UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Hallman’s Favorite Bait

Hallman’s Favorite Bait
Little Brown Jig

We all have favorite baits. Usually, they develop over time due to a level of comfort with the technique, some signature successes and that extra feel of confidence when you can lock it in your hand. For some, it’s a topwater. If you’re from Florida, it might be a big jig or a punching rig. If you grew up on the Tennessee River, you might cherish a deep-diving crankbait or a swimbait.

Bradley Hallman’s favorite bait is a “Little Brown Jig.”

 

Learning the bait

Hallman’s “Little Brown Jig,” or LBJ, is an Eakins Jig. It’s a bait that grew out of the Ozarks, and is essentially just a small ball-head jig with the skirt trimmed off on the front.

He got his initial education on the bait one winter day in 2004. Back then, Hallman paid $40 to enter a pro-am tournament on Table Rock as a co-angler. His goal was to learn the LBJ.

“I went up to Missouri and I drew Jim Eakins,” says Hallman. “I showed up that morning and Jim didn’t know who I was, and I showed up to his boat with one rod and no tackle, except for a bag of jigs in my pocket — that’s all I had. I knew he wouldn’t do anything else; that’s what I came up there for. I was hoping to draw him or somebody like Kelly Power.

“I fished with him that day, and I didn’t fish that much. I watched a lot,” recalls Hallman. “He had a really good day, catching them on docks in 30-foot of water on Table Rock with a Little Brown Jig. Fast-forward nine months later, I was leading going into day three of a BASS Open, my second Open I’d ever fished, on Lake Norfork, doing the same thing with a Little Brown Jig.”

 

The specs

There are endless permutations to bass jigs, but Hallman’s favorite is pretty simple: a homemade ball-head jig that rings in at roughly 5/16 or 3/8 of an ounce. A buddy makes them for him, and he uses a stock of square rubber skirt material that Hallman purchased for personal use before it came off the market. Hallman likes eyes on the jig, prefers a hand-tied skirt for skipping ease and always trailers it with a piece of a Zoom Speed Craw.

It’s almost exactly an Ozark original.

“I do change the hook in it,” reveals Hallman. “The original Eakins had a lighter wire hook in it. They were fishing them 20 or 30 feet deep on 10-pound-test line, and you can’t get a big hook in those fish. You can’t bring that same hook down to Texas. This jig works real good on Lake Tawakoni, but I’ve also lost 7-pounders in two foot of water on it. That lighter hook will flex out on really big ones.”

Hallman’s setup is very straightforward and perfectly designed to skip and feel the small jig. For his rod, he’s always using a Falcon LowRider finesse jig rod, which is 6-feet, 10-inches and has a fairly soft action.

“This rod was custom designed for this jig, many, many years ago,” says Hallman. “This rod is built so that it skips really well; it has a lot to do with your casting accuracy and the ability to feel and get bites.”

For line, he usually uses 15-pound-test fluorocarbon, but will vary between 10- and 20-pound-test depending on the conditions.

 

Fish it everywhere

Though Hallman first learned how to use his LBJ under very specific conditions, his love for it is based on how frequently he can apply it around the country.

“It’s a very versatile bait,” says Hallman. “I used it a lot at Grand Lake. We skip it around docks, we skip it behind docks. It’s obviously the same size as the crawfish in the Ozarks. Then we started moving around in Oklahoma. It’s very versatile in this region of the country, Arkansas, Oklahoma, the Ozarks.

“And then it works other places too,” Hallman continues. “It works on the Tennessee River in certain places. I actually finished second to Ramie Colson in an FLW Tour event on a Little Brown Jig on Wheeler in the springtime.”

Hallman narrows it down to one or two factors.

“Basically, what it boils down to is if it’s a rock lake with very little grass, or you’re not fishing grass-oriented fish, that Little Brown Jig plays very well,” says the Oklahoman. “Edwin [Evers] knocked it off and won the Classic with it, and I believe Gerald Swindle basically claimed his AOY in 2016 came on a little ball-head jig.”

 

The original technique

Like most jigs, you can apply the LBJ a lot of ways. Hallman basically always keeps one on the deck. Back in 2004, on a winter day in Missouri, he learned how to fish it on deep docks from a master.

Fishing docks in anywhere from 10 to 30 feet of water, the technique is fairly simple on the surface. You pitch to the back of a stall, peel line off so the jig falls straight and then subtly work it back a short distance. In all, one pitch might take 30 seconds to fish.

“It’s something you do when the fish are real sluggish, be it in the wintertime or the summertime,” says Hallman. “What I’m looking for is the fish that are related to the shade of the docks, which you can only do on real clear-water impoundments where the shade can penetrate 20 or 30 feet deep. That’s the thing that took me a while to learn. What you’re doing is trying to fish the shade, but on the bottom.”

Done right, you can still load the boat today, all on a Little Brown Jig that Jim Eakins perfected in the mid-90s.

