Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Deep Creek Lures Super Review - February 2012

Recently I had the chance to team up with Deep Creek Lures and I was super excited for the opportunity.  I have been fishing Deep Creek baits for the past few years and have had excellent results.  Plus, they are a local company made up of great people.  In this blog, I am going to talk about some of my favorite baits, colors, and presentations.

DC 6" MT Worm
Everyone has a bait or two that they can always rely on for a fish or two.  For me, one of those baits is the 6" MT worm because of its versatility.  I fish it on a Texas-rig, shakey head (Buckeye Spot Removers are my favorite), or Carolina-rig and it flat out produces.  Particularly, if I am fishing in wood cover and the bite is slow (especially during cold spells) this worm seems to always help me land a fish or two.  It comes in a bunch of different colors, but my favorites are natural colors like greens, browns, and blacks.

This chunky river fish was caught in cold water in late November 
DC 9" MT Worm
The big brother to the 6-incher, this bait is my go to bait in 4 main scenarios.  1)  Water temp is above 68 degrees and air temps are going from cold to warm.  2)  The worm bite is simply red hot and I can't keep small fish off the hook.  One of my favorite local rivers gets this way sometimes and the big bait helps avoid some of the smaller fish.  3)  I am fishing a lake that gets a lot of pressure.  Most anglers don't throw big worms, so this is a different look for the fish and it often pays off.  4)  I need a cull fish.  It's simple, big baits help produce big fish.  Again, I am going to be throwing natural colors that match forage and water color.

DC Flutter Worm
I wrote a review on this bait when it was introduced last spring.  Since then, I can't get enough.  They have a great action and have been deadly on shakey head.  I also like rigging them on a worm hook and inserting a peg weight into the body.  It gives a slightly different look and falls extremely slow.

DC Shakey Worm
The Shakey Worm spent about 30 minutes on a shakey head before I realized that wasn't its best use - at least not for me.  The Shakey Worm will certainly attract a few fish on a shakey head, but it excels on a drop shot.  It mimics small baitfish and has been dynamite fished around deep trees, bushes, and ledges.  Pick a color that will match the baitfish on your body of water.

DC Magic Finesse Worm
This worm fishes a lot like a trick worm.  It can be fished a number of ways, but I rarely rig it on anything by a shakey head.  I like the bigger size at 6.5", but the smaller size will also catch 'em.  I think a lot of times, anglers fish trick style worms too fast.  Remember that fished slow they still produce a lot of action and will entice some of the lazier bass as well.

DC Sink & Catch Worm
This is my bread and butter bait.  This is the bait I tie on if I want a check on tourney day.  This bait is unique compared to most other stick worms.  I have tried just about every stick worm out there and most are not worth your time.  I know some people claim they are all the same, but if you really watch the baits in the water, you will notice big differences.  The Sink & Catch falls slower than most stick worms and that helps it excel in shallow water and around spooky fish.  It also makes it a great candidate to fish on a wacky style jig head in deeper water because the buoyancy of the bait helps offset the weight of the jig head.

DC Floating Flip Craw
I have just recently started to experiment with this bait, but I am finding that it is very versatile.  You can fish it on a drop shot, jighead, texas-rig, or as a jig trailer.  The claws have a great action and that garlic scent...as soon as you smell it, you will know it works!

DC Super Razor Beetle
Last, but certainly not least, is the Razor Beetle.  If fishing heavy cover, I Texas-rig it and flip it.  If fishing mixed cover, I fish it weightless.  I even fish it on swimbait jigs.  It is a big bait, so keep that in mind, but it definitely catches fish.  The monkey grass and super bream colors will get it done!

