Springtime Bass Fishing in North Texas

Each year, host Wade Middleton and good friend Jeff Reynolds embark on a multi-day fishing trip down in Texas during the springtime. On this episode of the Bass Pro Shops Fisherman’s Handbook, we will highlight Wade and Jeff’s trip from this season. The two alternate between operating the camera and fishing as they search for bites up shallow during the spawn.

Wade takes control of the trolling motor first to begin this episode. The particular lake they are on features a great deal of shallow cover and vegetation. Given these conditions and the time of year, Wade opts to throw the SPRO Bronzeye Pop frog.

When fishing in these types of conditions, braided line is a must. Braided line features no stretch, and the strength to cut through shallow cover to help haul in those big bass. In this particular scenario, Wade is throwing the SPRO frog over cover and back into places where other fishing lines could not hold up. The SPRO Bronzeye Pop paired with Sunline braid proved to be the ultimate combination on this outing.

During the final half of the episode, Jeff Reynolds takes control of the trolling motor. Armed with the knowledge that these fish are locked in on beds up shallow, Jeff decides to target them by flipping a Secret Lures Stupid Craw around holes in the grass.

The Stupid Craw is the latest addition to the lineup of soft plastics offered by Secret Lures. Based off of the Stupid Tube and the Stupid Style rigging method, the Stupid Craw is a versatile bait that can catch fish in a variety of scenarios. Jeff makes the call to Texas Rig the Stupid Craw on this trip and finds a great deal of success catching fish flip after flip up shallow.

Bass Fishing in the Wind

The wind is one variable an angler can’t control when embarking on a fishing trip. Some days you’ll be wishing there was more wind, and then other times you’d wish it would lighten up a little bit so you could fish more of the lake. At the end of the day, you just have to fish the conditions that are presented to you. During this episode of the Bass Pro Shops Fisherman’s Handbook, learn about boating safety, decision making, and the ideal baits to use in the wind.

Spring is one particular time of the year when the wind can drastically impact one’s plans for a fishing trip. In some parts of the country, it is not unusual for winds to gust up over 20 mph on a regular basis during the spring months. For avid anglers, it is important to figure out how to use this wind to your advantage. Let’s start by discussing boat control. Both Wade and Clark suggest drifting with the wind. As the boat drifts with the wind, the angler can better control their boat and preserve their batteries for a longer period of time. Not only is it easier to control your boat, but it’s also easier to cast and retrieve baits.

Bait selection is another key component to factor in for a successful fishing trip in the wind. Moving baits are just about the only way to go. The ability to reel at high speeds allows an angler to maintain contact with the bait as it moves through the water column. Along with that, moving baits also allow an angler to cover more water and find those biting fish.

So remember, be safe, be smart, fish with the wind, and you’ll have a successful fishing trip in windy conditions!

Fishing Adventures and Gear

Selecting the right gear for a fishing trip can quickly become very complex. Which type of fishing line should you buy? Where should you store that particular line? And even, which knot pairs best with that style of line? There are a lot of difficult questions to answer and decisions to be made as an angler prepares to catch the fish of a lifetime. On this episode of the Bass Pro Shops Fisherman’s Handbook, we take a look at a wide variety of products for you to add to your arsenal prior to your next fishing adventure.

Crappie are one of the most popular sport fish swimming in freshwater fisheries across the nation. You can catch them year-round, and they make great table fare for feeding hungry anglers. During the first portion of this show, host Wade Middleton breaks down how to target crappie using Garmin Panoptix LiveScope. After loading the Engel cooler up with keeper crappie, Wade then walks through step by step how to prepare these fish in the Bradley Smoker.

Following that, we take a look at one of the newest additions to the lineup of baits from Secret Lures. The Stupid Craw is a great new bait that incorporates the stupid style rigging method. Available in five different color options, the Stupid Craw is going to be a fish-catching bait that all anglers need in their tackle bag.

The next segment of the show will highlight a world-class fishing vessel from Ranger Boats, the RB 200. Host Wade Middleton will go into detail about this boat, and each different element he hand-selected to rig out this great aluminum fishing boat.

