Heavy Jig Key to Bradley Roy’s Falcon Big Bass Bite

22/03/13 COMMENTS 0

Bradley Roy, 2013 Bassmaster Elite Tournament Day 1 on Falcon Lake

Bass Pro Bradley Roy is tied for 14th place with Bobby Lane, both anglers weighing in 25 pounds, 9 ounces apiece on the first day of Bassmaster Elite Series competition. On many lakes, a sack of fish like that would put an angler within a frog’s hair of first place. But this is Falcon, where Paul Elias broke a 4-day Bassmaster Elite Series record in 2008 with 132 pounds, 8 ounces. Roy will need to bring ten extra pounds tomorrow to overtake the leader, Keith Combs. On this lake, that’s do-able.

We caught up with Bradly Roy as he was unwinding from a windy day on the lake, and here’s what he told us.

TM:     I know you’re pumped after the day you had on Falcon.

BR:      We’re not getting a lot of bites, but I’m getting the right bites. I hope I can get some more tomorrow.

TM:     A lot of guys today were losing fish in the kind of cover you were fishing, too. It looked pretty tough.

Taylor Man's Hawg Seeker JigBR:      I was flipping a 3/4-ounce Hawg Seeker jig [at right, by Taylor Man’s Custom Lures] . They’d been eating that same pattern in a half-ounce pretty good, but the wind got up a little bit today so I went a little heavier. It’s a Taylor Man’s pattern we developed for Toledo Bend, with black, brown, and amber. They’re eating it down here on Falcon pretty good, too.

TM:     Where were you fishing today… what type of cover?

BR:      I’m flipping these bushes and trees; anything that’s in the right depth zone, about three to five feet of water. But mostly the bushier type of trees.

TM:     Is that in the main body of the lake or along the bank?

BR:      It’s both. There’s some out in the lake. If you find them out in the water a pretty good ways, they seem to be better. Read more…

BASSMASTER Reviews TMCL Living Rubber Flipping Jig

12/01/12 COMMENTS 0
Taylor Man's Living Rubber Flipping Jig

TMCLures Living Rubber Flipping Jig – Witch-Hazel Pattern

B.A.S.S. just reviewed Taylor Man’s Living Rubber Flipping Jig in their January 11 Online Gear Review feature.

Author David Hunter Jones wrote, “It’s a flipping jig with a touch of living rubber on the bottom to ‘puff’ out when the bait is at rest,” and recommended it for picking apart shallow cover.

Some features Jones highlighted were the jig heads’ Hi-Tech paint finishes and heavy-wire Gamakatsu hook, which was selected for this jig because it can take the punishment doled out by hooksets using heavy braid and stout rods. He also appreciate the color-matched, heavy fiber weedguard and described how the fine living rubber strands interspersed within the silicone skirt causes the lure to virtually come alive, pulsing with the slightest current or movement.

Other features that Taylor Man’s customers rely on are this jig’s silicone skirt collar that come with two cylindrical shot-shell rattles that mimic the clicking noise emitted by crayfish exoskeletons as they move. Most skirted baits on the market have latex collars that can weaken and fall apart after exposure to ozone, UV light, and chemicals over time. Those are avoided by the use of silicone skirt bands, which Taylor Man’s does with all its jigs, spinnerbaits, and buzzbaits. The skirt is further secured by a stainless steel wire over-wrap to make sure it won’t slip down during hook-sets.

Every skirt strand is painstakingly arranged and hand-tied, and the seventeen skirt patterns mimic forage species abundant on lakes, ponds, and streams across the country.

Designed specifically for flipping and pitching, this jig’s tapered Arkie-style head slips easily into and out of tight cover where big fish lurk.

[Buy Now]

Off to the Races; BoJoLe Below Dams

05/12/11 COMMENTS 0

Keys to Hot Fishing Action Below DamsBoJoLe Flutter Spoon - Benny Hull

As summer turns the corner to fall, some of the hottest action on the water can be found on tailraces below dams. From August to October, my guide trips are booked solid with anglers eager to get in on some of the most sure-fire fishing of the year.

Walleye, smallmouth and largemouth bass, stripers and hybrids; in August they start moving up around the swift waters to gorge on the new generation of shad that hatched out in mid-summer. If you set the table for them, serve up lures that match the hatch and present them properly, the fish can be easy pickings.

In early August shad fry ran about two inches in length, and successful tailrace anglers were throwing lures of that size. Good lures included spinnerbaits that could be fished across swift water without rolling over, like a Secret Weapon Quickstrike rigged with #3 willowleaf blades. Quarter-ounce lipless crankbaits, small flutter spoons, grubs and swim jigs all fit the bill, too.

