BASS Nation Northern Regional Recap

Pro-staff Contributor: Rich Lindgren

Having fished several Northern Divisionals in the past and a few of them in this region with tough fishing, I was mentally prepared for a tough tournament long before I started driving down to Lake Monroe in Indiana.

It actually turned out to be tougher then I actually thought and the actual tourney days were more difficult than the practice days.  My first practice day I got out on the water sometime after 8am on Saturday, after driving through the night and catching a quick nap in the truck.  In summary I caught about 8-10 shorts that day fishing the end towards the dam on buzzbaits and squarebills, but actually had several bites and action, just no size.  I also spent a few hours scanning the mouth of Moores Creek with my Humminbirds, found lots of good structure and cover, but no bites.

Day 2 , I chose to spend the majority of the day covering Moores creek and look at all the shallow water.  By no means was it gang busters, but slowly started building a shallow pattern throwing buzzbaits, buzz frogs and flipping a 3/8oz Okeechobee Craw BassTEK Tungsten jig.  As the day went on, I took the pattern to other pockets and creeks and it held.  Between the fish caught and shook off that I saw, I would have had an easy 16lb plus bag.

A quality fish from 3rd practice day on a buzzbait
A quality fish from 3rd practice day on a buzzbait

On practice days 3 and 4, I focused on looking at as many pockets and creek arms as I could and looking for more water to fit my pattern.  As the week went on, the buzzbait bite seemed to fade and the senko and creature bait bite seemed to get better, plus shad balls seemed to be moving around quite a bit, not staying in the same pockets.  Also, I started finding bites in shallow clumpy grass as well.

All of practice was pretty much rain and clouds, the tourney forecast was all about bluebird skies, sun and little to no wind, so I knew things would get tougher and change.

Day 1 I drew out in 2nd flight with a Gary Adkins from Wisconsin, he was on a completely different deal fishing deep, but we had water in the same parts of the lake, so we opted to work together throughout the day.  I spent the first 2 hours and change running my best shallow water and we ended up both missing bites, I broke a fluoro leader on a senko and he couldn’t convert on a topwater fish.

Day 1 Take-off, blurry photo cred to Jeremiah Shaver
Day 1 Take-off, blurry photo cred to Jeremiah Shaver

The next 3 hours we spent working his deep areas with hardly a tap, both frustrated with things, we went to Allen’s creek to flip grass, Gary ended up getting a 3-02 flipping a sweet beaver in sprayed grass.  We got a few more bites there, but nothing that kept.  During that time I took control of the front of the boat and tried some more grass in that area.  From there I went to Ramp Creek where I had an isolated weed clump that I pulled on a good fish the day before.  First flip with a Rage Bug and I put a 3-03 in the boat.

We finished our day in Ramp and then a sunken brush pile just south of Ramp, no more bites or fish.  That one quality fish had me tied for 30th out of 96 anglers on day 1 and about 5 lbs back of the top Minnesota guy and qualifying for Nationals.

Day 1 Weigh-In, thanks to Rapala for the Alternate Team Jerseys!
Day 1 Weigh-In, thanks to Rapala for the Alternate Team Jerseys!

Day 2, I had Jesse Weener from Michigan, he was 2nd coming into the day.  He had caught 4 fish for around 9lbs on day 1.  We also agreed to work together.  The 2nd day, I chose to start in Ramp, fished several pockets and we each got a short on topwater, then finally in the back on a beaver dam I scored a 15 inch fish on weightless senko.  From there I ran into an isolated pocket where I had pulled on a fish on Tuesday and then actually spooked again on first tourney day.  Same thing, I ended up spooking fish with my buzzbait, mental note, planned to come back later to get him.

During the middle part of the day, we went to Jesse’s area which was around Cutright.  He was catching most of his fish on a drop shot (dream shot dirt color), fishing shallow around points and docks.  He ended up getting a pretty good fish on the first pass.  The nest pass, I got keeper throwing my senko to sandy patches and points in grass clumps.  Before we left Jesse got one more good keeper on a senko as well.

