Article Search

Pete Weighs In - a Blog

Contact Us:
- email the editor
- Staff Writers
- Advertise w/ us


Inside Line Viewer Feedback

Drop us a line and tell us what you think about the site, a paticular article, Pete's Blog or fishing in general. Your submitted comments will be published in our "Letters to the Editor" section, updated weekly.

When contacting us, please include:

1. Your full name

2. Your city/state

3. The title of the article you are commenting on in the subject line of your email.

Email us at: editor@baits.com. We look forward to hearing from you!


December 28, 2009

I generally enjoyed Gary Dobyns' article on buying a new boat. He spent a lot of time talking about used boats, however he failed to mention that many dealers have leftover boats from past model years that have just been sitting on their lots for 1-3 years. These boats, often priced for thousands off the cost of a new rig, usually feature full warranties and are literally as good as buying a current model year rig. If you can find a discontinued model you can often save thousands more. These leftover boats are probably the best buys in the boating industry.

Ed Gerdemann
Phoenix, AZ


Hi Ed,

THANKS for pointing out my miss. You are 100% on the mark. In this market dealers have leftover boats in stock that they would LOVE to move. Also, if a dealer closes shop his inventory goes to other dealers, many times passing on a great savings to the boat buyer. As you stated new warranties accompany these boats. Great catch on my miss. Thank you.



November 2, 2009

I have scoured the internet for information concerning fishing with plastic worms with not much success until I found your web site. Margie Anderson's "12 Ways to Fish A Worm" articles have the answers I have been looking for. I'm a transplant from Maine to Florida, moved in 1985, and I have not had much success in working worms to catch Largemouth Bass here on the Harris chain of lakes. Now I have the knowledge to get a few bass. Thank you for your excellent article which has all the information that I , at least, find very valuable.

Raoul Souliere


September 30, 2009


I enjoy your crappie products and when I saw an article by Tim Huffman I smiled. Like Bass Pros do, I go after the crappie just as hard and spend sometimes twice a day chasing them.

Thanks for including the info for Crappie Lovers.

Jim Grachek

September 9, 2009

"Picking Out A Baitcasting Reel"

A very informative article. You fish for years having some idea what the retrieval speed is on your reel but it is nice to have a rule to follow when buying a reel for a specific technique . I have really never flipped heavy cover with any success so I decided to get the proper tools so that I would have better success. I was unsure about reel speed so I did a lot of research to insure that the reel I bought was the right one. Your article concurs with my selection. Thanks for the info!

Bruce Milam


September , 1, 2009

Besides being well written, the Western Front/Lack of Participation article explores some factors that can also be applied to the decline of tournament participation in the Midwest and East as well. Numbers of participants have also declined in those regions for many of the same reason outlined by the three commentators. I especially agree with Gary Dobyns opinion that the PAA will become a dominant player in tournament fishing much sooner than later due to the shortsightedness of the two major organizations.

Mike Entile
Aurora, IL

August 31, 2009

Concerning the recent Western Front/Lack of Participation story, I disagree when the so called Pros of our sport "whine" about not fishing certain lake or rivers at certain times of the year! I mean come on, really, you want your fish served on a silver platter? Also do you need that money served with it? I think if you want to constructively criticize, then maybe you should be on the tournament committee for the organization! If you get labeled a trouble maker by the organization then you must be one, in my opinion. No offence to Gary Dobyns, I think he is one of the greats in the sport and I wish we could see him compete on the tour level!


Jef C Nelson

Hi Jeff,

No offense taken. I think you missed my point, though. I'm not talking of myself and how I'd personally like to fish events. I like tough events - they are easier to win or do well in. The problem I'm referring to lies with parcipitation. Bad or no fun events do not draw well. Guys do not want to pay $4,000, take 10 or 11 days off work (4 practice, 4 tournament, a day off, and usally a day of travel on each end) to go practice their casting, and spend another couple thousand in expenses. If they are not in the points race it's too easy not to fish and follow the circuit. This is what I mean when I say participation is down - the majority of the pool doesn't see the value in it.

