I am proud to be a part of such a noble cause. This team is setting the bar when it comes to dog training and helping veterans. While training dogs for families, K9 units, Narc, tracking, etc.. this group is raising money and raising amazing service dogs for veterans in need.
Provide a safe and practical learning experience for you and your dog so that you can both learn together and grow together as a Team!
To provide top tier training for the public as well as police K9 units and competitive dog teams. All the while donate and train service dogs for veterans in need. Through our personal experience there is no better way to deal with the traumatic events our Veterans see over seas then to have an unconditional loving dog by your side!
Best lures and techniques to catch crappie
Crappie are one of the most popular freshwater fish to catch because they are so abundant and they taste great. There are 2 types of crappies: black and white. Black and white crappie share most of the same waters, however, black crappie are most abundant in northern lakes that are cool with a gravel or sand bottom. White crappie are common in reservoirs, lakes, and rivers. They tolerate darker water than black crappie and they thrive in southern lakes with soft or hard bottoms. Both species live in rivers and streams, however, black crappie prefer calmer water and they also tolerate a higher salt content, which is why they are common in estuaries.
Where to find crappie???
Crappie are definitely more popular in lakes than rivers. In lakes, you will really only find them shallow early in the spring, then crappie move out towards deeper water. Crappie love wood and they can also be found around weeds too. Crappie are known for schooling out over open water which makes fishing difficult until you can find them. You may find these fish 20 to 40 feet down from summer through fall out over open water.
Bobbers or floats are great when crappie are in the shallows. When crappie move into the shallows in the spring, you can find crappie in as little as a couple feet of water. Using a bobber is a great way to present a lively minnow or jig to crappie in the shallows.
The double jig rig is probably most popular among crappie anglers, but anglers use this rig for many other fish as well. Saltwater anglers use a double jig rig with just a plain jig head and they will add live bait or soft plastics. Panfish anglers like to target perch, bluegill, rock bass and other types of panfish that will school up over deeper water in the summer months.
The drop shot rig is a very popular rig for a variety of fishing situations. Whether you are fishing deep, shallow, around cover, with live bait, soft plastics, for bass, panfish or huge saltwater fish, the drop shot rig will work in most situations. The main line is tied to the hook and you want to leave some extra line after you tie the knot so you can tie that line to the sinker. If you want to keep your bait 1 foot off the bottom, make sure to leave a little over 12 inches of extra line from when you tie the hook to the line. This way, you’ll have about 12 inches of line left over to tie to the sinker.
Jigheads are key to rigging the many different soft plastics that anglers use for crappie. Anglers also use jigheads with live minnows, pieces of leeches and worms. Jigheads are so basic, but essential to catching crappie. I prefer grub tails or tube jigs.
The Slip Bobber Rig is the way to go if you are looking to fish deeper water, but still use a float. You can find slip bobber rigs in most bait & tackle shops. Once you learn how to use them, you’ll agree that they are fairly easy to set up. In this rig, the bobber slides freely until it hits the bobber stop. You will set the bobber stop at the depth that you would like to fish your bait. For example, you may be fishing a deep weed edge and you see that most of the fish are suspended about 15 feet down. By setting the bobber stop at 15 feet, the line will slide through the bobber and your bait will be positioned exactly where the fish are positioned. Fishing with slip bobbers is popular among freshwater and saltwater anglers, but it is probably most popular with crappie and walleye anglers. I also love it for bluegill.
Spinner Rigs work great catching largemouth bass. Walleye anglers will usually catch some largemouth bass while trolling spinner rigs for walleye. If you tip a spinner rig with a live nightcrawler or minnow, you can definitely catch some largemouth bass. Some anglers will tip these spinner rigs with curly tail worms, grubs or swimbaits. These presentations work well for largemouth bass even though most bass anglers do not even consider this a presentation for bass.
