. Naturally, I’m his biggest fan.” Y

Visit Yamaha Outboards today.

Original Source Yamaha Outboards.com 

Dialing in Docks to Up Your Bass Game

 

Dialing in Docks to Up Your Bass Game

Virtually every angler on the water these days is well aware that boat docks hold bass throughout the year.  However, not all anglers approach dock fishing with the correct tackle and strategy to make the most of their time on the water.  Fine-tuning your approach by reaching all fish-holding zones and identifying patterns can definitely lead to higher catch rates and bigger fish.

For starters, selecting the right tackle for dock fishing is absolutely critical.  While many professional anglers are adept at skipping lures far under dock platforms using baitcasting gear, most fishermen will find this task much easier to accomplish with a medium-light power, fast action spinning rod paired with a reel spooled with thin braided line.  With the right spinning rod and reel, you can focus on the mechanics of making the perfect skip cast rather than worrying about controlling backlashes.

As far as lure selection goes, a compact jig-and-plastic combination is hands down the most versatile setup for fishing docks.  Small finesse jigs can imitate a variety of forage, from small crawfish or other invertebrates when dragged across the bottom, to juvenile bream or small baitfish when descending or retrieved through the water column.

An ideal jig-and-plastic pairing is a 3/16 ounce Z-Man ShroomZ Micro Finesse Jig paired with a 2.75” Finesse TRD stickbait trailer.  The flat, compact head of this mushroom-shaped jig coupled with its short silicone skirt allows it to be cast precisely into tight quarters or skip cast under dock platforms or skip cast with relative ease.  When paired with the Finesse TRD soft plastic, the combination has enough bulk to cast long distances, but sinks slowly and stands up off the bottom at rest due to the TRD’s buoyant ElaZtech construction.  In addition, the extreme durability of this soft plastic trailer allows it to be skip cast and bounced off dock pilings repeatedly without ripping or tearing.

While casting around the outskirts of a dock is simple, the best way to access hard-to-reach zones beneath the above-the-water superstructure is a well-executed skip cast. The key to a good skip cast is to generate as much lure speed at the point of line release, with the rod almost parallel to the water, so the lure travels across the surface with minimal drag. The more the lure spins and stays on its trailing edge, the longer the skip.  While dialing in the proper skip casting technique can take a little bit of work, any angler can make the technique look effortless with a little bit of practice!

In order to key in on how the fish are positioned around docks on a given day, it is critical to initially work the structure as thoroughly as possible, probing every inch of the surrounding area from shallow to deep, hitting both the outside and inside of the dock with precise, targeted casts.  When the bait hits the water, allow it to fall straight to the bottom on a slack line before making a couple of short twitches to hop the jig off the bottom.  Also pay close attention to the line as the jig slowly descends through the water column, as many bites come on the fall, indicating that the fish are suspended under the docks rather than near the bottom.

The most critical part of discerning a pattern to how fish are positioned around docks is making a mental note of the location and water depth of each bite, paying close attention to where the fish is stationed relative to the structure in particular.  Efforts should then be focused on similar areas around successive docks, and zones that do not produce bites should be ruled out.  Focusing your efforts in this manner will allow you to eliminate casts to unproductive areas and become more efficient with each dock fished.

Visit Z-Man Fishing Today!

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Can You Trust Your Fishfinder?

 

Can You Trust Your Fishfinder?

Before Lowrance invented and sold the first recreational sonar product for fishermen in 1957, many anglers focused their time on the water searching for gamefish near or around the shoreline. The reason is simple: When you can see fish-holding structure along the bank of a lake, you are more confident in locating key fish-holding areas. The Lowrance Fish-Lo-K-Tor – also known as the “The Little Green Box” – changed all that. Using this portable, battery-operated device, fishermen gained the confidence they needed to move off the shoreline with a whirling dial of red lights that could define depth changes, and mark underwater structure as well as gamefish. While this first fishfinder was simple in design – requiring a considerable amount of training to use effectively – it changed the way we fished, and it definitely helped put fish in the boat. Today, when a marine electronics company announces a “ground breaking” fishfinder that delivers a meaningful benefit, anglers take notice. And that’s where our story begins.