We have some of the best fisheries in the US. FLW gets priority on dates for permits ( there was one problem this year, first ever) and they can't get it right. Did you know we will fish or travel on Memorial Day, Labor day, Easter Sunday, and Mother's Day this year alone, for FLW? I believe in standing up for the fishermen. That gets me labeled a trouble maker but I couldn't care less. As far as being on tournament committees, I'm on three different organization committees right now ( Won Bass, Angler's Chioce, New Bass West). FLW needs to "listen to their customers". Thanks for the reply.

Gary D.

August 28, 2009

I recently read and enjoyed the two part article by Stan Fagerstrom on the Heddon Basser called "Thanks for the Memories" but I have a couple questions. First, Stan mentions that he used to just cast the lure out and reel it in and that he started changing that retrieve but he never totally details what type of retrieve he changed to. Is he walking the dog or working it like a chuggin\Pop-R style lure? Also, is there only one size of the Heddon Basser?

Any other information you have about the Basser would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Dear Matt:

Thanks for your interest in my columns about the Heddon Basser. If you read Part 1 of this two part column, you're aware that this lure hasn't been available for decades. My memory (unlike wine it doesn't improve with age) tells me that at one time Heddon did make a smaller a version of these lures than the full size, 5/8th-ounce one I wrote about.

At one time there was also a small version of the Heddon Lucky 13. I know that for sure because I've still got a couple of them.

Paragraphs 6 through 10 of Part 2 of "Thanks for the Memories" does deal with the retrieves I used with the Basser. As I mentioned, most often I cast to cover and let the ripples from the lure's splash down completely disappear. As I also pointed out, things usually worked out best if I waited until the lure was looking right at me before I did anything with it.

My intention when I did start manipulating it was to make the lure stay as close as I could to where it had splashed down. I'd usually make its nose dip down into the water with a gentle twitch of the rod tip and then just let it bob back up and rest again. I'd often do this at least three or four times before I finally made it dive under and start swimming back to the boat.

Please note I've used the terms "usually" and "often" in saying what type of retrieve I employed. I'll never ever fish any lure the same way hour after hour if the fish haven't shown interest. As you'll recall, I also mentioned in Part 2 that a largemouth bass doesn't "always" do anything. Certainly I'll use the procedure that works best most often, but I'll forever attempt to let the fish tell me how they want a lure presented. Sometimes a slight change in what you've been doing provides an answer to that all important aspect of things.

There were times with the old Basser when nothing worked better than just getting it out close to cover and beginning an immediate underwater retrieve at a medium speed. It wouldn't dive far no matter what rate of retrieve was used. But again, that's not what worked best most of the time. Resting the lure and then waiting until it was pointing right at you before gently digging the nose down into the water and then resting it again before repeating the process usually was far more effective. Strikes often came after I'd used this procedure three or four times and just as I dug the lure all the way down to make it begin swimming back to the boat.

The retrieves I used with these old lures I love so much aren't like those I'd use with either a Zara Spook or a surface popper. The Basser was and still is a different breed of cat. Good luck if you decide to try to find some of these fine old lures. If your fishing takes you where there's a lake that has an abundance of yellow perch, by all means endeavor to find one in a perch finish.

It was good to hear from you, Matt, and thanks again for your interest in my Inside Line columns. Warm regards.


August 10, 2009

In the article “My Two Go-Tos" the arthur, Charles "The Bass Doctor" Stuart”, mentions the rigging of a Kut Tail worm using a live bait hook. Can you illustrate that rigging for me? For some reason I cannot visualize this setup. I know it sounds easy but I have a mental block on this one. Is he talking about wacky rigging or is he actully using a texas rig approach positionng the hook in the center of the bait instead of the convential nose location?

Thanksfor all the Inside Line articles, I love reading them!


Hi Tom,

Thank you for your question!

You are correct in your assumption that the hook is used as a "keel" and that it is rigged Texas style, however the hook is moved further down the body of the Kut Tail worm and close to the center, so that the action can be given to not only the tail, but also the head of the worm (light line is key!).

This hook position will also increase your catch ratio dramatically!

Tight Lines!

Charles "The Bass Doctor" Stuart.


August 7, 2009

Dear Inside Line,

Launch ramp stories are always entertaining. Thanks Connie, enjoyed your article.