With a little bit of time left on my clock, I ran back that isolated fish, first cast with my senko, I put him in the boat and it was scramble time to get back to weigh-in.  Long story, short, ran out of gas about 2 miles from Four Winds.  Thanks to Ed Rounsaville from Indiana for picking us up with our fish, total life saver and yes, I am an idiot for running out of gas.

My 3 fish weighed 7-02 and I jumped up to 12th place, but I was actually 4th on my team still and 3-15 back from our leader and had to leap 3 anglers on the last day.  Also good news, the Minnesota team jumped from 4th place to 1st place in the team competition.

Day 3, I ended up with the Illinois team alternate and I got to run my water all day.  I stuck to my pattern, but threw buzzbait less and fished soft plastics more.  Even with that, it took me until almost noon to get my first fish in the boat in the back of a pocket on a senko.  It was only about 14.25″ and didn’t weigh much, so I knew I needed one more good fish to catch the leader to have a chance if he stumbled.  I kept with it and got another fish just before 2pm that I felt put me really close to the 4lb mark between the 2 fish, but in my head I really thought I needed one more fish to make it happen.

I fished hard to the bitter end, but it never happened, 2 fish was all I would end up with.  I made it back to weigh-in with plenty of gas and a few minutes to spare.  I was first flight and 2nd angler from my team to weigh in.  When I weighed the number was 3lbs 15oz to take the lead and I wasn’t certain whether I had enough.

This is what it looks like when you take the lead by a single ounce early in the weigh-in
This is what it looks like when you take the lead by a single ounce early in the weigh-in

I ended up with exactly that weight, while talking to Jon Stewart, I was pretty casual knowing that 2 more anglers that only need a fish or two were still coming to weigh and I was certain it wouldn’t hold.

About half way through the weigh-in, all the guys that were close to me had weighed except the day 2 leader had weighed and I was still in the top place for Minnesota.  Then word got to me that our leader had zeroed on day 3.  Honestly, I was couldn’t believe it at first, it definitely took awhile to set in and I didn’t want to get excited until all MN anglers crossed the stage.

Well it turned out to be official, my 6 fish for 14lbs 4oz over 3 days was good enough for 8th place overall and a trip to the BASS Nation Nationals in November on the Ouachita River.  My main setup for my fish in tournament was a 5″ senko stick worm fished weightless on a 4/0 EWG hook, 12lb SX1 Sunline Braid fished on a Dobyns Champion 702SF Spinning Rod and Shimano Reel.

My main setup for 5 of my 6 fish
My main setup for 5 of my 6 fish

This was my 6th divisional and it feels awesome to finally make it to Nationals and be part of a team that won back to back boats at the divisionals.  Assuming Italy sends an angler to this event, I basically have a 1 in 9 chance to fish my way to the 2015 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell.  I have been tournament bass fishing for about 20 years now and I have worked for this the whole way.

Next week is our Minnesota TOC state qualifier on Lake Vermillion, after that, I will be 100% focused on the Ouachita River.

Rich Lindgren is a tournament bass angler living in Lakeville, MN chasing bass all over Minnesota and its adjoining states. Bass blogger, podcaster and fishing promoter. You’ll see him fishing the Minnesota bass tournament scene representing krugerfarms.com and Dobyns Rods among others. You can like him on Facebook (facebook.com/bassinblog).

Christmas Gifts for the Bass Angler

Pro-staff Contributor: Rich Lindgren

Continuing on our series of blog about buying gifts for hungers and anglers, I will cover some great gift ideas for bass anglers that you need to buy for.

Stocking StuffersFishing lures always make fantastic stocking stuffers, so here are a handful of must have baits for any bass angler:
Just about any bass angler likes to throw a wacky rigged stick worm, the Big Bite Baits Wacky Stick would be a treat for any angler, as they have molded the o-ring inside each worm for more natural and durable wacky rigging.

Square Bill crankbaits catch bass just about everywhere in the country, the new Arashi Series from Storm is definitely worth a look, with there self-tuning line tie and great fish catching colors, they are a perfect gift under $10.