In 2014 Garmin launched DownVü, a feature that gave anglers a photo-like image of what was directly beneath their boat. Rocks look like rocks, trees look like trees and fish look like fish. It represented a game-changing sonar technology. The problem – DownVü technology isn’t a Garmin original design. It was a duplicate design of Lowrance’s DownScan Imaging™ – the same technology offering the same features and benefits. DownScan Imaging had been designed, patented and brought to market by Lowrance’s parent company Navico years before. Rather than develop their own solution or license the Navico technology – as other marine electronics manufacturers had done – Garmin took a shortcut that resulted in a 2015 ruling by the International Trade Commission (ITC) stating that Garmin’s DownVü transducer design infringes upon Navico patents, and those DownVü products could no longer be imported into the United States.

In an effort to work around the ITC ruling, Garmin modified the design of the DownVü transducer by tilting the angle of the down-facing element. An ongoing enforcement action is underway, relating to Garmin’s attempt to import the tilted-element transducer without seeking ITC approval.

The latest workaround attempt by Garmin is the recently introduced ClearVü scanning solution, which is a radically different design. Garmin’s new design no longer infringes the patents like before, but that is because ClearVü features no down-facing sensor. So to be clear, in the U.S., Garmin ClearVü is sold without any down-facing transducer element. For anglers depending on their fishfinder to identify fish and structure beneath the boat, this new design is a cause for concern.

ClearVü compiles data from the side-scanning elements in the transducer, then uses software to try to fill in the missing information below your boat. If you pass directly over a fish, your “down-scanning” ClearVü fishfinder may not see it, because it could be out of range of the side-scanning beams. In an attempt to produce downward data from side-scanning beams, Garmin has managed to reduce clarity and distort the appearance of targets across the board.

The idea of creating a down-scan view by using only the side-scan sonar signals is not new. Other marine electronics manufacturers tried this years ago, until they decided the best solution for anglers is to offer true DownScan Imaging, which is why all other marine electronics manufacturers, such as Humminbird and Raymarine, now license the true Navico DownScan Imaging technology for use on their fishfinders.

Since 1957, sonar technology has changed the way we fish with meaningful benefits that gave us the confidence to move off the shoreline to find and catch more and bigger fish. When those fishfinding benefits fall short of what we should expect, it’s important to take note, so you can make the most of your time on the water. To learn how true DownScan Imaging continues to set the standard for the best possible image-scanning views beneath your boat, visit http://www.lowrance.com/true-downscan.

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Catch More Bass During Tough Transitional Periods

 

Catch More Bass During Tough Transitional Periods

In the springtime just prior to the spawn, bass fishing can be relatively easy as fish begin moving shallow and gorge themselves as their metabolism speeds up with rising water temperatures.  However, during other transitional periods – like spring-to-summer and summer-to-fall – bass can be more difficult to dial in.  In these situations, using electronics to map high percentage offshore locations and selecting the right lure set-up are absolutely critical to getting bites.

During tough transition periods, bass routinely stage offshore over structure, including both natural structure like rock ledges, humps, and creek beds and man-made structure like submerged roadbeds and brush piles.  Such features are easily located using electronic mapping tools available on most modern GPS systems available today, but dialing the precise location and the proper technique presents more of a challenge.

Once a likely area is pinpointed, the best way to approach the situation is to run a zig-zag pattern across the area, while watching the fishfinder screen closely for isolated structure like timber or man-made brush piles.  Experienced bass fishermen look for the presence of baitfish and larger predatory fish on the sonar screen and mark any promising locations.  At the same time, watching for visual cues is critical, as bass often roam the perimeter of underwater structure looking to ambush bait on the surface.  Any kind of schooling topwater activity is a dead giveaway that feeding fish are in the area.