So, next time you hit the bait shop consider these great baits.  In fact, just open a bag and I guarantee the scent will impress you.  You can get them at a variety of bait shops in NC, VA, and other parts of the southeast.  You can also order them directly from the website.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to give me  a shout and I will pitch in my two cents.  Until next time, tight lines!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rod, Reel, and Kayak Maintenance a Bassmaster Classic Day Post - February 2012

As a kayak angler, I put my gear through some tough days on/in the water.  So, this week I took a couple of hours to clean my rods and reels.  I do this about twice a year, which probably isn't often enough.  It is very easy and painless and makes a world of difference.  All you need is a small rag or sponge, q-tips, isopropyl alcohol, reel oil, an old toothrbush, and possibly a screw driver.  Remember that on baitcasters, you shouldn't have to mess with the side of your reel that has the handle, drag star, etc. unless it has been submerged in saltwater for a significant period of time or you want to do an upgrade of some sort (bearings, drag, etc).  I was able to knock out Shimano, Abu Garcia, Daiwa, and Okuma reels very quickly and easily.  I did need a screwdriver for the Daiwas (I wrap the tip in a towel when using), but the rest can be taken apart without tools of any kind.

First, I take my reels apart and wipe them down, very thoroughly, wish isoproyl alcohol.  I use 70% and dab it on a rag and toothbrush.  I find it does a much better job than soap and water.  Then I take the time to oil the important parts of the reel using a q-tip.  This video actually breaks it down quite well:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqRDaFNwAd4.  And a fishing friend of mine blogged his gear cleaning here (scroll down a bit):  http://dadtb-fishingwithdad.blogspot.com/.  I found that all of my reels, even the ones with less use, benefited from the cleaning. 

For the rods, I take the toothbrush and dip it in a 50/50 isopropyl-water mixture.  I use the toothbrush to thoroughly clean the guides.  I found that this was especially important with my microguide rods as they get dirty much quicker.  Dirty guides can wear down your line quickly - especially with techniques such as cranking or spinnerbaiting.  I use the same mixture on the rag to wipe down my blanks.

I remeber how much of a pain it sounded like to take the time and effort to clean all of my gear, but trust me, it is so easy and will save you a lot of money in the long run. 

Also, today is the start of the Bassmaster Classic - the superbowl of bass fishing.  Many of you who read my blogs regularly know how amped up I get before tournaments, so I can't imagine what goes through an angler's mind the night before the Classic.  Today my work productivity will dip as I watch things unravel online on the BASS Live Blog and BassTrakk sites.  Until next time, tight lines!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Horse Powered FIshing - February 18, 2012

This past weekend, Mary May and I joined Bill Kohls on a nearby lake in search of a few late winter largemouths.  The day started with very little wind and that definitely had a negative impact on our bite.  But as the wind picked up, so did the fishing.

We started fishing deep and found a few fish on the depth finder, but they were scattered at best and we didn't spend too much time targeting them.  However, Bill did show Mary May the basics of what we call "video video game fishing".  We call it this because with good electronics, you can see the fish, watch your lure fall and put your bait directly in front of the fish.  A few shakes of a drop shot and you are often hooked up.  The technique is definitely not rocket science, but staying on the fish, especially if they are schooling, can be tough.

Then we tried a few more areas before finally finding a channel adjacent to a large flat that fish were using to travel back and forth.  I hooked up with a solid bass on a shakey head with a Deep Creek MT worm and a few casts later Mary May hooked up on a jerkbait.  Before we could get around the corner, Bill hit one more fish, this time on a carolina rig.

We moved to another area and I started throwing my Lucky Craft crankbait along a rock wall.  I saw a fish come up behind the bait and try to engulf it, but missed.  So, I threw a plastic back in his direction and he nailed it.  After a nice fight, he came to hand at around 3 lbs.

As they day went on, we kept catching fishing between 1 and 2 lbs.  Then it started getting cold and Mary May and I were ready to head home.  We stopped at one last spot before leaving and I had a small bass come out of a rocky patch to hit my shakey head.  However, the fish just hit the tail and I chalked it up as a swing and a miss.  But, around the next corner I saw a similar type of spot, so I cast my bait to the rocks.  A few seconds later, I felt a good bite and set the hook.  It was a solid fish and he was fighting like crazy.  It was my icing on the cake fish at 3.5 lbs.

