2016 Alumacraft Competitor 205 Sport LE, paired with a 2016 Evinrude 250 HO G2 outboard, Shorelander tandem axle surge brake trailer, two hummingbird 800 series graphs and a Minnkota Terrova 24V with US2 and Ipilot link installed. BOAT IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR PICKUP UNTIL SEPT 30, 2016.
TALONS ARE NOT INLCUDED
Features included with this package are listed in detail below. Serious inquires regarding price, please call 705-761-2510, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sale will be finalized through Leatherdale Marine and price does not include HST. Full Hull and Motor warranty included. Package will have less than 100 hours of use. Mint condition. Incredible rig. Boat can be viewed in Peterborough ON. will work with potential buyers to meet for test drive etc..
Cover All Depths: Breaking down water columns to locate Bass.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, patience is not the key to success during any outing on the water. Sitting and waiting for Bass to “turn on” will be a waste of your time and abilities.
So, what do you do when you show up at the lake? Does it have to be so random? Should you be aimlessly searching, hoping to find active fish? Or should you essentially find the key depth that Bass are relating to and simply appeal to their instincts? The latter is the obvious answer, so let’s break it down.
I believe your success is predicated on good preparation and clear, well thought out game planning that begins the night before you hit the water. Let’s say your plan at first light is to hit a shallow rocky point adjacent a steep break line that drops into a main lake channel or basin, and for arguments sake, your theory of the Bass being up on this shallower structure is correct. Then what? What happens when the Bass pull off this structure and begin the next phase of their day? Are you prepared to follow these predictable daily movements?
Start by getting your arsenal in order. Hitting a good morning spot brings to mind one obvious presentation – topwaters such as poppers are high on my priority list. If poppers aren’t cutting the mustard, walk the dog style baits can be very effective. Storm Chug Bugs and the Lake Fork Magic Popper(1oz) can be strait retrieved in a pop and stop cadence or can serve as a very erratic walk the dog meets popper presentation. A 6-6’6” medium fast baitcasting rod, coupled with a 6.3-1 reel spooled with 17lb mono is a great choice for this job. I find the 17lb mono allows more action and makes it easier to walk the bait than 20lb mono. Also, the mono floats and tends to keep the bait from being pulled underwater as with thinner diameter braided line.
LFT “Premium Series” Magic Poppers. For all types of game fish attraction, water clarity and sunlight conditions.
Next, as Bass begin to pull off a bit deeper as the sun comes up, having sub-surface baits like wakebaits and shallow running crankbaits tied on will pay dividends. This will allow you to cover water yet still target Bass that are transitioning off their morning spots. Looking for pods of bait dimpling the surface can still be a clue, but as the sun gets higher and the surface of the water breaks up with the wind, this clue disappears. This is where the shallow crankbaits can help you deduce where the Bass are set up. Now, Late morning brings high sun and light penetration pushing fish that much deeper, so pull out the medium diving crankbaits or 1/2oz willow leaf spinnerbaits. Line choice is important here. Fluorocarbon is the deal for both, so I like 10lb fluorocarbon for cranks and 17lb, or as light as 15lb test for spinnerbaits. Keep in mind that fluorocarbon sinks, and the thinner diameter the line, the deeper the bait will run. When weeds are present, braided line can be beneficial in snapping free a crankbait from snags but make sure to have a true medium speed, soft crankbait rod as braid can cause lighter trebles to be ripped out of a light biting Bass’ mouth. I prefer medium action Crankin’ Sticks by Bass Pro Shops in a 7’2” length for open water/long casts and the 6’6” for more precise casting around cover/structure. For spinnerbaits I prefer Bass Pro Shops 6’6”-7’ heavy action/med-high speed (6.1-1 to 7.1-1) Rick Clun signature series baitcasting combos.
LFT Premium Series 1.5 finesse Square Bill
During the mid-day/afternoon period, in open water, Bass are cruising below suspended pods of baitfish so pull out the deep diving cranks. If you are seeing clouds of baitfish with small arcs mixed in, you are not seeing Bass. Look deeper, along bottom as Bass will be following these schools around in a non-threatening way until they can corral them into a point of ambush such as weedlines, large rocks, steep banks etc. Match the depth of the area with a corresponding crankbait. Many companies manufacture crankbaits that can dive down to as deep as 22ft, long casts being obviously important here. Lipless cranks can be dropped down to a given depth which is where I favor the weight forward Kamooki Smartfish. If you contact Bass but you are getting short strikes, that’s a great time to throw a vertical presentation like a jig or tube in the same location around the fringe of the school. Also, one of my go-to baits for this game is again, the Kamooki Smartfish which has a unique spiraling action when ripped/jigged vertically mimicking an injured or fleeing baitfish.