Storm Arashi Square Bill

Storm Arashi Square Bill

There is no arguing that the most exciting way to catch smallmouth and largemouth bass is to land them on topwater baits.  Hard to go wrong with anything from the great topwater selection at KrugerFarms.com, pick something that fits your budget and catches your eye!

Nice listSo if you have a fisherman in your life that deserves something a little nicer then what you can fit in their stocking, here are a few items priced $50 or less.

When I fish for bass, it often means all day excursions in the boat and sometimes in extremely hot conditions, so it is important for me to have a lot of fluids packed in my boat and I like my drinks chilled.  The Arctic Ice packs are a great gift idea and they will thank you for years to come as this stuff just lasts so much longer than bags of ice and they are reusable.

Arctic-Ice-Alaskan-SetsOn those same long hot days, sun protection is as important has hydration.  To protect my neck, I rely on an Under Armour Neck Gator to shed the heat rather than constantly bathing in sunscreen that I will eventually forget to reapply.  Plus, this doubles as a nice neck warmer on those cooler days, it is a very versatile piece of gear.

Fishing line is something that should be changed out at minimum at the beginning of every season, so high quality line like Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon or FX2 Braid are great gifts as well.

very very Nice listFinally, if you need an extra special gift for somebody on the Very, Very Nice List, here are a couple if bigger ticket items!

Surprising your loved one with a new fishing rod will sure to get their attention on Christmas morning.  You really can’t go wrong with any rod in the Dobyns lineup, the have designed each rod with great attention to detail and balance.  Match your budget to the series and then pick a seven-foot rod in a medium heavy and that will be a do it all workhorse rod in their line-up.

My absolute favorite new reel of 2013 is the the Shimano Chronarch CI4+, if you have a bass enthusiast in your life this will make their eyes light up when they pull back the wrapping paper, an instant home run for sure!

Shimano_Chronarch_ci4_reelLastly, most of us bass fishermen, fish when we can, not when the conditions are perfect, so quality rain gear is a great asset for sure.  Check out the rain wear from Under Armour, all their stuff has excellent construction, very lightweight and breathes well.

Finally, hopefully this is helpful to you all and a Merry Christmas from us all at Kruger Farms!

Rich Lindgren is a tournament bass angler living in Lakeville, MN chasing bass all over Minnesota and its adjoining states. Bass blogger, podcaster and fishing promoter. You’ll see him fishing the Minnesota bass tournament scene representing krugerfarms.com and Dobyns Rods among others. You can like him on Facebook (facebook.com/bassinblog).

As the Leaves Turn….

5-02.1Right now in the upper Midwest, the trees are turning to brilliant shades of crimson, orange and yellow and at the same time mornings greet us with a cool crisp bite.  These are sure-fire signs that it’s football season and for many outdoor anglers, hunting season.

While many of my fellow anglers start to stow their rods to make room for camo and firearms, I get excited at the bountiful big bass opportunities that come with fall fishing.  As long as you can put up with some cooler temperatures, you will likely be rewarded with hefty hungry bass and empty boat ramps.  Dressing properly with Under Armour Gear and other quality clothing makes it easy to tolerate the dropping temperatures on the lakes & rivers.3-14.1

Many a lunker bass will make themselves available in shallower then normal depth contours.  As much of the green vegetation starts to wane, fish gravitate to the cover remaining.  Look for wood, docks, pads and other remaining vegetation and it can often be easy pickings.  For me, hard cover seems to be a real key in Autumn (i.e. Wood & Docks).

Not all days will produce huge numbers, but often the few bites you will get are from behemoth bass fattening up for the long winter.  Lures like buzzbaits, shallow crankbaits, jigs and spinnerbaits tend to load the boat this time of year.  Perfect example, last week I was out for 6 hours and I caught a pair of largemouth over 5lbs and several in the 3-4lb class, not very often in the heat of the summer will you catch more than a single bass over 5lbs.5-01.2

So pack a radio, listen to your favorite football team, enjoy the solitude of fall fishing and start hunting your local lakes for better than average size bass!

