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Blog - 2022 Archive

spring crappie fishing

How Expert Anglers Keep Up with Spring Crappie

Warming water temperatures prompt crappie migrations toward spawning areas. Learn how to find and catch spring crappie.

When crappie initiate their move toward spawning areas, anglers from Oklahoma to Connecticut head to the lake!

The primary pre-spawn and spawn trigger is water temperature. Across the country, crappie pre-spawn movements begin when water temperatures approach 50 degrees, with crappie moving to staging areas close to spawning flats and banks. When the shallows maintain a temperature close to 60 degrees for several days, bedding may begin. Nests are constructed moderately firm bottoms, generally in protected areas. This yearly ritual may begin as early as February in the Southern states or as late as early July in states along the Canadian border.

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Bassmaster Classic Champion Jason Christie

Keys to Jason Christie’s Bassmaster Classic Win

Learn about the lures and approaches that helped Jason Christie win the 2022 Bassmaster Classic.

“Put your nose in the dirt and grind,” Jason Christie of Park Hill, Oklahoma said on the stage at the 2022 Bassmaster Classic, describing the approach that delivered his Classic victory. Christie had found one good group of deep fish and a few bass that were around docks, going into the world championship, but not much more. He found most of the fish he would bring to the scales as he fished, during the tournament, sticking with a pattern.

Christie, who entered the final day of the Bassmaster Classic with a lead for the third time in his career, caught 17 pounds 9 ounces on the final day, bringing his three-day total to 54 pounds and giving him the victory by five ounces. His winning weight was nearly four pounds heavier than those from any of the other three Classics held on Hartwell

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Jason Christie bass fishing

Competitors’ expectations for the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell

We spoke with three Bassmaster Classic competitors about how they expect Lake Hartwell to fish during this year’s Classic, based on their practice, observed conditions and the forecast.

The Bassmaster Classic begins this morning on Lake Hartwell, with the take-off scheduled for 7:00 a.m. On Sunday evening, after three days of intense competition, someone will have earned the title of Bassmaster Classic Champion and a $300,000 payday and will forever enjoy the elevated status in the world of competitive bass fishing that comes with that title.

Who will win? Which patterns will prevail? What will be the key lure or lures? Those are the questions every bass fishing fan is asking right now, and much about Lake Hartwell leaves more questions than answers. In truth, the pros had many of the same questions as the start of the tournament approached.

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YUM Scottsboro Swimbait

YUM Reveals New Scottsboro Swimbait Lineup

A partnership between YUM Bait Company and Scottsboro Tackle Company delivers widespread availability of one of the most popular swimbait shapes ever created.

Scottsboro Tackle Company had a problem. A good problem, but a problem, nevertheless. Their exceptionally natural hand-poured swimbaits became so sought after among bass fishermen that they couldn’t produce the most popular sizes nearly fast enough! Scottsboro contacted YUM with a proposal of YUM producing injection molded swimbaits, using Scottsboro’s exact shape, to deliver outstanding swimbaits for bass to far more anglers and at a reduced cost.

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spotted seatrout catch

Top to Bottom for Redfish & Trout

Selecting saltwater lures that allow you to effectively work the best part of the water column can help you catch more fish.

“Take it from the top.”

That phrase typically suggests going back to the beginning of a scene or song in some sort of rehearsal, but it’s also a good strategy for choosing saltwater lures for finding redfish or trout and tapping into the day’s finest action. Surface lures can be highly effective for prompting bites and serve up extra fun fishing. So, starting on top simply makes sense.

That said, some days fish will mostly near the bottom or somewhere between the top and bottom, so it’s valuable to have a “top to bottom” selection of saltwater lures and test offerings that work all parts of the water column, allowing the fish to reveal their daily preferences.

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lipless crankbait smallmouth bass

Choosing Lipless Crankbaits for Early Season Bass

Learn how and where to fish lipless crankbaits to catch more bass this spring.

Cold water and lipless crankbaits. So wedded are these concepts that many anglers have missed out on the four-season versatility of these simple looking lures.

Of course, there’s no denying the deadly cold-water effectiveness of lipless crankbaits like the BOOYAH Hard Knocker and One Knocker and Cotton Cordell Super Spot. Travel bass waters anywhere when fishermen have donned their winter wear, and you’ll likely find these lures working overtime. Although lipless crankbaits will work their magic in the steamiest days of July, they seem to save their best performances for the chilly water period of from late fall to early spring.

Sometimes called rattle baits for the sounds they emit, lipless crankbaits make it easy for predators to know they are coming, and the fish can’t seem to resist them when they arrive. Do fish find that rattle an irritating alarm? A wake-up call? A hunger inducer? A prelude to a satisfying meal? Who knows? Whatever the case, bass love them.

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crappie fishing catch

What Do I See? Your Guide to Interpreting Live Sonar

Learn how to make the best use of live sonar technology to improve your crappie fishing efficiency and catch more fish.

Early “Fish finders” were used primarily to find fish, as the term suggests, and to determine bottom depths and locate structure. Over time, technology has evolved, creating far clearer and more detailed pictures and many types of views and allowing anglers to determine bottom make-ups and find both structure and fish far more effectively

The latest electronics technology, live sonar, makes it far easier for anglers to recognize fish species, target specific fish and see how the fish react to lure presentations. It is highly popular for crappie fishing and extremely helpful if you know how make the best use of it.

Live sonar technology, which reveals high-resolution images of fish swimming and responding to lures, is available now via Garmin’s Panoptix LiveScope, Lowrance’s Active Target and Humminbird’s MEGA Live Imaging. For Dustin McDaniel, an Oklahoma tournament angler and guide (GFB Outdoors Guide Service, 417-437-5047), the ability to interpret what he is seeing on his Garmin 1222 unit with its Panoptix LiveScope transducer, has become a game-changer.

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Lake Hartwell, Bassmaster Classic site

Breaking Down the Bassmaster Classic and Bass Fishing on Lake Hartwell

We’ll look at 2022 Bassmaster Classic site and its bass fishery and consider lures and techniques that are apt to prevail.

In two weeks, 56 of the top bass anglers in the world will compete on Lake Hartwell for title of Bassmaster Classic champion and the $300,000 first prize. It will be the fourth time the Bassmaster Classic has been held at Lake Hartwell, a 56,000-acre impoundment of the Savannah River that straddles the Georgia/South Carolina border.

We’ll examine bass fishing on Lake Hartwell, considering the lake’s makeup, the bass population and the forage base. We’ll also consider the timing of this year’s world championship and how that is likely to affect the fishing.

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