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Blog - 2022 Archive

surf at sunrise

Surfcasting Basics for Stripers and Bluefish

There’s nothing like the thrill of working your favorite beach or jetty with a swimming plug!  Learn how surfcasting can produce great fall fishing action.

Surfcasting artificial baits along your favorite stretch of beach for puts you close to the action! Part of the joy is feeling the waves churn and surge as you cast just beyond the breakers or feeling the refreshing spray as you walk carefully out a jetty. More importantly, surfcasting provides an extremely effective way to catch striped bass, bluefish and other gamefish, especially during fall, when baitfish and gamefish push close to beaches.

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crappie from a laydown

Pro Tips for Crappie Fishing Laydowns

When a tree topples into a lake, it transforms into a crappie haven. Learn how to work laydowns to catch the most crappie.

On dry ground, a tree provides a home for birds, squirrels and raccoons. Lying low in the water, the same tree becomes a laydown and offers horizontal cover for crappie, bass and catfish. Crappie fishing laydowns is an outstanding way to put fish in the boat late in the summer and continuing through fall. Lake of the Ozarks guide and tournament competitor Terry Blankenship frequently fishes for crappie around vertical cover he sinks in his home waters; however, he has learned crappie fishing laydowns offers a better option at times.

“Sometimes crappie want to get under something and use it for protection,” Blankenship said, explaining his reason for crappie fishing laydowns. “It is also a good place for them to ambush bait. Horizontal cover is good whenever you have really clear water and the fish aren’t real deep. I think crappie are bothered by sunlight a lot more than a lot of gamefish, so it seems like they like to get under something, especially when they are shallow.”

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creek smallmouth bass

Must-Have Finesse Soft Plastic Baits for Creek Smallmouth

Some of the best baits for catching creek smallies were not made for that application, but we don’t need to tell that to the fish!

“It was designed to be jig trailer,” Patrick Marbury said with a knowing smile as he reeled in yet another creek smallmouth on a YUM Craw Chunk, “but I’ve learned that it works REALLY well on its own!”

A creek fishing enthusiast from northwest Ark. who heads various marketing projects for Lurenet.com and associated lure brands, Marbury often goes outside the box with the soft plastic lures he chooses for creek smallmouth bass from Ozarks streams – and in doing so he finds exceptional success.

Marbury’s favorites include some baits that offer natural attraction and subtle action and some that kick hard to move water and prompt attacks. The common denominator is that most are at the small end of the spectrum – baits that would be considered “finesse soft plastics” for bass fishing.

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Bass on YUM Christie Craw

The 5 Best Ways to Rig a Soft Plastic Crawfish for Bass

Crawfish-imitating soft plastic lures are incredibly versatile and imitate highly favored bass forage. We’ll look at the advantage of five top rigging techniques.

Soft plastic crawfish are among the best lures for catching big bass, whether you’re on a massive reservoir targeting largemouths or a small stream chasing smallmouths. Even spotted bass love crayfish. Everything does, it seems, which is what makes them so effective with so many different techniques.

Crawfish lures come in a wide variety of sizes, colors and designs. You can get tiny craws for small jigheads to throw on wadable streams and catch a zillion hungry bass, or you can get some monstrous craw imitations to fish around wood and vegetation for big brutes. If a soft plastic crawfish can even get to the bottom of a top smallmouth fishery, such as on one of the Great Lakes, it won’t take long for a bronzeback to nosh on it.

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Zara Puppy topwater lures

Downsizing for a Better Fall Bass Bite

Learn how to find the bass this time of year and how to choose and use the best fall bass fishing lures.

When summer turns to autumn, days grow shorter, and nights grow longer. The water temperature drops, and as favorable oxygen levels spread throughout the water column, largemouth bass start roaming. One day they’re deep; the next day they’re shallow. The day after that they’re suspended at middle depths. Pinpointing and catching bass and choosing the best fall bass fishing lures can be as frustrating as trying to fillet a fish with a butter knife.

So, what’s an angler to do? One good idea is to consult with folks who are on the water more than most this season – like fishing guides and pro anglers. Years of experience give these fishermen a knack for dealing with the season’s challenges.

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trophy walleye night fishing

Understanding Fall Walleye Patterns

You’ve probably heard that fall walleye fishing is some of the best walleye fishing of the year. But why? We’ll answer that question and break down how you can make the most of the season’s opportunities.

Most everyone in the walleye world knows that fall is the walleyes’ season to bulk up. This is their time to put on the feedbag and build fat reserves for the upcoming winter and to grow their eggs before spring. The finicky walleyes of summer are gone. But what does that mean to your fall walleye fishing plans? Just because walleye are on the feed doesn’t mean they will jump in the boat. You still have to find them, target them and execute a plan.

First, let’s define the season. Fall walleye fishing does not wait for the calendar to say Sept. 20, nor does fall walleye fishing start when the leaves on the trees start to turn. It starts quite a bit sooner in the northern half of the continent.

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Crappie on Bobby Garland Itty Bit

Think Small for Crappie Fishing

Learn why downsizing crappie fishing baits can help you catch more fish during summer.

Never say never.

“Never” did crappie guide and host of The Crappie Connection Brad Chappell ever see himself doing anything in August other than long-lining jigs or pulling crankbaits, two trolling techniques that he helped develop and popularize for catching slabs in the hottest months of the year. And never did he dream his summer catch rates would nearly double because of using different crappie fishing baits and tactics. Today, though, you’re likely to find him on Mississippi’s Ross Barnett Reservoir sitting still and casting Bobby Garland Itty Bits to cover.

“It’s true.” Chappell said, “Things just clicked last summer, and tossing these little baits is my new favorite summertime way to fish, and a method my clients love because they’re at the front of the boat and fully engaged in the fun of the action, from casting to catching.”

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crappie on Bobby Garland Hyper Grub

Swimming Bait Tactics & Tricks for Summer Crappie

Summer crappie fishing often calls for moving baits, both to find the fish and to trigger strikes. Learn trolling and casting techniques of several expert anglers.

Crappie and baitfish are more active when water temperatures are high during the heat of summer, meaning both move a lot. Savvy anglers approach summer crappie fishing by mimicking the fleeing motion of baitfish, using “swimming” lures with lively tails.

“A crappie’s metabolism this time of the year is really cranking, and they are eating more now than any other time,” said North Carolina tournament angler Stokes McClellan about summer crappie fishing. “Crappie are moving more so I think they like the tail action of those lures a lot better than they do in the wintertime when it is cold. The water temperature has lot to do with it.”

Mississippi guide Brad Chappell believes a swimming bait triggers more summer crappie fishing strikes. “It draws that instinct for crappie to bite something moving away from them,” Chappell said. “The tail on those baits creates more disturbance that actually just helps crappie locate the baits and gets their attention a little bit better.”

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largemouth bass plastic worm

Top Plastic Worm Presentations for Summer Bass Fishing

Don’t overlook the diversity and fish catching abilities of a plastic worm this time of year. We’ll examine top rigging options for summer.

Plastic worm fishing seldom gets a lot of attention in articles and videos about summer bass fishing. Other approaches are newer and flashier, and seemingly would provide an edge. Plastic worm fishing produces bass in a huge range of water types and conditions, though, and summer is prime time to put a worm to work in your favorite bass waters.

Plastic worms can go in places where many other bass fishing lures cannot, and the slender profile makes even a large worm look like easy prey for a bass. Worms are also less expensive than many other types of lures, and they are generally easy to fish. Let’s look at some of the best rigging options and presentations for summer plastic worm fishing.

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