Guess you guys have seen the recent GM truck advertisement on national tv where the guy with the great towing truck backs his large boat effortlessly down the ramp to the water, then gets out confidently, walks back looking at the boat partly in the water behind his new GM truck, opens his tailgate, and...

proceeds to get his stuff out of the truck bed and drop it on the ramp to load into the boat.

Have you seen it yet? GM, national tv, advertisement targeted to truck buyers towing a boat?!?!

And we wonder where people learn to block the boat ramps.




July 20, 2009

After reading the article, Time for “Tin”, we had to smile. Ten years ago we traded in the bass boat for an aluminum Lund deep V boat because my wife was concerned that our one year old daughter would just walk off the edge of the bass boat. It was a tough moment for me, because I knew my tournament days were probably over, and it would be tough to give up the "go fast" boat that I had for years to move into more of a family mode.

Ten years and two more kids later, we're still driving the Lund and having as much fun and catching as many fish as ever. We even added a “plastic” Bass Hunter boat to the mix last year. The family and I have had more fun than ever in that boat. We quietly explore beaver homes, bass spawning beds and a great mixture of new things in our quiet fishing machine. My dad always told me that it’s not the boat that catches the fish! It’s fun to see the kids just enjoy fishing and spending time with mom and dad in the outdoors. It’s also nice to know that we get to keep doing what we love, even when the economy is not on our side.

Thanks for a great article….it just rings true.

Tom and Jody Demo
Leawood, Kansas



July 9, 2009

Dear Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits,

As a new fisherman, along with my seven year old son, I recently visited your website to learn more about baits and fishing in general.  I find your products to be outstanding.  The few times my son and I have gone bass fishing our Yamamoto baits have brought us much success and excitement. I’ve attached a photo of my son, Vinny, with a 3.5 lb largemouth he caught using a Yamamoto 5” pumpkin double tail hula grub.  It was his first big fish!

Brandon Lisinicchia
Fort Wayne, IN


July 8, 2009

Dear Editor,

I enjoyed the articles Mr. Fagerstrom wrote on better casting. In these he commented on how he has very light settings on his casting reels to create a more accurate presentation to his target. I would like to see a more detailed in-depth article from him on more advanced casting techniques he has used. I consider myself a proficient user with baitcasting equipment but I have seen demonstrations by people demonstrating trick casts and I know I have much room for improvement. Obviously practice is a major factor but there are other things that an individual can learn to master. These advanced techniques are what I am curious about.

Craig M. Vohwinkle
Lake Ann, Michigan

Dear Terry:

Thank you for your comments regarding the series I'm currently doing on casting for Inside Line. They are appreciated. I agree that using using a rod and level wind reel the way you do makes nothing but good sense. I often fish that way myself. Not as much as I once did because I had major wrist surgery a few years ago and I've had to make a few changes in what I do here and there.

I do want a share a quick thought with you. I prefer not to limit myself to using just one arm for all of my casting. If you read Part 1 of my series you'll recall I mentioned my having been around for awhile. My wrists tend to tire if I continue to stick to continuous casting from either the right or left side in a long day on the water.

I've developed a technique to cast left handed while using a level wind reel with handles on the right side. If I can get Heidi's approval, I'll likely detail the procedure in a future column. It really works well. And, as you've mentioned, it doesn't require shifting the rod from one hand to other. I now do a great deal of my fishing using procedure.

I'm a right hander but the casting method I'm talking about can be used by anyone who chooses to do a bit of practice to feel comfortable with the technique. There are also certain lures where I much prefer to do the manipulations required to get them to produce while holding my rod in my left hand.

Personal preference plays a major role in determining how any of us wind up using our gear. And that's as it should be. But, and it's important, how the heck are you gonna know if the approach someone else works for you unless you've given it a fair trial? Keep your eye on my future Inside Line columns. I think you'll find them of interest.

As you're probably aware, my columns on casting are being done as a series. The series is directed more toward those who have given up on level wind reels than pros like yourself. My objective is to encourage them to get their level wind reels out of storage and practice enough so they can start using the darn things.

