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Wind…Friend or Enemy When Bass Fishing?

Mother Nature plays a very impactful role in determining the success or failure of a fishing trip.  Whether it’s safety concerns, level of comfort for the angler out on the water, or just how good the fish are biting, wind is a key element to factor into a fishing trip.  In this episode of the Bass Pro Shops Fisherman’s Handbook, host Wade Middleton and special guest Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Clark Wendlandt take to the water on a windy, early spring morning on Decker Lake near downtown Austin, TX.

You’ll see a lot of great rod bending bass fishing action on a day most would have stayed at home. But not this duo, as they cover water and catch big bass while sharing insight into why and how they’re fishing.

The first pro tip to note about fishing in the wind is: go with the wind, don’t fight it.  There is a great misconception out there about how to effectively fish in the wind.  Many people think it is important to fish into the wind, allowing you to present your bait in a more natural presentation going with the current, or downstream.  Though the logic makes sense, this is just not true.  An angler can fish with the wind and be just as effective.  Wade and Clark prove that exact fact in this episode.  Fishing with the wind also allows for easier boat control.  Having things easier on you, the angler, makes fishing in the wind a more enjoyable experience.

Picking out the right bait is another key element to having success in the wind.  Begin by only fishing moving baits.  This list includes crankbaits, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and lipless crankbaits.  These lures are easier to cast, control, and fish in the wind.  Often times you will find that it is very difficult to maintain bottom contact with a soft plastic bait.  Moving baits are the best option in windy conditions.

The last item to look at when gearing up for fishing windy conditions is clothing.  Proper clothing can keep you warm and dry as the wind blows across the lake.   Guidewear from Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s is designed specifically for these conditions.  From a well designed hood, to a great cuff system on the sleeves, this system will keep you dry.  Clark believes this set is great to be worn in both cold and warm conditions.  The material used in Guidewear is durable and comfortable enough to be worn in any scenario.  When it comes time to gear up for a windy day, be sure to pack a set of Cabela’s Guidewear.

 

Bass Pro Shops – Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Casting Rod

Bass Pro Shops – Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Baitcast Reel

Bass Pro Shops – Crankin’ Stick

Cabela’s – Guidewear Advance Parka

Cabela’s – Guidewear Advance Bibs

Ranger Boats – Z521L

Yamaha – VMAX SHO 250 HP

Power-Pole – Blade 2.0

Garmin – GPSMAP Electronics

Garmin – Panoptix LiveScope

Garmin – Virb XE

Sunline – FC Sniper

SPRO – Little John

Stike King – Rage Bug

Strike King – KVD 1.5 Squarebill

Going Soft for Largemouth Bass

One of the best times of the year to be out on the water fishing is during the spring. The weather is warming, plants are blooming, and more importantly, the bass are spawning. During the spawn, bass will push up into shallow water to make their beds. This makes them easier to see, and anglers can target these fish effectively by flipping soft plastic baits. In this episode, host Wade Middleton and professional angler Jeff Kriet are searching the shallows for bedding bass while using Big Bite Baits soft plastics. In recent years, a soft plastic stick bait has rapidly become one of the most popular baits nationwide. The small, slender profile of these worms allows the bait to float slowly through the water column with a swift swaying motion. This action drives bass insane as they cannot resist the opportunity to eat this enticing object. Big Bite Baits produces one of the best soft plastic stick baits on the market in the “Trick Stick.” Available in a wide variety of colors, the Trick Stick can be fished both weightless, or without a weight. This gives anglers the opportunity to rig the bait in a multitude of ways. The main two presentations are: Texas rig, and wacky rig. Along with that, the bait can be worked on light line, and with heavier line and a bait caster. During this show, Jeff and Wade work the Trick Stick in and amongst flooded cover, picking off spawning fish at a rapid rate. In the second half of the show, Jeff Kriet introduces us to another great bait from Big Bite Baits. That bait is the Tour Swim Worm. Currently a prototype, this bait will be introduced to the public very soon. Pro staff members have worked to test this bait over the span of 18 months to ensure it will perform under any and all conditions. The Tour Swim Worm is designed to swim effortlessly through shallow grass when Texas rigged. This swimming action can be achieved by separating the tail, allowing the tail to move rapidly when retrieved back to the boat.

Here are several more details about the Tour Swim Worm from Big Bite Baits:

-Available in two lengths: 5.5” & 7.5”

-Features a ringed body with solid core allowing for easy hook placement

-12 different color patterns

-5.5” is available in a 10 pack

-7.5” is available in an 8 pack

Be sure to tune in to learn about these great soft plastics from Big Bite Baits.