When probing spots in this manner by scanning for clues on the sonar and on the surface, using a versatile lure that will tempt fish throughout the water column is absolutely critical.  Perhaps the most versatile rig is a basic jig-and-worm combo like the Big TRD soft plastic worm and Power Finesse ShroomZ jighead, both manufactured by Z-Man Fishing Products.

A four-inch stickworm like the Big TRD is ideal for this type of fishing because it mimics a variety of forage.  When casting to surface fish and paired with a light 1/10 ounce jighead, it descends slowly through the water column and falls with a quivering motion like a dying or stunned shad.  At mid-depth, the buoyant ElaZtech material causes the jig-and-worm combo to sit at a horizontal posture like a live baitfish, and the jighead’s weed guard allows the rig to slide through wood and brush without snagging.  When dragged along the bottom on a 1/5 ounce jighead, the tail of the ElaZtech bait floats up and comes to life like no other soft plastic worm will, mimicking a crawfish or other invertebrate scurrying along the bottom.

A versatile combination like the Big TRD and Power Finesse ShroomZ will allow an angler to react quickly to different types of scenarios that may be encountered without constantly changing tackle.  What’s more, the exposed hook design of Power Finesse ShroomZ jighead allows for smooth, easy hooksets, and the bait need not be constantly re-adjusted like baits rigged Texas’style with the hook point embedded in the plastic.

While patterning bass can be trying during transitional periods, combining the mapping and sonar tools of today’s electronics with the most advanced and versatile fishing lures available will definitely help shorten the learning curve.

Visit Z Man Fishing.com Today and Catch More Fish!

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Warm up for boating season at the Northwest Sportshow®

 

Warm up for boating season at the Northwest Sportshow®

By Craig Lamb

Ice-out season is coming soon, and that means boat show season is winding down. If you are looking for a new boat, or just need a cure to break the winter chill, there is a show like none other happening in Minneapolis.

It’s the Northwest Sportshow®, March 23-26, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. A spring tradition for 84 years, the show is the best place to find everything you and your family need to gear up for outdoor adventures.

You’ll find once-a-year deals on RVs, fishing tackle, marine electronics, hunting gear, and even vacation packages. The most exciting thing you’ll find are boats by the hundreds!

Come visit Skeeter Boats at Booth 1501. On display will be the latest models, including the all-new Solera™ 189. This family friendly rig looks good and fishes great. Custom built and loaded with standard features, the Solera 189 enjoys abundant storage and a wide-open interior. The Solera 189 is the new standard for a fishable, family friendly boat. Whether pulling the kids around the lake or jigging for walleyes, the Solera 189 is the perfect balance of fish and fun.

If you are looking for a serious multi-species rig loaded with standard features, then come check out the WX Series Deep-V boats. These models are built for the big, open waters of Midwest lakes where gusty winds and choppy water are the norm. Deep, open cabins, wide beams, and abundant storage make the WX Series Deep V boats the top choice of walleye tournament anglers.

Lowrance® fishfinders and graphs are standard on many Skeeter boats. Anyone looking to learn shortcuts and tips on how to use Lowrance® electronics have a special opportunity at the show.

Marine Electronics University, sponsored by Lowrance®, provides hands-on workshops taught by experts. Topics focus on the new Lowrance® HDS® GEN3 Touch units. Sessions will cover all the basics and more. You can get instructions on everything from routine setup and product use, to news about leading technologies like CHIRP sonar and Insight Genesis® Mapping. 

Show hours are: 1-9 p.m. on Thursday, March 23; 11 a.m.-9 p.m on Friday the 24th; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday the 25th; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday the 26th. The address is 1301 2nd Ave. South, Minneapolis.

In the meantime, get your boat show fix at skeeterboats.com. You can request a brochure or download a catalog, build your dream rig, and get Skeeter Team merchandise to wear to the shows.  Got a question? They’ve got answers at the Skeeter factory in Kilgore, Texas. Call (903) 984-0541, or find the nearest dealer here.

This document contains many of Skeeter’s valuable trademarks. It may also contain trademarks belonging to other companies. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only, and are not intended to be an endorsement.

