Bass Fishing Tips

Largemouth Bass Fishing Tips, Tackle, and Videos



If you could only use 5 baits for bass fishing anywhere in the country, these baits pictured and described here would be the top choices the owner and staff here at The Bass College would suggest. Over the last 40 years of bass fishing from coast to coast, for trophy bass and for tournament limits, these baits have proven themselves to be in the top 5.


Overall, just about anywhere in the country, be it lakes, ponds, or rivers, the jig has proven itself to be one of if not the TOP BAIT for bass and BIG BASS. More recently, the swimjig techniques have proven to be an invaluable tool all over the country 


The Chatterbait has taken more limits in tournaments and produced some of the biggest bass we have caught all over the country. Recently, the chatterbait has won major events in the FLW tour.


The crankbaits are a staple in our tackle boxes, In rivers, lakes and ponds, all times of the year shallow and mid depth crankbaits such as the Lucky Craft, Manns, and Spro have been the reason for winning a tournament or just flat out producing a ton of bass for videos or for fun. 


while we use the chatterbaits most of the time, spinnerbaits still have their time and place and are a mainstay for us here at The Bass College. The best spinnerbaits we have ever used are the War Eagle, Lucky Craft, and Terminator. The new Delaware State Record bass pictured here in our gallery, was taken on a spinnerbait!! 

5. Buzzbaits

Buzzbaits not only work on feeding bass or in the summer, or at low light periods, they will flat out work all day long worked the proper way in the proper places. There are specific techniques we use to catch giant trophy bass on buzzbaits and they are shown in our videos here and on YOUTUBE.

The best buzzbaits we have used so far are the Black Flash clacker which is no longer produced, the BOOYAH black clacker buzz, and the Megastrike Cavitron clacker.

Soft plastics, such as a Senko, of course are a necessity as well, but these are the top 5 we picked here. There are times when a Senko or thin worm rigged weightless or on a drop shot are the only things to use, but, if you had these 5 baits for bass you would fair pretty well most of the time anywhere in the country.

To view all the top baits and tackle and watch videos click here TACKLE STORE.

To join us and enter the discussion and teaching forums click here FORUMS 


April 21, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment



How to catch huge bass on jigs

The experts keep telling us there’s no such thing as a magic lure. Still, we are always looking. Few of us will ever find it. But at least one top pro angler, Tom Monsoor from Wisconsin feels he may have discovered such a magic lure – the swimming jig dressed with a Gary Yamamoto grub trailer.
Forever we’ve been sinking jigs and bouncing them up and down on the bottom, feeling it imitates a crawdad. It took Tom Monsoor to teach us all to swim jigs to imitate shad, bluegill and assorted shore minnows. As fundamental as swimming a jig sounds, it really wasn’t done by anyone before Monsoor.
Monsoor’s first inkling that he may be on to something big began in the mid-1980’s when he first began to intentionally swim a jig. Steadily, Tom and his swimming jigs grew to dominate tournaments within the northern states region of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. By the late 1990’s, Monsoor had perfected the swimming jig with devastating tournament results. With a heavy onslaught of wins and top-tens, Monsoor wore the BFL Great Lakes Division AOY crown from 1999 through 2001, and Monsoor netted the EverStart Series Northern Division title in 2001. Some accounts credit Monsoor with over one hundred local and regional tournament wins, all on his swimming jig.

Not only did Monsoor believe he had a magic lure, but the many competitors he crushed began to believe it too. They desperately began to try to copy Monsoor’s swimming jig the best they could. Many co-anglers had been in the back of Tom’s boat as draw tournament partners. That’s one way the word spread about what Tom was doing. Yet Monsoor had played his money-making jig close to his life vest. As a result, few knew the necessary details of how or why Tom made or used them. Nevertheless, a number of look-alikes – sparsely-skirted, bullet-nosed jigs with low-angled hook eyes – began to appear everywhere in the North Central states wherever Tom had whipped them.
By 2002, Monsoor stepped up to the national pro level, and he has not seriously fished northern states regional events since 2002. The pressure was off them, but the schooling he gave his Northern brethren is still not forgotten. To this day, the swimming jig is used heavily in the northern region where Monsoor reigned. There isn’t anyone fishing a tournament in the area of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois who doesn’t have one, or more like a couple dozen swimming jigs in his bag.
Monsoor brought the swimming jig to national attention in early 2004 when Tom had two top finishes swimming jigs on the prestigious FLW Pro Tour. He backed up a second place finish on Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana with a third place finish on Beaver Lake, Arkansas. It’s puzzling that something so fundamental and effective as swimming a jig had not been done before. But truly, no one really did it before Monsoor.