Dead sticking is a do-nothing technique where you don’t move your bait. Some anglers think of wacky worms as a dead sticking technique, but it really isn’t because the bait is moving through the water column as you are sitting there doing nothing. This is a technique that works very well with a variety of baits such as soft plastics, some hard baits and flies. When using topwater lures, give your lure a couple twitches and then just pause it for 20 to 30 seconds. This would be a dead sticking technique. Use a jig and soft plastic bait and just hold it over the side of the boat over deeper water for smallmouth bass. This is another dead sticking technique that works. When using topwater lures and hard jerkbaits, you can use a twitch and pause technique and pause the bait for much longer when the bite is finicky. This will usually result in some of the bigger bass of your day if you are patient enough to fish this way.
When using soft plastics, the worms, creature baits and lizards are best if they are loaded with scent or float just off the bottom. With largemouth bass, you can get a lot of quality bites by working your bait along a productive area and then just killing the bait (stopping it). Just wait there and see what happens. Most anglers don’t have the patience to fish this way, but once you get bit by a 4, 5, 6 or even 7 pound largemouth bass or bigger, you may try this technique a little more often.
The reason why dead sticking works well is that there are good amounts of bass that aren’t in an aggressive mood and if they get a chance to look at the bait for a while and it looks like something they would eat, there’s a good chance they will eat it. At times, anglers are pulling their baits out of the strike zone way too quickly so they miss a lot of fish. Dead sticking will pick up many of those inactive fish, but the problem is that you’re not going to cover much water, which may result in less fish overall on the day. Pick your spots and times for dead sticking and it can be a nice way to catch a few more big largemouth bass.
Fishing with topwater lures is by far the most exciting way to fish for largemouth bass.
Whether you target bass with a frog, torpedo, buzzbait or any other type of topwater lure, the strikes above the surface are just flat out awesome. At times you can catch some largemouth with a topwater lure during cold water conditions, but for the most part, you’re going to be looking for water temperatures above 60 degress and the better bite is almost always during light conditions when fishing with topwater lures. In the late spring, summer and early fall, there is usually a very good topwater bite at night as well on most bodies of water.
Best Fishing Tips for Topwater Largemouth Bass Fishing
Low Light Conditions are Best
There are exceptions, but for the most part, the better topwater bite is almost always during low light conditions. Early morning, evening and the night time are best.
Twitch, Twitch, Pause
If you want to consistently catch largemouth bass with a topwater lure, learn how to twitch the bait a couple of times and then pause the bait. This technique is by far the best technique for consistently catching bass on the surface.
Frogs are Awesome
It’s tough to beat a frog. Learn how to fish with them and you’ll catch a ton of bass.
Different Types of Topwater Lures
Buzzbaits are one of the most exciting topwater lures to use because the explosions can be absolutely incredible. This is a lure that attracts aggressive bass and it works very well during the early morning and evening hours. I like white or chartreuse.
Chuggers – Poppers are very popular among topwater bass anglers. These lures can be retrieved with a quick twitch and stop motion when bass are aggressive. When bass are less aggressive, a stop and go retrieve with longer pauses will get plenty of bites.
Topwater Crawlers can be very productive during daytime hours, but this is one of the best topwater lures for night fishing. Bass can easily follow this lure’s slow and steady retrieve at night. Don’t be surprised if you get some hits right next to shore or the boat.
Propbaits are some of the most exciting topwater lures for bass fishing. You can use a steady wind-in retrieve or a twitch and pause technique. The twitch and pause technique tends to work much better as most bass will hit the lure on the pause.
Topwater Stickbaits provide an exciting walk-the-dog motion along the top of the water. This retrieve mixed in with a pause will draw aggressive bass from far to see what is causing all of the commotion. Bass will attack stickbaits very aggressively. I love silver and black.
Frogs work great for fishing over lily pads or a variety of different weeds. The morning and evenings are great times to fish topwater frogs, but you can go into some heavy cover during the middle of the day and get some bass to come up for these lures.