 

Tags: pro-tips-weekly  jody-white  article 

Breaking Down the All-American Field

Breaking Down the All-American Field

When the anglers in the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American start competition on the Potomac they’ll be up against the absolute cream of the crop of FLW’s grassroots ranks. 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 »

Previewing the Potomac

Previewing the Potomac

Just two days separate the final day of the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League All-American and the start of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship, both on the Potomac River. Given the time of year the pair of tournaments land on the fishing calendar, it’s fair to expect some big things from both events. READ MORE »

Opinion: High School Fishing Makes a Difference

Opinion: High School Fishing Makes a Difference

“I had pretty much checked out, and quitting school was without a doubt where I was heading,” Justin Hevey says. “Then the opportunity to become part of the inaugural fishing team at our school happened, and all of a sudden I had a reason to go to school.” READ MORE »

2019 BFL All-American Roster

2019 BFL All-American Roster

The 98 best boaters and co-anglers from FLW’s grassroots ranks will compete on the Potomac River May 30-June 1 in the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League All-American presented by General Tire. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

After taking a brutal pounding from the strong winds of day two, the top-10 pros and co-anglers in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats are taking advantage of Clear Lake’s calmer final round conditions. A steady light rain began around 10 a.m., but without yesterday’s white caps, the lake’s allowing easy runs to wherever anglers want to fish. READ MORE »

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

The South Laurel High School team of Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner weighed 19 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and 13-4 on day two for a 32-13 total and the win in the 2019 Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) State Bass Fishing Championship on Kentucky Lake. READ MORE »

Cup Bubble Boys Before Champlain

Cup Bubble Boys Before Champlain

With just one event left in the FLW Tour season, time is almost out to qualify for the FLW Cup, which will be held August 9-11 on Lake Hamilton. The last event at Lake Chickamauga produced plenty of shakeup in the races for Angler of the Year and Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year, and it also set everyone up for the final push to the Cup. READ MORE »

Young Wins Marshal Contest, Saves a Life

Young Wins Marshal Contest, Saves a Life

John Young of Canal Winchester, Ohio, walked away from his first-ever visit to Lake Chickamauga with $2,500. Perhaps more importantly, he left with a story he and his day-two angler, J Todd Tucker, will never forget. READ MORE »

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

We didn’t bother with an update on the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year race after the fifth stop of the FLW Tour season at Cherokee Lake. At that point, Miles Burghoff had the overall lead in the AOY standings and a 108-point lead for ROY. It looked like it was locked up. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

There’s usually some drama at the end of the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race, but often the leading pro has managed to accumulate a pretty good cushion by the final event. This year the cushion is virtually nonexistent. After they booked a win and a fifth-place finish at Lake Chickamauga, respectively, John Cox leads David Dudley by just one point heading into the finale on Lake Champlain. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Most people probably don’t equate Lake Chickamauga to spinning rods and finesse techniques, but both were prevalent during the FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Chick. Plenty of pros threw swimbaits, jigs and crankbaits, but the common thread among most of the top 10 is the use of a stick bait (usually wacky- or Texas-rigged) to target bedding or postspawn fish still hanging in the shallows.  READ MORE »

Hartwell Tabbed for 2020 All-American

Hartwell Tabbed for 2020 All-American

FLW announced Monday that the 37th annual T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American will be held on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell in 2020. The tournament, slated for April 30-May 2, showcases the nation’s best weekend anglers and awards the winner a $120,000 cash award and an automatic berth into the FLW Cup. READ MORE »

Korostetskyi Crowned Kayak Champ at Nickajack

Korostetskyi Crowned Kayak Champ at Nickajack

Bogdan Korostetskyi won the Dee Zee FLW/KBF Kayak Open presented by YakAttack at Nickajack Lake with a two-day total of 174.25 inches of largemouth bass. He caught his winning fish on a ChatterBait. READ MORE »

FLW/KBF Nickajack Open Coverage

FLW/KBF Nickajack Open Coverage

The Dee Zee FLW/KBF Kayak Open presented by YakAttack at Nickajack Lake kicked off this morning as the first of two events that are part of a partnership between FLW and Kayak Bass Fishing, the nation’s foremost organization supporting kayak bass anglers. READ MORE »

Korostetskyi Leads Kayak Open on Nickajack

Korostetskyi Leads Kayak Open on Nickajack

Bogdan Korostetskyi leads day one of the Dee Zee FLW/KBF Kayak Open presented by YakAttack at Nickajack Lake with a total catch of 92 1/2 inches. All of his fish were largemouth bass that he caught using aggressive baits on very precise spots. READ MORE »

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Heading into the sixth stop of the year on Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, Lawyer says he’s looking to go easy and make sure he’s on the road to Hot Springs this August for his third shot at a Cup title. With that in mind, I was happy to hop aboard and see the shallow side of Chickamauga. READ MORE »

Emergency Eye Surgery Derails Horton’s Cup Hopes

Emergency Eye Surgery Derails Horton’s Cup Hopes

On Thursday, for the first time in eight years as a pro and 25 years as a competitive bass angler, Jamie Horton won’t cross the weigh-in stage on a tournament day when he’d planned to compete. Instead, the Alabama pro will be back in his Centerville home recovering from emergency eye surgery to repair a severely detached and torn retina in his right eye.  READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

The 2019 FLW Tour event at Lake Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, is hitting the lake before the primary offshore migration has occurred, which means that some ledge fishing will take place, but a whole mess of other patterns should play as well. Here’s a look at where the anglers will be competing this week. READ MORE »

Nichols Wins Southeastern AOY, Shot at Tour

Nichols Wins Southeastern AOY, Shot at Tour

Within the FLW tournament hierarchy, there’s plenty of youth and enthusiasm to go around, but only so many spots on the FLW Tour. That’s why 27-year-old Cody Nichols of Fayette, Ala., isn’t going to let his opportunity to join the Tour pass him by in 2020. Nichols is the 2019 Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division Strike King Angler of the Year. By finishing in the top five in the division standings, he qualifies to join the Tour next season. READ MORE »