Rich Lindgren is a tournament bass angler living in Lakeville, MN chasing bass all over Minnesota and its adjoining states. Bass blogger, podcaster and fishing promoter. You’ll see him fishing the Minnesota bass tournament scene representing krugerfarms.com and Dobyns Rods among others. You can like him on Facebook (facebook.com/bassinblog).

Shimano releases a game changer

Admittedly I have been a Shimano fishing reel junkie for years, my Dad I bought several of the original green bantam Curados when they came out in the 90’s, they were a great reel and Shimano has been reliable and good to me ever since. I even have a few of the original green Curados still in my arsenal.

NEW Shimano Chronarch CI4+

NEW Shimano Chronarch CI4+

That being said, I usually purchase and try out the newest and greatest Curados, Chronarchs when they come out and even have a Core in my lineup. The newer reels are often lighter, smoother and have a few extra bells and whistles than previous models.  That being said, I was extra stoked about the release of the new Chronarch CI4+ for this year when it was announced at ICAST 2013. I spent quite a bit of time searching around online stores looking to see who would get these reels in first.

Fortunately, KrugerFarms.com was one of the firs to have them in stock in the 150HG model, which is the right handed, high speed version.  At 7.6:1, I am pretty sure this is the fastest reel Shimano has put out yet for the freshwater market.  It is nice ordering from Kruger Farms, as I usually get my stuff in 1-2 days versus a full week from other online retailers that are often based on the West Coast. My initial out of the box impression was very impressive, the reel is super light and you can instantly feel the smoothness and quality of the reel. Once I paired it with my Dobyns Champion Extreme DX745C, it made it feel like a new rod. It made an already great rod feel even more unbelievably light and balanced.

Chronarch CI4+ on Dobyns DX745c

Chronarch CI4+ on Dobyns DX745c

Once on the water, the reel really proved its merit. As smooth as any reel I’ve ever fished, casts a mile and with the added external cast control it manages lures of all weights and sizes with just a few quick clicks. If you are in to having the best of the best in bass fishing gear, this new Chronarch is a must have! Or with Christmas around the corner, if you are looking to have your favorite fisher persons eyes light up on Christmas morning, this is a can’t miss!

Rich Lindgren is a tournament bass angler living in Lakeville, MN chasing bass all over Minnesota and its adjoining states. Bass blogger, podcaster and fishing promoter. You’ll see him fishing the Minnesota bass tournament scene representing krugerfarms.com and Dobyns Rods among others. You can like him on Facebook (facebook.com/bassinblog).

Storm has a Winner with New Arashi Series!

Storm Arashi Review

Pro-staff Contributor: Rich Lindgren

When Storm recently released their new line of Arashi crankbaits, it definitely passed the eye test for baits that would require some serious consideration from bass anglers.  But just as with most new bait introductions, the rubber really hits the road when you can actually get a bait into the water and try it for yourself.  Besides the cool looks, attractive colors and bait profiles, I was most interested in their new self-tuning line tie system.

Last week I picked up a pair of the Square Bills in both the 3 & 5 sizes.  But, as excited as I was to test these baits, I didn’t have a ton of time to get out in the boat. Because of my excitement, I tied one of my new Size 3 Square Bills in the Moss Chartreuse Craw color to my Dobyns Champion 705CB, and threw it in the back of my vehicle in case I had a few moments to water test these from shore.

Late last week, I was able to squeeze in about an hour of time to hit a heavily pressured pond not too far from where I live.  This pond has fairly dirty water, just a little grass, some wood and rock, and a mixture of bottoms.  It sees quite a bit of fishing pressure and the fish seem to get smarter every time I go there.  I figured this would be a pretty good first test—not everybody that reads bass fishing blogs has a big fancy boat with access to unpressured fish, but everyone can usually find small waters.

I started out with a few short casts just to get a feel for how the bait runs and to watch it in the water; I was very interested to see how the self-centering line tie would actually work.   The bait ran well in the test casts, so I started firing around and searching for test panel participants.  On my 3rd or 4th cast across a little shallow rock shelf, my rod bowed up under what felt like a solid fish.  After a few cranks of the reel, the bass came to the surface and, to my pleasure, the hooks kept it buttoned through several aerobatic attempts to throw the lure.  It ended up being a chunky fish that was probably just under 3lbs.

