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Blog - 2021 Archive

Norman Fat Boy - Nutter Shad

Square Bill Crankbait Guide

Even with a common bill shape, different crankbaits have distinctive characteristics. We’ll look at six top square bill crankbaits and the best applications for each.

Not all square bill crankbaits are created equal.

That’s important to keep in mind when you are choosing a lure to tie on this time of year. We’re not talking about performance quality or durability (although those are important considerations). We’re talking about variances in shape, sound, size, swimming action and more that cause different lures in the same category to excel in different situations.

When we speak of square bills, we’re talking about shallow running crankbaits with diving bills that are flat in the front and that have corners, instead of being rounded in front and on the sides. As a category, square bills are considered the best crankbaits for working through shallow cover.

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late fall bass baits

Jason Christie’s 10 MUST HAVE Late Fall Bass Baits

Enjoy the benefit of Jason Christie’s expertise and tap into the season’s best bass fishing action.

Late fall can be a very fun time to fish for bass, with the fish often eager to feed as they prepare for leaner times. It’s also a season of major transition, though, and quickly changing weather and water conditions trigger changes in bass behavior.

Having the right assortment of late fall bass baits at hand can be critical to finding the best fishing action any given day. With that in mind, we decided to leave nothing to chance. We tapped into the expertise of Jason Christie and got his top late fall bass bait selections, specific to size and color.

Making a good thing even better, we’re going to give you 15 percent off Jason Christie’s featured late fall bass baits. See below for details.

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Dock Shooting Crappie

Your Guide to Shooting Docks for Crappie

Crappie dock shooting expert Terry Blankenship pins fall as prime time for shooting. We asked him for the details about his favorite way to catch crappie.

“I’m sorry we picked such a busy lake day,” Terry Blankenship said with a wry grin as he made a U-turn on the ramp in preparation to back his boat down. There wasn’t another vehicle at the facility, nor a boat in sight, where we were launching on Missouri’s famed crappie water, Lake of the Ozarks.

“That’s the other thing I love about fishing this time of year, I pretty much have the lake to myself during the week,” Blankenship said.

The “other thing” reference wrapped up a discussion we’d had during our 20-minute drive from his home. Blankenship had been telling me why he likes fall best for dock shooting. “From now all the way up to the end of December, this is THE prime time to be dock shooting, and it’s absolutely the most exciting way to crappie fish I’ve ever experienced,” he said.

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adding scent to crappie bait

Tinkering With Baits to Catch More Crappie

Learn about how crappie baits can be altered or accessorized to enhance opportunities to catch fish.

We fish: therefore, we are… tinkerers. We simply can’t resist the urge to make our crappie baits, well, “crappier.”

Some of our creations would make Dr. Frankenstein proud, while others would humble Rembrandt. Whatever the transformation, the only judge of its beauty lies in the beholder that waits at the opposite end of the line. And any crappie can have a mood that changes at the drop of a bait. The irony of it all is that a failed fishing outing can be just as inspirational in driving our quick return as one that filled the livewell quickly.

So, maybe, we’re the unpredictable ones.

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rainbow trout release

How to Drift Bait for Stream Trout

Casting natural offerings to drift in the current is a highly effective way to catch trout. Learn the tricks to this time-proven approach.

Trout fishing has its share of stereotypes, with one being that trout fishing always means fly-fishing. Another is that trout fishing with bait only means sitting beside a heavily stocked lake or a big pool with bait on the bottom to collect trout for a stringer.

While that certainly is a popular way to catch trout and a fine way to spend a day, anglers who prefer to work streams more actively – moving, casting and making active presentations – should not overlook the virtue of using natural offerings. Drifting bait is a fun and highly effective way to tap into outstanding action in a trout stream.

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Soft Plastic Jerkbaits for Early Fall Bass

Schooling fish in the early Fall can be a huge kick in the pants to most anglers because of their tendency to turn their noses up to any and all baits you toss out. 

