Monthly Archives: December 2013

Heavy Smallmouth Rig

Here’s a rig I ran across to be fished in heavy current for both smallmouth or largemouth bass. Give it a try and see if it works for you. Make sure to use a pencil weight with the clip on line attachment so the line will pull out instead of losing the entire rig.


To The Point

I’ll briefly touch on fishing points again since this is a good time to be fishing this type of structure. Some think that structure is tops, brush piles, etc. but actually structure is the formation of the land under the water and one of these is the point. These include creek or main lake channels, humps, points, rip-rap along a road bed or dam to name a few. One of the best is a shell mound located next to deep water. As Buck Perry says these are the homes or sanctuary of the fish and must lead all the way to shallow water to be effective.

During late winter and early spring flat points that lead off into deep water or creek or main lake channels are better. Deep steep points are better in mid-summer and winter as they give the fish quick access to deep water which is their home most of the time. Movements are when the fish move out of their deep water homes up to breaks on the structure, breaks are tops, stumps, man-made objects, etc.

Now lets talk about how and what to fish on points this time of the year, I won’t get into lures as there are a lot of different ones to use this time of year. One of the most popular one that is the rage now is The Alabama Rig. Another one is the suspending jerk-bait for suspended fish. For bottom feeding fish then the jig and pig, tubes and shaky-heads are great lures this time of the year. Swim-baits, flukes, 4 to 5 inch well as the Drop-Shot rig.

Water Color and points: 

In clear to gin clear water you need to stay way off the points, if I have the room I actually like to get up very near the shore and cast out into the deep water and work the lure back to the boat shallower. Fish in clear water especially when the sun is up in the sky and very bright are usually very spooky so long cast and noise reduction is critical. Another trick is to not use the ON or OFF switch on the trolling motor but instead a very slow constant speed like a 2 or 3 on your trolling motor speed setting.

Dingy to stained water use jigs, spinnerbaits slow rolled on the bottom. SLOW is the key now as the fish will not be very active and sometimes you will not feel the bite at all so you must be alert to the lure. Some fish bites will be as if there is a leaf or a mushy feel to the lure. It’s better to set the hook and there be nothing there than not setting the hook and missing a fish. Now is the time get some of the largest fish of the year. So get out there and get to the point!


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How effective are vehicle wraps?

A study by the American Trucking Association (ATA) and 3M Commercial Graphics Division revealed some helpful insight to the effectiveness of vehicle wraps. The study showed that a single vehicle wrap driven in or around a major city produces over 65,000 visual impressions per day.  The same vehicle driven around suburban areas of major cities produces over 30,000 visual impressions per day.  The same study also showed that:

  • 98% of consumers feel that vehicle wraps create a positive image for the advertising company.
  • 96% of consumers said vehicle wraps had a greater impact than billboards or other outdoor advertising media.
  • 75% of consumers said they develop an impression about a company and its products based upon vehicle graphics.

Rat-L-Trap – 2014 Lake Guntersville Tournament

Rat-L-Trap will again host their annual Lake Guntersville tournament on January 25, 2014 and I’m already getting request for lures to be painted for this tournament. If you have not already placed your order then it will probably be too late for this years tournament. Last years tournement held there was won on one of my custom painted lures. The TR582 or BER Trap now in the Rat-L-Trap line of lures. If you are interested in fishing the tournament this year here is a link to the registration form from Rat-L-Trap.

Registration Form

BER Trap

The TR582 or BER Trap

William Sockwell – Big Bass


I had the privilege to meet William at Gander Mountain last night and he was telling me about a nice bass he caught on an earlier fishing trip. He sent me this photo of the bass he said weighted around 4 pounds but I think it might have been a little heavier. Way to go William nice bass and thanks for sharing the photo.

Bass Basics 101 – Spoon Feeding Bass

Here is my equipment and technique I use.