Bass Pro Shops – Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Casting Rod

Bass Pro Shops – Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Baitcast Reel

Ranger Boats – Z521L

Yamaha – VMAX SHO 250 HP

Power-Pole – Blade 2.0

Garmin – GPSMAP Electronics

Garmin – Panoptix LiveScope

Garmin – Virb XE

Sunline – FC Sniper

Big Bite Baits – Trick Stick

Big Bite Baits – Tour Swim Worm

Eagle Claw Trokar – TK180 Finesse Worm Hook

Bass Fishing from Top to Bottom

Every angler has a favorite story or moment which sparked their passion for this great hobby and sport.  For many, those origins tie back to pond fishing as a young child.  Ponds are great places to learn how to fish, and try new techniques.  On this episode, host Wade Middleton takes a break at deer camp to escape to a farm pond for several hours.

This particular pond is loaded with a variety of vegetation along the surface of the water.  No one bait is better cut out for this situation than a SPRO Bronzeye Frog, in particular the Bronzeye Jr.  Paired with Sunline FX2 braided line, and a Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Casting Rod, Wade begins to get bite, after bite, after bite.  It is important to break down the conditions you face with a given body of water.  This pond was loaded with vegetation along the surface, so Wade deducted that the only way to target these bass would be to use a SPRO frog.

Not all situations will dictate that a topwater be the main presentation you use.  Lakes with lower water levels will present a different set of circumstances.  In the next portion of this show, Wade is joined by good friend, and professional angler Jeff Reynolds.  The two head out onto a body of water that is in the middle of a winter draw down.  This means the lake level is well below normal, and all cover along the bank is out of the water.

Provided these conditions, the two decide to go in search of fish holding to offshore structure.  In this specific scenario, a bottom bait is a good selection.  On this episode we will focus on both the Ledge Shaker Jig Head, and MVP Football Jig from Secret Lures.  Both of these baits feature the pivot divot head design.  A very unique construction, the pivot divot head maintains great contact, and feel along the bottom.  It also allows the bait to stand up naturally.  This life-like appearance under the water triggers a lot of bites.

Having the right gear is key to a successful fishing trip.  But until you determine what portion of the water column the fish are located in, this gear is worthless.  So the next time you take to the water, start by locating the fish, then select the right bait, and then you can start catching some bass!

 

Bass Pro Shops – Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Casting Rod

Bass Pro Shops – Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Baitcast Reel

Ranger Boats – Z521L

Yamaha – VMAX SHO 250 HP

Yamaha –  Side-by-Side Vehicles

Power-Pole – Blade 2.0

Garmin – GPSMAP Electronics

Garmin – Panoptix LiveScope

Garmin – Virb XE

Sunline – FX2 Braided Line

SPRO – Bronzeye Jr. Frog

Secret Lures – Ledge Shaker Jig Head

Secret Lures – MVP Football Jig

Why Are You Fishing at Choke Canyon and Fayette County

In this episode we hit the waters of Choke Canyon Reservoir with Wade Middleton as he visits the lake for his annual fishing trip to the lake. What he finds on this trip will surprise everyone who knows the history of the lake as he hits the water!

Then we’ll join Mike McClelland as he goes fishing on a spring afternoon on a new body of water he’s not visited before in an effort to share how he locates bass based on the conditions for that day.

While at Choke Canyon Wade will see a newly flooded lake that has risen over 15 feet in the past 6 months resulting in flooded brush and grass that basically gives the bass more places to hide than ever before. On Mikes fishing trip he spends time cranking rocks and off shore structure with crank baits and why he picks one bait over the other. He’s going to share how he sets up his sonar, choosing a bait for right situation when you’re fishing and how to target bass from shallow to deep.

You’ll see a variety of products features in this episode from

Spro Aruku Shad

Spro Rock Crawler

Sunline Sniper Florocarbon line

Garmin Sonar

Garmin Mapping

Garmin Live Scope

Big Bite Baits Trick Stick

Bass Pro Shops Lazer Eye Spinnerbaits

Johnny Morris Platinum Series Fishing Reels and Rods

Ranger Boats

Yamaha Outboards

Power Pole

Bass Fishing from Lake Wilson, Alabama and Lake Bastrop in Texas

Americana Outdoors meets up with Pro Clark Wendlandt as he goes fishing with Power-Pole’s Curt Hill on Lake Wilson, Alabama. Then our own Jeff Reynolds take us out for fishing adventures on a bass fishing adventure on Lake Bastrop, Texas.

