Category Archives: My Point of View

Bull Shad vs. BD Shad

BS_BD_Shad

The Bull Shad is on the bottom and the BD Shad on top.

In this blog I’ll discuss the difference between the original Bull Shad swimbait versus the spin-off BD Shad from Trophy Technology LLC. First of the Bull Shad is a homemade swimbait hand made in the U.S. versus the BD Shad mass produced from China. I’ll give the Bull Shad the thumbs up for the lure being made in the U.S. not in China to increase the bottom line.

There is quite a difference in the price of these two swimbaits. The price was obtained from Tackle Warehoue and there could be lower and higher prices out there if you search around for them. The Bull Shad sells for $49.99 were as the BD Shad sells for $24.99. So I’ll give the lower price a thumbs up as I can purchase two BD Shads for the price of one of the Bull Shads.

As for the color pattern I bought both swimbaits in the Gizzard Shad pattern as that is one of the dominate forage fish in my area on the Tennessee River system. As for the paint job I have to give the BD Shad another thumbs up as the Bull Shad looks like a very quick paint job with very little detail. The Kill Spot on both lures is a single vertical line instead of a round or oval dot from the real bait fish.

BD_Shad BS_Shad

Both lures are the same length at 6″ from the nose to the tail not including the carbon fiber tails. As for weight there is on a .1 ounce difference between the two in that the Bull Shad weighted in at 2.1 ounces and the BD Shad weighing in at 2.2 ounces. This could be because of the larger cheaper hooks on the BD Shad that has cheap bronze hooks where as the Bull Shad has Owner 2X black nickel hooks and Hyperwire split rings. I’ll give the Bull Shad the thumbs up for the better hooks and the slightly lighter weight.

joints

Looking at the way the swimbaits are made I’ll look at the joints of the two lures. AS you can see in the above photo there is a difference between the two body joints. On the BD Shad on the left you can see the angled body which will cause the swimbait to have a wider snake like swimming action. The Bull Shad has a flat even front edge with causes the swimbait to swim with a tighter more natural swimming action. For this I’ll give the thumbs up to the Bull Shad for it’s more natural swimming action.

Magnet

Now lets look at the BD Shad on the left and we’ll see there is a small rare earth magnet molded into the swimbait. This is placed there as a hook holder that causes the front hook to lay flat along the body and not hang down as it does on the Bull Shad. The front hook hanger is also moved forward on the BD Shad more than on the Bull Shad. So I’ll give a thumbs up to the BD Shad for this innovation.

Tails

 Now the last thing I’ll talk about is the tails on the two swimbaits. As you can see from the photo above both have carbon fiber tails. The Bull Shad is on the left and the BD Shad on the right. I have seen some of the BD Shads that have really fast cut tails that are not true to form. To me the Bull Shad looks more natural so I’ll give the thumbs up to the Bull Shad.

In conclusion I’ll have to say I prefer the Bull Shad over the BD Shad first because it’s American made not in China. I like the swimming action better than the BD Shad and finally because Mike Bucca uses high quality hooks and split rings on his swimbaits. Thumbs up to the Bull Shad!

Note: I had to purchase both swimbaits and have not been contacted by either manufacturers of the swimbaits. This is my opinion only and yours might be different.

Map Cards – Lake Master 3.0 versus Navionics

In this Blog I’ll try to show the difference in the Navionic’s Hot Maps Premium and Platinum map cards and the Lake Master 3.0 map card. First off I’ll tell you that I have had to personally buy all three of these cards and I do not get any cards from either company. Price points on the cards are pretty close with the Navionic’s Platinum running around $199.99, the Premium at $149.99 and the Lake Master cost at $129.99.

One thing you need to understand is that the Lake Master cards are designed to work only in the Humminbird unit and not in the Lowrance units. Garmin and Ray Marine use their own mapping programs.

Both cards come with the SD card micro chip holder with the micro chip included. So no matter which unit you have they will work in either the full size SD card or the micro chip slots. These screen shots are from my Humminbird Onix 10ci SI unit. Also please note that the cursor was very close to the same location as I could get them for these screen shots.

Looking at the first card the Navionic’s Hot Maps Premium you will see that there is a lot of vacant blue areas on the map. This means that no one has taken the time to record the lake bottom and upload it to Navionic’s for update downloads. You can record the lake data and create an account with Navionic’s and upload the data to them and a day or so later you can download the updates and then it will show the contour lines for the area you did the recording on. If you will notice on the Navionic’s maps there will be contour lines that all of a sudden just stop. These are where the user recorded the sonar log and uploaded only to that spot and no further.

Navionics1

The map card screen shot above is the Navionic’s Platinum card and the brown area in the photo above is the original creek channel in this part of the lake. The white area is a feeder or ditch that is located on the flat. The closer the lines are together the steeper and faster the depth changes. The circular areas indicate either a high spot on the lake floor or a deeper depression on the lake bottom. The small dotted lines represent an old field road that ran on the flats before the lake was impounded. You might notice that there is some 3D highlighting on some areas of the creek channel and high spots. This is one of the features with the Platinum cards.

Navionics2

In the above screen shot is from the Navionic’s Premium map card. You can tell by looking at the light tan colored portion which is the land around the lake that there is no Google Earth overlay data. This to me is useless data that was not necessary at least for what I use the cards for. The colors are a lot lighter on the Premium card versus the darker colors on the Platinum cards.

Now let’s look at the Lake Master 3.0 map card. As you can see from the screen shot below there is a lot more contour lines which represent more of the lake bottom detail with this map. Looking at the map below there is very little areas in these snap shots that does not have the contour lines.

Lakemaster30_1

 The above screen shot has the Shallow Water Highlight option set to 5 feet.Lakemaster30_2

So wrapping up this Blog I would have to say that the Lake Master 3.0 card has a lot more lake data than either of the Navionic’s map cards.

I hope this will help you decide which map card is best for your fishing use.

My Humminbird Onix Update

Follow Up March 10, 2015: Okay I had a chance to carry my Onix out this past weekend to make sure if my issue was repaired. Oh no, I’m still having the same problem. But I did just get off the phone with Humminbirds customer service and we think that the problem is with the transducer and not the unit itself. So they are shipping to me at no cost a new transducer to try. Once I receive it and have a chance to test it on the water again I’ll keep you posted.


Well I finally received my Onix back from Humminbird today from their note attached it was a software issue??? Bad news now is that I have been on vacation for the last three days and will not be able to test the unit for a few weeks to determine if had been repaired or not. Oh well at least I got it back!

My Point of View: Pickwick Lake Smallmouth and Meat Hunters

Yesterday on world famous Pickwick Lake I witnessed a problem and on the last couple of times I have been smallmouth fishing. The problem I have seen is out of state fishermen coming to Pickwick Lake catching the famous smallmouth bass and putting them in coolers and killing the fish for their meat. I witnessed four boats from Missouri yesterday catching and keeping every smallmouth they caught. I was hoping that they were keeping them for maybe a weight-in for their club tournament. But I saw two of the boats load their boats with the fish still in their live-well and leave the parking lot. I also witnessed a boat from Tennessee with three fishermen in it that also kept everything they caught. They did not care if the fish were 1 pounders or 6 pounders. If you guys from out of state want to keep coming back to Pickwick Lake for great smallmouth fishing in the future you need to release at least the three pound fish and larger back into the lake so they can lay out their eggs during the upcoming spawn.

We want you to come to Pickwick for great fishing experience but you need to respect our resource and not keep all the fish you catch.If you want fish to eat catch them in your state or keep at least the smaller ones not the egg bearing size smallmouth,