Tackle Tips
Bass Fishing Articles

Vick Urges You to Stay in Your Lane
by Pete Robbins

Drive around famed Lake Fork and you'll be amazed at how much standing timber there is...That makes for some pretty hairy and costly boat rides...Read This Article






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Tackle Tips Bass Fishing Articles

"Pass it On!"

One of the greatest gifts one person can give to another is the gift of his/her time.  Since bass fishing is mostly an artful expression of one’s time in the outdoors…it stands to reason that it is a perfect way to share time with someone you care about.
Shoulder to Shoulder…Standing in a boat or sitting on a stump; Using a top-of-the-line rod and reel or just a cane pole and some string; Laughing and talking or just quietly listening; Catching a lot or none at all;   Enjoying the fresh air…and the fresh perspective!
Passing the time doing those things that you love is a beautiful thing, but passing the time doing those things that you love…with someone in your life that you love is even better.  Taking anyone fishing with you is a great idea, but taking a child fishing is a must
For your own children you are passing on a timeless legacy of learning to live one moment at a time by enjoying each one to its fullest.  Taking someone else’s child fishing may be an opportunity for you to show them a world of beauty that was here all along…that they might have missed if it had not’t been for you.
Charities such as, Catch-A-Dream—taking terminally ill children hunting and fishing—are terrific ways to volunteer your time and get involved in something incredibly valuable.
Please, pass on the legacy and take a child fishing! 


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Jig Fishing:

One of the best lure choices for getting in and around heavy cover is a jig.  Jigs are a terrific year-around tool.

Black Angel Jigs www.blackangeljigs.com makes every jig shape and color you would ever need, including varying jig head shapes for weed-less jig fishing.  Each jig is hand-tied and each one has a “tail” which makes bass bite!

It is fun and challenging to calculate jig placement in and around clumps of Hydrilla, brush piles and boat docks for the purpose of boating a trophy bass!  Lakes with Hydrilla, such as Lake Fork, make for great all-around jig fishing .

Crawfish is a big-bass favorite snack so anywhere the crawfish live…that’s where the bass will be also.  Since we already know, as previously mentioned, that the bass like the areas with shade and cooler water temperatures (Such as:  Boat docks, brush piles, and areas with Hydrilla) it is very important to note that crawfish also spend the bulk of their lives in areas covered by Hydrilla too.
Wherever the food is…There too the bass will be!  In Hydrilla, the jig mimics the crawfish.  Put food in front of them and they will eat it!    

In addition to jigs with crawfish colors, try adding jig “trailers” with various levels of movement and varying profiles as well.  GrandeBass (www.grandebass.com)  makes some great jig trailer baits including:  the “machine” and “mutant.” 

Line choice:  15 to 20 pounds  Rod choice:  Medium-Heavy.

Remember, jigs are not’t just for “flipping” into cover.  You can “swim” a jig in deep water as well and stick a hawg in the process!


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Get Organized!

Fall is upon us and winter waits in the wings.  Bass are in their fall feeding patterns as they prepare for the less active winter months. 
There is nothing more fun than catching Fall “schoolies” as they aggressively chase bait fish…
Where does the “Get Organized” part come in?  Well, when the bass stop schooling like crazy it can be a bit of a let-down.  In order to utilize your time most effectively off the water in winter…when fishing is a bit on the slow side…It might be a good idea to take a look at your tackle box/boxes and make it a point to get organized.
As difficult as it is, some of those old soft plastics may need to find their way to the garbage can…only to make room for better, newer versions mind you!
Take a look at that big ball of spinner baits and make up your mind once and for all to untangle them and decide what stays…and what goes.  Plano tackle systems make some great tackle organizers specifically designed to hang those spinner baits and buzz baits so they stay untangled.
Get all of your hooks, weights, small hardware, etc. and put all of them in one location with separate compartments for each.
Organize your line spools neatly so when it’s time to re-spool your reels you can readily get what you need to do the job.
Truth be told, all of these organization tips that should be done off the water will actually save you time the next time you get out on the water…Leaving you with more time to do what you came to do in the first place…FISH!


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“Stop and Go”

Jerk baits in the the pre-spawn can make for some awesome Big-Bass fishing action.
Large bass in cold water in the pre-spawn time frame will come unglued on a suspending jerk bait.
Bass that hit jerk baits are moving towards spawning areas.  They generally Stop on main lake points close to spawning areas and secondary points near creek channel swings. They will suspend in the water column to ambush prey during active periods.
A stop-and-go presentation will draw some “hardcore” strikes!
The Lucky Craft pointer is the best all-around jerk bait. on Lake Fork.  Lucky Craft has many sizes and colors that will work during the pre-spawn  One of my favorites is the 128 in the Ghost Minnow and Clown colors.  The Suspending Rogue by Smithwick in the Gold and Black and Clown colors also works very well.