Kamooki’s patented technology is what really separates the SmartFish® from all other lures. The secret of the SmartFish® is in harnessing the intricate relationship between the buoyant and non-buoyant properties. This is best demonstrated when the lure is resting on structure, where remarkably, the SmartFish® maintains its upright profile on a single contact point. It is in this position, that the SmartFish® achieves mechanical equilibrium. Through the harmony of its precisely crafted zinc keel and bottom-heavy design, integrated with a beautiful, uniquely shaped body, the SmartFish® comes alive!
The next order of business can be targeting Bass relating to, and keying on a narrow strike zone a couple feet off bottom. My favorite presentation for this situation is drifting or strolling a drop shot. That fact that this rig can be suspended and held in this strike zone for longer periods than other presentations is what sets it apart. If you are seeing large arcs holding 2ft off bottom, you can literally put a drop shot right on their noses and keep it there for as long as needed. If Bass are keying on baitfish feeding on bottom or crustaceans, dragging tubes, swimbaits or creature bait rigged on a 3/4oz football jig is a great option. My latest favorites for these are Craw Tubes, Live Magic Shad(swimbait) and The Flipper(creature) by Lake Fork trophy Lures. Another great option for bottom bouncing is the Kamooki Smartcraw which is a lipless crankbait with a neutrally buoyant tail up position at rest which mimics a crawfish in a defensive position, Bass candy indeed. For these choices I like 7’ medium heavy spinning rods/2500-3000 series reels spooled with 20lb braid/18-24” 12-15lb fluorocarbon leader. For tubes and Kamooki Smartcraws, a swivel for the mainline/leader connection(tubes) and the split ring(Smartcraw) is a must as both will spiral on the lift and drop, causing line twist. As late afternoon transitions to dusk, just simply follow the fish back to the spots they were found at dawn, ending off with the first technique we discussed today.
SmartCraw® uses patented Kamooki SmartFish® precision-balancing technology to deliver the most crawfish-like presentation available. Power and control are at your fingertips.
There you go. We just covered all the water columns in your favorite lake. Obviously, every lake is different so make the appropriate adjustments to match depth, cover etc. One thing to note is to not get lazy and caught up in steady straight retrieves. Fish erratically, fish fast, fish hard! Don’t wait for something to happen, get out there and make it so! See you out there.
I, for one, love fishing soft plastics. Tubes, stickworms, grubs and paddle tails all have their time and place and so do shad/minnow/baitfish bodied plastics known as fluke style baits. The subtle realistic action can turn heads during the toughest of bites in the colder months and cold fronts alike. They can also be used in the dog days of summer and in a variety of situations as well, which makes this style of bait a well-rounded choice. The LFT “Magic Shad” is salt and garlic impregnated with a unique spade shaped tail that creates a great fluttering, vibrating action even on the fall. Seven staple color choices, along with durability, will make for many good days on the water ahead.
The LFT “Magic Shad” stands eye to eye with the top fluke style baits on the market. The detail, craftsmanship and color choices are true selling features, along with quality plastic of course. These are top shelf, top flight all the way.
Quality Ratings for (Lake Fork Trophy Lures “Magic Shad”)
Level of Detail(1-5)
Rating (10 being highest )
The LFT “Magic Shad” gets top performance marks from me. Being a salt impregnated plastic, these baits are heavy and aerodynamic which contributes to long and precise casts even when rigged weightless. Also, the LFT “Magic Shad” is garlic infused, which entices the fish to bite and hold on much longer, allowing for higher hook-up percentages. The “Magic Shad” has a molded hook slot allowing for ease of rigging. This slot conceals the hook point making a weedless/snag-free presentation which is great for fishing in heavy cover or structure like docks, rocks or laydowns. Easy to rig, simple to use with its fluttering, vibrating action both on the twitch and on the pause, along with durability, make the “Magic Shad” a sought after staple in any Bass anglers arsenal.
Obviously, these baits are weightless soft plastics so it’s up to you to add weight in the form of a jig head or a bullet sinker/wide gap hook as needed. The subtle realism shines either way. As far as the range of sizes, the LFT “Magic Shad” comes in 5” only. I myself favor that length but adding a 3” version for neutral, finicky bass or possibly a 7” version for giant Bass or other fish of a larger variety might be something to consider. But really, the 5” version is perfect for all around Bass hunting and spring Pike of the north.
The LFT “Magic Shad” can be used in a variety of situations from open water schools of smallmouth chasing bait to territorial largemouth sitting under overhanging trees or docks. One of my favorite ways to present the “Magic Shad” is to rig them weightless/weedless, to be skipped under fallen tree limbs, old wooden docks, into dock cribs and undercut banks along river/creek channels. The durability and realism makes this a fabulous choice for these situations.
