Saturday, February 24, 2018

If you're not using a snell, you should be!!!

So I was talking to my cousin and we were discussing knots. That's how I started the idea for all the knot videos on my youtube channel. We were talking about a good way to secure braid to fluorocarbon and I suggested The Alberto Knot. He learned that one and it's an easy knot to tie for sure. However, I mentioned tying a snell knot for flipping and he was not having it. So I thought I would check into this and see what the general consensus is with tying a snell when flipping.

By all accounts, a snell will increase your percentage of a hookup due to the way that the pressure on the line forces the hook into an upward position on the hookset.

It does this due to the way the line attaches to the hook. I went online and most guys report a twenty percent increase in hookups if a snell is used. I do not know if this is the case but if I'm fishing in a tournament, I will take any advantage I can get. Even if it is perceived, I will take that chance because sometimes cashing a check is only an ounce or two from going home empty handed. Another thing to think about is you just got a great bite and it is a possible personal best, I want every chance to have a positive hookup to land that fish.

I will talk about the rig that I use when using a snell for my flipping setup. The components are a straight shank flipping hook, a bullet weight, your favorite trailer, and a bobber stop. You do not absolutely need to include the bobber stop but it makes the rig nice and compact. For heavy cover, the bobber stop is a must so that you can get the lure under the cover you are flipping into whether it be mats, lilly pads, or any other heavy cover.

Here is a close up of the bobber stops. The way that you install the bobber stop on the line is that you put the line through the opening in the wire that the stops are on, and then just pull the blue tab. The stop will then be on the line so that you can tie the rig. This method is better in my opinion because if you have to re-tie, you don't lose the stop like a peg. This can save valuable time if you are in a tournament situation.

Hope you try this method of rigging and get a few more in the boat this year. Here is the video of how to tie a snell knot as well as the rest of this rig. Thanks for reading!!!!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Rod and reel setups for 2018

I decided to do a video on my rod and reel combos for 2018. First of all the video came out very grainy and I do not know why so I am working that out. You will get the idea from the video of the gear I use and why I use it. I did not get into depth on the technical aspect of the gear and may do that in another video.

Check out the video and hope you get some ideas for your own gear or if you are thinking of upgrading.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Palomar Knot

Well since I showed in the last video a knot for flourocarbon and monofilament, I figured I would do the knot I use for my braid applications. This is The Palomar Knot. It is an easy strong knot and works great for braid. I also use this knot for dropshotting but you must pay more attention when cinching the knot down. Make sure you take your time when cinching it and use some lubrication so that the knot does not cause too much friction and weaken the knot. Good luck and hope this gives you another option for a knot to tie.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Downsizing for summer muskies

So I went to the Midwest Musky Expo at Pheasant Run this winter and I could not help but notice the size of the lures now available for the elusive Esox Masquinongy. Now these lures work on the predators for most of the summer and fall moreover, I don't think you could throw a bait too big either. Pounders, Super Top Raiders, and large jerkbaits such as Phantom Lures Hex at 12 inches are productive. I have however; used a technique for these fish in the summer and fall to even the late fall that does not include your traditional upsized gear. I use downsized lures to fool even the biggest fish in the system. In the following I will chronicle my observations that include downsizing not only in the early season, but at other times of the year as well.

Let us begin with the areas that I seek out as late spring turns into summer. I have noticed a shift as the spring turns to summer with the Musky leaving the deeper feeding areas for the shallow water back to the structure that they will remain on until late fall and into their wintering habitat. I look for large weed beds adjacent to deep water, rock piles also adjacent to deep water, and sunken islands. Other prime locations are the mouths and inlets from creeks and washes. These structures provide oxygenated water and baitfish use these areas to feed which bring in other larger fish that the Musky can feed on. All of these areas are prime summer Musky habitat due to the forage present and the cover that allows the big predators to ambush their prey. Here are some of these areas that I look for when seeking out a big Musky.

Underwater island with reeds

Shoreline weeds with access to deep water. The boat is in fifteen feet of water and the fish hit in two to three feet of water.

The red area is a creek mouth that runs into the lake. It is more noticeable when the water is a bit higher and it is flowing however; the water is always moving here and it is a prime location due to the various weeds present for cover.

Now that I have highlighted some of the areas that I look for we can talk meat and potatoes of the whole idea. I use smaller lures, some almost too light to cast on traditional Musky gear. My first lure is a Mepps or any other number five bucktail. They are easy to work high in the water column and can attract some large fish. The colors I use are a chartreuse, yellow, and orange as well as a simple black with an orange spinner. These two colors seem to attract the most action on any lake I frequent. These are the lures that can be a bit tricky to cast with a full on Musky outfit but with some practice there is no need to have multiple setups going. That can save some $$$$$ because Musky gear can get expensive quickly. The next type of lure is still an inline spinner but it is a seven inch tube style lure. These lures seem to get more strikes out on the end of the cast than any other I have used. I don't know quite what entices the fish but these little tube spinners get the job done. My favorite is the Rizzo Wizz and Rizzo Original in black with an orange blade. Other good lures which may not fall under the downsized category are small Bulldawgs and other smaller soft plastic jerkbaits. The smaller Bulldawg is still a larger lure but I have had great successes over rocks with these jerkbaits. I will normally position myself on the deep water side of the rock pile and cast on top of it. Then I retrieve back to the boat. I try to hit all angles because you never know where the fish is positioned on the rock pile. The last type of of lure I will go to is a smaller topwater lure. I like a regular Top Raider, small globe style bait, or any smaller topwater that still makes a bunch of noise. These lures can call up giants when a larger presentation won't even get a look.

This fish was taken in a shallow weedbed leading into a bay that has access to deep water. She hit a seven inch Rizzo Wizz in black with an orange spinner.

I don't have pics of the lures however; please check out this link to my youtube channel. It has the lure I use as well as my rod and reel combos. I will also have a new review coming this season because I am featuring all new rods and reels for the year. This will take place when I can get on open water. Please stay tuned for that and check out this link for the featured lures and other equipment you will need when chasing these denisons of the deep. Here is the Musky setup video.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Alberto Knot

So I have been discussing fishing knots with my cousin and he was saying that he was having an issue with a good braid to flouro knot. I always have used The Alberto Knot for this application. This is an easy knot to tie and very strong. I did a little video of the knot today so check it out. I hope this helps when you are looking for a good solution for the braid to flouro knot.