A swimming jig is a different animal than other jigs.
Since 2004, thanks to Tom’s example, many of the USA’s top pros have learned how to swim jigs. Top pros have consistently scored high by swimming jigs in most top national events since 2004. As a consequence, there are numerous brands of swimming jigs on the market now. Most (not all) aim to be about as close as possible to emulate Tom’s swimming jig in a general way. Most (not all) tend to have a bullet head, a low angle hook eye, a slightly lighter wire hook and lighter fiberguard than found on a flipping jig, for instance. Most tend to have a sparser skirt with less strands in it. A sparse skirt is required because a full skirt tends to upset the delicate balance caused by the low angle eye of most swimming jigs. They’d veer off and swim sideways instead of upright due to the water drag with a full skirt. That’s an inherent problem in most all bullet-nosed swimming jigs, even those hand-made by the master Monsoor himself. It’s critical to balance the skirt material just right, and less skirt material is necessary so the jig head doesn’t roll over or swim crooked. You wouldn’t think it would matter to fish, but truth is, fish don’t want anything to do with swimming jigs that roll over and don’t stay upright.
With a good swimming jig design, it’s not uncommon to go through a dozen and discard the ones that don’t swim true. That’s the price you pay for the privilege to fish with the remaining jigs that do pass muster. When you get one that is balanced perfectly, it will buzz across the surface like a soft plastic frog or toad, and remain true and upright even on high speed retrieves. But others, even out of the same mold, will roll over and play dead. This is not something that applies only to swimming jigs. Even the best crankbaits, topwaters or whatever you care to name have below-average, average and above-average performers in every dozen. If you don’t weed them out, you will waste your time fishing with them.
Swimming jigs excel for fishing in vegetation, grass, reeds, brush or wood. Yes, they will work other ways, but swimming jigs are at their best as shallow water weed and wood lures. These are the choicest types of spots that fish favor on any body of water, and practically every anglers knows that. These shallow fish in prime spots know all about anglers, boats and baits. They get peppered with lures, and have gone through catch and release. They’ve learned to bypass the bad presentations, turn down the less-than-perfect jigs and reject all the other lures chucked at them by every passing boat. But a well-made swimming jig, although the experts tell us there’s no such thing, has a magic charm in shallow weeds and wood that other jigs and lures do not.
Couple clear to stained water with shallow, weedy, woody, brushy areas, and you have the best situation for swimming jigs. Keep in mind, “clear” water is a relative term, and many lakes have relatively “clearer” water in certain areas, especially areas of thick weed growth may tend to be relatively clearer. Even in stained water, swimming jig experts feel resident bass eyesight can become accustomed to the water stain (unless its quickly darkening) as if to see right through it.

There’s not a lot of noise or vibration that you are accustomed to with other types of baits (crankbaits, topwaters, spinnerbaits, etc). Rattles are rarely used on swimming jigs. Since it’s relatively “quiet,” a swimming jig doesn’t seem to “announce” itself or alert fish within an area (as would say, a Rat-L-Trap), and you can catch multiple fish out of an area.

So much of the strike appeal is visual with swimming jigs, and color is an important aspect of the appeal. It’s not just the primary color (black, brown, green, etc.), but second and third accent colors plus metallic flash colors are considered critical on swimming jig heads, in the skirts and via soft plastic trailers. Therefore, color, changing colors and trying new colors throughout the day are key to swimming jig success. Whitish/silvery patterns keying on shad, shiners or shore minnows, plus dark patterns (black/brown/greenish/purplish, etc.) keying on bluegill are most popular. However, imitating any currently plentiful baitfish or aquatic critter – matching the hatch – is basic and reliable. Other times, it’s not matching anything in nature that provokes strikes. It’s the visibility, visual affect and attraction of color and flash in the swimming jig head, skirt and trailer.
Another important point is that long casts are best. This is not a pitching or flipping approach. Long casts are an essential part of the application, as far away from the boat as possible. Plan for the furthest part of the retrieve to come through isolated clumps of grass and cover, usually within a foot of the surface. You’ll get to see lots of your strikes, and it’s especially exciting to see the bulging wakes of fish that are zeroing in on the swimming jig from 5-10 feet away in the grass. Hits tend to come at the end of the cast, when coming across the top of or skimming the outskirts of fish-holding cover. You don’t necessarily need to jig or pop or pause a swimming jig. Just swim it steadily. Of course, as it comes into open pockets in the weeds, let it drop in, or let it sink to bottom on the shady side of any rock or log it swims over. But most of the time, just swim it steadily, and get ready whenever it trips over or stutters through stuff in its path.

As the lightweight jig recoils off anything it encounters, the deflection moment is a great strike trigger. The jig gets stunned by the impact, the upright balance becomes unsettled, and when it comes free it arights itself. Ker-pow! As a swimming jig deflects off weeds or wood or whatever, bass go bonkers for it. Since it’s a lightweight lure, the supple fiberguard is more like a bumper or pusher that moves or flexes the swimming jig off obstructions, while attempting to stay upright and not bow the hook point over toward the snag. The fiberguard is not so much there for protection such as with a heavy duty power jig flipped into the heart of dense cover. Instead of muscling their way through obstructions, the swimming jig is designed to shunt aside from them and stay upright without rolling over, swimming steadily all the while without stopping. That steady swimming momentum keeps its nose from digging into snags too as opposed to being hopped, bounced or paused right on bottom debris.

In open water (sandy flats for instance), swimming jigs work well too, even though there may not be that much to deflect off. Yet strikes still tend to come on the end of a long cast on a steady retrieve. Because of the long distance at which many strikes happen, the softer than usual fiberguard and slightly finer than usual needle point hook are important. Due to the softness of the fiberguard and the needle-like nature of the hook used, fish come up and grab it, swim off to the side and sometimes they are already hooked – no hookset per se.
On the other hand, at other times you can suspect a fish is there but not be sure for several seconds whether it is a fish or not? While you are reeling in, you’ll find fish often just grab on and swim with the jig. Sometimes the fish may almost imperceptibly hold on, and as long as you don’t pull hard, neither will the fish. If you just keep reeling, it will happily keep swimming at you. Since these fish are just grabbing on and swimming at you at the end of a long cast, you’ll find it necessary to hit them hard. So you must whack them and reel as fast as possible to try to get a tight connection. Sometimes you cannot get the hook sunk as they swim at you from a distance, and they shake the jig out of their mouth before it sticks. That is one of your weakest moments when you can lose them – within the first few seconds of the hookset (or lack thereof). Also, a forgiving drag setting is important for when you get them up to the boat. If the drag is too tight when they make a final surge at boatside, they often tend to pull themselves off the hook after the long-distance fight. That is your second weak moment when you can lose them – or anytime they leap.