Mice work great for fishing over lily pads or a variety of different weeds. The morning and evenings are great times to fish topwater mice, but you can go into some heavy cover during the middle of the day and get some bass to come up for these lures.
Best Rigs for Catching Largemouth Bass
Shaky Head Jigs
Shaky head jigs are known as great rigs for shaking baits along the bottom, however, you can use this rig to replace the Texas rig or the Florida rig. It’s an unbelievable way to rig a variety of soft plastics.
The wacky rig is so popular. For most anglers, it is their number one rig for catching largemouth bass. You can rig it wacky style weightless, on a finesse jig or on a drop shot rig and they all work great.
Drop Shot Rig
The drop shot rig is not as popular as it should be among largemouth bass anglers. You can use this rig to fish around all types of cover, in shallow water and in deeper water. You can rig so many different soft plastics on this rig.
Florida Rig / Texas Rig
Most anglers think of the Texas rig as the go to rig for using soft plastics, but the Florida rig is actually better. The Florida rig is the same thing with one modification. The weight will actually screw into the bait, which keeps the bait and the weight connected together. However, there are some baits that look great with the bait not connected, so the Texas rig then would be better. You can always peg the weight with the Texas rig too to get the same result as the Florida rig.
They may not be legal everywhere or popular everywhere, but it’s hard to deny them. This rig is probably the best big fish, schooling bait for fishing in deeper water.
The Carolina rig is still one of those awesome rigs that just keeps catching bass. Use it in deeper water and you have a super effective rig. In shallow water, it’s not as good, but still can be productive depending how you want to use it.
The Neko rig is so unique. Many anglers still haven’t heard of it, but it’s an awesome rig. You have to take a look at how it looks under water to appreciate what this rig can do.
Under spins are great for covering water with curly tail grubs, swimming worms, curly tail worms or minnow baits. Retrieve them slow and steady and you’ll catch some bass.
The scrounger jighead is amazing and a lot of anglers still don’t know about it. This jighead turns many baits into amazing swimbaits and you can fish shallow water very effectively with them.
Have you ever noticed whether it be Club Tournaments, Divisional Tournaments, and even the Pro Tournaments, usually you will see a hand full of the same anglers consistently “In-The-Money” most of the time? Then while you’re driving home after fishing some of these tournaments without much success you ask yourself, “What are these anglers doing so different than me?”
There are many different reasons these anglers consistently “Cash-In” or “Place in the money”. I hope I can help you with some insight on what keeps these anglers successful when it comes to tournament fishing.
Bass Tournament fishing is a very competitive sport in a multi-billion dollar industry. More and more anglers every day are joining the ranks of the Tournament competitors. With all these new competitors joining the established ones, the competition seems to be getting tougher and tougher, making it harder to stay on top, or consistently be “In-The-Money”.
I have outlined several tactics you can use to give you the edge over a good portion of the participants. These can stack the cards in your favor when it comes to tournament preparation.
The better that an angler can understand his or her quarry the better or more successful he or she will be at catching it. The most important factors when bass fishing is understanding how a bass reacts to changing conditions and how they use their senses (taste, feel, sight, smell, etc.). There is much to learn about bass, especially when you have to consider water clarity and depth, water temperature and oxygen content, vegetation, seasons, daily conditions, barometric pressure changes, weather fronts, available forage, colors, structure and there’s more!
The first rule of thumb to ALWAYS keep in mind is that bass need three elements to survive:
Understanding these elements and relating them to some of the situations or conditions listed above should help prepare you for the “Pre-Fishing” period of a tournament. This is the start of putting a “Game-Plan” together.
This can be done by first obtaining a map of the waters you will be fishing. By understanding how to read a map and relate it to bass fishing you can just about “Pre-Fish” any body of water before launching the boat. Just by knowing where the structures are (channels, drops, humps, shallows, flats, depth, points, etc) and by understanding how bass relate to the seasons, daily conditions, and water temperatures, you should be able to eliminate large amounts of water. Understanding the long list of factors I outlined previously, you should be able to key on the areas where bass relate.
