UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

Pro Tips Weekly: Chris Baumgardner

Sixth-place pro Chris Baumgardner holds up his kicker bass from day three.

In more and more lakes now there are good populations of smallmouths and largemouths, or spots and largemouths. In some lakes like Beaver, there's a pretty fair population of all three. That being the case, a fisherman needs to develop an understanding of the feeding preferences and likely hangouts of the different sorts of bass. The more varied the cover, structure, depth, current, bait and other factors there are in a lake, the more different the bass are going to behave one from another. For instance, smallmouths seem to like to hunt more; by that I mean they're likely to move around a lot in open water poking in rocks for crawfish or looking for various types of minnows. Spotted bass like to hang off points and offshore structure more, especially when there is cover such as brushpiles. The largemouth bass is more of an ambush predator that prefers cover of some sort where it can hide and ambush anything small enough to get in its mouth. They'll hug old river ledges offshore if that's where the shad are likely to pass, but they also might be under a dock near the bank. It used to be that most of us didn't have to figure out the nature of two or three different kinds of bass, but that's the key to success on a lot of lakes now. In some tournaments, you'll have to depend mainly on going after one type of bass or another as conditions dictate. But the more you learn about where the target is and what makes it tick, the better off your game plan will be. ----- Snickers pro Chris Baumgardner, Gastonia, N.C.

Tags: pro-tips-weekly 

/tips/2015-07-29-fishing-flooded-trees

Fishing Flooded Trees

Lakes that don’t have much current develop thermoclines in the summer where the water temperatures differ and form layers. Depending on water clarity and other factors, the top of the thermocline might be 20 to 30 feet from the surface, and a lot of times you can spot it on your fishing electronics. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-06-03-make-your-own-rod

Make Your Own Rod

For a while now, I’ve been wrapping my own fishing rods. I’m not knocking the rods that are produced for the mass market, but there are certain things that I want in a rod. So the small adjustments I can make by tweaking the components are worth the trouble and time it takes to wrap my own. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-15-power-shotting-on-beds

Power-Shotting on Beds

Tom Redington explains how power-shotting can be a productive technique to catch bedding bass. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-07-be-patient-with-bedding-bass

Be Patient with Bedding Bass

Probably the biggest reason why some anglers don’t catch bedding fish is that they lack the patience that’s often necessary. They might think, Well, that fish just isn’t ready to be caught, but a lot of guys miss fish that are actually catchable. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-01-running-a-spot-spawning-pattern

Running a Spot Spawning Pattern

In lakes where there are spotted bass, smallmouths and largemouths, the spawn can get complicated. Largemouths tend to bed in shallower, warmer water, but smallmouths and spotted bass might bed anywhere from the shallows to so far out it’s hard to see their beds. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-25-osinski-s-texas-rigged-swimbait

Osinski’s Texas-Rigged Swimbait

Lake Okeechobee Rayovac FLW Series champion Val Osinski relied on a unique Texas-rigged swimbait paired with a Gambler KO Punch Skirt on the final day of his tournament win. It’s an option that Tour pros might find handy next week when they take to the waters of Lake Toho. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-18-skinning-a-shadalicious

Skinning a Shadalicious

There’s not a time of the year that a swimbait isn’t an effective lure. The only thing that really changes is how and where you fish it. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-02-04-rubber-or-silicone-

Rubber or Silicone?

Jig skirts are made of silicone or rubber these days, but I think rubber skirts are superior overall, especially in the winter when the water is cold. Rubber skirts aren’t as affected by cold water and still have quite a bit of action, while silicone skirts tend to stiffen up more. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-27-slow-rolling-spinnerbaits-in-cold-water

Slow-Rolling Spinnerbaits in Cold Water

Crankbaits, jerkbaits and lipless crankbaits are popular search baits in the prespawn, but to me it’s hard to beat a spinnerbait. You might not get the same numbers of fish as the other baits will, but as a general rule you’ll get bigger fish. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-21-lighten-up