Again, Terry, thanks for your interest and for taking time to share your thoughts with us. As Heidi mentioned, in the morning I'll be leaving for some fishing at Mexico's Lake El Salto. And I'll be doing my casting using both my right and left hands while I'm at it!

With warm regards,


June 19, 2009

Dear Inside Line,

My name is Tony Erwin and I am avid fisherman. I am not a pro by any means but I fish in some tournaments around SE Iowa and I belong to a bass club in Ottumwa, Iowa. I want to tell you how wonderful I believe the 5" Senko is and the confidence this bait has given me. I have introduced the Green Pumpkin Senko to a number of my fellow bass club members and they also find it to be a greatconfidence bait.

I fished a tournament last weekend and within the first hour I had my limit in the boat. My buddy was quick to change over and bag his limit also. I fished a number of baits that day but the Senko was the only bait that caught any sizeable fish. I have gotten my girlfriend into fishing this year and the senko is the only bait she will throw. On one of our bank fishing outings she caught two 4-pound bass and she was so excited!

I am also trying the Flappin' Hog more this year and have already caught a number of fish on it. I'm trying the Kut Tail in a tournament this weekend. Thank you for such great products!


June 1, 2009
Recently I fished the Utah Bass Federation Nation Draw Tournament as a co-angler at Jordanelle Reservoir.  I took first place as a co-angler at that event last year and third overall behind the FLW Pro Roy Hawk. Little did I know this tournament would turn out to be another memorable event! Last year I drew Roger Mezenen as my boater and a year later, by chance, I drew Roger again.

We went to an area where we knew some big fish were caught last year. We were catching good fish and decided to stay on the hole. We made several passes and each time I would switch baits to give the fish a different look. I noticed a flip flop floating next to where we got most of our bites and I joked with Roger that it was our marker buoy.

I picked up my drop shot rod rigged with a Yamamoto 4-inch Kut-Tail in color 305 (baby bass) and tossed it toward the flip flop thong.  My line started swimming as soon as it hit the water. I did a quick sweep set and she dove like a submarine. After a bit of a battle she started to come up. At first she felt like a catfish because she was so fat, but when she turned sideways we went into shock! It was the biggest smallie I’d seen in Jordanelle.

At 21 ¼ inches she weighed in at 8 pounds and 1 ounce. We took some snapshots and released her (this event was a paper tournament). I finished 2nd on the co-angler side and got big fish of the tourney on both sides.  All bass over 12 inches must be immediately released at Jordanelle, so there was no way to certify her as a state record.

It was a great fish and one of the best experiences of my fishing career.

Sidney Reeves
Ogden, UT


April 30, 2009
Though I fell I’m fairly comfortable with a level wind, I did enjoy the article. I do have a general question about using a level wind real. I grew up with a spinning real and made the crossover several years ago. Right handed folks cast a spinning real with their right hand and then retrieve with their left. That has always felt natural to me, so when I made the switch to a level wind I took my first reel back and swapped it for a left handed model so I would be back to casting with the right hand and retrieving with the left.

I see everyone else using just the opposite, they cast the level wind with their right hand then switch the rod over to their left hand and crank with their right hand. Why all the rod switching? I do just fine keeping my rod in my right hand at all times. The thumb angle is a little off because all the left crank level winds are intended to be cast with the left hand, but it is not a significant problem. So, why all the switcharooing? Cast & switch hands, retrieve then switch again over and over and over.

Terry Morrison
Holly Springs, MS

Click here for Stan's reply


Parts 1 and 2 were interesting reading. As being a fairly regular fisherman, I still found this very useful and I look forward to the next part of Stan's article.


Ed Chin
TBF Oregon President
Gresham, OR


In the article dated December 1996 by Jerry Pucket, he advises that before charging a deep cell battery it should be discharged to a very low point before recharging it. Does this still apply if you have a smart on board charger that monitors the battery automatically? Do I still need to run the battery down before plugging in the charger or can I just plug it in and charge the battery after each time out on the water? I use the battery just to run my trolling motor. If I do need to run the battery down do I need to do this all the time or just the first few times that I charge it.

Thank You,

Mike Tvrdik
Hilton Island Head, SC

Click here for Jerry's reply