 This can all change with the help of a little old springtime hero known as the soft plastic jerk bait! My favorite is the YUM Houdini Shad, and we will go into greater detail about why further in the blog.

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Tommy Biffle with Biffle Bug largemouth bass

A Complete Guide to Biffle Bug Fishing

Fishing a Biffle Bug on a HardHead is a year-round strategy for Tommy Biffle and a critical part of his gameplan. We talked with Biffle about the technique he developed in 2010 and has been refining ever since.

“Maybe I should have thrown this in that tournament,” Tommy Biffle said to me as he unhooked the fourth bass he had caught in as many casts with a Biffle Bug on a prototype swiveling jighead that he had never thrown before. He had shown me the design a few minutes earlier and mentioned that he’d had one rigged at Smith Mountain Lake, where the Bassmaster Tour had just been, but hadn’t picked it up. He’d instead been flipping and pitching Texas-rigged Biffle Bugs and had finished solidly in the money but not in contention to win.

Less than two months after that day with Biffle, in June 2010, he won the Bassmaster Elite Series Sooner Run on Fort Gibson Lake with the same combination and introduced the fishing world to the Gene Larew Biffle HardHead. Two weeks after that, he used the same approach to win a PAA event on Tennessee’s Cherokee Lake, cementing the HardHead/Biffle Bug combo’s place in the bass fishing scene.

For Biffle, this combination immediately became a mainstay in his overall approach, and that has never changed. In fact, its place has grown. He fishes this combination year ‘round in a huge range of situations for largemouths, smallmouths and spotted bass, from the Great Lakes to Florida and coast to coast. He always has at least one rigged. It’s usually on his front deck and often in his hand.

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Super Spook and Popping Cork

Topwaters and Popping Corks for Outstanding Inshore Action

Splashy surface lures and rattling corks call in fish, allowing you to cover more range. Use this lethal 1-2 punch for redfish, speckled trout and more.

“Topwater should be good here,” Chris Holleman said, as he put down the trolling motor and eased into a cut. The bottom was shallow and snaggy, with a mix of shell and downed trees, and those snags typically hold snook and redfish, Holleman has found, and the tide had good movement to put the fish in feeding mode.

My second cast with a Super Spook Boyo confirmed the suspicions of Holleman, who operates Blue Cyclone Fishing Adventures in Jacksonville.

Having redfish and speckled trout violently attack topwater lures is extraordinarily fun. Anyone who has sampled this action knows that. Topwater virtues extend past being an extra exciting way to catch fish, though. In many situations, a noise surface lure provides the finest option for working an area and prompting strikes, and at times the topwater lures produce larger fish than subsurface offerings.

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Ozarks stream wading

7 Tips for Successful Wade Fishing in Streams

Wading a creek or river for bass and other species is a fun and highly effective way to catch fish during summer and autumn. Follow these tips to find great fishing adventures.

With only a couple of hours available, a buddy and I went for maximized efficiency. We parked my car near an Ozarks creek just before daylight and then rode in his truck to another access point, a mile or so downstream. We had tackle packed in light backpacks and topwater lures tied on, and as soon as we had enough light to see where we were walking, we moved streamside at the lower end of a long pool and eyed our first casts.

My Teeny Pop-R disturbed the slick surface first, and the first gentle pop prompted a not-so-gentle attack. The fish missed twice and didn’t come back, but we were underway. Two hours later, just in time to get to where we needed to go, we left fish biting and walked to my car, a few hundred feet away. We’d caught several smallmouths, a couple of spots and largemouths and a handful of mixed panfish. An amazing start to any day!

If you have wadable streams withing reasonable reach that offer public access and support a population of smallmouths, spots, largemouths, shoal bass or other black bass species, there are few simpler or more enjoyable ways to find fishing action than by wading-fishing with a light spinning outfit and modest arsenal of small lures. These tips can make your wade-fishing outings extra productive.

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