Bottom line, the most productive tactic is to swim a 1/4 oz jig just under the surface over the tops of submerged or emergent weeds and wood. It is the 1/4 oz size that’s best around heavy weeds and matted grass beds growing to the surface and laying over on top. Where there is dense grass, throw on top of the mats and the 1/4 oz jig will not get hung up or bogged down on top. Just stop the revolving spool with your thumb and start reeling before the jig even hits the slop. In this way, it won’t sink into the soft, mushy canopy of greenery, and you may swim the light jig across the surface of the mats, pausing it to drop down into sparse open pockets. The 3/8 oz size will bog down in thick surface grass more than the 1/4 oz size.
Overall, the 1/4 oz size is the mainstay most of the time. The 3/8 oz size is better when a breeze makes it too difficult to cast or feel the 1/4 oz size. Plus you may find the 3/8 oz size better suited to the irregular outside edges of a deeper weed line or to swim over the tops of weeds that are still submerged deeper under the water. Where the outside weedlines drop off to open water, the 3/8 oz size excels for swimming barely above the sloping open bottom in slightly deeper water, say down to 12 feet.

However, most of the time, the jig is kept up, swimming high in the water column from just below to within a few feet of the surface, and fish will barrel up off the bottom, out from under logs or arise suddenly out of dense weed clumps in order to swat down the swimming jig up near the top – especially when the jig bumps and pushes off something. In grass, you can watch it swimming through grass and see the grass part, fish swim out and bust it. That’s something you’ll never grow tired of seeing.

It’s not the crawling, hopping, bottom-bumping approach taken with other jigs. Quite the opposite. The swimming jig is kept moving in the top of the water column. Although, if you did want to pitch, flip or fish bottom with it, a swimming jig will certainly do that too, as good as any other jig (keeping in mind it’s a medium/heavy hook, not a heavy wire flipping hook).

There are some brands of swimming jigs now that do have the heavy duty flipping strength hook to land the biggest bass with the heaviest tackle. Yet it was only a few years ago that there weren’t any low-angle hook eyes necessary to strike the delicate swimming balance. If you wanted a swimming jig hook two years ago, you had to heat and hand-bend the hooks yourself.

But since 2004 when swimming jigs rose to national attention, low-angle hook eyes in a range of light, medium and heavy strength wire have been made widely available to accommodate the many new swimming jig designs out there.
Keep in mind, the “Wisconsin style” swimming jig is most popular, especially in northern states, and the hook wire is medium/heavy, but not as heavy as a flipping jig hook. It has a medium/heavy strength wire for landing big bass with medium/heavy tackle, say anything from 12 to 16 pound test line, and a baitcasting rod that’s designed for jigs, just more forgiving than a flipping stick.

Four grub sizes and 2 jig sizes 1/4 & 3/8 enable 8 different speed/depth/profile variations. However the 1/4 oz dressed with the 5″ (18-series) grub is preferred over all.
A soft plastic trailer is always necessary. A swimming jig will not work without a soft plastic trailer, which is often a single tail grub. The single tail of a grub should always face downward, perfectly centered and straight in line with the hook without rigging a kink or bend in the grub. The world’s top swimming jig experts tend to recommend Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. GYCB offers four sizes of single tail grubs from 4 to 6 inches that go great on all swimming jigs. The four sizes of Yamamoto grubs are the 40, 18, 19 and 2 series.
Bottom line, a swimming jig always requires a Yamamoto single tail grub or other trailer – or else a swimming jig simply isn’t effective.
The single tail 18-series five-inch grub works so superbly that many experts don’t use any other grub size or any other style trailer. However, the range of Yamamoto single tails from 4″ to 6″ will work. By varying the four Yamamoto single tail grub trailers with the two standard jig sizes (1/4 and 3/8 oz), eight different swimming speed/depth and profile variations are possible – and well worth experimenting with.

Another important component to swimming jig presentation is Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits liquid scent attractant. First of all, the oily liquid scent is like a lubricant which keeps the tail from sticking, helps the grub swim, flow and flex better. Then when a fish gets near it, behind it, it smells it. The liquid leaves a scent trail, and when the fish gets close enough to smell the scent, they devour the jig more.
Even if a bass strikes short and tears the grub tail off, it will come back a second time to get the rest of the swimming jig because of the taste of the torn-off tail. It smells good enough to nip, the tail tastes good, and then they strike again in order to eat the entire jig.
You’ll learn to favor the days they tear the tail off. Learn to let the first tentative bite pass by without setting the hook. You’ll lose the tail, but it’s like letting them have an appetizer or delicious hors d’oeuvre first. It gives you a heads-up, a warning that you should ready yourself. They’ve taste-tested the sacrificial tail, are convinced it’s food, and will return for the main course, hitting solidly this time.
Another reason to use Yamamoto’s liquid attractant is to give a glistening life-like sheen to the grub. This is especially true on translucent colors, and the sheen coat heightens light hitting the bait and it helps heighten the reflective sparkle flakes if any.

