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ledge_fishing
Fishing Tips, Fishing videos

Ledge Fishing For Big Time Bass

June 24, 2015

I will be the first to admit that ledge fishing is a little intimidating. Whether it’s the spoons as big as my hand or the crankbaits that look like they belong in my live well, going after the ledges takes some patience and practice.

There’s no doubt that it’s much easier to tie on your favorite jig and pound the banks. Armed with the right knowledge, however, fishing ledges can lead to some really exciting days on the water.

This is especially true for places like Kentucky lake that often require some skills on the ledges.

Here are the top 3 baits I use when I am fishing deep ledges:

  1. Carolina Rig
  2. Deep diving crankbait (I love the Strike King 6XD )
  3. Football jig (3/4 oz. for deep water)

I will have a setup for each of these ready to go before I hit the water so I can change quickly and present something different to the school. Most of the time I will start with the crankbait and use a steady retrieve. Hopefully this will attract the more aggressive fish in the school and helps me pinpoint the depth at which they are feeding.

If I’m unable to find them or if the bite dies I will switch to the jig or the C-rig and see if the school starts back up.

Check out this video where Scott Martin shows you how he attacks the ledges of Kentucky Lake:

The biggest drawback to this method of fishing is that good electronics will greatly increase your effectiveness. When you are fishing in open water this will help you pinpoint the right ledges and in turn the first.

I love Garmin electronics. They have a wide array of products that will help you target the right spots to start going after those ledges!

Bass_fishing_at_night
Fishing Tips, Fishing videos

The Hogs Come Out at Night – Bass Fishing After Dark

June 23, 2015

Now that we are in the heat of summer there’s not many days where you can spend 8 hours on the water when it’s 95 degrees. Don’t put away your reels until fall just yet or you may miss out on some of the most exciting bass fishing there is.

Bass fishing at night follows all the same rules as daytime fishing however it’s nice not have to lather up with SPF 250 and wear 14 Hoo-rag’s just to keep your skin from melting. The lake is never crowded at night and most likely someone won’t be camped out in your “secret” spot.

During the summer I notice a lot of people hit the water early in the morning looking for the shallow or topwater bite and then head off to the boat ramp as soon as the sun is high in the sky. Bass will come up to the shallow water early in search of food before heading back to deeper water. For most people this is the preferred method of fishing. Trying to find bass in deep water can be tough for those without the electronics or patients to do it.

This is another advantage to bass fishing at night throughout the summer. Most of the time all of your favorite fall and spring baits will be effective and you won’t deal with the common daytime frustrations that comes with bass fishing in summer.

My favorite way to fish at night, however, is with topwater baits.

The added anticipation of not being able to fully see your bait while you wait and listen for that explosive strike is an experience that only night fishing can bring.

Check out this video where @lakeforkguy takes us on a 12 hour night fishing trip!

Check out Justin’s channel on YouTube: LakeForkGuy

As he mentions in the video, a lot of anglers prefer to use dark baits at night.

Outside of topwater baits I like to use a Texas rigged worm or a jig. At night you can really go big with the size of your bait as a lot of good sized fish will be hanging in grass and other structure in shallow water.

If you are typically frustrated with summer bass fishing then you should definitely give night fishing a try. You may never fish during the day ever again. 🙂

 

 

jig_fishing
Fishing Tips, Fishing videos

Jig Fishing For Bass – Why You Should Be Doing It

June 23, 2015

For a long time I stayed away from jig fishing for bass. I’m not really sure why but it seems that a lot of people are hesitant to learn this method of fishing. I didn’t feel that it was a huge change from my favorite Texas rig so I just stuck with what was comfortable.

This probably cost me a lot of quality fish over the years.

A jig is extremely versatile and can be used in virtually any conditions. Want to pound the banks and throw it into the nasty stuff? No problem, the jigs weedless nature allows you to attack thick cover without fear. Just make sure you use a heavy enough rod to pull the fish out.

Are the fish holding deep? Use a 1/2-3/4 oz. football jig and attack ledges, points, and deep structure.

Some of my favorite jigs are the Strike King Tour Grade Jigs

I like to use a Strike King Rage Craw for a trailer.

My favorite colors are black/blue and green pumpkin. These can be used in most conditions and usually when one color isn’t getting the bite the other color will.

Check out this video where KVD explains some additional ways to fish the jig that can be extremely effective.

Overall the jig can be an extremely effective bait for putting quality fish in your boat in a variety of conditions. If you are able to match your bait to the conditions and feeding patterns there is no doubt that you will have some fun on the water.

If you haven’t yet, give the jig a try.

Start out with a 1/4 or 3/8 oz. jig and fish it just like you would a Texas rig. If you aren’t already I think you will become a believer in no time!

Peacock Bass 2
Fishing Tips

Fishing for South Florida’s Butterfly Peacock Bass

June 22, 2015

Article by Jason Macko

Fishing in South Florida has a lot of advantages.  The weather is beautiful allowing you to fish year round and with all the lakes, rivers and canals there’s always water within reach.  You can fish fresh, salt or the brackish water that marries them.  If you know where to go you can catch bass, tarpon, snook or gar on any given cast.   But the best part about fishing South Florida isn’t the weather or water; it’s the South Florida Bass!

