Though Diamond Valley got worked over pretty good this weekend, it’s still springtime and I’ll be giving that pond a visit on Monday morning, ushered by Saturday’s Top Sticks winner John Wick.

John and his partner Mike Phua have been tearing ’em up pretty good over there of late, but JW still wanted some more preparation time for future events. Otherwise, I would have liked to see him perform on the natural lake on my side of the tracks.

But what the hey? I still get to see him first hand in action. (more…)


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It’s now been a couple of years in the development, but back when Uncle Josh purchased Kalin Lures, I discovered that the new owners were ready to breathe new life into the ancient pork back fishing business.

Their purchase of Kalin was one sign, and there were other additions. But the fish-to-contact, Bump-N-Run lure series is an obvious huge leap forward for the small company.

Collectively there are three baits: A buzzer, a spinnerbait and a swimming jig, that have a “billed head” that the angler can rotate (more…)


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We all did the “double take” when we saw the price tag of the super sharp TroKar hooks that hit the market in the past year. Approved by the pros, but not necessarily embraced by rank and file bass anglers, they had a different look and they had a heck of a point.

But while the pros have continued to rely on these pricey terminal tools (Hey, the Professional Anglers Association, PAA has added Lazer TroKar as a sponsor to their Tournament Series) there have been a few naysayers. The most common complaint: (more…)


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Any hard bait is made up of components, especially our array of blade baits. You’ve got connectors, swivels, hooks and of course, the blade. But as you scale down your offering, as with an under-spin, what has the greatest influence on what you deliver in your presentation?

Since I’m writing this, I’d have to say it’s the trailer.

For all the clever painting of lead heads and the reliance of some on ball-bearing swivels, those components are dwarfed in impact by your choice of a lure body. And I don’t just mean your sexy, hologram, peppermint shad-colored grub. (more…)


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Persistence pays off–for Brent Ehrler in winning at Table Rock Lake, and for me to track him down–and I did. And the grub story–it’s real–but with enough variations to make the story interesting. The location, of course was big. But more than that, the nature of the spot.

“It was an inside bend,” he described. “You know, the outside bend of a creek is a wall, but the inside bend forms a sort of flat point.”

That point gently faded from 12 to 15 feet before (more…)


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I called the back-to-back FLW event winner this morning about 6 a.m., but I did’t get a pick-up. I was thinking, with a 2-hour time difference at Table Rock, Brent might be up and around if he decided to drive back to California.

But then I figured, maybe the La Sierra University grad has reached such prominence, he might have somebody else drive his boat so he could fly home–yesterday. If so, my 6 a.m. call was probably going to roust our favorite son. (more…)


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There’s no perfect science to make a determination, of course, but what a professional fisherman says often speaks worlds about his approach, his command and even his understanding of the task he must perform. And if that is true, then there really are lessons still to learn from them about one’s own capacity to fish professionally.

As a long-time observer of competitive fishing, I have pulled out three quotations from the last year and a half, from winning as well as non-winning finishers. Read what they have to say, and then see how your interpretation compares with mine. (more…)


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Because conversation today often has less to do with fish motivation and more about baits and conditions, we don’t so often hear what used to be spoken commonly. That is, that advancing in the ranks of better fish catchers, it was seemingly necessary to “think like a fish.”

However, whether we’re conscious about the issue or not, the fact is, our most successful anglers do think like a fish–and like a predator. What catches our attention most certainly catches theirs. (more…)


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March: always a special month.

Those who know California bass fishing history remember the significance of March 4–and not because it’s my birthday. It was exactly 30 years ago this Thursday, that Ray Easley set the California record for largemouth bass at 21-3 at Lake Casitas. It came on a live crawdad, a bait that was feared to one day be responsible for catching a new world record in the decade that followed. Of course, it never happened.

And what about tomorrow? (more…)


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The reason Yamamoto Custom can charge what they charge for 10 baits is the essence of capitalism. Guys want ’em so they pay the price.

But when the bass are shallow, I see the fish far less discriminating, as long as that “cigar” tumbles in their front window. Whether fished with a longer shank, Texas-style Sproat or wacky rigged with a short shank hook, the biggest difference between the original, heavy salt offering and most of the others (even homemade) is rate of fall. (more…)


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