When it comes to tailrace fishing, the best artificial bait I’ve discovered is the BoJoLe Flutter Spoon. Its action is unlike any conventional spoon or crankbait. Stamped from lightweight stainless steel, this American-made lure doesn’t spin but flutters and wobbles erratically during retrieves and on the drop.

BoJoLe Flutter Spoon - Erratic Action Catches All Species of Fish In August, #2/0 flutter spoons exactly mimicked the new shad that were being spit out below the turbines. Stainless steel or chartreuse patterns, both bright colors that stood out clearly, delivered exceptional results. By now, the shad have grown enough so that the #3/0 is a closer match. As fall wears on, you’ll find the #4/0 coming into its own, but chartreuse will still out-produce white, bronze, or stainless steel.

Chartreuse makes your lure stand out in a ball of shad. It gives the game fish something definite to aim for and is highly visible for greater distances through turbulent water. For years it has almost doubled my catch rates, working equally well on trout, walleye, bass and striped hybrids

To get your flutter spoon where it will do the most good, position your boat in the boils right below the generating turbines and allow the boat to drift. Cast your lure upstream and off to one side at a 45 degree angle to the current and retrieve it just fast enough for it to tick across the tops of the boulders on the riverbed.

Let the fish tell you where to concentrate your efforts. Sometimes they give themselves away by busting shad on the surface. But even when you see no top-water action, the fish are there; you just have to hunt for them them. One day they’ll be out in the middle of the swift current chasing shad as they shoot out of the turbines. Another day you’ll find them holding along the edges of eddies. Cast to one side and then the other until you find the pattern that works.

Below some dams the channel is only eight to ten feet deep or even shallower. On others, the bottom might be fifteen to twenty feet down. Regardless, the disoriented, scattered, and often injured shad will head for the safety of the rocks, and the walleye, bass, and stripers scour the bottom in search of them.

When Carolina-rigging a BoJoLe (usually the most effective presentation), use just enough weight to get the sinker to the bottom. Start with a 1/8-ounce weight. It should click across the rocks without falling down between them. If there’s a lot of water spilling over the flood gates and three or four turbines are generating or if you’re fishing deeper water, try a quarter-ounce or even half-ounce sinker.

By casting upstream and a little out to one side, as the boat drifts downstream the lure will track along the bottom at about the same rate. Lift the bait with your rod and then allow it to flutter back down, reeling slowly to take up slack until you feel the rocks, and then repeat.

With this tactic, the flutter spoon looks a lot like a dazed or wounded shad heading for shelter. Gamefish are hard-wired to attack such prey quicker than they will healthy minnows.

Fishing the tailraces, you’re going to hang up. If you’re fishing where you need to be, there’s no way to avoid it. Swift water will push your lure into crevices between rocks. But if you don’t jerk hard on your line and just run your boat up past where the lure is hung, 99 per cent of the time it will come loose and you will lose neither your rig nor the time required to retie.

If bass and stripers continue to feed on the surface, replace the sinker on your Carolina rig with a weighted float or popping cork. Cast out and retrieve the lure with sweeps and pops of your rod tip. A BoJoLe dancing seductively just below the surface will prove irresistible to fish in the jumps.

Depending on the river, you can expect fast action for an eighth to a quarter mile below the dam. When you reach a point where the river has settled down, reel in and run back up to the dam for your next drift.

Drift-fishing the tailraces involves line-watching, much like jig fishing in calm water. A fish may scoop up your bait and move toward you, or you’ll have enough of a loop in your line from the turbulence that you might not feel a strike. Spool up with orange or chartreuse high-visibility line and keep a close watch on your line in order to detect slight ticks that signal strikes. Each twitch might be a fish or a boulder sticking up from the bottom; either way, reel up slack and set the hook!

A big hybrid can slam your bait so hard that it snaps your line before your drag even kicks in, so use a good quality monofilament with enough stretch to absorb the shock. I recommend 8-pound test line because it’s strong enough to handle trophy-size fish in open water, yet is thin enough to enable your bait to reach the bottom even in swift current.

Since knocking around the rocks will nick and scrape your line pretty fast, tie on an 18-inch to two-foot leader of ten- to twelve-pound test fluorocarbon or other low-vis line. Even with a few nicks, it will remain strong enough to handle a big fish. Check your leader after each drift and retie before heading back up to the dam.

These tactics have paid off for me below dams on the Missouri, Tennessee, and Ohio rivers and others across the country. When the late summer bite slows down on reservoirs and you’re itching to get bit, head to the other side of the dam for a change of pace. You’ll find the action you crave in the tailraces. [Buy BoJoLe Flutter Spoons Now.]

