UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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 

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

2019 BFL AOY Winners

2019 BFL AOY Winners

The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) has long been one of the hardest-fought grassroots tournament circuits and the breeding ground for future pros and local legends. With five tournaments in each division, anglers have to contend against the best in their local area, often fishing against full-time guides or local anglers with dozens of tournament wins to their name on a given body of water. As such, winning the season-long Angler of the Year title in one of the 24 divisions is a monumental feat, something that only a couple BFL anglers have done more than a few times. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Jeremy Lawyer

Check-in Time: Jeremy Lawyer

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 Missouri pro Jeremy Lawyer.  READ MORE »

Adrian College Wins School of the Year

Adrian College Wins School of the Year

The bass-fishing club at Adrian College is the best in the country, capping off the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing season in first place overall with 2,350 points, and earning the team the title of 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National School of the Year.  READ MORE »

Rapala Varsity Bass Ep. 4 Airs Wednesday

Rapala Varsity Bass Ep. 4 Airs Wednesday

Join FLW for a watch party for the premiere of Episode 4 of Rapala Varsity Bass presented by General Tire. The episode will air Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. CT. READ MORE »

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

How to Rock Fall Largemouths

Smith says that the best time for fall largemouth fishing happens after the first big cold snap, when the water finally drops below 60 degrees.   READ MORE »

Olson Scouts Cumberland

Olson Scouts Cumberland

At just 19 years old, Lane Olson is fishing in the Costa FLW Series Championship. Were he from Alabama or Texas or any number of other southern states known for their bass fishing, that wouldn’t be too surprising. But Olson is schlepping all the way to Kentucky from Oregon, where he finished second in the Western Division Angler of the Year standings, missing out on the top spot by just one point. READ MORE »

Roaming Cumberland with Davidson

Roaming Cumberland with Davidson

Davidson, a West Virginia native, qualified for the Costa FLW Series Championship out of the Northern Division and has fished the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mountain Division quite a bit. He’s spent a lot of time on Cumberland and nearby Dale Hollow in the cooler months. As such, he’s one of a handful that pundits are definitely keeping an eye on heading into the championship, and he was kind enough to let me tag along for part of the second practice day on the Kentucky reservoir. READ MORE »

The Layout of Lake Cumberland

The Layout of Lake Cumberland

The ninth largest reservoir in the U.S., Lake Cumberland is a perfect stage for the Costa FLW Series Championship. Home to all three bass species and over 1000 miles of shoreline, the lake can swallow up a big field with relative ease, and with the fall bite starting to pick up in earnest and the water level lower than usual, the fishing should be pretty good. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Costa FLW Series Championship

FLW Live Schedule for Costa FLW Series Championship

FLW Live is back for the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky. The event will feature daily weigh-in broadcasts, as well as the full FLW Live studio broadcast, with live feeds from top anglers' boats, on the final two days. READ MORE »

2020 FLW Series Schedule and Details

2020 FLW Series Schedule and Details

Major League Fishing (MLF) and Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) recently announced the expanded 2020 FLW Series details, schedules, rules, entry fees and payouts. READ MORE »

2020 T-H Marine BFL Schedules and Details

2020 T-H Marine BFL Schedules and Details

Major League Fishing (MLF) and Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) recently announced the 202 BFL details, schedules, rules, entry fees and payouts. READ MORE »

2020 FLW Series and BFL Details

2020 FLW Series and BFL Details

Major League Fishing (MLF) and Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) announced today the expanded 2020 FLW Series and T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) details, schedules, rules, entry fees and payouts, highlighted by lower entry fees in both circuits and an expanded FLW Series schedule, along with upping the FLW Series Championship payout to $200,000 for first place and adding a $10,000 bonus for the highest-finishing pro from each of the eight U.S. FLW Series divisions and the International Division. READ MORE »

Ebare Eyes Strong Finish

Ebare Eyes Strong Finish

Ebare loves to fish. A lot. And he’s fished in 20 FLW events so far in 2019. His 21st will be the Costa FLW Series Championship at Lake Cumberland at the end of October, at which he hopes to earn his first win in FLW competition. READ MORE »

Floyd Cashes in on Guntersville

Floyd Cashes in on Guntersville

Last weekend, Floyd added to his already lengthy list of accomplishments with a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional victory on Lake Guntersville – the tournament was presented by Mercury – with a 44-pound, 15-ounce three-day total, and it all came down to consistency and some really good decision-making. READ MORE »

B. Lat, MDJ Win Pan Am

B. Lat, MDJ Win Pan Am

Brian Latimer and Mark Daniels Jr. are best friends off the water, and it looks like they’ve got the makings of a deadly team on the water. Weighing five smallmouths for 21.16 pounds in the first session and 23.92 pounds in the second session, the pair totaled 45.08 pounds to win the individual competition in the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis. READ MORE »

Canada Wins Gold at Pan Am

Canada Wins Gold at Pan Am

Though Team USA locked up the top three places, Team Canada placed six teams in the top 10 and averaged 38.98 pounds to win the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis. Results were tallied based on the average weight brought in by each team in the two sessions of fishing, which almost guaranteed an extremely close finish. Earning a silver medal, Team USA finished just a hundredth of a pound back with a 38.97 average. READ MORE »

Canada Leads at Pan Am

Canada Leads at Pan Am

The first session of competition in the Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis was a roaring success. After the morning weigh-in, Team Canada is leading with an average of 21.16 pounds, Team USA is in second with a 19.6 average, Team Akwesasne First Nation is in third with 18.62 and Mexico had an up and down morning to accrue a 17.24-pound average. READ MORE »

Do you need a generator for bass fishing?

Do you need a generator for bass fishing?

Austin Felix has been running a generator for a few years now, and his primary use is during the spring in the North, when he’s spending mega-days on the water practicing for tournaments that feature bedding smallmouths. READ MORE »

Day 1 Delayed at Pan Am

Day 1 Delayed at Pan Am

Because of steady rain and hard winds at around 20 mph or more, day one of the Pan American Bass Championship has been canceled. With gusts up to 40 mph in the forecast, the organizers have decided to fish two sessions on Friday instead. READ MORE »