Another way to get familiarized with the water is to hire guides or charters. Depending on expenses I would recommend hiring at least two different guides or charters on any given body of water. That way you can take the best of the two days to help find areas and patterns. Being a licensed guide as well as a bass angling instructor, I need to let the truth be known that there are very poor and very good guides on just about every body of water that holds large-scale bass tournaments; buyer beware.
Another way to learn the lake is to “fly the water.” Go to a nearby municipal or county airport and find a pilot to fly you over the tournament waters. This doesn’t cost very much (normally), but you’d be amazed of what you can see from the air that you can’t see while sitting on the water.
Color & Bait Patterns
Probably one of the best ways to learn the color and bait patterns of any given body of water would be to visit as many bait and tackle retailers in the area as possible. Peruse the shelves to see what baits and colors are the best sellers. If you visit several of these retailers you should be able to get a very good idea of what colors and baits to use, based on the average of all these different places combined.
Watch The Locals
One of the best ways I’ve found some great Honey Holes in the past is just by observing the locals. While you are on the water and see a boat sitting in one spot for a while, just move off in a distance and watch. Remember some of these locals have fished these waters all their life and are not sitting in areas just to eat lunch!
In the morning before you hit the water, try to find the local diner where most of the locals go eat breakfast. Many times I’ve found some great information just by eating at the same place at the same time, and by sitting as close as possible. Many anglers like to brag! Just by sitting and minding my own, you can’t help but over-hear these locals talking between themselves about the 10-pounder they caught off of Truman’s Point using a Spook and so on.
Putting A Game Plan Together
Putting a game plan together for a tournament and sticking to it can make or break most of the anglers in the field. The biggest problem many anglers have is not sticking to a game plan.
Several years ago, I had the great pleasure and company of Shaw Grisby Jr. and his Father (Pops) over at my home for dinner. That evening, I asked Shaw’s father (A truly great and knowledgeable man) why he thought most anglers can’t seem to stay consistent in tournaments, to which he replied, “They always leave the fish!”
To put another way, if you are in an area where there are fish, WHY LEAVE? Give a spot time. The biggest part of pre-fishing is locating fish right? So don’t just give a spot a few minutes then leave. I’ve sat on certain spots for a couple of hours without a bite, then all of a sudden they turn on and I’ve caught limits. I just had to wait them out.
When making your game plan, select an area where you won’t have to run miles and miles to secondary spots. Try to keep at least three or four alternate spots within a few minutes of each other.
As I mentioned before, being a Pro Bass Instructor, I’ve had several students in the past who attended my 3-day Bass Fishing School that just wanted to learn how to “Pre-Fish” a tournament. By teaching them a better understanding of bass behavior and showing them such things as how to put game plans together, different techniques and patterns, color selection, what proper equipment to use, and how to locate bass, these former students are now consistent money winners.
I hope that this article will help you in all your future tournaments and make you a more consistent angler. If you have any questions on any of the material I’ve covered, please don’t hesitate to contact me at the information below. Until next time!
Take Care & God Bless!
“The Bass Coach” Roger Lee Brown
Ten Tournament Tips
Ten Tournament Tips What does it take to have a successful tournament? It’s more than fishing techniques or strategies. Find out inside.
- Respect everyone on the lake. Water encroachment is not a good practice whether the other boat’s owner is entered in the tournament or not. Allow the distance required by the tournament rules to all other boats in your vicinity. Don’t leave others awash in your wake as you leave or enter an area. Slow down well before nearing another boat.
- Have your boat ready to launch before getting to the ramp. Don’t keep others waiting while you get rods and other equipment out of your tow vehicle, or while you do repairs on motor, etc. Launch quickly and do not use the headlights on your tow vehicle when backing in, use parking lights so that you don’t blind everyone waiting to launch.
