Live News:

Tricking fussy fall schoolers

I’ve been doing a lot of fishing throughout the Mid-South and Southeast the past couple of weeks, and I’m amazed at how far the fall pattern is behind this time of year. I anticipated cooler nights would be lowering lake water temperatures, but they remain above normal thanks to unseasonably warm and dry weather. Many of the lakes are low and some states are experiencing drought conditions. It’s made the lakes extremely clear, and that’s created even tougher conditions. Cooler weather accompanied by rain would get the baitfish moving and trigger schooling activity among the bass. When that happens, fishing gets …

Play percentages during transition periods

We’re in a fickle period of the season for southern reservoir bassin’. I’ve spent some time down here the past week or so, and it’s been tough. We might be in mid-October, but the lakes are in that late-summer funk when the days are shorter but the water is still warm. It can be a challenging period, especially for someone like me who is a power fisherman. The bass’ activity level is at a minimum unless you get some really favorable conditions, like a lot of rain or a major front coming in. Even with that, the fishing might pick up for …

Catch giant smallies now!

I love to catch bass, no matter whether it’s in the north, south, east or west. I don’t care if I’m catching largemouth, smallmouth or spotted bass — I love ‘em all. But, when it comes October, there’s nothing I’d rather be fishing than smallmouth on my home Michigan waters. This is where you can catch numbers of quality fish and the true smallmouth bass of a lifetime with power fishing tactics. Smallies are aggressive this time of year and will knock the rod out of your hands when you get around them. Sure, you can catch them on finesse tactics, …

Crank up those transitional bass

This is the time of year when fishing in the areas of the lake where you were catching them last month has kinda petered out. That’s because we’re headed into the transitional part of the season when fish aren’t as grouped up, and they are starting to move to fall areas. We all know that the fall fishing can be dynamite, but the time leading up to it can leave an angler scratching his head. Here’s the problem – the bait is beginning to scatter, and the bass are moving with them. Even though we haven’t had much cool weather in …

Elite season over…now back to work

We just wrapped up the 2016 season with an unbelievable event at Mille Lacs Lake. Man, what a fishery! That place is remarkable. It is loaded with giant smallmouth and is the best lake for big, brown fish that I’ve ever fished. As good as it was when we were there the best is yet to come. The fishing at Mille Lacs will get better in a couple weeks when those smallmouth start schooling up and putting on the serious feedbag. The lake provided an exciting venue for the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of Year Championship. Congratulations to Gerald Swindle for locking up …

What an amazing smallmouth fishery!

What a fishery. What an incredible smallmouth fishery! We’re here of the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of Year Championship on Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota, and I’m blown away by the quality of the smallmouth in this lake. And to think we’re not even hitting it at the best time! I’ve fished for smallmouth all over the Great Lakes, Canadian waters, New York and all the way to Maine. My home state of Michigan has absolutely some of the finest smallmouth in the country. But what is happening here is something very special. I’ve never seen so many big, old smallmouth in …

Stick worm magic

The first time I saw a stick worm I chuckled. There was no way a respectable bass would eat such a stupid looking soft plastic. It didn’t take long to find out I was wrong. That seemingly do-nothing worm shows off its unique fish-catching attributes the minute it hits the water. Stick worms – my favorite being the Strike King Ocho – have won a lot of tournaments and are baits anyone can use and catch fish. Several companies make stick worms, but the best ones are loaded with salt. The salt enhances the tail’s subtle shimmy action while it sinks …

Follow the bait into fall

Regardless of where you fish, this is the time of year you need to start paying close attention to where the bait is and what it’s doing. We are starting to see weather changes over most of the country, and the bass are starting to focus on baitfish. It happens on northern natural lakes as well as reservoirs; it might a bit premature for those Deep South lakes, but it will happen before you know it. Baitfish always is a staple for hungry bass but there are times when they are dialed in on crawfish or other aquatic creatures. However, when …

The rise of the drop shot

The continual evolution of tackle and technique trends amazes me. I’ve been stunned by how things have changed and how technology has expedited those changes in recent years. Our improved tackle has made us far more efficient on the water than we were 10 years ago. When I first began as a pro some 26 years ago, I could go to a Bassmaster event just about anywhere and either flip, throw a spinnerbait or crankbait and be successful. Today, we have categories of crankbaits, topwaters, jerkbaits, jigs, swimbaits and soft plastics designed for specific presentations. We need all of those and …

Don’t get beat in the heat

Hot! Hot! Hot! There’s no better way to describe what we’re dealing with here on the Potomac River in the Bassmaster Elite presented by Econo Lodge. Temperatures are soaring into the upper 90s with heat indexes well over 100. Couple that with high humidity, bright sun and very little wind and it makes for an uncomfortable day on the water. But what we are experiencing here is similar to what most of the country is going through and why it is so important for anglers to factor that into their fishing. Anglers have a bad habit of getting caught up in …