And in the final segment, we take a look at baits and products from the likes of Sunline, Big Bite Baits, and SPRO. Tune in to learn about these great products and more during this episode of the Bass Pro Shops Fisherman’s Handbook.

Pond Fishing Adventure

Ponds, that’s where most anglers first learn to fish. These smaller bodies of water offer great angling opportunities, as well as a place for someone to quickly escape to and catch a few fish. Whether you are a youngster using a push button reel or a seasoned veteran looking to catch a lunker, ponds are an angler’s paradise for fishing varieties of different cover and getting bites.

During the first part of this episode, host Wade Middleton is joined by guest Darren Mooneyham as the two embark on an afternoon of pond hopping at Prairie Hill Sporting Club in central Texas. This expansive property is comprised of more than 100 fishable bodies of water. During this particular afternoon, Wade and Darren pond hop across several of those different fisheries catching close to 50 fish in just a matter of hours.

Baits are another key to a successful pond fishing trip. Wade likes to keep things simple when it comes to gearing up for a pond fishing adventure. One bait that he prefers to throw, especially when there is matted vegetation present, is the SPRO Bronzeye Frog. Learn about the rod, reel, and fishing line that you need to catch fish in this scenario.

To wrap up this episode, we look back at a pond fishing trip that Clark Wendlandt and Wade made during deer season a few years back. Depending on the particular pond you’re fishing at, some of these fisheries tend to have one key piece of structure that the fish who live there will set up on. This time Clark uses his home field knowledge to his advantage to set up on the right stretch and catch lots of fish!

Tune in to learn all things you need to know about pond fishing!

Fishing With Clark Wendlandt Bassmaster AOY

One of the most coveted titles for a professional angler is the Angler of the Year award. AOY is a season long race that rewards an angler for their quality, consistent performance through an entire season. During the 2020 season out on the Bassmaster Elite Series, Clark Wendlandt put together an historic run to claim the 2020 Angler of the Year title.

During this episode of the Bass Pro Shops Fisherman’s Handbook, host Wade Middleton is joined by Clark out on Fayette County Reservoir in Texas to fish and discuss Clark’s 2020 season.

A lot of different variables factor in to an angler’s success during a full season out on tour. This includes family support, quality gear, as well as personal items like skill, drive and determination. Clark had all of these working in his favor last year. From Texas all the way up to New York, Clark found a way to catch fish and earn very valuable points.

Tune in to this episode of the Fisherman’s Handbook as Clark recounts the 2020 season and his journey to claim the 4th AOY title in his historic career.

Fishing Line and Tying Knots for Fishing


With the advancements in today’s technology and amount of research that goes into developing new products, there are now a wide range of fishing lines on the market today. Each one serves its own particular purpose. One is best suited for crankbaits. Another line may work best with topwaters, and some other line could be best for fishing thick vegetation. On this episode, we go into detail about particular fishing lines and introduce you to a few knots to use with those lines.

Monofilament, fluorocarbon and braid, those are the three types of Sunline fishing line an angler can choose from. Monofilament floats. This makes it great for throwing topwater baits. Fluorocarbon sinks. Fluorocarbon is the ideal line for fishing just about every presentation minus topwater. Lastly, there’s braid. Braid is designed for those situations when you’re fishing around thick cover. Host Wade Middleton will go into great detail about each line, explaining when, where, and how to apply it to your fishing needs.

The second main item of discussion are knots. Sunline offers a wide library of knots on their website that includes instructional photos and videos to help you tie some of the most popular knots out there. Tune in as we incorporate some of those educational items in the show to demonstrate how to tie particular knots.

Rigging Soft Plastics


Soft plastics are some of the most versatile fishing baits/lures on the market. For instance, one particular finesse worm could be used in a variety of ways from a Texas Rig to a Neko Rig, fished weightless, or even used on the back of a Carolina Rig. On this episode of the Fisherman’s Handbook, we take a closer look at how to rig particular baits and show you just exactly how these baits look under water.