In this episode you’ll see how anglers use Power Poles Shallow Water Anchors to their benefit to help with boat positioning as Clark and Kurt pick apart the shallow grass on Lake Wilson outside of Florence, Alabama. Then we join Jeff Reynolds on the water at Lake Bastrop in Texas where he’s dealing with cold weather. While fishing Jeff shares information on how he deals with tough fishing conditions on any lake and how you can catch fish. While on the water he shares insight on using Secret Lures Ledge Shaker, crankbaits, and other products to trick fish into biting when others can’t get bites!

Some of the products you’ll see in this episode include:

Ranger Boats

Yamaha Outboards

Garmin Live Scope

Sunline FC Sniper

Strike King

Secret Lures Ledge Shaker

Big Bite Baits Finesse Worms

Power Pole Blades

Bass Pro Shops

Cabela’s Guide Wear

Must Have Fishing Line

 
In fishing, there are some things that are out of an angler’s control, having the right line tied on should never be one of those things!

Catching Bass

From time to time, bass anglers can become very competitive.  Add in the fact that you’re fishing with a good buddy, and this competitiveness can kick up a few extra notches.  On this episode of the Bass Pro Shops Fisherman’s Handbook, host Wade Middleton heads out for a day of fishing with his good buddy Jeff Reynolds.  As soon as the boat is launched out onto the water, the wagering and trash talk begins.

Wade manages to land the first fish of the day.  He then goes on to catch numbers two, three, and four in just a short amount of time.  It becomes evident very quickly that he has cracked the code for the day.  Working a SPRO Little John crankbait along the top of submerged hydrilla, Wade was triggering violent reaction strikes from these healthy wintertime bass.  The magic color for the day is “Old Fire Tiger.”  An often overlooked bait in the tackle box, a Fire Tiger pattern hardbait can still catch fish with the best of them.

After witnessing Wade catch four giants, Jeff Reynolds finally breaks his stubborn streak and ties on the same bait his buddy is using.  After just a few casts with the SPRO crankbait, Jeff gets his first bite.  From that point on, things were pretty even for the day.  Both anglers discovered that magic cadence and worked one specific area while catching one fish after another.

It is not often that a fishing day turns out like this.  There is a reason why it is called fishing.  Anglers have to work hard to figure out the bite for that given day, and continue to change & adapt to the conditions in order to catch fish.  As Wade proves in this episode, when you’re able to crack the code and load the boat up with fish…you better take advantage of it.

 

Bass Pro Shops – Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Casting Rod

Bass Pro Shops – Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Baitcast Reel

Ranger Boats – Z521L

Yamaha – VMAX SHO 250 HP

Power-Pole – Blade 2.0

Garmin – GPSMAP Electronics

Garmin – Panoptix LiveScope

Garmin – Virb XE

Sunline – Crank FC

SPRO – Little John

Fishing Rods and Reels

Whether you’re fishing at a pond, or casting for largemouth out of a 21 ft. Ranger bass boat, you need a rod & reel to be able to present a lure to the fish. This is some of the most basic logic in fishing. From there, the combinations of gear, line, baits, and other elements are endless. In this episode of the Bass Pro Shops Fisherman’s Handbook, we are keeping things simple: learn about choosing the right rod & reel combo to fit your needs.

Host Wade Middleton suggests starting with the fishing rod. The lineup that Wade depends on day in and day out is the Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Rod. One of the most cutting edge rods on the market, the advanced RTX5 graphite blank provides sensitivity for hooksets, as well as brute strength for getting fish out of cover. In comparison to previous models, the Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Rod is 15% lighter and 30% stronger. Other features in this Signature Series of rods include a Fuji exposed blank reel seat, a well-placed bait keeper, and Fuji guides. Available in seven different casting models, this rod will get fish in the boat.

Once you have identified the right fishing rod, the next step is to find a reel to pair with it. Bass Pro Shops makes a reel in the same Signature Series of product. That would be the Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Baitcast Reel. Constructed with the finest detailing, this reel is 100% built for performance. From the solid machined aluminum face, to an unbreakable titanium finish, capped off with a premium 11-bearing system, this reel caters to the hard core angler. It is available in both right and left handed models, as well as two different gear ratios. The Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Baitcast Reel makes optimal performance almost second nature.

Following this, we take a look at one of the newest additions to the Bass Pro Shops Line of products, the Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Spinning Reel. This episode is packed with information to help you purchase the right gear. Bass Pro Shops pro staff member Clark Wendlandt also joins the show to provide his input on the topic. Tune in and get ready to learn some great fishing knowledge!