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Meet the Skeeter Pros at Bassmaster Classic®

 

Meet the Skeeter Pros at Bassmaster Classic®

By Craig Lamb

There is only one place bass fishing fans get the chance to meet their favorite pros while seeing them cast for the world championship title… and the chance is coming soon.

Make plans now to attend the Bassmaster Classic®,  March 24-26 in Houston with the competition playing out on Lake Conroe. The Classic has never been held there and with it come a couple of historical firsts you don’t want to miss.

First, Lake Conroe is one of the top rated bass fisheries in Texas. By competition time the bass will be in post-spawn mode, meaning anglers will be fishing for aggressively feeding bass. For fans, it means they get the chance to see trophy bass come across the scale and the most unique venue and stage in the event’s 46-year history.

Daily weigh-ins will be held at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros. A custom built stage at third-base will have fans practically able to reach out and touch their favorite pros. Plus, the drama from on the water will unfold on the venue’s high def video display, the fourth largest in major league baseball, spanning 54 feet high and 124 feet wide. Imagine taking in a big league baseball game with a pro bass fishing setting.

The Classic is built around the fan experience. You can even launch your boat on Lake Conroe and follow your favorite pros on the water as they cast for the $300,000 first place award. If staying on land is your thing, you have an even better opportunity to meet the pros up close and get autographs, selfies and even pick up fishing and boating tips.

You can do all that at the Bassmaster Classic® Expo, located within walking distance of the ballpark at the George R. Brown Convention Center. It’s arguably the largest event of its kind in the country with 300,000 square feet of exhibit space, the greatest in Classic history.

Nothing compares to the Classic when it comes to the chance to meet so many pros in one place. Skeeter Boats has an all-star list of the top pros in the Classic, and there are others who will make appearances at the Classic Expo. 

Here’s the lineup of top pros you can meet, and hopefully watch win the Classic. Come see many of them at the Classic Expo in the Skeeter Boats’ booth.

Cliff and Ben Crochet

Cliff Crochet. The popular pro nicknamed “Cajun Baby” is coming off a great 2016 season. He won the Bassmaster® Southern Open held on the Atchafalaya Basin, basically in his own backyard.

Todd Faircloth

Todd Faircloth. The Jasper, Texas pro will be one of the tournament favorites.

Matt Herren

Matt Herren. The Ashville, Alabama pro will be making his seventh Classic appearance. Herren is a shallow water expert and will be a top competitor on Lake Conroe.

Alton Jones Jr.

Alton Jones Jr.  Expect the young Texan and Bassmaster® Elite Series rookie to bring the momentum from his successful 2016 season of B.A.S.S.(R) competition to Conroe.

Alton Jones

Alton Jones Sr. The 2008 Classic champion and native Texan is a pre-tournament favorite to win the title in his home state.

Jared Lintner

Jared Lintner. The California pro is making his sixth Classic and is coming off a successful 2016 season of the Elite Series.

Bill Lowen

Bill Lowen. The Indiana pro is also coming off a hot season on the Elite Series circuit, and he’s a strong contender when the bass bite is hot in shallow water.

Brandon Palaniuk

Brandon Palaniuk. The young pro from Idaho is making his sixth consecutive Classic appearance.

Dean Roja

Dean Rojas. The Arizona pro is a veteran of the sport and always performs well in Texas events.

Chris Zaldain

Chris Zaldain. The Californian is making his third Classic appearance following a successful season on the Elite Series tour.

Classic details

Weigh Ins

Doors at Minute Maid Park open at 3 p.m. each day.

Location: 501 Crawford St., Houston

Outdoor Expo

For more on the expo located at George R. Brown, Convention Center click here.

Location: 1001 Avenida de las Americas, Houston.

In the meantime, get your boat show fix at skeeterboats.com. You can request a brochure or download a catalog, build your dream rig, and get Skeeter Team merchandise to wear to the shows.  Got a question? They’ve got answers at the Skeeter factory in Kilgore, Texas. Call (903) 984-0541, or find the nearest dealer here.

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com