• June 2017 - Volume 19, Number 6

    Features

    Few freshwater fish can match striped bass’ size, power

    There is a rock weir behind Fordice Island, almost directly across the Mississippi River from Vicksburg. The river was around 9.9 on the Vicksburg gauge and Richard Baker said we could get all the skipjack shad we’d need for bait for our catfish outing in just a few minutes there. 

    Crankbaits, jigs can be just as effective on crappie, with less hassle

    There’s no doubt live minnows catch crappie.

    There’s also no doubt that live minnows are a bit of a hassle. Like disposable razors, live minnows have a finite shelf life, after which they are more trouble than what they’re worth. 

    Shiners, shad and bream even playing field among anglers

    Jack Giles’ cast settled next to a submerged brush pile, and the strike was immediate.

    Bam!

    A giant bass smashed his bait almost as soon as it hit the water, sending Giles rearing back to drive the hook deep into the bass’ jaw.

    Tips from top pros to improve your presentations

    Mike Iaconelli squinted with intense concentration, peering down the shank of a VMC hook in his left hand. Cracking a confident grin, he nodded in approval as the point pressed against his right thumb.

    Working hollow-bodied frogs like the best

    You’d almost think this thing was a CIA operative, what with all the different identities, abilities and serious armament. At the risk of stretching a not-so-subtle Jason Bourne reference too far, let’s just say that the topwater frog is one deadly asset for just about anytime but the depths of winter and whenever fish hug deep structure. So proficient is the frog’s fish-tempting allure that this floating amphibian impostor is a go-to bait for tournament pros and guides who depend on it for a wide range of applications. 

    Whether you’re looking for a trophy catfish or just a mess of fillets to supply a fish fry, try one of these methods.

    As hard as it may be to believe, catfish are one of the most versatile quarries with whom anglers can ever hope to do battle. While most people think of them as slimy creatures that lurk on the bottom in the mud, catfish represent all of the characteristics as top-of-the-food-chain predators, finicky tournament day foes, and main course for a fish fry all rolled up into one.

    Summertime means hot days and even hotter crappie action. Check out page 21 to see how to jig and crank up summer slabs.Cover photo by Jerald Horst