- When loading up at the end of the day move quickly and get out of the way of others trying to load their boats. Do your final tie-downs, etc. out of the way of the ramp.
- Don’t litter. Leave areas around the ramp and the lake as clean as possible, cleaner than you found them if you have the time. Leave no mark where you have been and others will appreciate it.
- Control excess alcohol consumption. Drunken, rude behavior is shameful and reflects on all other anglers. This type of behavior does not represent the majority of sportsmen.
- Don’t let winning prizes or money be the only reason you are there. Your rights are only as great as the others using the lake. Keep the fun in fishing and don’t think that because you are entered in a tournament your rights are more important than someone not competing.
- Work hard to keep your fish alive and healthy. Leaving dead or dying fish on the side of the lake shows a lack of respect for the future and the fish. Others who see this have a right to assume the worst.
- Be aware of local and state laws, and abide by them. Buoys that carry signs warning you not to make a wake should be observed. Consider taking a boating safety course to educate yourself.
- Abide by the unwritten rules of sportsmanship at all times. Don’t do anything to anyone else that you would not want done to yourself.
- Most importantly, don’t think because someone else does something to you that it’s fair to do it to someone else. Rudeness breeds more rudeness whereas an offer of friendship and respect is easier on your blood pressure and allows you to make many new friends. Use your common sense and the manners your mother taught you. Maintain a good image among all other anglers, you represent a very visible group and as such have a responsibility to demonstrate the best, not the worst of our natures.
Grow your fishing skills and improve your angling effectiveness
Bass, Can You Catch Them?
A finesse technique that many northeastern Kansas anglers utilize is beginning to spread throughout the country. The roots stretch back to the methods used by the late Chuck Woods of Kansas City, who created the Beetle, Beetle Spin and Puddle Jumper.
It is not the typical drag your bait on the bottom type of finesse but a fast paced, high numbers technique. In essence, it’s a fun, inexpensive and easy way to fish that could have you catching over a 100 bass in one outing.
Many anglers who have found success with this new finesse technique have affectionately labeled it the Ned Rig. Ned Kehde of Lawrence, Kansas has been its developer, supporter and advocate.
Kehde recalls the development of his style of finesse fishing:
“While guiding on Lake of the Ozarks in the 60’s, the Hibdons and I were using a lot of finesse-type baits with clients, such as small black marabou jigs, Beetles and small jigworms.
In the early 1970’s, I joined a bass club in Kansas City and wielded a lot of power techniques, such as big worms and big jig, and I virtually stopped finesse fishing.
Throughout the 1980’ and ‘90s, power tactics, such as wielding lipless crankbaits, encompassed 75% of my fishing. But I gradually began to work once again with finesse tactics, such as four-inch worms on split-shot rigs and 1/16- and 1/8-ounce marabou jigs.
After the turn of the century, Gary Yamomoto’s Senko and similar stick baits became fashionable. We started rigging them on a jig. In our eyes, the Senko and jig were similar in many ways to the Beetle. As we worked with the Senko, we discovered that a three-inch or slightly shorter allured more bass than the four, five and six inch ones. Thus, if we didn’t have access to the three-inch Senko, we cut the five and six inch Senko in half.
In 2006, I was doing a story on Kevin VanDam’s experiences with a shaky head jig. At times, he occasionally rigged a Strike King Lure Company’s five-inch Zero on a shaky head jig. He gave me a package to experiment with. Since I felt they were too big for my kind of finesse fishing, I cut them in half. I put one on a 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle Mushroom Head Jig. Straightaway, I was amazed at the amount of bass it caught. It seemed much more effective than the traditional Senko.
The Zero is made by Z-Man’s Fishing Products. It’s made from a product called ElaZtech. In 2010, I began experimenting with several baits made by Z-man, such as their ZinkerZ, which is identical to the Zero.”
These days Kehde fishes three to four days a week and uses only finesse baits. After many years of fishing and thousands of fish caught, which he has recorded diligently, he has help make this type of finesse fishing an art form.