It was a great day on the water for us all.  There is nothing more rewarding than putting together the puzzle and getting some fish in the boat.  We landed 15+ fish and had quite a few more bites...not too shabby for mid-February.  I hope to get in the kayaks again this week, but work has been crazy, so no guarantees.  Until next time, tight lines!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This is Gonna Get Crazy! - Welcome to 2012

Well, 2012 is here.  I am not going to post a 2011 year in review.  You have a well categorized list of archived blogs on the right toolbar if you want to see what I blogged in 2011.  I believe this is the time for looking forward, not back....or at least I am not feeling very whimsical today.  OK, I am afraid some people may not pick up on the dry humor in the last two sentences.  Trust me, I appreciate anyone who takes the time to find and read my blog.

So back to 2012.  This year is already off on the right foot.  I was added to the Deep Creek Lures pro-staff a few weeks ago and could not be more excited to team up with my favorite plastics company.  On top of that, I have some other opportunities in front of me currently that I am quite giddy about.  And soon (next month?) a piece that I helped contribute to will come out in Kayak Angler Magazine.  The year also got off on the crazy foot....I bought an A-rig.  Actually, I bought 2.  In 3 months, when I either a) can't catch anything on them or b)  they get outlawed, I will probably sell them for 1/8th of what I paid...and I got the cheap ones.  If I buy a pedal powered kayak this year, it will officially be a sign of the apocalypse  (sorry Mayans, there is no chace of that happening).

I am also going to change it up a bit this year.  You may have already noticed that I dropped the "blogspot" from my web address.  It was just holding me down.  I also switched up the title a little and changed some graphics.  And you are going to see more videos and pictures on this blog (and over at HOOK1) including a 9 (or so) part web series detailing my quest for....well, I gotta leave you hanging.  But I promise it will be good.  I also want to do a little more guiding and a little less competitive fishing.  In fact, I haven't the foggiest idea when any tournaments are taking place this year, which is why I haven't updated the "Tournaments" page on my site.  However, Wild Bill Kohls and I will be on Belews, March 3rd in pursuit of a healthy 8 bass limit that will undoubtedly lead to county wide fame and fortune.

So please, keep stopping by to read.  In fact, share it with your friends, post it on Facebook, or even recommend it to rich, famous people who want to back a kayak fishing TV show.  Better yet, share it with big wig execs looking for a full time writer/videographer/photographer willing to do all sorts of destination pieces for their publication.

My next blog is most likely going to be a report as well as a review of a new yak I was asked to demo.  Until then, tight lines!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Beer, Bait, and Ammo....January 2012

This is going to be a speed blog....
The latter portion of January has been a combo of hunting and fishing - although mainly hunting.  We have had some luck, bagging birds and squirrels, and also some bad luck.

The good luck:
A chunky NC squirrel...headed for squirrel and dumplings
The bad luck:

This is the truck of our good friend Santosh.  The Silverado is lifted about 8" and has plenty of bells and whistles.  Unfortunately, that could not save us from getting totally swamped on some game lands.  After returning from a hunt, we found out that it sinks quite fast.  We tried everything to get it out, but eventually needed a tow.  A huge thanks to Gary for pulling us out!  Trust me - it was way worse than the picture looks!

On the fishing front, Mary May and I finally got the yaks wet this week. It started slow..so slow that when I finally landed a fish I immediately thought of this:

But thankfully it finished hot as we ended up with a nice day catching crappie and bass on the Eno River.  Unfortunately, we only got one decent crappie with Mary May's 10-incher, and we ended up letting him go...so the freezer is still empty and knife still sharp.

Tomorrow, we head out in search of surf and turf from the yaks.  It turns out that hunting is legal from non-motorized boats in NC, so we are going to squirrel hunt a portion of river that is on state game land and crappie fish after that.  Hopefully, I have an interesting blog to follow.  If not, I have a bunch of awesome news to share.  Until next time, tight lines!