Real Fishing Info

Written by Sarah on May 4, 2011

OK, one of the Facts of Fishing readers has laid down the gauntlet about my blogging, telling me there’s too much superficial stuff and not enough cold hard facts about the sport – techniques, tactics and tackle, all that good stuff. So I’m going to try to rise to the challenge with this entry and lay off the Tito Jackson and Fantasy Fishing info for a while (apologies to all you hardcore Jackson Five fans). At the same time, I realize that most of you don’t want to hear a litany of my opinions and strategies. More Mercer and KVD, I hear you screaming.

So what do I have to offer? Here it is, in a nutshell: I’ve been in the boat with the best bass fishermen in the world, multiple Bassmaster Classic winners and Anglers of the Year, as well as some of the best non-title-holding technicians in the sport. Typically, when you get their stories of success, they arrive through a sponsor-colored filter. Without naming names, I’m going to tell you some products that the pros have in their boats, even if they have to pay for them out of pocket:

Shimano Curado – The “old green reliable” keeps chugging along. They’re workhorses and guys who pay for their reels know it’s a sound investment.

Zoom Speed Craw and Netbait Paca Craw – the former is more compact, better in my opinion for punching matted vegetation, while the latter’s claws provide more action, but both are stalwarts in Elite Series and FLW Tour boats. They’re great for pitching and flipping or as trailers on a jig or chatterbait.

Stanley Ribbit – If there’s a single Elite Series pro who’s sponsored by Stanley, I’m not aware of it, but just about every time I get in a pro’s boat there seems to be a chewed-up Ribbit or two in the bottom. Plenty of good options out there – the Zoom Horny Toad and the Gambler Cane Toad come to mind – but this one is nearly omnipresent.

Norman DD22 – In an age of $20 crankbaits with high-tech finishes and computer-based designs, this relic is still the standard-bearer for the ledge-cranking set. They’ve updated the paint jobs some, but stick to the basics – the pros do.

War Eagle Spinnerbaits – Look in the boat of any pro who is not sponsored by a competing spinnerbait company (and some who are), and I just about guarantee you you’ll find some War Eagle blades ready for action. They haven’t changed their design much in 15 years….don’t have to, because they work.

Mann’s Baby One Minus – This is another lure that has fallen off the radar screen, edged out first by spinnerbaits, more recently by soft swimbaits like the Skinny Dipper. But any time the pros find themselves in a shallow grass situation, this is at the top of their list of go-to baits. Trust me on this one.

I left out any products where I either have a professional relationship with the company (Like the Yamamoto Senko – and you’re just goofy if you don’t have some of those in the boat) or have friends in company management (like at Megabass – and the Vision 110 jerkbait is the one $25+ lure that even the cheapest pro has in his boat). Take from this what you will – but it’s the truth.

This blog is courtesy of Pete Robbins, blogger extraordinaire!

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  • Christopher Barr

    Good article bud! Shimano Curado i’ve def. heard of, but a lot of those other baits, lures etc. I havn’t. I’m sure between the US and Canada, there are tons of lures and baits that they have and we don’t, or we have also and just arn’t talked about regularily here, which is interesting, because some day when i’m bored i’ll have a list of these baits that I come across online, and i’ll do some research on them and maybe pick one up to try. I have always assumed that if Dave, or any other fishing pro out there is catching tons of fish on something, that as a viewer we should def. consider trying it out. I dont know about you, but i’m obsessed with catching bass, and the more, the merrier haha

  • john gibson

    More tips on how to approach a lake you havent fished would be great.. how to read topo maps, depth charts etc. and not only for Bass (Trout, etc would be killer).