Bass Pro Shops – Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Casting Rod

Bass Pro Shops – Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Baitcast Reel

Bass Pro Shops – Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Spinning Reel

Bass Pro Shops – Signature Series Spinning Reel

Ranger Boats – Z521L

Yamaha – VMAX SHO 250 HP

Power-Pole – Blade 2.0

Garmin – GPSMAP Electronics

Garmin – Panoptix LiveScope

Garmin – Virb XE

Sunline

Shaky Heads, Drop Shots and Finesse Fishing

Finesse fishing is one of the most productive ways to catch a great deal of fish. For some anglers however, it is difficult for them to put away their power fishing equipment and pull out a spinning combo. On this episode of the Bass Pro Shops Fisherman’s Handbook, find out about various finesse fishing techniques and discover the most effective ways to set up your equipment. From choosing the right Sunline, to Big Bite Baits soft plastics, Secret Lures jig heads, and even Bass Pro Shops rods & reels, we break down the gear you need to catch bass while finesse fishing. The first key piece to a solid finesse fishing set up is your rod & reel combination. Bass Pro Shops offers a wide range of products that can fill this need. Two of those products include these spinning reels: Johnny Morris Signature Series, and Johnny Morris Platinum Signature. Comprised of high quality components, these reels come out of the box ready to perform at the highest level. Fashioned with a smooth drag system, these reels will help you get more fish in the boat. Another factor to consider when working with a finesse combo is the fishing line. When using lighter line to entice bites, it is extremely important to have a line you can trust to work in those situations. This is why many top pros turn to Sunline. By using braided line as their main line with a fluorocarbon leader, these anglers ensure they have the strongest combination possible to set the hook on a fish. With those two factors squared away, the final piece to the puzzle is selecting the right bait. When it comes to a shaky head, host Wade Middleton turns to the Secret Lures Tail Shaker Jig Head paired with a Big Bite Baits Finesse Worm. This is a combination capable of catching both quality, as well as great quantities of fish. Get armed the with the knowledge needed to be successful with finesse tactics on this episode of the Bass Pro Shops Fisherman’s Handbook.

GEAR SHOWN IN VIDEO:

Bass Pro Shops – Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Spinning Reel

Bass Pro Shops – Signature Series Spinning Reel

Ranger Boats – Z521L

Yamaha – VMAX SHO 250 HP

Power-Pole – Blade 2.0

Garmin – GPSMAP Electronics

Garmin – Panoptix LiveScope

Garmin – Virb XE

TH Marine – HydroWave H2

TH Marine – Atlas Jack Plate

Big Bite Baits – Finesse Worm

Sunline

Secret Lures – Tail Shaker Jig Heads

Garmin Live Scope Review

Panoptix LiveScope, these two words have revolutionized bass fishing as we know. This new technology from Garmin won the Best of Category for Electronics in the New Product Showcase at ICAST 2018. In this episode of the Bass Pro Shops Fisherman’s Handbook, we take an in-depth look at Panoptix LiveScope and the many other great features built into Garmin Electronics. Having high quality electronics on your boat can provide you with a fresh view and better understanding of your favorite body of water. Special guests include Mark Daniels, Mike McClleand, Scott Martin, Clark Wendlandt, Jason Christie, Luke Dunkin and Russ Lane all join host Wade Middleton. On this show, learn everything you need to know about Panoptix LiveScope. Find out what the buzz is all about as we hit the floor at ICAST 2018 to talk to some of the top pros in the industry. We then head to the water to learn how to set one up, and better maximize the potential of this great product. Anglers rave about the quality and definition provided from the transducer. Garmin Panoptix LiveScope gives users the ability to determine the specific species of a fish they see on their screen. The uses for this technology are endless, and will forever change the way we look at fishing. Panoptix LiveScope may receive all of the chatter, but there are a lot more great features packed into the GPSMAP series of products. One of those great capabilities is in the details and capabilities of the mapping system. Depth Range Shading transforms the way we view contour lines on a map. Anglers can assign specific colors to a given depth range across a body of water. Say you’ve assigned the color green to the depth range of 0-5 ft., and this is also the depth where you’re catching fish. Now you can look at your map, find an area that is colored green, head over there, and have confidence that you are running your pattern successfully. Find out more about Garmin, and learn how to use electronics on the Bass Pro Shops Fisherman’s Handbook.

Products used in this episode:

Bass Pro Shops – Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Baitcast Reel

Bass Pro Shops – Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Casting Rod

Ranger Boats – Z521L

Yamaha – VMAX SHO 250 HP

Power-Pole – Blade 2.0

Sunline

Garmin – GPSMAP Electronics

Garmin – Panoptix LiveScope

Garmin – Virb XE

SPRO – McStick Jerkbait

SPRO – Little John

TH Marine – HydroWave H2

TH Marine – Atlas Jack Plate