Simply drip a few drops of Yamamoto’s liquid attractant into the plastic bag the single tail grubs are packaged in. In this way, the grubs all get a sparkly sheen coating, get a life-like luster to them, and, if there are ten to twenty baits in the bag, you do not need to stop fishing to re-apply fish attractant ten or twenty times during the day. Only once.
Equally important, the lubricated baits tend to relax and unwind any kinks or bends they may have gotten during storage. You would not think it matters to a bass, but grubs do catch more fish when they are straight. Grubs catch less fish when kinked, bent or twisted badly. Anointing the baits in the bag with Yamamoto’s liquid attractant will tend to return the grub’s back to the perfect shape they were originally molded in, thanks to the restorative effect that Yamamoto’s attractant can have on Yamamoto’s grubs. And when bass smell and taste it, they’re hooked. Plus, applying a coating of attractant in the bag instead of on the jig, helps keep the individual skirt strands from getting congealed and stuck together like poorly cooked spaghetti. The grubs in the bag are well-coated, but the skirt strands don’t get as greasy or matted down.
Thanks for reading along. I hope you’ve realized a swimming jig is a different animal. It’s something top pros have scored highly with in most every major tournament the past two years. Prior to that, we’d only sink jigs like rocks. But now we know, jigs work swimmingly too.

More tips are available at

April 10, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on JIGS and SWIM JIG TIPS FOR BIG BASS



There are many really good reels for bass fishing in both spinning and baitcasting in today’s market. In the past,only a few brasnds really stood out, such as Shimano and Daiwa, but with increased demand and competition, and technology advancements, there are many brands that offer quality baitcast and spinning reels designed for the weekend and tournament anglers at an affordable price point. There are also some very high end models that are the best reels ever produced for the serious anglers and tournament pros. Below are some of the ones we found at The Bass College that are the top of the line, but Lews, Abu Garcia and others make several reels that are well made and offer good quality and performance for a reasonable price. The top three we like and use are shown below with links to the other brands. Click on any Tackle Warehouse or Tackle Store link to view videos, tips, reviews and more on these reels. You can even DEMO many of these reels BEFORE buying! See the DEMO PROGRAM below for more information


Backed by the most advanced reel technologies that Lew’s has to offer, the Team Lew’s Pro-Ti SLP Speed Spool Casting Reel seamlessly marries form and function with a beautifully sculpted construction that meets all of the demands of competitive anglers. Taking Lew’s “Lighter, Faster, Stronger” moniker to heart, the Team Lew’s Pro-Ti SLP Speed Spool Casting Reel is constructed with a one-piece aluminum frame and aluminum side plates with a Titanium deposition finish, resulting in the lightest, toughest reel that Lew’s has ever produced.

To maximize strength and durability, the Team Lew’s Pro-Ti SLP Speed Spool Casting Reel employs a hard aluminum alloy Speed Gear that is cut on a Hamai CNC gear hobbing machine. Fitted with an externally adjustable, 6-pin, 27-position QuiestCast Adjustable Centrifugal Braking System (ACB), the Team Lew’s Pro-Ti SLP Speed Spool Casting Reel is powered by an 11-bearing system with double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings and a Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing, generating casting distance and efficiency that will leave seasoned anglers in disbelief.

Complete with all of the bells and whistles, the Team Lew’s Pro Ti-SLP Speed Spool Casting Reel boasts a Titanium-coated zirconia line guide, double-anodized aluminum spool tension with audible click, patented Speed Keeper hook keeper, and a patented Speed Dial line indicator. Outputting 20lbs of drag and fitted with a 95mm carbon fiber handle with Winn Dri-Tac knobs, Team Lew’s Pro-Ti SLP Speed Spool Casting Reel’s rugged carbon fiber drag system gives anglers more than enough muscle for heavy-duty tactics. Engineered with a focus on subtle refinement, the Team Lew’s Pro-Ti SLP Speed Spool Casting Reel blends cutting-edge performance with one of a kind cosmetics that will look great on any casting deck.


Packed with a long-list of high-end features, the Shimano Sustain FI Spinning Reel is built purely for performance. At home in freshwater and saltwater, the Shimano Sustain FI Spinning Reel’s HAGANE Body and HAGANE Gear provides the power and rigidity to handle a wide-range of tough-fighting fish, while maintaining the refinement and light rotation that the Sustain is known for.

By combining a water-repellent coating and a specially designed, water channeling labyrinth construction, Shimano’s X Protect technology allows the Sustain to maintain high water resistance without sacrificing lightweight design. Utilizing the asymmetrical, super-light, perfectly balanced design of the new Magnumlite Rotor, the Shimano Sustain FI Spinning Reel requires very low inertia to start turning, resulting in immediate, smooth rotation.

A testament to Shimano’s catalog of advanced technologies, the Shimano Sustain FI Spinning Reel delivers outstanding performance that is head-and-shoulders above other spinning reels.


Quite possibly one of the best casting baitcasting reels ever made, the Daiwa Steez SV TWS Casting Reel features Daiwa’s SV Concept and TWS T-Wing System, as well as, Daiwa’s most advanced reel technologies.

Its compact profile ensures easy handling, and its new shallow SV Free Floating Spool design allows you to cast with virtually no backlashing. You barely have to thumb the spool – even with lightweight lures. The TWS T-Wing System solves an age-old problem with baitcasting reel levelwind systems as well. It reduces friction and harsh line angles on the cast by allowing line to flow freely through the wide, top section of the T-wing  system on the outcast. On the retrieve when the handle is engaged, the line then drops into the lower channel of the T-Wing for even distribution across the spool width. The result is longer, more precise casting, even spool speed, and virtually zero backlashes.