Fish and Arashi Square Bait

I fished this crankbait for around an hour and caught several more fish. I put it to the test—running it over rocks, mud, sand, scattered grass, old pipes, culverts and other random objects in this dingy pond—and it never hung up for more than a second.  It showed great deflection characteristics; climbing over obstacles in its way, and always quickly returning to a true path no matter how quickly or slowly I worked the bait.  With the rotated hook hangers, high-quality VMC hooks and circuit board lip, this bait has all the features of a high-end Japanese crankbait that would normally set you back $15. Instead, Storm delivers it all for about half the price.

I set up this bait on my Dobyns 705CB, paired with a Shimano Curado G6 and spooled with 15lb fluorocarbon—it seemed perfect for this crankbait. It casted like a rocket, I could feel everything that my bait climbed over, the soft action of the rod ensured all bass took the bait, and there was enough backbone to bury the hooks and keep the fish on all the way to the bank.

I am anxious to continue trying these baits this coming week in my next BFL tournament on the Mississippi River, but I already know this bait is a winner and will have a place in my tackle box!

Rich Lindgren is a tournament bass angler living in Lakeville, MN chasing bass all over Minnesota and its adjoining states. Bass blogger, podcaster and fishing promoter. You’ll see him fishing the Minnesota bass tournament scene representing krugerfarms.com and Dobyns Rods among others. You can like him on Facebook (facebook.com/bassinblog).

Rod Lure Setup

Forrest Wood Cup Recap: Tharp Makes his Mark on the Red

 

Photo from ForrestWoodCup.com.

Photo from ForrestWoodCup.com.

Pro-staff Contributor: Rich Lindgren

The moment FLW announced the Red River as the sight of the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup, Randall Tharp circled it on his calendar.  He knew that of all the venues that would host the Cup in coming years none would likely better align with his strengths as an angler.  Tharp is well-known for extracting big bass from shallow vegetation all over the south.  It’s not that he can’t catch them everywhere, but he is particularly comfortable on venues like the Red River—plus his nickname on tour is the Mongoose, how fitting is that?!

Sunday’s final weigh-in marked the finale of the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup, which featured 46 of the best professional bass anglers from across the country.  Tharp crossed the stage with a 5-bass limit weighing an even 14 pounds on Sunday to claim the title of Forrest Wood Cup Champion as well as $501,000 in prize money and contingencies.  Tharp, with a 4-day total of 20 bass for 53 pounds, 2 ounces, won by a 4-pound margin over the reigning Forrest Wood Cup champion Jacob Wheeler of Indianapolis, IN.  Wheeler caught 5 bass, weighing 14-3, to push his 4-day total to 20 bass, weighing 49-2—earning $75,000.

Despite the drastic cool front that greeted the anglers between the practice period and the tournament, Tharp made key adjustments that put him in a position to earn the title.  The Everstart pro said that he had several key baits this week.  His primary bait was a 3/8-ounce bluegill-colored swim jig paired with a Strike King Rage Craw, which he used to weigh several of his fish throughout the week, including his bigger bites.  He said that he boated a few keepers throwing a square-bill crankbait and his three biggest fish from Sunday came on a white-colored Spro Bronzeye 65 frog with orange tails. He had two primary areas that he fished—every day he started just north of the ramp in a small lake lined with houses until he had his limit, then would spend the rest of his time in his big-fish area looking for a few upgrades.  Tharp’s patience was a major contributor to his success, as he normally would only get one or two good bites in his afternoon area, but those were the bites that carried him to victory.

The top 10 pros finished the tournament in:
1st: EverStart pro Randall Tharp, Port Saint Joe, FL, 20 bass, 53-2, $501,000
2nd: Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, IN, 20 bass, 49-2, $75,000
3rd: Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, NC, 20 bass, 46-1, $60,000
4th: Kerry Milner, Bono, AR, 20 bass, 44-7, $55,000
5th: Chevy pro Larry Nixon, Bee Branch, AR, 20 bass, 44-4, $50,000
6th: Michael Neal, Dayton, TN, 20 bass, 44-2, $45,000
7th: Walmart pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, AR, 15 bass, 43-7, $40,000
8th: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, GA, 20 bass, 41-8, $35,000
9th: Tom Monsoor, La Crosse, WS, 20 bass, 41-2, $30,000
10th: Robbie Dodson, Harrison, AR, 19 bass, 37-11, $25,000

A complete list of results can be found at ForrestWoodCup.com.