Cast the  jerk bait out and pull it down with about three sweeps of the rod tip…pause and then pull once or twice and pause again.  Do this all the way back to the boat. Be ready for a bite at any time.
Why not try a jerk bait. this year for a trophy bass!


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Night Time Bassin’:

Beat the heat and catch big bass night fishing.  Night fishing during the summer is a great way to get away from the crowded summertime lakes.  Jet skis and skiers can ruin a peaceful day on the water.

Nighttime fishing brings a new feel to bassin’…Fishing in the dark makes you rely on more feel of your rod and line than daytime fishing, as you cannot see what you normally do during the day. Night time worm fishing will make you a better day time fishermen so pick up a big worm and go after big bass feeding at night.

Black and blue worms fished on main lake points and around boat docks with lights are surefire places to get your line stretched.  Fish a big worm 8 to 10 inch in the black or black and blue colors. 
Use heavy line from 12 to 20lb with a med heavy or heavy action rod…gear big enough to handle large bass.

Lakes with hydrilla and other grasses make nighttime top-water fishing easy, too. Use a black, buzz bait such as the Honey Buzz from Vision Lures (www.visionlures.com).  The honey buzz has an extra loud clicking noise to really draw bass to it.  Old lures such as the Hula popper and the Arbogast Jitter bug are great nighttime lures.   All of the top-water lures make lots of noise and get vicious strikes! The top water lures are best used when there is not much wind.

When there is wind a spinner bait is a great choice.  A 3/8 or ½  single spin with a large Colorado blade black and blue skirt is the standard night time spinner bait.  Throw the spinner bait bait around or over cover and slow roll it bumping in into whatever type of cover you are fishing. 

Outlined against the moonlight, the dark colors will attract the big-bass bites you are looking for!


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Soft Stick Baits:

Throughout the spring the most effective technique is a soft stick bait rigged weightless. 
Soft stick baits have evolved into the most popular technique for a good reason.  Soft stick baits catch fish…Big fish… under all conditions. 
Rigging a soft stick bait is quite simple.  The top two ways are:   “Wacky” and Weightless (This is just like you would rig a worm just minus the weight).
Soft stick baits work because of the slow fall and their tempting wiggle. 
Colors and sizes of soft stick baits are many.   Experiment with different styles and colors and sizes of soft stick baits until you find your favorite for your body of water. 
My favorites for Lake Fork are the GrandeBass rattlesnake and honcho in the watermelon red flake, green pumpkin, water melon seed and black and blue fleck. 
My color choices are directly related to weather and water.  During sunny days and clear water I go with watermelon red and watermelon seed.   On cloudy days in off-colored water I go with green pumpkin and a black and  blue fleck. 
Fish with weightless soft plastics around cover and in water that is one to six feet deep—in spawning areas.
Focus your efforts in cover such as grass, stumps and lay-downs. 
Use medium heavy gear…And be ready to handle Big Bass!



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Heavy Metal:

The Spinner Bait is the “workhorse” of the bass fishing world.
Known for its versatility, the Spinner Baits have the best “tow rating” for pulling their weight in any bass fishing tackle box.  This article addresses the most common springtime technique associated with Spinner Baits and what types of Spinner Baits you should choose.
The 3/8 ounce and ½ ounce white or white & chartreuse skirts with a willow leaf & Colorado blade combo are the best all around Spinner Baits and will work under almost any conditions.  
When fishing the Spinner Bait choose areas that have “cover” such as:  Aquatic vegetation, stumps, boat docks, and lay down logs.   Fish close to spawning areas where there is deep water nearby such as:         A point, creek channel or drop-off.   
Playing the wind with Spinner Baits is a quick way to catch more bass.  The wind plays a two-part assist to a bass. 
First:  The wind provides camouflage, as it breaks the surface tension of the water.  This makes the bass less visible to predators so they feel safe to “roam.”
Second:  The plankton that feed the bait fish is pushed by the current that is created by the wind. This concentrates the bait fish in wind-blown areas.   
Use these things to your advantage!
The best new trick to spinner bait fishing is using the new fluorocarbon lines.


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