The Magnesium frame and side cover keep the Steez SV TWS incredibly lightweight, and the Ultimate Tournament Drag system starts up smooth and stays smooth throughout its range.  Delivering casting performance you have to experience to believe, the Daiwa Steez SV TWS Casting Reel continues to push the limits of what is possible with casting reels.

The Tackle Warehouse Demo Program makes it easy to “try before you buy” by delivering ready-to-fish demo reels pre-spooled with P-line FloroClear Clear line anywhere in the continental USA. To demo a reel, click on any of the participating reel manufacturer’s logos below, or click the “DEMO THIS REEL” icon on reel product pages. Add up to four (4) reels to demo, and proceed to check out. You will only be charged $20 for the UPS delivery and return shipping charges. Also included in the box will be a UPS return label. At the end of the seven-day demo period, seal the reels back up in the box they came in, put the return label over the original label, and give the box to any UPS driver or bring it to a UPS Customer Center.

Note: Tackle Warehouse may require deposit, to be refunded on return of the reels, and first-time customers may only order up to two (2) demo reels with a mandatory deposit. Demo orders can only be shipped to the billing address for the credit card submitted with the order. Late returns may be subject to a late fee of $5 per reel, per week. If you’re more than 7 days late and we are unable to reach you, we will charge your credit card for the full price of the reels.


April 10, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on BEST BAITCASTER AND SPINNING REELS


Spinnerbaits are versatile. They can be pulled through the worst trash or through open water. They can be fished shallow, deep or at any depth in between. They can be effective in any water color, day or night.



In spite of this versatility, many fishermen regard spinnerbaits as seasonal tools and stow them away when the water temperatures drop. Brent Chapman, veteran Elite Series angler and nine-time Classic qualifier, begs to differ.


“There are times,” says Brent, “especially in colder water, when a spinnerbait is what the bass want. It’ll catch more and bigger fish. In my experience, there’s not a better time to catch them on spinnerbaits than in late fall and early winter. The bass will soon get sluggish, but right now they’re saying, ‘Winter’s coming and I need to eat!’ The bigger bass tend to key in on bigger baitfish, and a spinnerbait fits that bill.”


Chapman uses a spinnerbait until the surface temperature reaches the mid to low 40s.


As far as when to throw a spinnerbait, Brent believes, “It’s a bait you have to experiment with. I often use it as a search bait, and I’ve been shocked at how aggressive bass can be in cooler water. But cold water bass can also be finicky about a spinnerbait. One day they’ll be shallow and eating it real good. The next day, they’ll be deep and want to be finessed by slow rolling it.”


It’s important to be familiar with different spinnerbait presentations to fool a chilly bass. In clear water, Chapman often burns the bait back to the boat.


“Burning it,” he says, “gives the bass less time to see the bait. They’ll strike by instinct. I usually use a fast retrieve around docks and for bass suspending above standing timber. If they want it, they’ll come up and get it.”


In other situations, the bass may want a slower presentation.


Brent explains that in deep water or around steep banks, he’ll slow roll the bait. By casting well past his target and keeping an eye on his line for a subtle strike on the fall, he waits for the bait to reach bottom. Once there, he keeps the blades barely spinning while maintaining bottom contact.


“The blades,” he explains, “are especially important in cool water. I often use a 1/2-ounce or 1-ounce Terminator T-1 with tandem willow blades. At other times, when big bass are eating big baitfish, it’s vital to use big blades. A No. 5 or No. 7 Colorado blade on a Terminator spinnerbait will give you a lot of thump and really pull the fish up. In stained or dirty water, I use a big Colorado in tandem with an Oklahoma blade.”Terminator  T-1 Spinnerbaits - Tandem Oklahoma


Chapman states that he’s not too particular regarding skirt color. His favorites are chartreuse and white. Chartreuse for sunny days and white for cloudy skies. In either case, he prefers a translucent skirt in clear water to tone down the colors of the bait.


“My preference as far as rods is pretty simple, too. I love the Wright & McGill Skeet Reese Tessera rods. A great rod for spinnerbaits is a 6 1/2 or 7 foot medium heavy rod. That length and action give you good control and better casting distance. As far as reels go, my minimum reel speed is 6:4:1. That usually provides plenty of room to work the bait fast or slow.”


Unless there is very thick cover, the pro spools on 20-pound Gamma fluorocarbon line for cold water spinnerbait fishing. “I believe in its strength and abrasion resistance.” he explains. “In really bad trash, however, I’ll switch to braid.”


“Once you’ve got the bait, equipment and technique down, there’s no reason not to try a spinnerbait in cold water. But, there is one thing that’s very important — always use a trailer hook, especially in tournaments! We all may bring in 9 out of 10 bass without a trailer hook, but it’s that last one that can make or break a tournament weight.”


More spinnerbait tips and baits here > SPINNERBAITS 

April 9, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on SPINNERBAITS FOR BASS

Missile Baits D Bomb and IKE’S JIG

Pitching and flipping has a new go-to bait. The Missile Baits D Bomb is a bulky 4″ creature bait with a unique, ribbed body designed to displace lots of water, resulting in a straight fall. The tails sail when left connected or flap wildly when separated. The body is thinner where the hook comes out for easy hook sets, but has a thicker head so the bait stays on the hook.