Rich Lindgren is a tournament bass angler living in Lakeville, MN chasing bass all over Minnesota and its adjoining states. Bass blogger, podcaster and fishing promoter. You’ll see him fishing the Minnesota bass tournament scene representing krugerfarms.com and Dobyns Rods among others. You can like him on Facebook (facebook.com/bassinblog).

 

Photo from ForrestWoodCup.com

Photo from ForrestWoodCup.com

Simplifying Plastics: How to Pick the Right Colors

This is what you will typically find for soft plastics in my boat and what I think will catch fish almost anywhere you go.

This is what you will typically find for soft plastics in my boat and what I think will catch fish almost anywhere you go.

Pro-staff Contributor: Rich Lindgren

Whether I am giving a fishing seminar, working a show or just running into other anglers at the boat ramp, one of the most common questions I get is: “does color matter to bass?”  In short, yes, color matters to bass, but to what degree is up for debate.  Personally, I think an angler could write a thesis on color, but today, let’s just talk about soft plastics—we’ll break down other baits in the future.

As a person that has tubs and tubs of soft plastics in my basement, I feel like I am an expert on this topic.  I used to get caught up in new colors. To make matters worse, every time I fished with somebody that caught fish on a color I didn’t have, I would rush out and buy 3-4 bags in a few different shapes and sizes. After a few years of this behavior, I have Rubbermaid tubs of plastics that rarely make it out of the basement.

As I have gotten older and—I believe—wiser, I’ve gotten tired of rummaging through and carrying all these plastics. Lately I have really pressured myself to simplify what I buy and carry in my boat and/or tackle bags.

I think the best step for achieving this simplification is to limit the colors that I use. I like to keep it to a few colors that look natural and suit the water color I am fishing.  For me, a couple variations of Green Pumpkin/Watermelon and Black make up most of my arsenal.  I also carry some white for shad presentations and bed fishing as well as a few red/purple colors of worms.  There are always exceptions to the rule in certain water systems, but for clear to stained water I typically use my lighter greens and for dirtier water I use the darker greens and black tones.

From there, I still need a fair variety of shapes and actions for the conditions.  Stick baits, finesse worms, ribbon tails, craws, beavers, creatures, etc, all have a time and place.  There are a lot of options, so find a few of each that you have confidence in and stick with those!

Try to simplify things for yourself and hopefully this will save you time and money when out fishing!

Rich Lindgren is a tournament bass angler living in Lakeville, MN chasing bass all over Minnesota and its adjoining states. Bass blogger, podcaster and fishing promoter. You’ll see him fishing the Minnesota bass tournament scene representing krugerfarms.com and Dobyns Rods among others. You can like him on Facebook (facebook.com/bassinblog).

 

Breaking Down the Carolina Rig

Pro-staff Contributor: Rich Lindgren

The Carolina Rig, C-Rig, Quitters Rig, Old Ball and Chain, whatever you call it, is a proven fish-catching rig.  For those more familiar with walleye, the setup is actually pretty similar to a Lindy Rig.  This rig does not greatly differ from the Texas rig (which we broke down here)—the main difference is the use of a leader to separate the weight from the lure.

C Rig Lure 2

How to Set Up a C-Rig

In its simplest form, the C-rig consists of a traditional offset worm hook on one end of a leader with about 24” of line linked to a barrel swivel, then a fairly heavy barrel weight (1/2-1oz) is placed above the swivel on the main line with, more times than not, a bead for extra noise and to protect the knot from the heavy weight.  Proper rigging of the C-rig is easier if you do a little planning, especially if you prefer to use a Palomar knot.  If you use the Palomar knot, you will want to rig your leader in its entirety before attaching your main line.