South Florida Bass or more commonly known as Peacock Bass are one of the hidden gems of Florida nestled away in the south east corner of the state.  Although similar to the largemouth bass they do not belong to the same family. Imported from South America in 1984 to help control the population of smaller fish, the Butterfly Peacock actually belongs to the Cichla Genus.   They are very similar to the Ciclids that are common in home aquariums.  Once introduced peacock bass quickly became one of South Florida’s most prized game fish.

Confined to the waters of South Florida peacock bass can be found throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties with a few creeping up into Palm Beach.  They love slow moving canals, lakes and ponds with overhanging structure and thick vegetation cover.  I recommend the canals because they have an ample supply of food, thick cover and they’re less fished.  The problem is these Amazonian lunkers require the warm water vastly limiting their habitat in the United States.  If the water temperature falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit they will die.  In fact, during the winter of 2010 South Florida experienced several back to back cold fronts killing many Peacock Bass and threatening their survival. Luckily they quickly bounced back and as we head into 2015 they are now plentiful.

Peacock bass are like largemouths in shape and mouth size but the similarities stop there.  The easiest way to identify peacock bass is by their distinctive and pronounced black eye on their caudal fin.  This along with their bright olive green body and red belly make them easy to identify.  Juveniles display three vertical black stripes but as they mature their stripes diminish and their color can lighten to yellowish green color.  Also, adult males can develop a distinguished hump on their foreheads during mating season to attract females.  Peacock bass have two distinct growing phases.  Their juvenile growth of 12-16″ occurs in the first two years of its life then growth becomes much more concentrated on girth.  Basically, a 17″ fish will weigh about 3 pounds, a 19″ bass weighs around 5 pounds and so on.

You can handle them the same way as largemouth bass but beware of what I’ve come to call peacock thumb.  Handling largemouths is simple- the thumb grip lower jar immobilizer.  Problem is that while it is an effective grip to remove the hook it does not subdue the fish.  Smaller boys are easy to handle but if you land a lunker be ready for a duel with a sandpaper vice.  Either tape your thumb or proudly display the abrasions on your peacock thumb!

Introduced into South Florida to control the population of smaller invasive fish destroying canal vegetation, these predators will eat any fish they can fit into their mouths.  That being said the best bait is anything that will mimic bait fish. I mostly use a swim jig with swim bait trailer but will occasionally use a spin bait with a swim bait or simply a swim bait alone.  You are going to want some kind of weed guard whether it’s part of the jig or a Texas rigged swim bait.  Leave your plastic worms at home because Peacock Bass will not hit them.  This is a very common mistake because while the largemouth bass love plastic worms peacock bass will not touch them.  Tackle depends more on the water and cover than the fish itself but I recommend going as light as possible. I’m currently running a Daiwa Ballistic spinning reel with 10# monofilament on an Offshore Angler Inshore rod which is perfect for the canals I fish but depending on cover you may need to up your tackle.

One final piece of advice: bring your net.  First of all, if you’re bank fishing you will need it to bring it up the bank.  If you try to pull it up your line will snap and your fish will happily swim away.  It happened to me once and now my net is always within reach.  Second, I’m lucky enough not to have any snakeheads in my canal but there are gar and I’m not messing around with them either!

If you’re lucky enough to make it down to South Florida I highly recommend a fishing trip to the canals. There’s plenty of bank fishing, boat rentals and charter fishing opportunities to help you land that giant South Florida Bass!  If you have any further peacock bass or South Florida fishing questions I can be found on Twitter @laughinpescador.

orangutan
Uncategorized

The Top 5 Funniest Fishing Memes You Have to See

June 19, 2015

We all love a good meme.

If you love bass fishing than these 5 will crack you up.

Leave a comment and let us know which one is your favorite!

When in doubt – Grip and Rip

I’d say on the average fishing trip I set the hook on a tree stump about 58 times

dragging_the_bottom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting for the big strike

This is the favorite of fisherman that love to fish plastics. Bump….bump….STRIKE!

lure_bumped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set it like you mean it

You better not be standing to my right when I get a strike!

hook_set

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A man’s fishing spot is sacred

Don’t they know I found this place first?

fishing_spot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who doesn’t love fishing topwater?

This is for all you topwater junkies out there.

topwater

Fishing videos

Insane Bass Strikes

June 11, 2015

Have you ever had a bass strike your lure like this?

Some of these look like a great white shark coming up out of the water.

If this doesn’t make you want to get out on the lake now I don’t know what will!

Fishing videos

Summer Bass Fishing – How to Catch More Fish with KVD

June 10, 2015

For me, I am able to get out on the water during summertime the most. The problem is, bass can be difficult to catch during this time. Finding them can be tough, getting them to bite can be even tougher.

Here is a quick video with KVD on how he likes to attack in the summer.

If anyone knows how to put them in the boat, it’s him!

 

Fishing videos

HUGE Topwater Hits – Must Watch if You Love Fishing Topwater!

