• Bass Fishing

    Bassmaster Elite Series pro Cliff

    How to catch more fish with Rat-L-Traps

    Rat-L-Traps flat-out catch fish, but they're not what one would call weedless. So fishing them around hard structure normally means risking loss of the lure.

    October 05, 2017 at 11:00am
    Small ditches off a larger creek can be highly productive.

    ‘Digging’ the ditches

    It’s possibly the most oversimplified stage of a bass’ annual schedule, but get to know the fall feeding migrations and you’ll see there’s actually a considerable amount of strategy required to achieve consistency. For, while we tend to describe this season as a mass movement of bass to their pre-winter gorging, it’s not just a random rush to the buffet line.

    October 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Anything unusual in a field of matted grass is worth your attention.

    Frog fishing tackle

    FLW pro Todd Castledine trusts his frogging to a 7-foot, 3-inch Falcon Cara swimbait rod with an 8:1 Lew’s Super Duty reel carrying 65-pound braided line. This outfit, he said, affords him the elements essential to effective frogging.

    September 15, 2017 at 7:00am
    Ott DeFoe likes grass edges in low-light conditions.

    Best topwater frogs for different applications

    Everyone has their favorite frog, but putting aside the debates over brand and color patterns, we can break down the basic shape/style options based on their applicability.

    September 15, 2017 at 7:00am
    Although you’ll catch a good number of 1 to 1½-pound bass using these tactics in September, you may get a really good bass, like the one pictured here.

    Bet on your most-dependable lake

    This month, I’ll primarily fish my home lake, Bogue Homa, near Laurel. I understand exactly where September bass should be, and I know the lures to fish for success. Bogue Homa has a good number of largemouths 3 pounds or better, that will be relating to the grass and the grass lines coming off its banks. 

    September 14, 2017 at 9:00am
    There’s a frog for every situation, whether bass are feeding on amphibians or finfish on top.

    Maximize your frog’s mat mayhem

    It’s a double shot of adrenaline that widens the eyes, flares the jaws, red-lines the heart rate and elicits a broad spectrum of amazed responses; not all of which may be suitable for a family audience. Unquestionably, frog fishing over weed mats can deliver some of the most aggressively exaggerated strikes you’ll ever see — but it’s not as simple as throw-frog-onto-mat-and-pull.

    September 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Creature baits that resemble invertebrates are good alternatives for the voracious appetites of marsh bass.

    Best baits for marsh bass

    Marsh bass feed heavily on invertebrates. So anglers should fish trenasses that drain marsh ponds, small bayous that drain into large bayous right at the mouth, pipelines and ditches with water flowing to take advantage of prime ambush areas.

    August 23, 2017 at 7:00am
    Big worms around lone cypress trees are the ticket for big bass on cypress lakes.

    Target lone cypress trees for big bass

    Nick LeBrun travels the country fishing bass tournaments, but when he returns home this time of year and has a few spare minutes, he knows exactly where he will point his big Skeeter bass boat: big single cypress trees that most anglers don’t take time to fish.

    August 17, 2017 at 7:00am
    Tommy Boutwell has been catching largemouth at Jeff Davis Lake near Prentiss early in the morning to beat the heat, and has been doing so on Prototype Lures' new buzzbait.

    The ‘buzz’ at Jeff Davis Lake

    Tommy Boutwell’s excitement was clear, and was more than enough to lend credence to his fishing story.

    August 16, 2017 at 2:00pm
    Pegging a worm weight is easy with tailor-made pegs. Slide your line into the loop at the end of the peg loop. Grab a peg and slide it onto your line. Thread your weight on then slide the peg back to the top of the weight and you’re ready to go.

    “Pick” your peg

    Texas rigging those big worms is a no-brainer for summer fishing, but have you given much thought to the notion of pegging that sinker? Todd Faircloth sure has, and the Bassmaster Elite Series pro offers some insight worth considering.

    August 15, 2017 at 7:00am
    A go-to bait all summer long is a topwater like a Heddon Zara Spook.

    Top summertime lures — a pro’s picks

    Bassmaster Elite pro Marty Robinson said a handful of lures is about all you need to find hot bass action during August, a month known for it’s dry conditions that often creates clear water conditions in even the dingiest of lakes. 

    August 15, 2017 at 7:00am
    Alabama rookie Dustin Connell bested the Bassmaster Elite field this past spring at Barnett Reservoir by finding areas of less-pressured fish on the upper reaches of the Pearl River.

    Rez fares well on Elite stage

    Following many years of planning and anticipation, the Bassmaster Elite Series added a stop at Ross Barnett Reservoir on its 2017 tour. The anglers were promised big bass in a growing fishery and scored a late spring date for the event during the last week of April.

    Barnett did not disappoint, although the anglers were faced with some severe weather than postponed the final day of the event from Sunday to Monday, pushing the conclusion to May 1.

    August 15, 2017 at 7:00am
    When the top-water bite is over early in the morning, Elias will start fishing a frog in the lily pads and around the grass.

    Great August fishing awaits you at Ross Barnett

    Because bass don’t have sunscreen, sunglasses or air conditioning, in August, they’re looking for shade and cool water. Ross Barnett Reservoir has numerous lily pads, providing shade and cooler water where the baitfish also can feed on the algae on the lily pads’ bottoms, and big, thick clumps of grass.

    August 13, 2017 at 9:00am
    Kevin VanDam is fond of Texas rigging a big worm for summer use, but he’ll reach beyond the ribbon and curl tail styles and put the chunky Strike King Bull Worm into duty.

    Long, lanky and in-demand

    Baseball, watermelon, pool parties — if you’re making a list of summer faves, don’t forget that big worm. See, bass bites can be hard to come by during the dog days of summer, as the big green dudes spend most of their time sulking in deep offshore haunts, or in the shadows of docks or large trees. Locked in general lethargy, the fish prefer gobbling one big meal over chasing several smaller ones.

    August 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    Dry conditions create clear water, which tends to push bass deeper into structure in Mississippi River oxbow lakes.

    Finding lunker bass in August’s hot water

    When the heat of summer settles over Mississippi, the Bassmaster Elite pros who make a living by bass fishing will be taking a northern turn and fishing on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Champlain in the state of New York and on Lake St. Clair in Michigan.

    August 01, 2017 at 7:00am
    William Flournoy caught this 8 ½-pound bass on one of his Uncle Lonnie Stanley’s new Stanley Standup Football Jigs at Lake Sam Rayburn.

    The Stanley Standup Football Jig

    Lonnie Stanley does more than talk a good bass fishing game; he makes solid baits, too.

    The East Texas native who lives in Huntington, Texas, home of Stanley Jigs, has been making artificial lures for more than 30 years that are good enough for the pros to catch bass on, which “makes it a lot easier for the regular guy to catch fish,” Stanley told bassfishingarchives.com in 2015.

    July 27, 2017 at 9:00am