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Messages - Brazzy

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The Hawg Forum / Re: Punch Shotting
« on: August 08, 2018, 11:01:10 AM »
I think we are looking at it very differently. It sounds like you are thinking of casting this out in shallow water and dragging it back. For that I agree that I dont think it will be effective and will likely drag in a whole bunch of cabbage.

I look at it for punching or flipping. I keep thinking about pitching it in 8-12 feet of milfoil. When talking about this the best point they made was "vegetation doesn't grow on rock". So when you are punching with a texas rigged 1oz weight (plus) yeah it will get through the matted vegetation, but its also going to bury itself in the soft bottom. Which I think is a fair point. We shall see. I will rig my second flipping stick with this and alternate them depending on situation and see if this is hype or a legit player.

The Hawg Forum / Punch Shotting
« on: August 07, 2018, 12:09:05 PM »
So a couple of years ago Iaconelli came back from Japan ranting and raving on Bass U about a technique he learned while he was in Japan. Now it wasn't "new" but it really had not caught on here in the states and since then it has really been developed. The leader-less punch shot is often known as a "Jika" rig while the leadered punch shot is really starting to come around with VMC releasing the "Tokyo Rig" at Icast. At first I saw it and thought "too much hardware, Im out". The more I see it and the more I hear about it, I am now thinking it would be a solid option. What really sold me was a video at Icast by Seth Feider who talked about this being such a game changer for the anglers who flip thick vegetation. He says the guys back in Minnesota who flip milfoil for smallies will have this in their hands instead of a standard Texas rig by end of year.

As a guy who flips milfoil for smallies and thick vegetation this really peaked my interest. The thoughts on this is that:
-The bait will look more natural as it wont be stuck to the bottom.
-In mucky bottoms, Texas rigs will bury themselves while this will be off the bottom.
-Hook up ratio goes up since the fish will be inhaling the bait alone and not the weight.
-Will get through thick vegetation without the need of super heavy weights.

I bought the components and made a bunch of these and will likely test it out at Slatersville before using it on Candlewood. It wont replace the Texas rig because in open water its too much hardware. However, The more I look at this, I feel in heavy vegetation, soft bottoms, etc it could be a real player.

What are your thoughts?

The Hawg Forum / Re: Not so calm before the storm
« on: August 06, 2018, 09:12:47 AM »
Where we were it was not just the downpours. We absolutely stacked them up in the am while it was drizzling. My biggest of the day was 4lb 9oz. The trip was cut short though as we started to get repeated tornado warnings where we were. The rain we were prepared for. The lightning all around us was what cut the trip short. Only got about 2 and a half hours on the water but were already culling on a 13lb bag.

The Hawg Forum / Re: Big fish, Where to fish, and when to leave
« on: July 26, 2018, 11:16:56 AM »
... and sometimes it is asking yourself questions. Sometimes the "why" really is the key, especially when you are having success. If there is a spot you have a lot of confidence in well what makes that area so great? Why do fish gravitate toward that area. When it comes to conditions what do you see works best? For the past couple of years I have subscribed to the Bass University and in those seminars they do tell a lot of stories. The thing I find most fascinating with the stories is how I connect them to some of my best days fishing and some of my worst days fishing. Its funny that they can really outline details that I never really paid attention to and start connecting the dots to some of the best days or biggest fish I've caught.

As for big fish, that is a different story. Its funny because confidence in a technique or bait often comes in catching numbers. Going out there and stacking them up will really get that confidence going. I feel that is where a lot of the local tournament anglers go wrong. If you are fun fishing, man that's a blast! But it is a totally different mind set to go out there and just try to get 5 bites. There are baits out there that people lean on as confidence baits simply because they stack up numbers. I will use the wacky senko as the prime example. Can it catch big fish? Absolutely. However, you are going to be ripping through a lot of 2lb fish to get the 5+ bite you are looking for. I talked about the swimbait vs the carolina rig on the other thread. The carolina rig catches every fish in the school while the swim bait gets the best fish in the school. I have had a number of 50+ smally days on the carolina rig and never caught more than 7 or 8 in a day on the swimbait. However in terms of 4+lb smallmouth the swimbait is dominating. In a tournament situation will I start off with the bait that will stack them up? Sometimes. I usually look to get 5 in the boat as soon as possible and go from there. Once I get the 5, the volume confidence bait gets put down. As hard as it is to put down a bait thats getting bit, we can only weigh in 5 (usually). The key is having confidence in a bait/technique that wont get many bites, but you know when you do get one it will be big. For me the swimbaits for smallies is one, flipping is another, but he idea is at that point I'm no longer looking for volume.