Missile Baits is a small company dedicated to creating serious soft plastic baits to help anglers catch more fish. Straight off the top-level professional bass tour, and out of the head of Bassmaster Elite Series standout, John Crews, each bait is uniquely designed and thoroughly tested to ensure it is just right. When you pick a bag of Missile Baits D-Bombs or any Missile bait, know they are being fished in the world’s biggest bass tournaments when only the best will cut it.

D BOMB with free shipping click here

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April 9, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Missile Baits D Bomb and IKE’S JIG


Offering a highly realistic profile and tremendous topwater commotion, the Castaic Solid Leg Frog Popper is sure to grab the attention of big bass lurking in shallow water. Featuring a precisely shaped, cupped mouth that pops and sprays water to call fish out of cover, it also features two solid legs that kick and swim just like a real frog. The Castaic Solid Leg Frog Popper can be fished anywhere you would throw a traditional frog, but it will give the fish a look and action they have never seen before.

To ensure more fish end up in the boat, the Castaic Solid Leg Frog Popper is armed with a razor sharp Kitana Double Hook that provides lightning fast hook penetration and plenty of power to pull big fish out of heavy cover. Available in a range of highly realistic color patterns, the Castaic Solid Leg Frog Popper offers shallow water attraction that big bass can’t resist.

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April 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on CASTAIC SOLID LEG FROG


March 31, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on BIG BASS AT TRAP POND ON BUZZBAITS


I guarantee you that there is a 10 pound bass in almost every decent Eutrophic pond or lake in the Northeast and some bigger than that. There is more to swimbait fishing than you think. i will talk more about it in the videos this spring, but if you look here and read this you will see what i mean. It is not just casting normal size swimbaits to targets, it is much more involved with trophy class bass.

Professional anglers not only have the time during practice to do the work – they’re also supremely talented at focusing their efforts on high-percentage, limit-producing areas. In effect, their overriding objective is to put a bait in front of a bass. In fact, this is precisely what we’ve all been told to do since day one.
This is why the bar has been set so low. This is why a 30-pound limit makes tournament headlines. Even in lakes brimming with 6- and 8-pounders, we accept this as the outer limits of angling performance. Why? Because anglers are trained to take the lure to the fish. Specifically, to that small, special place called “the strike zone.”

Obviously, this “go to the fish” mentality isn’t that consistent for bigger bass, or the results would reflect it. The best in the business at placing lures in strike zones haven’t been able to up the ante – to produce big limits – with any regularity. No matter how you slice it, big bass just don’t respond to these methods. What are these anglers missing?

With big bass, going to the strike zone doesn’t generate consistent results. The object is to move the strike zone. In other words, make a bass move to the lure and bring its strike zone along. Once a big bass has made this commitment, it’s game-on. No longer are you dealing with tiny strike zones, but often huge “commitment zones.” Whether it’s a reactive mood, feeding instinct, triggered aggression or mere curiosity, large bass are drawn to bigbaits.

Of course, conditions always change. Sometimes casts to targets of opportunity pay off. But the real advantage in using larger swimbaits is the ability to cover wide tracts of water – effectively – and never intersect a single bass’ strike zone. If you get them to move – get them to respond – then you’ve got them thinking they’re accomplishing their goals. This is why bigbaits are more consistent at producing big limits.
If you find yourself with several targets between you and your swimbait, consider it a bonus. But don’t think you have to bump that stump to trigger a strike. With bigbaits, you’ll discover that even in target situations, the strike zone is moving – either to intercept the lure before it reaches the target or to stalk the bait as it passes by.

The only real exception to this process is in some heavy-cover or sharp-structure situations where the calling power of big baits is diminished by the simple physics at work. Then you need to place the lure closer to a target – not necessarily to intersect the strike zone, but improve upon the drawing force of the bait.

read more and view swimbaits here




March 29, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on CATCHING GIANT BASS ON SWIMBAITS


Stay Tuned for new videos and Upper Bay tournament coverage this year Help the kids and military free baits programs by clicking through this link before buying tackle,

March 29, 2018 Posted by | bassfishing, bassfishingforums, bassfishingtackle, delawarefishing, fishing, freetackle, largemouthbass, Largemouthbass fishing, largemouthbasstips, tournaments, Uncategorized, vonbrandt | Comments Off on KIDS AND MILITARY FREE BAITS PROGRAMS


A Complete Guide to Crankbait Fishing


Kurt vonBrandt of The Bass College showing crankbait tips on the Upper Bay




When it comes to fishing crankbaits, there are always a million questions, with just about as many answers. Some of the common questions of what kind, what colors, when and where to use them, are going to be answered in this guide. There will always be new products and new ideas that may or may not work, but hopefully the following guide will give you the answers to most of the questions that are constantly being asked by the beginner to the advanced angler.




There are as many manufacturers of crankbaits as there are colors. Some of the more popular makers of crankbaits are Luhr Jensen, Mann’s,Bomber, Storm, Berkley, Bill Lewis, Rapala, Lucky Craft and Rebel. There are of course, many more, including hundreds of custom made crankbaits by individuals and smaller companies.

Crankbaits are minnow imitating lures, that float and/or suspend in the water column, have different sized lips and body shapes, and some have no lips at all. They come in a variety of sizes, colors, shapes, and weights, all of which are designed for a particular action and depth, to closely simulate a fleeing or injured baitfish or crawfish. First we will start with the floating and suspending variety of fat and slim bodied crankbaits.




