Pro Tips Weekly: Bryan Thrift

Sixth-place qualifier Bryan Thrift leaves the marina for the final time.

Summer and ledge fishing go together, but you can get burned on an offshore bite where the fish are averaging about 3 pounds when you need them to be averaging 4 pounds or so to do any good in a tournament setting. If I don't have a good ledge bite I'm going to leave the deep water and go to the bank where it might be only inches deep, because at different times of the day some of the biggest fish are going to be up there cruising the shoreline and hunting bluegills. If the timing is right, it will almost feel like you're sight-fishing. My favorite lures for this type of fishing are shaky heads with either a 5 1/2-inch Damiki Stinger or a Finesse Miki in 5 1/2- or 6 1/2-inch sizes, and the Damiki D-Pop 70 in bluegill pattern. Also, make sure you have a good pair of sunglasses because the clearer the water, the longer you need to be able to see and cast. Personally, I wear Kaenon glasses with the Yellow 35 lenses and look for shadows off by themselves, isolated cover or any targets that might make good ambush cover. Otherwise, put your trolling motor on high and cover every stretch of bank that looks like it ought to be holding bluegills and bass. ---- Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C.

Tags: pro-tips-weekly 

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Be Patient with Bedding Bass

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Pro Tips Weekly: Anthony Gagliardi

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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 »

/tips/2014-10-21-pro-tips-weekly-cheez-it-pro-shinichi-fukae

Pro Tips Weekly: Cheez-It pro Shinichi Fukae

In late summer, one fishing pattern is to flip and pitch jigs or soft plastics, or to fish frogs, in matted grass where bass are hunting for bluegills and minnows to eat. When does this pattern stop? READ MORE »

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Pro Tips Weekly: Straight Talk Pro Scott Canterbury

Fall weather can provide some of the best fishing of the year. Lakes are usually not as crowded because the water gets too cool for some water sports, and a lot of guys give up fishing temporarily for deer hunting. READ MORE »

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Pro Tips Weekly: Walmart Pro Wesley Strader

First, I slide the keeper down the shank and away from the eye about 1/8 inch from its original position. Then I place the hook in a fly-tying vice and use either black or red thread to lash around the base of the keeper. READ MORE »

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Pro Tips Weekly: Castrol Pro Philip Jarabeck

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