All SoCals (all Californians, really) have faced the effects of drought on local fishing holes. The really local hole for me is no different.

2015 West Marina

2015 West Marina


2010 West Marina

And while it’s true, the anticipated catastrophic fish kill in recent summers has been kept at bay (and somewhat unexplained) the current thick algae growth that bloomed a couple of days ago could portend such a kill. If the scientists are right, and based on the weather forecast for this week, the bloom will be erased by this week’s dry cold front, and when that algae dies, it may use up more oxygen than the growth had been producing. (more…)

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THE RIGHT SINKER for the situation makes a difference.

THE RIGHT SINKER for the situation makes a difference.

Even my mere dabbling in team competition has forced me to make some discoveries for myself, rather than wait for the pros to confide (as I had for years). And one area that has been a revelation to me is the size, shape and weight of drop-shot sinkers–and how they matter.

I wouldn’t begin to address all situations here, but there are a few that keep popping up locally, and each one seems to make a difference.

Some examples. (Again, I’m just talking a narrow realm). (more…)

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fluke biter

HOOK POINT should poke through the center ridge on the back of the fluke.

Back about June 2, I was talking about fluke fishing, based on the advice of local expert, Jimmy Emmett of Wildomar. Things have come up to interrupt that story (including some tournament in the desert) but now there’s time to discuss rigging and working that little bait.

What I’ve come to find out is his use of the fluke was not for subsurface action (as I have seen some of the pros utilize) but rather it is much more a topwater bait–with requisite variations, depending on how the fish react.

To fish it that way does include some other tackle elements (more…)

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fluke bite

END RESULT is to get bit.

Recently I brought up rods and their role in fluke fishing, especially for casting unweighted baits such as the Super Fluke Jr. But in trying to become more adept at the method, I first talked to someone who is considered by many in my area as the best of the best with the little fluke.

Some know him as James and by some Jim (his father and my long-time friend’s name) but I kind of know him as Jimmy. Last name: Emmett, from Wildomar.

His might not be a household name, but those lucky few that have shared a boat with him at any of the local ponds know it. When it comes to this particular technique, everyone else (more…)

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Until I did the research, I had no idea there was such an abyss when it comes to spinning rod lengths. I started looking for a fluke rod (SoCal, 4-inch Super Fluke Jr. style) and due to a short lead time, I had to borrow one from one of the best (though possibly unknown) anglers in my area. (more…)

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AN INFLATED nightcrawler fooled this near 8-pounder for Mark Eddo of Ramona at Lake Wohlford.*

A mild winter has set things in motion a little bit earlier than normal, but I am reminded that bass are again exhibiting the kind of behavior that tells me we’re over-thinking stuff at times.

In my part of the state (for the better part of 40 years–marked by the invention or wide-spread use of of floating trout baits) largemouth bass continue to fall for things they shouldn’t.

For when I say “trout baits” I’m not talking, I’m talking miniature marshmallows, Power Bait and best of all, inflated nightcrawlers: standard fare of the bank-sitting trout angler. (more…)

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He's the best one


How long of an introduction should I have here, before I lay out The List for 2013? What started as more of a historical tribute back in the mid 90’s has grown into a monster.

It’s still a tribute–but the stakes appear to have grown bigger than I imagined. I don’t think anything I’ll ever do with a word processor will ever have the impact of listing the Top 40 Bass Anglers in California.

But first, let me give a shout out to the trusted, but anonymous, consultants to whom I turn to track down the top candidates. Having lots of eyes and ears in the field is critical and have to thank the Bass Angler Assessment Team (BAAT) for adding insight. (more…)

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what's under there

A PEEK at what’s under the rub rail: screws holding it in place.

Had I thought about it, I would have first taken a photo of a couple of little bulges along the rub rail of my three-year old Nitro. Well, first, I would have had to notice them, but Joe Uribe, Jr. over at Anglers Marine, noticed instead and sent me home with some easy instructions to follow.

Along the cap line of the hull/deck the rub rail is a bumper of sorts, being the most outward edge of the sides of your rig. More importantly, according to Joe, the bracket that secures the rail is screwed into the fiberglass, although in older boats it was likely riveted.

So, like everything threaded, (more…)

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WATER’S COLD–you have spinnerbait options.

While our “faculties” are different than black bass, there are some similarities. For example, we might grudgingly respond to the annoying, intermittent beep of a dying smoke detector battery, or the loud, but not-so-rousing car alarm. Of course, we don’t have a lateral line to “feel” impulses through the water, but you may have some sense of it with a cell phone in your pocket on vibrator/alert.

The point being, conditions and proximity affect our response, and the same can be said for bass–especially in conditions of cold, murky water. For that reason, I remind myself that the blade combinations that I counted on when the water temperature was 75 degrees, don’t stir the fish now. (more…)

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TAMMY and John Morrow…

We don’t see them together quite as much anymore, but there’s a reason. John and Tammy Morrow both call Brea home, but as for their home waters, that’s another matter. Tammy is much more likely to be found on nearby Diamond Valley, while John (from their second home in Kingman, Ariz.) is a fixture on Lake Mead and all the Colorado River.

And they’re serious about their choices.

“I’ve done the local lakes for years,” said John from the Kingman abode, “but when I started fishing the River lakes, I just liked them. My boat is up here and I work on the river.”

Size (in a lake) matters, of course. (more…)

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