UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - California Delta

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 

Buy a Hat, Help USA Bass 

Buy a Hat, Help USA Bass 

Bass fishing fans have a chance to help the USA Bass team achieve its goal of winning the 2019 Pan American Championship in Canada next month. To help fund the effort, USA Bass, which is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, recently launched a limited edition hat drive with the goal of selling 1,000 USA Bass hats. READ MORE »

A High School Kayak Tournament Experience 

A High School Kayak Tournament Experience 

A recent high school kayak bass fishing tournament showcased the potential of kayaks to get more young anglers on the water and competing. READ MORE »

Hough is Fighting to Fish

Hough is Fighting to Fish

Fishing just her second full season as a co-angler in the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division, mother of two and first-grade teacher Kate Hough was planning and preparing for a chance to do something no woman has ever done in her division: win Co-Angler of the Year. Instead of preparing for the Super Tournament on Lake Hartwell on Sept. 28, however, Hough is simply fighting to leave her hospital bed. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 2

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 2

The second weekend in September saw seven more T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) divisions conclude their seasons with two-day Super Tournament events. From the Tennessee River to the St. Lawrence River and a few places in between, here’s a quick look at how the seven events were won. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Matt Reed

Check-in Time: Matt Reed

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Texas pro Matt Reed.  READ MORE »

When to Fish the Flashy Swimmer

When to Fish the Flashy Swimmer

In April, FLW Associate Editor Justin Onslow documented how Gross likes to cut the belly of his two favorite hollow swimbaits – the Scottsboro and the Zoom Swimmer – when rigging on a weedless hook to achieve a high hook-up ratio. However, that article didn’t break down where and why Gross prefers to use the Beast Flashy Swimmer hook versus a standard weighted, weedless swimbait hook. So we reached out to Gross for more info. READ MORE »

FLW Mourns Passing of T. Boone Pickens

FLW Mourns Passing of T. Boone Pickens

Businessman T. Boone Pickens, who in 2010 partnered with FLW to promote an alternative energy plan to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, passed away Wednesday at the age of 91.  READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 1

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 1

College football, hooded sweatshirts and the conclusion of the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) regular season are what come to mind as the calendar turns to September. This past weekend, six divisions put a feather in their cap for the year with their two-day Super Tournament events – where the payouts are bigger – but, more importantly, it’s the last chance to accumulate points to qualify for the Regionals this October. READ MORE »

Bryan Schmitt’s ChatterBait Box

Bryan Schmitt’s ChatterBait Box

“I’m pretty wild on color selection,” says Schmitt. “I always have my shad colors. I always have my black and blues. But I fall in love with trying to find a niche color. Especially when you get into the fall of the year on the Potomac. I love to find a crayfish pattern, and I feel like then a crayfish-imitating ChatterBait out-fishes anything else. And I also like to find a bluegill pattern at times, so I play with the colors.” READ MORE »

Harris Chain to Host 2020 College Championship

Harris Chain to Host 2020 College Championship

Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes will host the 2020 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship. The tournament, set for Feb. 26-28, will showcase the top collegiate anglers from across the nation. READ MORE »

Martin Makes Young Angler’s Wish Come True

Martin Makes Young Angler’s Wish Come True

A feature published this morning by Dennis Anderson of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (startribune.com) details the story of a 10-year-old Minnesota boy named Colby, whose wish was to get to meet and fish with FLW Tour pro Scott Martin. Colby, who suffers from a rare autoimmune disorder, got his wish on Wednesday thanks to Martin, Minnesota-based 3M and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Together, they treated Colby’s family to a weeklong vacation, and Martin guided the young angler to a day of fishing for bass and northern pike on Mantrap Lake near Park Rapids, Minn. Martin has been in the Land of 10,000 Lakes for the last week or so filming for various video projects. READ MORE »

Khourie, Lingnau Win 2019 FLW South Africa Championship

Khourie, Lingnau Win 2019 FLW South Africa Championship

Team Khourie/Lignau, consisting of Pieter Khourie and August Lingnau of the North West region, came roaring back on day three of the 2019 FLW South Africa Championship with a five-bass limit of 10.55 kg (23.25 pounds) to take the top spot and beat out Greg Schluep and Giulio Nolli of Team Secret VC for the title. READ MORE »

Checking in with Walters After the Cup

Checking in with Walters After the Cup

Walters, 41, of Grant Valkaria, Fla., is getting back to business as usual following his remarkable Cup showing, and we checked in with him to find out what his experience in Hot Springs was like and what’s on tap for the future – including a possible FLW Tour career. READ MORE »

FLW Zimbabwe Championship Recap

FLW Zimbabwe Championship Recap

The 2019 FLW Zimbabwe Championship took place Aug. 23-25 on Lake Mteri. The Walking Dead team led by Roger Cousens won the event with a three-day total weight of 101.83 pounds. For the win, Cousens will fish as a boater at the Costa FLW Series Championship Oct. 31-Nov. 2 on Lake Cumberland, and Miles Bennet (from team Keepnet) will compete on the co-angler side. READ MORE »

Review: STIX Fishing Rods

Review: STIX Fishing Rods

STIX Fishing is a relatively new company started by FLW Live host Travis Moran and Nick Smith that sells fishing rods with a bit of a unique plan. Instead of picking and choosing a rod or two at a time, STIX wants to sell you six rods at a time (the STIX PAX) for $500, which comes out to about $83 per rod. According to the company, the STIX PAX is a complete set of bass rods and will do everything you need rods to do. READ MORE »

A Tribute to Irwin Jacobs

A Tribute to Irwin Jacobs

Jacobs’ dreams were bigger. Bolder. He saw bass fishing’s potential to reach beyond the traditional fishing consumer and to the masses. Through his corporate savvy and hard work, Jacobs manifested a new era of professional bass fishing where anglers became household names, represented major national brands and competed for enormous payouts. READ MORE »

Bryan Schmitt’s Potomac Review

Bryan Schmitt’s Potomac Review

On the Potomac, hands down, I want to fish grass. The grass holds the numbers. But if you look at the event this week on the Potomac, the tournament was won on structure. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: John Cox

Check-in Time: John Cox

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with John Cox.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

The Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event on the Potomac River was not the slugfest the season opener on Champlain was or the season finale on the St. Lawrence River is almost sure to be. As has been the case in many of the FLW events on the Potomac this year, the fishing was pretty stingy, and hard cover played an outsized role. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac River

Top 10 Baits from the Potomac River

Late summer on the Potomac is often tough fishing, so the contenders in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits event had to pull out all the stops. Fishing everything from grass to docks and rocks, the anglers mixed up all sorts of power and finesse presentations to get the job done in the second stop of the season presented by Lowrance. READ MORE »