A Carolina Rig can be fished at any depth, but is often used in depths of 5ft or more and is best around sparse cover.  The leader of the c-rig can often be a hindrance in really heavy weeds or brush, but on the other hand it does great around rocks and snaggy cover.

What to Use

My typical setup starts with a 7-7.5” heavy action rod—my personal favorites are my Dobyns Champion 735C or 765FLIP paired with a Curado G7. The length of the rod is critical to take up large amounts of line on a sweeping hook set and the high-speed reel helps catch up to deep fish swimming off with your lure.  I normally use 16-17lb fluorocarbon on my main line and 18-24” of 14lb mono for my leader.  I prefer a 3/4oz tungsten weight so that I can feel even the most subtle changes in bottom composition when searching for bass.  As far as lure choices, I like creature baits and lizards rigged on 3/0-4/0 EWG hooks.

This simple setup is great for kids and anglers of all skill levels. Fish often take the bait well because it has a fair amount of freedom from the weight, giving anglers ample time to set the hook.  Give it a whirl on your favorite deep rock spot or in the sparse deep grass beyond the normal weed edges—you may find a whole new untapped bunch of bass in your favorite lake or river.

Rich Lindgren is a tournament bass angler living in Lakeville, MN chasing bass all over Minnesota and its adjoining states. Bass blogger, podcaster and fishing promoter. You’ll see him fishing the Minnesota bass tournament scene representing krugerfarms.com and Dobyns Rods among others. You can like him on Facebook (facebook.com/bassinblog).

C Rig Rich 2

Top 10 Twitter Accounts to Follow for Bass Fishing

Pro-staff Contributor: Rich Lindgren

Twitter got popular by people following the likes of Paris Hilton and Ashton Kutcher, but I think you’ll find it’s a great source for rapid, relevant information and news on the topics you are most interested in.  For me, I am most interested in sports and in particular, bass fishing!

So whether you are a long time tweep or just interested in getting started, here are my Top 10 suggested follows for all things bass fishing.  My criterion is a mix of things, but all of these accounts must tweet regularly, have some longevity and bring interesting tweets to the mix.

BassFanNews@BassFanNews

BassFan covers all things bass fishing, from tournaments, to industry news, record catches and more.

 

Wired2Fish@Wired2Fish

Wired2Fish is similar to BassFan but with more how-tos, tips & tricks, and product reviews.

 

JonesProFishing@JonesProFishing

Alton Jones is a Bassmaster Elites Series pro that connects with his fans through Twitter and Facebook better than most.  He also responds to a great number of tweets and sends out tips via tweets.  As a bonus he keeps you plugged into the Baylor Lady Bears and other Baylor sports.

 

Bass Utopia@BassUtopia

Bass Utopia is the first of its kind, community-driven, bass fishing site that reaches out to its members via all forms of social media–their Twitter account is no different.  They offer truly entertaining videos, monthly big fish photo contests, news, information sharing and much more.

 

Bass Parade@BassParade

BassParade tweets out their daily Bass Blaster which is jam packed with news and original insight on what is happening in bass fishing.  I especially appreciate Jay Kumar’s fresh perspective.

 

BassEast@_BassEast_

Bass EAST works tightly with many BASS & FLW pros to bring you articles, videos, tips and news.

 

TackleTour@TeamTackleTour

Tackle Tour has taken fishing tackle and gear reviews to new levels. Their Twitter feed will help you stay up-to-date with the hottest products in bass fishing.

 

FLW@FLWFishing

FLW Outdoors does an amazing job tweeting during FLW Tour events as they follow pros all around the lakes—giving updates and a true feel for what is happening on the water.  Plus, they keep you posted on tournament results and other FLW related tournament fishing news.  If that is not enough, they tweet reminders for free contests and fantasy fishing.

 

BASS@BASS_Nation

Bassmaster not only tweets on-the-water tournament updates, but they do a great job of connecting with their followers by answering questions and posting member’s bass photos.  Ultimately, BASS is the icon of bass fishing, so how can you not follow them?