The different body shapes that are offered all have distinct advantages over each other at different times of the year, depending mostly on water temperature, and the size of the baitfish available in that particular body of water. There are always exceptions to the rules, but basically the slimmer, flat sided crankbaits, that float, and/orsuspend, are better early and late in the year, when the water temperatures are below 60 degrees. The flat sided crankbaits will mimic a fleeing crawfish early in the year, and the best colors at that time are shades of red or brown.

The proper depth is very important, as you want the bait as close to the bottom as possible to simulate a feeding or fleeing crawfish.

The lures with the flat sides have a neutral buoyancy, which is very important in making the lure perform like a real crawfish. I like touse a bait that has a bill made to bump against rocks and other cover to achieve this result without getting hung up or breaking. The flat sided crankbaits help me do this.

The Bomber Flat A is also a good choice for this, and catch a lot of pre-spawn bass with this bait, using a slow steady retrieve. In the fall, I use different shad patterns like Pearl, or Chrome, for bass that are suspending this time of year. I use a steady, slow to medium retrieve for this, sometimes bumping into objects, but most of the time a steady retrieve has worked best at this time of year.

In a tournament in the fall, I boated a 18 pound stringer, using this method, to win the tournament and take big bass with a 4 pounder.

I like to target the shores that are wind blown first, when working these baits, and a lot of the time, in some of the New York and New Jersey Lakes that have clay or tapering gravel banks, I throw these flat sided crankbaits, because I can catch fish in areas where there is little cover and most people don’t fish!

The flat sided crankbaits are more for bass that are holding in water that is about 3-8 feet deep. Most of the flat sided crankbaits don’t work properly any deeper than 7 or 8 feet. Most of the time I don’t fish these flat sides in heavy cover, but there is one that was made by Poe’s, that is called an RC3, that seems to produce well in heavier cover. In open water, I usually use a Shad Rap, made by Rapala, because I found that it produces some good bass in relatively open water.


I use spinning gear most of the time to throw these baits, like the Shad Rap, and I use 8-10 pound test line, with a Shimano reel. I do use a baitcaster in 7 foot, with a medium-action rod, like a Lew’s or G.Loomis, with a Lew’s reel or Shimano geared down lower. I don’t really fool around with these baits as they are mostly made of wood, and they all have their own “personality” anyway. Sometimes I go through 10 or 15 crankbaits before finding 2 or 3 with just the right action. In the colder water I like the Shad Rap and I also like the Bomber Flat A best. When the water temperature is in the 40’s and 50’s I like it to wiggle a little tighter, and these baits achieve this action well.

Baitfish are the main forage of bass in cold water, so I always try to match the bait with the prey. The Flat A seems to look like a Shad or maybe a Bluegill, which is the main forage in a lot of the lakes I fish,and it works well in the lakes that have clearer water. I have used this bait with success over the tops of the Hydrilla beds in some Florida Lakes, as it doesn’t pick up much grass because of the real tight wiggle. I caught several nice bass from Stick Marsh and Walk-In-Water on this bait before. It also produced good in Lake Jackson. I always try to use 8 pound test whenever I can, as it usually allows the crankbaits to achieve their maximum depth, and action.

Recently the best flat sided baits here in the northeast have been the Lucky Craft Flat CB and Mini CB, as well as the new Sebile baits.


These 2-inch master crank lures by Lucky Craft are essential components in the planning of tournament tactics today. To further increase productivity, you must correctly understand the different applications and effects of the Flat Mini SR, MR and DR baits and learn, through actual gripping sensations, the “sweet spots” of the respective lures. The unique screw of water flow generated by the flat side ensures the best luring movements, which are akin to those of the original Flat CB. Indeed, the SR, MR and DR are miracle baits that combine an optimal lip shape designed to quickly reach the strike zone, an effective gravity-center shift for maximal castability, and a longer stroke for attracting bass in a wider area. These Lucky Craft baits are some of the better new Flat Side crankbaits available.

The other new flat side baits that have really produced since they were introduced are the Sebile Flat-Sided Rattslers.

Sébile has only been in business since mid-2006 and the product line is characterized by several unorthodox and exciting bass lures – the three-piece lipless Magic Swimmer swimbait, the swervy Slim Stick and humpy Ghost Walker, the fantastic Flatt Shad series, the unconventional Stick Shad, trumpet-shaped Splasher, unique Onduspoon hard plastic spoon and many other Sébile lures are truly original and unlike any others out there in terms of shape and application.


In 2009, Sebile introduced two crankbait series, the fat-bodied Crankster and flat-sided Rattsler. These are not as out-of-the-box and unconventional as many of Sebile’s other lure designs.


The Rattslers are not only flat-sided but have ultra thin bodies. As a result, Rattslers are a bit light in comparison to their side profile size, since they are so flat and thin.

The flat sides stir and move a lot of water, creating tons of turbulence as the Rattslers wiggle along. The swimming movement can be called tight and frantic, and there is a lot of side-to-side full body flipping motion.


The Rattsler 85 ML and 85 VLL are the two I recommend for average, everyday cranking on decent size bodies of water for decent size fish.

I’d say all three Rattsler 65’s are better suited for finesse cranking situations, for small ponds and small streams or where mainly small bass are found. The Rattsler 65’s are suited to clearer water, smaller waters or finesse situations with light tackle.


