UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Redington reacts: Texas equals bass-fishing paradise

FLW Tour pro Tom Redington lands his quarry.

(Editor's note: Starting immediately, FLW Tour pro Tom Redington has agreed to make regular blog contributions to FLWOutdoors.com. Bass-fishing fans will be able to see Redington's blog installments approximately once a month on FLWOutdoors.com. Going forward, fans of FLWOutdoors.com will be treated to a wide array of blogs from a host of different FLW Tour pros as we get closer to the start of the 2014 season.)

Our nation is blessed with so many fantastic bass fisheries all around the country - in the Southeast, Okeechobee, Guntersville and Kentucky Lake are just a few of the finest lakes you'll ever fish. Head out West and there's Clear Lake, the Delta and the Columbia River. Midwestern and northern anglers can brag about plenty of awesome smallie and largemouth bass places-venues such as Table Rock, the Mississippi River, Lake Erie, Champlain and the Potomac River. And if you spend a little time travelling around the States, you'll quickly find each fishery has some pretty salty anglers and a lot of guys just like you and me, guys who spend every possible bit of free time chasing our finny friends.

Yet when I looked for a place to start a fishing career not long after college, one place stood out to me - and I'm happily still here years later. You guessed it, I'm talking about Texas. I'm sure that'll elicit a few groans from folks in the other 48 states that harbor bass, but consider a few things that I love about Texas bass fishing:

• At one point or another, legendary pros including Jay Yelas, Dean Rojas, Gary Klein and Larry Nixon moved to Texas to further their fishing careers. Heck, Takahiro Omori and Shin Fukae moved all the way from Japan to Texas. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that things turned out pretty well for them in the bassin' game.

• Falcon, Amistad, Toledo Bend, Sam Rayburn and Lake Fork are all world class fisheries and their feats are well documented. Fork has cranked out well over 250 documented bass over 13 pounds (and countless more that weren't certified) including a 14-, 15-, and 16-pounder last year. In recent years at Falcon, guide customers wrapping up a day with a 35- to 40-pound limit would remark that it was a fun trip but they really had hoped to catch a "big fish." Where else do people say that?! Oh, and did I mention Choke Canyon? A couple years ago, a team brought in a five-fish limit of 44 pounds with a 13-pound kicker. Close, but no cigar because there was another 13- and a 15-pounder caught that day, plus a 45-pound stringer!

FLW Tour pro Tom Redington shows off his catch.• Even our mediocre lakes are pretty darn good. If you are competing on some of the lesser lakes in the state, it still will take a 20-plus-pound limit to win a tourney in the spring. The record bass on almost every single lake is over 10 pounds. Lake Lewisville, a jet ski and yacht paradise right in the heart of Dallas that most bass anglers avoid at all costs, was the site where KVD caught an 11 pounder on a shaky head the last time there was a big event there. No offense to Beaver Lake or Fort Loudoun, but that's the type of shaky head tourney that I could learn to enjoy!

• The state actually helps further bass fishing instead of working against it. Personally, it seems like in a lot of states, bass tournaments and fishing are becoming more and more restricted. In Texas, all parts of lakes - except dangerous areas around dams and power plants - are open to fishing. There are no off-limits areas in private water or marinas or docks that are closed to fishing. And instead of trying to kill every stitch of grass in your lake, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is actually trying to grow world-record bass through their ShareLunker program. For my money, this Texas state agency is on the leading edge of stocking Florida-strain bass in lakes, then collecting giant fish from anglers over 13 pounds for spawning purposes in state hatcheries. Once the genetically superior bass spawns in a controlled environment, the fish and her super-babies are then returned to the lake to make more lunker bass. The goal is to one day produce a world record. It may never happen, but it's a noble cause. And so far our record is up to 18.18 pounds with 550 fish over 13 pounds donated to the program.

• Having endured frozen lakes in Illinois and closed bass seasons until mid-May in Wisconsin, a good trap and jig bite in January in a hooded sweatshirt and gloves more than makes up for the 100-plus-degree days we routinely see in Texas in July and August. Hungry schools of big fish fighting over deep diving cranks, football jigs and flutter spoons tend to mitigate the heat as well.
So just remember as you're watching your football teams beat up on our Texas boys on Saturdays and Sundays, we Texas fishermen couldn't care less, because we're probably in the middle of reeling in another 5-pounder in paradise.

You can follow Tom Redington's fishing tips and updates at www.facebook.com/tomredingtonfishing and www.twitter.com/Tom_Redington. For fishing articles and videos, check out his website www.LakeForkGuideTrips.com.

