Fishing

Smithwick Elite 8 Suspending Rogue

It wasn’t too long ago that the Elite 8, the eight best college basketball teams in the country playing in the NCAA’s “Big Dance,” were thrilling fans and television audiences in a hopeful waltz to the Final Four and, ultimately, to the title game at the center of every bracket in the U.S.

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Bass Fishing

Two new standout crankbaits

A proven Rapala crankbait moved to the forefront of bass fishing on the biggest stage when it helped produce the 2014 Bassmaster Classic champion three months ago in Alabama.

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Bass Fishing

Chikara crankbaits

Bass fishermen are tying on a hot product from Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Surprisingly, it isn’t a soft plastic like the ever-popular Senko. In fact, it’s a hard bait with an attitude.

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Bass Fishing

You can’t beat crawfish

A Louisiana bass fishing pro getting ready for his fifth season on the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament trail said there’s no question about one of the artificial lures he’ll nearly always be throwing when the bass and the money are on the line in 2014.

“I mean, everybody pretty much knows it’s going to be a crawfish,” Dennis Tietje said.

Tietje had just returned from his deer-hunting camp during the holidays and obliged a question about one of the favorite artificial lures in his tacklebox, a confidence bait.

“I’m going to keep three baits on no matter what — a small crankbait (red KVD Square Bill), a (Strike King) Rage Craw and a small (Strike King) spinnerbait,” the angler from Roanoke said. “Even though I may not rely (full-time) on the soft plastic, I tend to throw some type of crawfish bait 60- to 70-percent of the time.”

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Fishing

Lunker Frog

There is a soft-plastic frog so lifelike in detail that the legs possess a kicking motion no self-respecting bass can resist, a soft-plastic frog that captures the confidence of bass anglers everywhere and also reigns supreme as the ICAST Best Soft Lure of 2013.

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Inshore Fishing

The Vortex Shad

A veteran saltwater fishing guide who says he fishes with soft plastics 99 percent of the year always reaches for a bag of soft plastics he has the utmost confidence in when he’s out on the water.

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Inshore Fishing

The Fat Boy

Paul Brown’s Fat Boys are still kicking, slowly twitching underwater, tantalizing and catching saltwater fish after the proven soft plastic was bought in the late 2000s.

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Bass Fishing

Booyah Boo Series

Two of America’s bass fishing legends turned artificial lure designers realized soon after the umbrella rig craze subsided somewhat that, indeed, the almighty mousetrap could be improved.

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Bass Fishing

Bass Kandi Croaker

With the very large number of plastic frogs on the racks and shelves for bass fishermen to choose from, who would’ve thunk to add another one to the mix?

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