(Lake Fork Trophy Lures “Magic Shad”) Collective Final Rating
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = MUST HAVE
As mentioned, I believe that fluke style baits are a true staple in Bass fishing. The unique features that the LFT “Magic Shad” offers, such as salt and garlic infusion and its spade shaped, action tail really sets it apart. Great action and ergonomics, along with its diverse application properties make this bait a fish catching machine. To be honest, the effectiveness of this bait reinvigorated my love, and more importantly, my overall confidence in fishing this style of bait. Also, the price is absolutely fair which is a good thing, because I think I’ll be putting in a rather large order in very soon, and so should you.
Jamie Wilson- Exist To Fish Canada Lead Writer/Editor
When talking to people about fishing I get excited and passionate like most of us do! But when I talk to people about lake trout, watch out, my excitement is thru the roof! I can’t help but to be fascinated by this specie, I become a totally different person when I get in the lake trout mode, almost like a hockey player gets during game 7 of the Stanley cup playoffs, determination. For those who know me, this isn’t new to them, but for those who are reading this and thinking, is this guy nuts, I have to say yes I am!
I wrote an article on downrigging basics a while back and I had a hard time writing that article without talking about lake trout because it’s what I do so I am super pumped to share with you one of the biggest success I have had fishing for big Larry’s! For those of you who don’t know, Larry is what we call Lake Trout!
If I told you to bounce bottom for lakers, you would probably say, sure no problem, but if I told you to bounce bottom for lakers using your downriggers, you would say, no way dude! Settle down, I am here to tell you that there is a safe and successful way to do it without breaking or losing expensive gear!
Step 1, the set up.
Whether you are using electric or manual downriggers, this method works with both. Make sure you have some good steel downrigger cable spooled on your downrigger, I use 250 pound steel cable. Next, you will need a snubber, people use these for dipsey divers when fishing steel line to basically brace the impact of a fish hitting it since steel line doesn’t have any stretch, no different for downrigger cable. Attach your snubber to your downrigger and then attach your downrigger ball to that. You must use round downrigger balls for this method, the fish shaped ones will not work good. As far as weight, I always start with an 8 pound weight and move up from there depending on the water conditions or the depths I am fishing.
Step 2, release clip.
Most people will have their release clip attached to the ball, instead, I use a stacker clip and attach it just above the snubber on the downrigger cable, this will help ensure nothing gets caught on your lure, except the fish of course! I like to have my leads pretty tight to the ball, usually 10 -15 feet and sometimes a little closer but never more as I will explain soon. It’s important to use a quality release clip like *Scotty release clip, they are great for this type of fishing, make sure it is nice and tight on the clip, I always pinch it tight to make sure it is secure.
Step 3, the lure.
Probably the second most important step is lure choice. I have tried many combos and lures but this is truly the best combo in my opinion. It’s called peanuts and cow bell! Some may have heard of it before and others are really confused at the moment. This method starts with laker trolls or gang trolls, however you want to call them, that is your attractant, your flash. Behind that, about 15-24 inches, I have a spin and glow or wobble troll, this is your lure, this is what the fish bites. My go to is a blue fire tiger in size 00 from Yakima Baits, you can get them pre rigged but I tie my own. I tie it on a 25 pound test fluorocarbon leader with a quality treble or single Mustad hook. Single hooks seem to be more effective on most days but when I lose a fish half way up, I switch it to a treble.
As far as rod choice, well the options are not limited, I use an 8 foot, medium heavy rod with a line counter reel. This rod is spooled with 25 pound Big Game line. You typically would not use a line counter reel for downrigging but for me, it helps me dial down the perfect combination to catching these giant lake trout.
Send your combo down to the bottom. Once you hit bottom, I always let out an extra 10 feet of downrigger cable. For example, I’m fishing in 80 feet of water, my downrigger counter will read 90-95 feet. This allows the ball to drag and bounce off bottom and create some disturbance, I call it the dinner bell! Make sure your rod is set in the rod holder and is bent in half with no slack line left, set your drag and watch your rod bounce with the bottom. If you see your rod bounce on a rhythmic pace it will mean that you are dialed in perfect. I keep my speed at around 1.6 to 2.0 MPH, my sweet spot is 1.7! I always drive in an S pattern to help the lures speed up and slow down to help me determine how fast these fish want it. Always pay attention to the small details once you get a fish. Take a picture of your catch, release it and repeat the process until your arms fall off!!
Get out there, have fun and catch yourself a bunch of Larry’s during those beautiful summer months!