Benny Hull
“The Ol’ Stump Bumper”

Bradley Roy’s Christmas List

20/11/11 COMMENTS 0

BioborEBREMEMBER LYING AWAKE ALL NIGHT listening for reindeer hooves and wishing for daybreak? 2010 Bassmaster Rookie of the Year Bradley Roy does like it was last year. (In fact, it probably was last year.) We asked Bradley what he hopes to find under the tree this Christmas, and of course he’s thinking fishing. Here’s what made his wish list:

 1. A wise cowboy takes care of his horse before himself. On the tour, Bradley pampers his motor to make sure it gets him there and back again, too. That’s why he is hoping for a year’s supply of Biobor Ethanol Buster. With laws allowing ethanol in our gasoline, it is imperative to protect your outboard with the most advanced gas
treatment out there.

Taylor Man's Custom Lures Hawg Seeker Jig

2. Christmas is when the winter turns the corner heading toward Spring, and Spring means warmer water and shallow jig flippin’. Get ready with an assortment of Taylor Man’s Hawg Seeker Jigs.


3. Taylor Man’s Shaky Man’s Jig Head- because let’s face it, every now and then you have to finesse a little bit.



Taylor Man's Custom Lures Super Spin Elite Charteuse-White spinnerbait4. Spring = Shad Spawn, and shad spawn means big fish on a spinnerbait, so make
sure you have one tied on that will attract attention and hold up to abuse. With Taylor Man’s Super Spin Elite Spinnerbaits you can be confident you won’t miss the chance of a lifetime.


5. Year round, you’re going to find some bass up shallow, but your chances pick up as the water warms. It will soon be time to get really shallow, and you need to be prepared with the best flippin’ bait out there: Berkley Havoc Pit Boss.



6. A thousand or more casts during a long day on the water can wear out even a young man like Bradley, and it helps that he uses Abu Garcia’s Revo MGX. At 5.4 ounces it is just a no-brainer; a reel this smooth is not suppose to be this light!



7. Rugged Shark Atlantic is Bradley’s personal favorite shoe — light and comfortable. Fish all day in these or wear them out and about. Either way they are the most comfortable shoes you will ever have on.

Building a Better Spinnerbait – Super Spin Elite

24/09/11 COMMENTS 0

Super Spin Elite 7-pound LargemouthDon’t you love the first few cool days of Fall? A little snap in the morning air and red tints to sumac and dogwood leaves take me back to a September 2009 fishing trip.

A couple of days earlier, Worth Company, a USA manufacturer of premium lure components, sent me some prototype shallow-cup willowleaf blades. Frankly, I didn’t think much of them; they looked pretty much like the blades I was already using. But I’d been looking for an edge — something that produced a different action and would make a T-Man’s spinnerbait out-perform all others — so I decided to field test the new blades on our Super Spin spinnerbait.

The night before our outing I modified only one spinnerbait using the new blades. After changing out the line on my reel, I tied it on to be ready for the next morning. When I met my fishing partner, David, at the lake, I mentioned the new blades to him as we dropped the boat in the water. Neither of us gave it a second thought — just another idea from the guy that’s always trying new stuff.

We ran a short way up the lake, and just as the sun peered over the treeline I dropped the trolling motor at of our favorite fishing holes. My first cast was to a tree that stands in about 20 feet of water. The lure fluttered downward a foot or two, and then I made maybe two turns of the handle before my lure stopped dead in the water. “Hey, David, get the camera!” That first big bass of the day tipped the scales at seven pounds. That new blade started looking a little more interesting to me.

You ever hear fishermen say that catching a fish on the first cast jinxes you for the rest of the day? Well, not this time! If possible, the fishing just got even better as the sun climbed. In all ten bass fell to my modified Super Spin that day, five of which (pictured on this page) totaled 28 pounds or better.

David tried a couple of his own spinnerbaits, including some Super Spins that he’d bummed off of me on earlier trips. No takers. He begged me for another Super Spin with the flat-cupped blade. Too bad… I had only that one. David then went through his entire tackle box trying to find something else that would trigger strikes. He threw everything at the bass except his lure retriever but never caught even a single fish. Except for cussing me for not bringing a second bait, all he could say throughout the day was, “I know… I’ll get the camera.”

What I came to realize about that particular spinnerbait was that the vibration produced by the flatter blade was a lot more pronounced than usual. Not only that, but every time I killed my retrieve by a stick-up, stump, or piling, the lure fluttered perfectly on the drop. The lake we were fishing gets a lot of pressure, and no doubt the bass I caught that day had gotten used to spinnerbaits, but I’d never seen another spinnerbait with so much flash and action as it fell. I guess those bass hadn’t either, because while ignoring David’s spinnerbaits, they were a sucker for this new design. This was the edge I had been looking for!

That afternoon, David put in his request for some new lures to restock his tackle box, and the “Super Spin Elite” went into production the next day. From all indications, it’s on track to become one of Taylor Man’s top-selling fishing lures among US and South African anglers.Super Spin Elite Spinnerbait and four largemouth bass

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