Lighten Up

There’s no telling how many times I’ve sat in my boat after dark or before daybreak trying to find a bait in a locker or spooling new line. All the while I’d be holding a Maglite in my mouth or trying to adjust a headlamp where I need the light. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-14-head-off-bass-on-the-move

Head Off Bass on the Move

Five or six years ago Guido Hibdon won a tournament at Lake Eufaula by sitting in one spot and casting crankbaits and soft plastics over and over again to a point that had a couple of big rocks off its end. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-01-07-go-big-for-bedding-bass

Go Big for Bedding Bass

Everybody has his own ideas about the best baits and approaches for bedding bass, but I’ve had the best luck using the 7-inch Mizmo Ish Tube for fish that weigh more than 5 pounds. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-31-pro-tip-combat-the-cold

Pro Tip: Combat the Cold

When the weather gets really cold, you start experiencing equipment failure and the effects of freezing temperatures. One of the best things you can carry with you on a winter fishing trip is a can of silicone spray. There are all sorts of products made for fishing line, but silicone will get the job done just as well as anything. In icy conditions, especially, you want to spray your line on the spool and your fishing guides fairly often so they don’t ice up as bad. Another thing you want to do is leave your braided line at home in really cold weather. It doesn’t cast very well when it soaks up water and freezes and loses a lot of its sensitivity. I go back to fluorocarbon, or even monofilament. Spraying it with silicone also helps it stay a little more limber so it doesn’t stiffen up so bad in the cold. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-23-fish-the-transition

Fish the Transition

Although you couldn’t tell it by the weather up north, bass are moving toward their spawning areas in a lot of Southern lakes. In south Florida, where the FLW tournament season is set to begin in about a week, they’re already spawning. Though there are certain rules that apply to fishing the spawn, I’ve developed an approach that has helped me catch fish when other things have failed. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-17-pro-tips-weekly-anthony-gagliardi

Pro Tips Weekly: Anthony Gagliardi

READ MORE »

/tips/2014-12-10-pro-tips-weekly-keystone-light-pro-casey-martin

Pro Tips Weekly: Keystone Light Pro Casey Martin

December and January are the two months when anglers really start preparing for the coming season, whether it’s firming up sponsorships, planning tournament schedules or restocking baits and equipment. This is also the time of year when a lot of anglers plant cover in the lake or the lakes where they fish so they’ll be productive the following year. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-11-26-pro-tips-weekly-dion-hibdon

Pro Tips Weekly: Dion Hibdon

The umbrella rig sort of follows its own script on Lake of the Ozarks and some other highland reservoirs. While it’s a good producer on other lakes in warm weather, we don’t catch bass on umbrella rigs around here in the summer. Instead, the bass will get on them starting in late fall and continue on until the spawn next spring. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-11-19-pro-tips-weekly-walmart-pro-mark-rose

Pro Tips Weekly: Walmart Pro Mark Rose

A strong, gusting wind can really have a negative effect on fishing. If you’re sight-fishing, fishing drop-shots or fishing targets in clear water that you need to see, wind definitely works against you. It affects the action of a lure, your ability to feel the bait and how you present it. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-11-11-pro-tips-weekly-keystone-light-pro-chad-grigsby

Pro Tips Weekly: Keystone Light Pro Chad Grigsby

For some reason, this time of year smallmouths like to hang around objects in the water, whether it’s just a small feature or something as big as a car. They’ll still move around, but it’s like they move from rock pile to rock pile – or whatever – instead of just swimming around aimlessly. So you’re target-casting at objects that are likely to be holding fish. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-11-05-pro-tips-weekly-george-foreman-pro-dan-morehead

Pro Tips Weekly: George Foreman pro Dan Morehead

I jumped on the big-spoon bandwagon and got some just in time to be in on the tail end of the prime-time season for them. It seems to me that it’s another one of those typical niche-type deals where it’s a heck of a bait when they’re on it, but not so much at other times. READ MORE »