Frank Scalish shares secrets from a lifetime of targeting smallmouth bass on the Great Lakes and large inland lakes.
When Frank Scalish competed on the Bassmaster Elite Series tour, he was known for his ability to catch smallmouth bass. He did especially well with this species on the Great Lakes and on large, inland, natural lakes, such as Lake Champlain. A lifetime resident of northern Ohio, Scalish has never lived more than a short cast from Lake Erie, one of the nation’s premier smallmouth fisheries.
He has fished Erie regularly throughout his adult life and has the equivalent of a PhD in finding and catching Erie smallmouth. He is especially erudite about how glaciers created the rocky bass habitat on the lake’s bottom. This knowledge has helped him catch big-water smallies wherever he casts for them in North America.
The traditional wacky rig, neko rig and flick shake rig are similar in ways, but each is distinctive. Learn when to choose each and how to use all to catch more bass.
You know the wacky rig, and you’ve likely at least heard talk about the neko rig and flick shake rig. You may not know that neko and flick shake rigs are variations of a wacky rig, each with different applications but with definite similarities.
Seeking a better understanding of these three highly effective rigs and when to use each for early spring bass fishing, we went straight to Frank Scalish, best known in the bass fishing world as Uncle Frank. The popular host of Day 4 on Bass Talk Live and former Bassmaster Elite Series pro uses all three rigs at times, with the depth of the water he is working being the largest determinant of which one he picks up.
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.