The Good, Bad & Ugly – Lake Grapevine

Tournament season has started and all I did last week was look forward to the weekend so I could get out and show the field what I had learned in the off season. There had been several reports posted on forums showing that bass have been caught, in January, on Lake Grapevine. I had visited with some local powerboat guys and felt comfortable about my strategy as well as the tips they had give me. Hold on – those tips and pictures came at the tail end of a warming trend. As I checked the forecast I see that a massive cold front is coming through and temps will most likely be in 20’s at takeoff. I decided to roll anyway, in hopes of cash and prizes coming my way, heck the Elite BASS pros fish in this kind of weather why I can’t?

The 4:00 a.m. wake up call came quick on Tournament day. I had just tucked myself in less than four hours ago, what am I thinking? Check the temp – warming trend it’s only 30 degrees, game on! I go through the pregame rituals and grab some breakfast and coffee while rolling to the check in. The current temp is 31 – Still Game On! As I roll up to the check in I begin seeing all the guys who make this a great sport, my buddies on the tournament trail. We get out and tell each other how much we missed each other and that we are freaking crazy for fishing a non power plant tournament in DFW in January. After a little crying we all bundled up, signed the releases and headed to the secret launch locations.

It takes me a while to unload the Pro Angler 14, due to my addiction to bringing too much stuff. Side note, going to have to reduce as the Spring arrives and the water warms, but its 32 degrees and I don’t think the early morning bite is where it’s at. An hour later I am on the water and my tournament day has started! I figure with water temperatures in the low to mid 40’s I would work the jerk bait. I make my third cast, half way through the chorus of “You Make My Dreams Come True” by the “Great” Hall & Oates when my Jerk bait gets hammered. I put the giant hook set and feel the weight; good lord this is big bass and it’s only 7:45. After fifteen seconds I realized it wouldn’t be big bass and disappointment set in when the 7.5 pound blue cat made its entrance. Needless to say that was the last action I saw until 1:30 when another blue cat spoiled my hopes of landing a qualifying bass. I’m going in empty handed!

Three take a ways. First, Hall & Oates is leaving the fishing rotation. Second, you can catch several shad at once on the jerk bait. Third, Capital City Kayak Tournament Trail is a great time and I really enjoyed seeing everyone and catching up. If you haven’t heard I wasn’t the only one who struggled. Let’s just say that one bass took first, second and third. This means everyone is still in the Angler of the Year chase. I hope to see more of you out at Lake Lewisville next month.


Color Me Crazy


Last week I admitted that I have a small tackle addiction and I appreciated all the great comments I received. Bottom line, now that I know that I don’t stand alone I feel much better. This week I want to get some feedback on colors. Every time I roll into a tackle shop or am looking online at new baits I get not only sucked in by the bait, but also by the color. It’s not enough to have a jig trailer in green pumpkin, but now I must also have it in dirt; seriously dirt. I can hear you saying please step away from the soft plastics sir. Well I didn’t. I fell prey to the chunk jig trailer with the dirt color scheme. I have always heard that lures aren’t designed to catch fish they are designed to catch fisherman. I realize that bait companies must make a buck, but seriously some of these colors are out of site. I’m not saying that you may not have a need for exotic or custom color from time to time, but whatever happen to just watermelon, green pumpkin, black & black. Well, they are still around you just have to rummage through all 1000 different combinations from every bait company to find the basics. I am taking a stand! No longer am I going to be sucked in by the wild and crazy, I’m going to simplify, that is until a Sharelunker is caught with the wild and crazy. Then all bets are off.

I have decided to only carry the basic shades for soft plastics, crankbaits, spinnerbaits. By limiting my selections it will confuse me less. My goal this year is to bring simple back and keep the line longer in the water; where the fish are. Colors have always been a great debate and I would love to know where you stand and how you manage the color crisis. There Are No Magic Colors!


Gettin’ Jiggy With it!

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I love tackle! You can almost say that I have a habit that would rival those who are hooked on other substances. Seriously, my tackle bill has grown and grown, so I have been placed on a budget by the high command. With new budget in place this has lead me to new soul searching. No more are the days of looking at Bassmaster, FLW or Bass Angler Magazine to find out what the latest is and then roll to the local tackle shop for a purchase. I’m going to miss those days, but now I might be able to retire before I’m dead.

Looking deep into the SD cards from the 2013 season I saw the same pattern emerge every time I was holding a quality fish. The pattern was that I caught it on a jig. Not just any jig but a Santone Jig. I have always known that jigs are big fish baits but for some reason I would be sucked up by the perfumed inner thigh of what was trending. Well, no more. I have decided to become a minimalist when tackle is involved. Heck, I purchased enough last year for the entire 2014 season. However, one thing is clear and that is that I will be upgrading my collection of Jigs. As I am writing, I am reviewing the 2014 catalog for Santone and man it looks great!  The catalog is loaded with new colors and everything you could possibly need for your jig needs. Upon further review, the jig is now my confidence bait! Santone Lures provides the quality and reputation that I depend on when the big fish comes knocking. So if you’ve been placed on a budget and need to examine which baits produce the biggest fish then take a look at Santone. There’s a reason jigs are tied on and sit on the front deck of every boat from FLW to Bassmaster Elites.

Do find yourself getting caught up in the tackle marketing wars? If you are like me and are a sucker for the next great thing, take a deep breath and put it down. Keep it simple with some of the most proven tactics. That is what Santone Lures have done for me. They have helped me minimize my options, think less and fish more. I would love to hear your thoughts and what is working best for you. Whether you agree or disagree it, heck we’re all chasing the passion. I hope your 2014 season is off to a great start and that you have the opportunity to land the fish of your dreams this year.


Happy, Happy, Happy New Year

With the New Year in full swing and with everyones hopes high for a fantastic year, I thought it would be fun to put out these resolutions to the Kayak Bass Fishing World. With clubs, tournament scenes and people trying to stand out in the sport egos sometime get in the way. I will admit that from time to time my ego steps in and i have to remind myself that this is my hobby and passion, not my job; so enjoy it!  Here are some resolutions that were forwarded to me from a co-worker and i thought they would fit the fishing world very well.

  1. Be Honest:   Tell the truth.  Do the right thing. Be trustworthy.
  2. Be Empathetic:   Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Listen. Care
  3. Be Appreciative:   Look for the good in people.  Express gratitude.
  4. Be Respectful:   Show care, concern and consideration.
  5. Be Tolerant:   Rather than judging others, accept their differences.


I hope everyone achieves what they want to achieve in this New Year!