Rod: I use a 7’6″ medium heavy 13 Fishing Omen bait-casting.
Reel: 6:1 Shimano Curado 200B reel.
Line: Monofilament 14 or 17 pound test clear or green.
Spoosn: Die #4 Krocodile spoon, a Kastmaster spoon in 1/4 to 1/2 ounce or a  3.5″ -1/2 oz nickel plated. I buy these from mail order supply store.
Hooks: #2 Mustang Black Nickel. Also add a swivel to the spoon to eliminate line twist.


Krocodile Spoon (Hammered Nickel my favorite color)


Kastmaster Spoon (my favorite color)


Casting Spoons

One tip I do is is to take an extra #2 hook and add a heavy #5 split ring to it and slide it down the shank of the other hook before I attach it to the spoon. I lose less fish when I add this extra hook.

Technique: After I’ve located the fish I cast out past the fish and let the spoon fall to the bottom on a semi-tight light that I watch as I hold my rod high almost to the 1 o’clock position following it down to the 3 o’clock position. If the bass does not hit it on the first fall, then jerk your rod up hard and fast back up to the 12 o’clock position and repeat as you did on the first fall back to the 3 o’clock position. You must maintain the semi-tight line as the spoon falls to feel the hit. If you miss the fish then just let it fall back down and repeat to almost back to the boat. If you’ll watch as you fight a hooked bass back to the boat you’ll sometimes see a school of fish following the hooked one to the boat.

Another technique is I cast this one pass the schooling bass and stripe and reel as fast as possible to the fish and then slow it down so it is just under the surface about 4 to 6″ and the bass will crush this thing. Also try casting a 3/16 oz. tube into the busting fish and you’ll catch them on this lure as well.

Give the spoon a try and let me know how you do on it.

Repost – Pickwick Lake smallmouth Study

Pickwick Smallmouth Study


The movement and distribution of radio-tagged smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui) were evaluated relative to water temperature, current velocity, turbidity, surface light intensity, reservoir elevation, bottom contours, substrate, and cover.

Water temperatures always were within the range of tolerance by smallmouth bass, but late summer temperatures of 31 C probably reduced movement. Fluctuations in water velocity and reservoir elevation influenced depth distribution and movement of individual fish.

Bottom relief was a major variable governing distribution and movement patterns of smallmouth bass. Dropoffs of 30-45° slope from the overbank into the original river channel or inundated creek channels were preferred.

Bottom contours influenced both the shape of residence areas and movement pathways outside of residence areas. Smallmouth bass utilized all forms of submerged cover–rocks, stumps, sunken trees, and crevices in hard clay banks–without apparent preference for one type.

The Shoals Reach, a 20-km section of the Tennessee River below Wilson Dam, Alabama, has a national reputation as an excellent fishery for smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu. To protect and enhance this smallmouth bass fishery, a 356-mm minimum total length (TL) limit was established in this region in 1991.

We sampled smallmouth bass in the fall of 1995 and spring of 1996 to determine if the regulation had any effects on the population characteristics of this fishery. A creel survey was conducted during 1996 to estimate angler effort, catch, and harvest of smallmouth bass, and to evaluate angler values, opinions, and practices.

Electrofishing catch rates for juvenile (<280-mm TL) and adult (?280-mm TL) smallmouth bass significantly (P < 0.05) increased compared with preregulation data (1988). Growth rates in 1995–1996 were higher for fish younger than age 3 than in 1988; however, otoliths were used to age fish in 1995–1996, whereas scales were used in 1988.

Length indices showed a high proportion of preferred-length (?350-mm) fish in the population, and relative weights were similar before and after the length limit. The annual mortality rate was also similar before and after the regulation. Year-class abundance fluctuated greatly and was negatively related to discharge through Wilson Dam from April–July, which corresponds to the spawning and postspawn periods.

The angler catch rate for smallmouth bass nearly doubled compared with preregulation data, whereas the harvest rate decreased by nearly an order of magnitude.

Smallmouth bass anglers released 98% of their catch, the same percentage of smallmouth bass anglers who reported practicing catch and release.

The 356-mm minimum length limit appeared to improve the quality of this fishery. However, the catch-and-release philosophy practiced by most smallmouth bass anglers in the Shoals Reach cannot be overlooked as an important factor that has had, and will continue to have, positive influences on this fishery.