Tags: tom-redington  blog 

/tips/2016-07-28-flw-podcast-128-mark-rose

FLW Podcast 128 - Mark Rose

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-23-1000-islands-day-3-midday-update

1000 Islands Day 3 Midday Update

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-22-1000-islands-midday-update-day-2

1000 Islands Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands got started on a slightly different note this morning when FLW’s tournament directors declared Lake Ontario off limits due to hazardous conditions. The change threw a few of the top pros off their primary plans, but regardless the 137-boat field will be cut down to the top 10 after today, so adjustments need to be made in order to qualify to fish the weekend. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-19-flw-podcast-126-icast

FLW Podcast 126 - ICAST

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-14-2017-walmart-flw-tour-schedule

2017 Walmart FLW Tour Schedule

In what has become an annual tradition at FLW, the 2017 Walmart FLW Tour schedule was announced at a press conference and industry gathering held Thursday on the show floor at ICAST in Orlando, Fla. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-12-si-se-puede-yes-we-can

Si Se Puede ... Yes We Can

Mexico’s Lake Zimapan is different in many ways from the lakes to the north such as Florida’s Lake Okeechobee and California’s Clear Lake, but one element it has in common with those famous fisheries is big bass. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-11-5-rookie-lessons-learned

5 Rookie Lessons Learned

People have asked me what my first year on the Walmart FLW Tour was like. Well, it was like running headfirst into a hurricane for a few months. I came out the other side a little battered, bruised and smelling like fish. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-11-flw-podcast-125-scott-martin

FLW Podcast 125 - Scott Martin

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-review-lew-s-custom-speed-stick-lite

Review: Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Lite

Recently I had the opportunity to try one model in particular – the 7-foot, 4-inch Magnum Pitchin’ rod. After fishing with it several times, I’ve concluded that it performs as advertised, is sensitive and lightweight, and is well worth the money. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-reunited-and-it-feels-so-good

Reunited, and it Feels so Good

This year I really had a reunion with finesse fishing. Most of my better tournaments came from fishing some type of finesse presentation. Finesse tactics seemed to always give me a certain confidence about the day. While finesse tactics are nothing new to the game of bass fishing, this year I regained the confidence and joy of catching bass on smaller offerings. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-2016-icast-preview

2016 ICAST Preview

The doors to ICAST don’t open until next week, when everyone gets out on the showroom floor in Orlando, Fla., but there are already plenty of snippets of information available. FLW’s media crew will be there in full force to bring you coverage of the hottest new products, as well as the annual New Product Showcase awards. For now, take a gander at some of the early birds. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-07-flw-canada-kicks-off-at-tri-lakes

FLW Canada Kicks Off at Tri-Lakes

Among these Canadian all-stars was the eventual winning team of Chris Vandermeer of Peterborough and Jeff Slute of Millbrook. Capitalizing on a strong day one shallow-water smallmouth pattern, the duo took advantage of the slick-calm conditions using a silver-hued topwater popping plug to agitate the lake’s bronzebacks into attack. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-30-flw-tour-pro-cooksey-recovering-after-accident

FLW Tour Pro Cooksey Recovering After Accident

Walmart FLW Tour sophomore Dalton Cooksey of New Concord, Ky., is recovering at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee following a single-car accident that took place Wednesday afternoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-30-flw-podcast-124-jeremy-lawyer

FLW Podcast 124 - Jeremy Lawyer

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-29-stetson-blaylock-s-recipe-for-a-wacky-rig

Stetson Blaylock’s Recipe for a Wacky Rig

From March until the end of the fishing season I’m going to have a wacky rig on deck. It’s a really effective way to fish anytime the fishing is tough, or if the fish are up cruising banks. Anytime fish are about 5 feet deep or less, I can catch them on the wacky rig. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-28-morgan-claims-third-flw-tour-angler-of-the-year-title

Morgan Claims third FLW Tour Angler of the Year Title

MINNEAPOLIS – Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee, added to his incredible fishing resume by winning his third Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year title Saturday at the FLW Tour's final 2016 regular-season event on Lake Champlain.... READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-24-three-things-by-dd-kentucky-lake

Three Things by DD: Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake did not go the way I intended. I was pumped and ready to rock out a top-20 finish. I had great expectations of myself, but nothing seemed to come together. Practice was dicey, but I thought for sure I could put something together to make the cut. That was until day one came, and the whole vibe of my day instantly went from eager to agitated. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-23-how-to-catch-smallmouths-with-hair-jigs

How to Catch Smallmouths with Hair Jigs

The “right” hair jig for smallmouths is a small 1/16- to 1/8-ounce marabou jig with a round or mushroom-shaped head. The jig is similar to marabou jigs used by crappie fishermen, but bass models will often have a larger, stronger hook and possibly a longer or thicker skirt. Naturally, anglers have their favorites, and there are subtle differences in jigs that make some better than others. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-22-two-exciting-events-to-look-forward-to

Two Exciting Events to Look Forward To

We are in the last stretch of the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour. Awaiting us is the Lake Champlain tournament in just a few days. A couple of things will be settled there: the pro field for the Forrest Wood Cup and the Angler of the Year. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-21-tagging-along-with-sprague-in-kentucky

Tagging Along with Sprague in Kentucky

Through the first four events of the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour season, Jeff Sprague finished inside the top 20 every time and challenged for the win at Beaver Lake. After stop No. 4 on Pickwick, Sprague took over the lead in the Angler of the Year race. This is the story of his first tournament as the AOY leader – stop No. 5 on Kentucky Lake. Currently, Sprague is preparing for the finale on Lake Champlain. He’s in second place in the AOY standings. READ MORE »