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One last bass

The fish pictured above isn’t the largest I have caught in my short span of searching for these beautiful green fish, but it is by-far the most memorable bass I will ever catch due to the story behind it.

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Carolina rig fishing

A Complete Guide to Carolina Rig Fishing

The Carolina rig is highly effective for catching bass in a broad range of situations. Here’s what you need to know for Carolina rigging.

Jimmy Mason doesn’t fish the same areas across the calendar, and his bait selection certainly varies by season. However, there is one bass fishing rig he knows he can count on every month of the year — the Carolina rig.

“It works year ‘round, and I always have a minimum of two in the rod locker,” the Pickwick/Guntersville guide and tournament pro said. “This is a very versatile rig that can serve many purposes.”

Noting that he’ll vary his Carolina rig action with different styles of baits for active and lethargic periods, Mason summarizes his seasonal preferences.

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Pad Crasher frog on grass mat

Catch More Bass from Summer Vegetation

Learn the best baits and presentations for calling bass from different types of vegetation.

Green vegetation in bass waters creates habitat-rich environments, which creates a common problem for bass fishermen: It all looks fishy. Rather than being overwhelmed by all the visible possibilities, anglers do well to learn to identify those areas with the highest probability of producing bass. Part of the solution is learning to accurately cast the appropriate lures to the vegetation that is most apt to produce a strike.

There are four major types of aquatic vegetation: floating, submerged, emergent and algae.  Let’s look at several specific varieties and examine how to go about fishing them.

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How to choose the right topwater

Topwater lures come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and actions – so how as a typical fisherman do you know which one to grab for certain situations? Quick answer is you probably don’t, you just tie on the most reliable option you must save time and energy. Topwater fishing has been my Rubik’s cube for many years and I have developed a simple three step approach to identify the perfect lure for your situation. The three steps are extremely simple and can just about be identified at the boat ramp; they consist of water clarity, wind, and type of baitfish.

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Bass Fishing on Lake Ray Roberts

What you need to know about the Texas impoundment that will host the 2021 Bassmaster Classic.

When March 11-13 sees the 51st Bassmaster Classic unfolding on Lake Ray Roberts, the fishing world will get its first major look at a lesser-known East Texas fishery. That is no slight to this timber-strewn reservoir that is located just north of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. After all, the lake record of 15.18 pounds screams quality. We simply haven’t had much opportunity to get to know the fishery.

Classic qualifier Stetson Blaylock said the Classic practice would be his first look at Ray Roberts. The Arkansas pro arrived with a reasonable level of background knowledge, based on internet and map study, but Blaylock said he’ll be learning this one as he goes.

“This time of year, the challenge is figuring out if you can win on the bank or do you almost have to be out where the majority of fish are going to be living,” Blaylock said. “From what I understand, this lake doesn’t have a lot of shallow structure. To me, that means you have a Texas lake without a lot of vegetation, so those fish are going to be on something — more than likely offshore.”

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Best Topwater Bass Lures (Meet the Heddon Spook Family)

The Heddon Spook is probably a familiar name in your household if you are much of a topwater angler. This is because the original Heddon Zara Spook was the first walking topwater lure of all time and has risen to produce many off shoots that are increasingly popular among todays fishermen no matter the species!

In todays blog we are going to outline the entire line of Spooks in today’s portfolio at Heddon and break down where each one is the most productive.

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Breaking Down the Bass Jig

The bass jig – the manliest form of bass fishing out there. It seems after every tournament when anglers gather round to share their near misses that anyone who threw a jig sticks their chest out as they describe the harrowing details, even if they didn’t land in check range! But why is this? I attribute the testosterone boost of throwing a jig to the mental toughness it takes to fish slowly and the destructive hook sets you get to lay to a bass. Add in the ability to land above average bass and its quite easy to see why so many anglers are drawn to the legendary lure known as the jig.

But what is a jig? I mean, there are so many options out there that say bass jig on the package so where do you even begin?

Well for starters a bass jig is any lead head lure with a hook and a plastic keeper. Typically, they sport a fine silicone skirt in various colors and a weed guard protruding from the head to keep the lure from snagging cover. The jig can have several different head designs, but I like to classify them all in a few categories like football, casting, flipping, finesse, and swimming.

Basically, all a jig needs to do is slip through the desired cover you are fishing efficiently and show off the plastic it is carrying. Jigs get bit the most when they are subtle and lifelike.

To be the most efficient we are going to break down the cover often fished and choose which heads to use in that type of cover.

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BOOYAH XCS Crankbaits

Use Square-Bill Crankbaits to Catch More Bass

Square-bills excel at calling bass out of shallow cover of many types. Learn how to maximize production with these outstanding bass lures.

The square-bill is a work of art when properly presented. Fat and wobbly on a steady retrieve and rolling off any cover it hits, it’s visually appealing to the angler if visible in clear water. More importantly, it is visually appealing to bass of all sizes in clear, stained or muddy water.

Perhaps in the early days of angling with artificial lures, someone carved a bait that resembled a square-bill crankbait. It presumably would’ve had a metal lip attached.

Fred Young created what became the Big O crankbait in the 1960s at his home in East Tennessee. That famous hand-carved balsa wood bait was light, buoyant and had a unique wiggle-wobble anglers and fish loved. Young’s creations spawned generations of bass anglers and a new method of fishing. Crankbaits were already popular, but Young’s bait, manufactured from plastic by Cotton Cordell, gave new life for anglers fishing around shallow wood and rock cover.

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Jimmy Mason with Bandit 100 bass

How to Catch Bass During the Shad Spawn

If you learn the times, places and strategies to capitalize on the shad spawn, spring bass action can be spectacular. Here’s what you need to know.

The bass spawn may be over but don’t head for deeper water yet. On lakes that team with shad, one of the best shallow fishing opportunities of the season happens when these baitfish spawn. Anglers who take advantage of this phenomenon to catch spring bass, such as Alabama bass guide Jimmy Mason, refer to it simply as “the shad spawn.”

“I start seriously looking for spawning shad in the spring when the water temperature stays above 70 degrees at night,” Mason said. “Here in northern Alabama that usually happens around the last week of April to the first week of May.”

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