 

Jacob Wheeler@WheelerFishing

Jacob Wheeler is one of many FLW pros that do a great job of keeping their fans up to speed on their practice and their travels from venue to venue, but he does it in a fun way!  Plus, he is the reigning Forrest Wood Cup Champ!

 

If you are not on Twitter, maybe now is a time to test the waters, if you already area, then make sure you add these to your follow list.  If you are hungry for more, you can also follow me @HellaBass and @krugerfarms–not to mention the rest of the krugerfarms.com pro team (@Gussy Outdoors, @DustyMinke, @MichaelaFishing, and @BillShimota).  They have tons of info to share on fishing and hunting news and events.

Rich Lindgren is a tournament bass angler living in Lakeville, MN chasing bass all over Minnesota and its adjoining states. Bass blogger, podcaster and fishing promoter. You’ll see him fishing the Minnesota bass tournament scene representing krugerfarms.com and Dobyns Rods among others. You can like him on Facebook (facebook.com/bassinblog).

Breaking Down a Texas Rig

Pro-staff Contributor: Rich Lindgren

Texas rigging worms and soft plastic baits is one of the oldest and time-tested methods for catching bass in just about any situation–including in and around thick cover.  The Texas rig is a pretty simple rig, in that it usually consists of sliding a traditional bullet weight onto your line before you tying on a standard or offset worm hook. The bait is set by rigging the hook into the head of the bait about a ¼”, poking it back out the side of the body, then turning it 180 degrees, and bringing the point of the hook back into the bait to make it weedless.20130528_221853

Beyond the very basic principle of Texas rigging, there are a lot of subtle differences and tweaks to make a tried-and-true fish catcher into something even better.  When you start to think about it, there are actually a lot of variables when you consider, rod, reel, line, weight and hooks for your setup.

I start almost every Texas rig with a rubber sinker stop threaded on my line before I select a sinker.  These little guys keep my weight next to my bait, make sure I keep contact with my bait at all times, and pull my bait through cover.  You can peg your sinker with a toothpick, but these stops are easier on your line and can be loosened to give your bait a little more freedom.  After the sinker peg, I select a tungsten sinker to match the size of plastic bait and rate of fall I desire for the conditions and application I am facing.  I may go as light as 1/16 oz or heavier than 1 oz, but for basic rigging I usually use 1/8-3/8 oz tungsten slip sinkers.  I always use tungsten weights for the enhanced feel of the bottom and bites; plus I feel the hook-up percentage is better and that they come through cover better than traditional lead sinkers.

Next, I tie on the hook. I typically attach hooks to my 12-17lb fluorocarbon line with a San Diego Jam Knot or Palomar knot.  I find that 2/0 to 4/0 hooks will cover the great majority of my needs for standard soft plastic baits.  I use two styles: Extra Wide Gap (EWG) and Straight Shank Flipping Hooks.  I use an EWG hook when I am casting and dragging tubes, brush hogs, and worms.  I pair a straight shank hook with a heavier sinker for creature baits, like the TriggerX Goo Bug and other bulkier offerings, when I am pitching into thicker cover and fishing the baits in a more vertical manner–I feel it has a more positive hook up in these conditions.

Texas RigsAs far as rod selection, I like 7’ to 7’4” rods that are medium to medium-heavy with moderately fast actions.  I will fish Texas rigs on multiple rods that I own: ranging from my Dobyns Savvy 703C, to my Champion 734C, up to my absolute favorite rod for Texas rigging, the Dobyns Champion Extreme DX744C.  There are a ton of great rods and different price points to choose from, but be sure to get a fairly long rod with good balance, moderate back bone, and good sensitivity.

Keep a few of these suggestions in mind when setting up your Texas rigs and it should help you get a few more fish in the boat!

Rich Lindgren is a tournament bass angler living in Lakeville, MN chasing bass all over Minnesota and its adjoining states. Bass blogger, podcaster and fishing promoter. You’ll see him fishing the Minnesota bass tournament scene representing krugerfarms.com and Dobyns Rods among others. You can follow him on Twitter (@HellaBass) and like him on Facebook (facebook.com/bassinblog).

Texas Rigs