Winter can be a tough time for bass fishermen, but no matter how cold and nasty it is out there, somebody always seems to find them. Tai Au is one of those guys, and we went out with him to find out how he manages to boat decent bass during the toughest time of the year. Just to make it extra hard, we met him at Lake Pleasant, just north of Phoenix, AZ, famous for being a tough lake in any season.
A former Bassmaster Classic champion and veteran FLW Tour pro, Jay Yelas is no stranger to big bass. However, the Oregon angler knows that nabbing big bass often means throwing smaller baits. In his view, small swimbaits exemplify this premise.
“Especially on public lakes that get a lot of fishing pressure, most all of the fish have been caught before and you’re trying to recapture the same fish,” he said. “So, having a small, natural profile in your bait makes a big difference, because these are educated fish.
Whether you call it a Chatterbait, a vibrating jig, or a bladed jig, there is no denying that pro angler Brett Hite of Phoenix, Arizona has had a lot of success on the unique lure which features a metal blade in front of a rubber-skirted jig.
Hite has a BASS Elite Series win (Lake Seminole) and two FLW Tour wins (Toho and Okeechobee) to his credit thanks to a vibrating a jig. Over the years he has perfected every facet of his vibrating jig system except one: the trailer.
If you ever get the opportunity to talk fishing with Bub Tosh, it won't take you long to discover his passion for all aspects of the sport. There are many facets to his fishing career; Touring Professional and Bait Company Owner just to name a few. Today he enjoys the challenge of conceptualizing and designing baits. Over the past few years he has designed the PscyhoDad and the California Roll for Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Tosh is very excited about his latest creation, the Sanshouo (pronounced san-show-oh).
It’s been said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. For years I have approached tournament fishing utilizing that very game-plan, and to some extent I have been successful. I have a couple of team and a BFL angler of the year crowns, but the events I’ve fished have been one or two day events, usually on lakes and rivers that I have significant experience on.
As far as I’m concerned, fall is the very best time year to fish. The weather is gorgeous and if there is a bit of a nip in the air all it does is discourage pleasure boaters and water skiers. Life is good. The water temperatures are cooling down as well, so that means that the fish are on the move and you can get on a really good bite. Often there is a crankbait or spinnerbait bite, and topwater is always worth a try, especially first thing in the morning. But sometimes a reaction bait just doesn’t do the trick. When that happens, a drop shot can save the day.
Over the years, the Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm has developed a reputation for being an outstanding bait for catching smallmouth bass. While the Shad Shape Worm is an extremely effective offering for both largemouths and spotted bass, it is a must-have weapon in the arsenal of serious brown bass hunters. FLW Touring Pro and Yamamoto National Team Member, Jay Yelas agrees. “The Shad Shape Worm is my favorite for smallmouths and it’s a go-to drop shot bait for me.”
I’ll be the first to admit, I was a little slow to get on-board with the social media craze but two things pushed me over the hump. First and foremost, the Inside Line magazine went digital and second, lots and lots of peer pressure. While I may be slow to adapt, I am also a very cautious individual and I monitored a lot of good and bad material before I decided to dip my own personal toes into the drink.