This is not about catching big fish, even though Kehde will occasionally entice a lunker. It’s about catching a lot of fish. His modus operandi is more about efficiency and looking to catch as many fish as possible. In fact, Kehde and a partner can occasionally catch 100 bass in one outing on Kansas public lakes.
Kehde prefers Z-man baits due to their durability, buoyancy and price. The ZinkerZ, ShadZ, Rain MinnowZ and the four-inch finesse WormZ are all baits he utilizes. But you can use any Senko style bait or finesse plastic.
When using a soft plastic stick worm cut about 1/3 of it off. Using the larger portion, attach it to a jig head. A 1/16th ounce head works best but you can go as small as 1/32 ounce. In windy conditions or for a deeper presentation you can use a 3/32-ounce head. Press the bait firmly to the jig heads barbs to help prevent it from sliding down. If it does slide down just reverse the way it goes on the hook, putting the tail end to the jig head. Some anglers use super-style glue to keep their bait in place.
The Ned Rig is best used on spinning tackle with 10-pound test braid and a 8-pound test fluorocarbon leader. Use a Slim Beauty knot, Double Uni knot or an Albright knot to connect the braid to the fluorocarbon.
The braid will help slow the rate of fall. The fluorocarbon leader keeps the line invisible in the water but maintains sensitivity. Often times the bite is very soft, so braid and fluorocarbon help with determining the bite. Also braid seems to help eliminate line twist.
A medium-size spinning reel works best, such as the Abu Garcia Orra Sx. There are many companies who supply specially designed reels for braided line. The reel should be attached to a rod that is sensitive. A drop shot spinning rod works well.
There are many types of retrieves when employing the Ned Rig. The two that produce the most fish are the shake and reel and the dead stick.
The shake and reel is best when the fish are active. It is accomplished by shaking the rod tip slightly four or five times once the bait hits the water. Then slowly reel the handle three or four times, pause and then shake again three or four times.
If you pause between shakes, it will allow the bait to sink deeper. When fish are relating to the bottom in 6 to 8 foot of water this pause will help get the bait in front of them.
An angler can also do little incessant shakes while turning the reel handle. This makes the tail quiver rapidly and is effective when the fish are extremely active.
The dead-stick retrieve is done by having the bait sit dead-still on or near the bottom. After the bait sits motionless for five or more seconds slowly start to reel in the handle. Make sure there is very little movement in the bait and keep it close to the bottom. After several turns pause and allow the bait to lay still for a few seconds. Repeat this till the bait is to the boat or you catch a fish. This is good when the fishing is difficult.
The Ned Rig is so versatile that it can be thrown in all kinds of areas. Rocky points, American water willows and around lay downs to name a few. A minor issue is that it’s rigged with an open hook and will get hung up. A few snaps of the braid and it will often pop free. When you do lose one to a snag, the jig heads and baits are so inexpensive it is not a big deal. Just a quick retie and you’re good to go.
The best time to use the Ned Rig is when you want to catch a lot of fish. It is also great technique to use when you take a son or daughter fishing or some one who does not fish a lot. It is easy to cast on spinning outfits with no worries of backlashes.
This method excels when the focus is about the joy of catching fish. It is a good way to get newcomers to enjoy fishing. The fun of catching a lot of fish will encourage them to become life-long fisherman.
The Z-Man soft plastics are perfect for this technique because they are made from ElaZtech. ElaZtech baits are 10x stronger than any other plastic baits on the market and yet they are soft and pliable. They are made to last and are virtually indestructible. The Finesse WormZ from Z-Man once helped Kehde land 182 bass before it was un-fishable.
Kansas’ fishermen have learned that the Ned Rig can put numbers of bass in the boat. Word is spreading around the country that it is simple, inexpensive and a fun way to catch fish. There is even a chance you could catch 100 bass in one day with it on your home waters