June 9, 2015

I’ve always been a huge fan of topwater baits.

Whether it’s a classic popper, a buzzbait, or a frog there is no better feeling than watching the water explode after a hungry largemouth slams your bait.

Sometimes I would rather miss a fish on a topwater bait than catch one from 20ft on a carolina rig.

If you are a fan of topwater too you need to check out this video.

Warning: You will be heading to the lake afterwards!

SponsorsWanted
Fishing Tips

Want to be a Sponsored Bass Fisherman?

January 20, 2015

So you want to be a sponsored fisherman?

It’s the dream of every competitive angler- to get sponsored.  You’ve honed your skills and even won a few tournaments.  Cashing tournament checks is nice but getting sponsored is the Holy Grail of competitive fishing.  The problem is there are hundreds of anglers just like you wanting the same sponsorship.  Josh Phillips of Dunamis Rods says he gets at least 15 calls a week and while he’d love to give everyone a chance it’s simply impossible to do.  In fact, he received two emails inquiring about sponsorship while we spoke.  He can only pick the ones that fit Dunamis the best.  The question becomes: how do you separate yourself from the competition?

The #1 thing sponsors look for in a candidate is selling power.  Sponsors want you to be able to move their product.  Think of it on a business level. Sponsors are investing money in you and expect to be rewarded with dividends in the form of increased sales.  The key to getting sponsored is proving to the sponsor that you have buying influence over a large number of people.  But how do you do this?

Your goal is to establish a network of dedicated fans that view you as an expert whose knowledge is second to none.  You know everything there is to know about fishing.  Other anglers see the rod, reel and tackle you use and have to have it. If you recommend a lure they buy it. When people need fishing advice they come to you- you’re the Google of fishing.  Josh from Dunamis Rods added that he looks for anglers that people seek out for advice- Anglers that have the ability to call their followers to action.

While there is no better way to brand yourself than shaking hands and kissing babies after winning a tournament social media is a close second.  With social media your scope of influence and the reach of your brand are unlimited.  I currently have anglers from British Colombia to Baja Mexico to Australia to Upstate NY back down to South Florida that are in my network of influence.  While I learn as much from them as they do from me, they do listen on topics I’ve demonstrated knowledge on such as peacock bass.  The best part is 90% of my fishing network has come from social media.

So now you know you want to increase the scope of your social media influence but how do you do it?  First, be active on all social media platforms- truly the more the merrier.  By active I mean you need to consistently post relevant content on all platforms.  You must show your audience that you have mastered the subject and truly do know what you are talking about.  This can be done by internal or external sources of content.  Internal sources are pictures, videos, blog posts or anything else that you create.  Outside sources are content that you shared but did not create.  You can post links to articles or simply like, share, favorite or retweet someone else’s content.

Now that you’ve proven your knowledge and attracted a following you have to turn your friends/followers into advocates- personal brand ambassadors that will only fish the gear you recommend and will always tell their fishing buddies that your stuff is the best.  The greatest way to do this is to engage them.  Comment, like, favorite or retweet their content and if they take the time to comment on or mention you make sure you take the time to reply- keep the conversation going!  Engaging people in conversation on social media is a surefire way to turn a friend/follower into personal brand ambassadors.

Also, do not be afraid to reach out directly to the sponsors themselves.  Introduce yourself to them, friend/follow them and finally engage them.  Comment, like, favorite and retweet their content while tagging/mentioning them in your content.  This is a great way to break the ice and build rapport with sponsors.

Finally, there are no short cuts.  It takes time to build a loyal following but remember quality over quantity. In order to truly be influential you have to have a loyal fan base.  Having followers that do not fish are fine to have but will not help you become influential and you can forget about any friends, fans or followers you bought from third parties.

Unfortunately for those of you looking to get sponsored winning tournaments is no longer enough. Sponsors are looking for anglers that have selling power backed by an extensive and loyal following. Once you combine winning and social influence sponsors will be beating down your door!

Written by: Jason Macko 

Jason Macko is a South Florida Lunker Hunter and certified social media consultant.  Focusing on the South Florida canal system, he is an expert peacock bass angler who also fishes for largemouth bass, tarpon and snook. Before moving to Miami in 2007 he grew up and lived in Upstate NY where he learned to catch bass from his father and grandfather.  When not fishing Jason enjoys playing golf and spending time with his wife Lisa. Connect with him on Twitter @laughinpescador!

Fishing Tips

Winter Bass Fishing Tips – Jerkbaits

December 20, 2014

For all you die hard bass fisherman out there you know that it’s going to take a lot more than a little cold weather to keep us off the water. Fishing this time of year can be tough but if you pick the right bait and pattern you will forget all about the fact that you may lose a finger or toe to frostbite.

Just make sure not to lose your thumb or getting those lunkers out of the water may become problematic!

Jerkbaits can be killer in the winter time and for some advice on these baits let’s go to our good friend the “Flukemaster” Gene Jensen.

As many of you know, Gene was the first guest our our podcast. He gave us some awesome advice for summer time bass fishing and now let’s check out what he has to say about winter bass fishing: