UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Watson’s Toad Tricks

Watson’s Toad Tricks
Zoom Honry Toads

I like to throw toad-style baits such as a Luck E Strike Frantic Frog, a Zoom Horny Toad or a Reaction Innovations Trixie Shark because they’re really subtle-sounding baits when a buzzbait is too much. When the water is clear, that’s when this style is the best. During the spawn and just after in the postspawn are the best times, and then again in the late summer and fall when the fish are around bluegill beds.

In the summer, on those hot, slick days, you just have to fish until you run into bass that are up shallow cruising for big shad or bluegills. You have to cover a lot of water. You might go all day and only get four or five bites on it, but generally they are going to be good-quality fish. In the spring, I throw it all around bedding areas, around fry and anywhere a shallow bass might be.

Most of the time I like to retrieve it just under the surface, just to make a riffle. It’s like a subtle wake bait.

I use the same tackle for a toad as I do for a Whopper Plopper. I use 50- to 65-pound-test braid, a 7-6, heavy-action Waft Iron Feather Bass flipping stick, and a 7:1 gear ratio Bass Pro Shops CarbonLite or Pro Qualifier reel. That 5/0 Zoom Horny Toad Hook is all a man needs for the hook.

You want to always leave that hook exposed a little bit if you can, but I’ll just barely skin-hook it if I’m fishing around a lot of grass.

White, black and grey ghost are the only three colors I throw, unless I’m on Lake Okeechobee, and then I throw junebug. On overcast days or in the morning I start out with black, and if it stays cloudy I’ll stick with black or throw grey ghost. When it gets sunny and bright I stick with white.

James Watson

Tags: frog  spring  summer  james-watson  pro-tips-weekly 

How to Find the Best Docks in Early Fall

How to Find the Best Docks in Early Fall

While there’s almost no bad time of year to find a dock pattern, early fall is a prime season for it. The catch is that as shad transition throughout a reservoir in the fall, some bass go on the move with them. So dialing in a key stretch of docks or a dock pattern can at times be challenging, particularly on lakes with a lot of docks. READ MORE »

How Schmitt Targets Late-Summer Tidal Bass

How Schmitt Targets Late-Summer Tidal Bass

As we’ve seen pretty much every year in the FLW Cup, which is usually held in the South, going way up creeks to find slightly cooler water is a productive pattern in the heat of late summer. The same strategy can pay off on tidal fisheries such as the Potomac River and James River as well, albeit with some tweaks for the situation. READ MORE »

How to Make a Swimbait a Line-Thru

How to Make a Swimbait a Line-Thru

Jake Lawrence thinks the line-thru swimbait is more versatile than many tournament anglers realize. The Kentucky Lake and Pickwick guide and 2018 Costa FLW Series Lake Barkley champion frequently chucks one any time bass are shallow to not only put big fish in the boat, but to catch five good ones in a day. READ MORE »

Slow Down in Brush for More Success

Slow Down in Brush for More Success

Many times, hitting as many brush piles as possible is the key to success, with Bryan Thrift’s 2015 FLW Tour win on Lake Eufaula serving as a prime example of that strategy. However, with the fishing pretty tough on Lake Hamilton, both Wade Strelic and Joel Willert turned to more methodical approaches to generate bites. READ MORE »

How Brad Knight Plans to Win the Cup

How Brad Knight Plans to Win the Cup

Brad Knight’s life changed forever in Hot Springs. In 2015, the Tennessee pro won the FLW Cup on Lake Ouachita, earning $500,000 and thrusting himself into the pro bass fishing spotlight. Now that he knows just what a Cup win can do for a tournament angler’s career, Knight is even more motivated to win the title again, which he’ll have a chance to do Aug. 9-11 on Lake Hamilton, right back in Hot Springs, Ark.  READ MORE »

Illinois' Hahne Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Mississippi River in La Crosse

Illinois' Hahne Wins T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League Tournament on Mississippi River in La Crosse

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Boater Darren Hahne of Ottawa, Illinois, brought in a three-bass limit weighing 11 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River Saturday. Hahne earned $6,466 for his victory... READ MORE »

Lake Ouachita Selected To Host Country’s Top Kayak Bass-Fishing Anglers at Inaugural Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup presented by YakAttack

Lake Ouachita Selected To Host Country’s Top Kayak Bass-Fishing Anglers at Inaugural Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup presented by YakAttack

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (July 8, 2019) – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) and Kayak Bass Fishing, LLC, (KBF), in conjunction with Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, announced Monday that the inaugural Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup presented by YakAttack, the world championship of kayak bass fishing, will be held on Lake Ouachita, Aug. 9-10, 2019. The event will... READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Kris Wilson did everything he could this morning to put away this tournament before anyone had a chance to make a run at him. The Montgomery, Texas, pro returned to the spot where he started the first two days and boxed up a pair of 5-pounders. The leader has camped on his spot basically all morning, and now we estimate he's culled up to about 18 pounds. Wilson came into today with a lead of more than 4 1/2 pounds over second-place pro Josh Bensema, and a much greater margin over everyone else, so that limit is huge and likely has him on course for a wire-to-wire victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. READ MORE »

National Championship Gets Going

National Championship Gets Going

Bright and early this morning, 148 teams of the best college bass anglers in the country rolled out for day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Potomac River. The 10th annual National Championship is the culmination of the 2018 season, and the winning duo qualifies for the 2019 FLW Cup and earns a new Ranger boat for its club.  READ MORE »

Bass Fishing's in the Blood for Swanson Brothers

Bass Fishing's in the Blood for Swanson Brothers

You could debate whether it’s nature or nurture that starts an angler toward success in tournament bass fishing. In the case of Thor and Mitchell Swanson, the answer is both.  READ MORE »

Country Music Superstar Trace Adkins Set to Rock FLW Cup with Free Concert in Hot Springs

Country Music Superstar Trace Adkins Set to Rock FLW Cup with Free Concert in Hot Springs

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Before any professional anglers have even made a cast in Lake Hamilton, Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) has already landed a lunker. Country music superstar Trace Adkins is set to bring his fiery and memorable live performance to the 2019 FLW Cup, performing a free concert on the weigh-in... READ MORE »

 How to Rig a Kayak Fish Finder

 How to Rig a Kayak Fish Finder

One of the biggest aftermarket purchases a kayak angler can make is a fish finder. At the start of the kayak-fishing boom, many laughed at the idea of putting a graph on a kayak. Now, it seems almost standard practice, especially for the avid kayak angler. READ MORE »

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 3

Table Rock Midday Update – Day 3

With just one keeper from his three primary pockets, leader Jake Morris might have left the door open on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament at Table Rock Lake. His frog pattern might be fizzling out due to clear water and changing conditions. READ MORE »

How to Choose a Swim Jig for Bushes

How to Choose a Swim Jig for Bushes

Allen Boyd’s spinnerbait tactics are featured in the Spring 2019 issue of FLW Bass Fishing magazine. Here’s his advice on choosing and using swim jigs in flooded woody cover. READ MORE »

How Buddy Rigs a Hollow Swimbait

How Buddy Rigs a Hollow Swimbait

Gross has been fishing hollow-body swimbaits for a long time, and for most of that time, he’s also cut the belly of those swimbaits to allow for better hook penetration. It’s a simple concept a lot of anglers either don’t think about or wouldn’t consider if they did think about it, due to durability concerns. READ MORE »

The Trixie Shark: Get Explosive Strikes

The Trixie Shark: Get Explosive Strikes

Reaction Innovations got the name right when it created the Trixie Shark. The soft-plastic topwater bait has a literal shark-shaped body with side “wings” and two flapping rear legs similar to what you find on a traditional topwater toad, yet with enough differences to make the bait unique. READ MORE »

Registration Open for 2019 Costa FLW High School Fishing Summer Camp

Registration Open for 2019 Costa FLW High School Fishing Summer Camp

BENTON, Ky. – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) in partnership with Costa Sunglasses, announced today the second annual Costa FLW High School Fishing Summer Camp, scheduled for July 24-27 on the Murray State University campus, with daily activities on the shores of Kentucky Lake – the South’s Great Lake. The all-inclusive three-day camp is designed for serious high... READ MORE »

Catch Your Personal Best from a Kayak

Catch Your Personal Best from a Kayak

Eric Jackson, owner and co-founder of Jackson Kayak and three-year FLW Tour pro, has contributed a great deal to the booming kayak market, not to mention the popularity of the sport itself. Gone are the days of kayak manufacturers catering to a niche market of anglers who don’t own a bass boat. READ MORE »

How to Bass Fish High Water in Winter

How to Bass Fish High Water in Winter

High water isn’t unusual in the spring or summer, but dealing with rising water this early in the year was somewhat of a new experience for many of the pros – as it is for the weekend warrior. Therefore, the Rayburn Tour event is a case study on how to handle this situation and still put loads of bass in the boat. READ MORE »

Pro Tip: How Wes Logan Ties a Jig

Pro Tip: How Wes Logan Ties a Jig

Wes Logan is particular about his jigs. So particular that he pours his own heads and ties his own skirts. Logan’s tying method keeps the skirt from slipping down or spinning around – a pet peeve of his. Some folks do the same with wire, but Logan prefers using light braided line. READ MORE »