The Rattsler 85’s are more of your mainstream crankbait size, even a little on the big size (keeping in mind they are thin). Of the three Rattsler 85 sizes, I’d say the 85 SL would be the least used model overall since it runs very shallow. The 85 SL dives just 1-2 feet, and that makes it good for fishing over thick grass or jumbled shallow wood, through the crowns of dense brush fields and so forth. Those are great sitations where the 85 SL excels. But day in and day out, the most poplar models will be the Rattsler 85 ML which runs 2-4 feet deep and the Rattsler 85 VLL (runs 10-20 feet) for deep water applications



I like a lot of the fat bodied crankbaits when working shallow or brushy cover, as I believe they come through it better, and have awider wobble, which at times is just what the bass want. I use these more in the stained or muddier rivers and lakes, and I also like them for running over the weedbeds when the top of the weeds come to about a foot of the surface.


Mann’s 1-Minus, and Baby 1 Minus and Lucky Craft are my favorites for this style of shallow running crankbait. Again, I always try to match the forage of the lake, at the particular time of year I am fishing.

Also, many days when you couldn’t get a bass to come up out of the Hydrilla for a topwater, such as a buzzbait, or a Zara Spook, you could catch a limit by running these baits just under the surface creating a wake over the grass and Hydrilla beds. Bomber makes a bait called the Shallow A, which is also good for this type of cover.

Another method I use to replace a spinnerbait is a Cotton Cordell Big O, the one I like best runs about 3 or 4 feet deep. It creates a good wake when I reel it slowly, or if I want to burn it, it will run just under the surface and serve as a search bait, covering a lot of water quickly. I like to throw this bait around the edges of the thick weeds in New Jersey’s Union Lake, and others that are similar to it. It really works well there. If I want to make an even heavier wake than normal, I just go to heavier line for the crankbaits, say 20-25 pound test.

The thicker line helps keep the bait running on top. I always like to throw these baits to visible structure such as grass and docks,and most importantly later in the year, SHADE!

In lakes that are really clear, and have little cover, the bass will relate to a shade line.This is also true in Table Rock Lake in certain areas, although Table Rock does have a variety of structure, but little to no vegetation.

When I fish the shade line, I usually burn the bait. The most active fish will always be on the shady side of whatever structure there is. I cast beyond the structure, and burn the bait through the shade as close to the structure as possible. If you fish a lot of lakes that receive heavy pressure from water skiers and jet skies, and pleasure boaters, it generally creates a “Mud-line.” Bass will relate to this very often. It generally is in the upper 3 feet of water, so bass will hold along the mud line so they can see what’s swimming by. I cast parallel to the muddy water and burn the bait back to the boat. I usually use a white or Pearl color for this. I have used this method with success at Lake Hopetcong in the summer months. All these shallow running baits of this type produce bass well in the spring in California and Florida.


Many times a crankbait will run deeper or shallower than it is supposed to according to the manufacturer.

The Suspending crankbaits seem to run a little deeper than the floating ones, I suspect because they are a little heavier. The other places to target for bass with crankbaits in rivers, is the creek channels or bends.

River bends collect structure such as fallen trees and brush, which in turn, creates a great spot in slower current where the largemouth lay in wait of the prey. Differences in materials should also be considered when selecting the crankbaits to use. For example, plastic lures can be abused a little more than some wood lures, but wooden baits have better flotation and action many times. There are differences in the way they have to manufacture plastic baits and wooden baits, and both have their advantages and disadvantages in each situation. Trial and error,experience, and time, are the best teachers in these matters.


You can read all you want, but there is nothing like time and hands on experience to learn what works best and when.

One thing I do with most crankbaits though, is change their hooks. I only use premium hooks on baits such as Gamakatsu, VMC, Daiichi, X-Pouint, or other quality hooks. I replace them after a couple of months or sooner, depending on the use, and the number of fish caught on them.

You really need to understand and have good electronics also, to find the right cover, and select the correct depth. Many times anglers are either fishing above or below the fish. It is very important to have and know how to use a wide variety of crankbaits to cover the proper depth. I never stick my rod in the water to make the lure run deeper, as it causes you to loose contact with thebait. If you are after fish that are deeper, it is better to make a longer cast beyond them, and reel the bait to them. The longer the cast, the better, if you are trying to achieve maximum depth, as it takes a while for the lure to go down. When fishing for deeper bass there are better choices than some of the crankbaits I’ve mentioned above.




Many times when searching for deep bass lipless crankbaits are better.Some of the better lipless crankbaits for searching and catching bassin deep water are a 1-ounce Cordell Rattlin Spot, a Rattlin’ Rapala in1/2 ounce, Lucky Craft, the new baits by Sebile or Little George’s.

These baits proved to be a life saver one day on Table Rock Lake, when the bass wouldn’t cooperate on the other crankbaits.

Many times in Delaware Lakes and ponds, I have used similar baits in cold water very early in the year with success. These will also work in the deeper, colder areas of the Nanticoke and Sassafras rivers early and late in the year. I usually stick with the Shad patterns for these baits, or solid chrome, although I have at times caught numerous large bass early with a red or orange color.


Sometimes it is just a matter of presentation.

Before changing the lure or color, I always cover the area at various angles at different retrieve speeds. As you can see, there is a lot to know about using the correct crankbait, and I have just touched on the tip of the iceberg. There are other subtle variations in all of the above lures and presentations that can effect how a bait catches bass. After many years of trial and error, I am still learning new ways to catch more and bigger bass on crankbaits. And isn’t that the way it should be? The experimentation, and anticipation of every cast is what keeps it exciting and fun.


All The Crankbaits and tackle discussed here is available in the TACKLE STORE here at the site at a discount.


March 28, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on CRANKBAITS FOR BASS