Through the first half of the episode, Wade highlights the Big Bite Baits Finesse Worm. This is a slim profile finesse worm that pairs well with a shaky head, and can also be fished weightless as a wacky rig. During the first segment, we look back at a trip with Wade and Jeff Kriet on Lake LBJ where they are using the finesse worm on a Neko Rig around boat docks. Following that, we go to Pickwick Lake in Alabama where Wade then uses the same soft plastic bait paired on a shaky head. One worm, two different presentations, both successful fishing trips.

At the end of this episode, we look at the Stupid Tube from Secret Lures. The Stupid Tube is a bait/rigging method that was developed in Indiana and is now taking the country by storm. Find out more about Secret Lures, this great bait, and how to rig it as we wrap up this episode focused on rigging soft plastics.

Changing Patterns on Choke Canyon Reservoir

We’ve said it a thousand times it seems, but fish patterns can change at a moment’s notice based upon a variety of factors. On this episode of the Fisherman’s Handbook, we are going to focus on fish patterns during the early spring time. Wade, along with two separate guests, takes to Choke Canyon Reservoir in consecutive weeks to show exactly how quickly and drastically the fish can change up during this time of the year.

To start off the episode, Wade is joined by good friend Mike Hawkes on a cloudy, windy morning as a front blows through. Early on, the duo begins by getting bites on spinnerbaits worked along windy shorelines. However, as the day progresses the front blows through and gives way to clear skies and calm winds. This change in conditions causes them to slow down and work weightless worms around the same creek channel swings and cover that were working earlier in the day.

In the final half of this show, Wade returns back to Choke Canyon Reservoir, this time with Clark Wendlandt. A warming pattern has set in throughout the area, and fish are flooding the shallow to scout out the ideal spawning area. Wade and Clark pick apart holes in the grass by running swimbaits through these high percentage areas. The fish bite like crazy with the warming trend, and it quickly becomes obvious that the two have dialed in on the productive pattern for that day.

Alabama Fishing Adventures


Over the years, we’ve traveled all across the country in search of that next great fishing adventure. From Texas, to Oklahoma, Kentucky, and down to Alabama, host Wade Middleton and crew have caught an array of fish in a wide variety of locations. On this episode of the Fisherman’s Handbook, we take a look at some of our favorite fishing trips from the state of Alabama.

First up, we take a look at an outing with Wade & Clark on Wilson Lake outside of Florence, AL. It’s the early summertime, and fish are making their way out deep to find cooler water. The duo begins by throwing topwaters up shallow, then moves to the Wheeler Dam tailrace. At the tailrace, you never know what might bite! This Alabama fishing adventure is insightful, fun, and features tons of fish catching.

In the next segment, Clark Wendlandt is joined by Curt Hill from Power-Pole back out on Wilson Lake. This time the fish are up shallow in flooded vegetation. Conditions such as this provide a great opportunity to highlight the Power-Pole Total Boat Control System. Watch as Clark & Curt pick apart shallow cover while using the poles to control their boat positioning.

Lastly, we lighten the mood a little bit and introduce a friendly competition between good friends on Pickwick Lake. Be sure to tune in and check out this episode highlighting the best moments we’ve experienced fishing some of Alabama’s most storied fisheries.

Uncovering New Bass Fishing Techniques

Sometimes it can be very intimidating for an angler to try new techniques. For years, we have fished the same handful of baits that we have confidence in, making it nearly impossible for us to open our eyes to new lures. However, sometimes we have to throw that past knowledge out the window and become more open-minded and force ourselves to try different baits.

On this episode of the Fisherman’s Handbook, Wade decides to spend a day of fishing trying out the Spin John 80 from SPRO. One of SPRO’s newest creations, the Spin John 80 is a spy bait. This is a technique that Wade is not familiar with as the day begins. Tune in as he spends the day breaking down this new lure, experiences a few growing pains along the way, but ultimately has great success with the Spin John 80 from SPRO.

During the second half of the episode, Wade goes in-depth on the many settings of Garmin’s Panoptix LiveScope. This award-winning piece of electronics has taken the fishing world by storm, and completely revolutionized the way we see fish and structure underwater. Whether it’s setting the gain, adjusting bottom fill, or fine-tuning distance settings for long casts, we will take a look at the ins and outs of Panoptix LiveScope.