I guess the tough part is spending time getting that confidence. I purposely take a trip to winnipesaukee each spring to catch volume. Nothing big but I just let them chew the paint off my jerkbaits. I feel like getting 30-50 a day really mentally prepares me for the year to try and get 5. When I come home I often try new techniques. If I get skunked, so be it. Im not overly itchy because I already got my fill. I have been red hot lately, but I will likely take a couple of days to work on a new technique that I feel will be one of those feast or famine baits. That being punch shotting. It wont chewed all day, but when it gets bit it should be pretty good size. However, Im prepared to go out there and struggle. Hopefully I get a couple of good ones and get me enough confidence to use it in a tournament.

The Hawg Forum / Re: Dragging Swimbaits for GIANT Smallmouth
« on: July 24, 2018, 10:16:03 AM »
Thank you.

Yes it is a collapsing silicon net. Its similar to this one on amazon:

The Hawg Forum / Re: Dragging Swimbaits for GIANT Smallmouth
« on: July 24, 2018, 08:09:44 AM »
This is definitely something that took a while for me to come around to as well. At first I tried the wide gap swim bait hooks with the screw lock keeper and weight on the keel of the hooks. I got some bites on it fishing for largemouth but my hook up ratio was far too low to be able to do it with confidence. I the resorted to using the as trailers on chatterbaits and spinnerbaits ( you know my stance on that now). I was fishing with a local pro and he turned me onto ita couple of years ago. I then saw Seth Feider and Pete Gluszek do seminars on this on Bass University. That gave me the confidence to at least try it for smallmouth on a jig head. It did not take long to get confidence in it. Then Mark Zona did a seminar on the line through style in a seminar about unorthodox ways to fish docks. I very quickly realized that how I started using this bait to begin with was all wrong. That weedless application was pretty frustrating and it would be pretty low on the totem pole of baits I would throw around grass. However, these other methods are absolutely killer.

The Hawg Forum / Dragging Swimbaits for GIANT Smallmouth
« on: July 23, 2018, 11:48:19 AM »
So I have touched on this before, but wanted to share because this is becoming such a great way to catch larger smallmouth. Growing up I would always lean on the Carolina rig for smallmouth fishing especially mid summer when they went a little deeper. I felt that the feel for the bottom was great and I had several 50+ fish day on the Carolina rig. However, the Carolina rig was meant to catch every fish in the school. What if you just want the best fish in the school? That is where I feel this technique is really shining. The idea is super simple. Swimbait jighead with a 3.25" to a 5" swimbait. The size of the jighead should depend on the depth you are fishing and the size of the swimbait, but remember that you want to maintain bottom contact. With smallies I know that an erratic retrieve is always the preferred method, but in this instance the super slow and steady retrieve I find works best. The idea is to go super slow and maintain the bottom contact and go slow enough that you are getting a good layout of what the bottom is like. Now heres the catch. Smallies dont always smash this thing on the first try. They love to swipe at it, mouth it, and mess with it before eating it. So often they will tear your swimbait in half. DO NOT SET THE HOOK! Just keep that steady slow retrieve. The other great thing about this is they wont swallow it so the risk of gut hooking a fish is not like that of a carolina rig. As long as you dont yank the bait away from them they will keep messing with it until they get hooked. If the line goes slack, go ahead and reel up the slack quickly and get ready to lean into them. However, more often than not they will play with this thing and if you yank it from them thats game over. When they got it reel into it a bit and then lean into them with a side sweep once you know for sure they got it. Most of these swimbait jig heads have super sharp and often light wire hooks. You dont need to jack them like on a flipping jig.

For rod I like a 7'Medium spinning rod and I will use 15lb braid with a 10lb fluoro leader tied with an FG knot. This is still a search bait so that light braid will not only let you cast it a mile, but you will feel every rock, and blade of grass down there. My preferred size is a 4" on a 1/4 oz jig head. Below is an example. This fish weighed in at 4lb 8oz. Oddly enough my partner and I weighed in 2 more that weighed exactly 4-8 and another at 4-4. I took a photo of this one because it was the text book tick, then a thump, and then he smashed it. At some point it tore the tail off and still came back to for his finishing move.

The Hawg Forum / Re: Big fish, Where to fish, and when to leave
« on: July 23, 2018, 09:14:00 AM »
Wow, isn't that one of the great questions in tournament fishing, and fishing in general? As much as I like to say that fishing is a science and not an art, this is one of those instances where your confidence and feel come into play. For me who I am fishing against and where we are will greatly play into this. If I am on a fishery where I know I need a good bag (12+, 15+, etc), and I am fishing against quality anglers then that will play into it because I know I cant spend all day catching dinks. Also, my confidence in that spot and my other choices comes into play.  If my next stop is another high confidence spot then that too will play into how fast I pull that trigger. Lastly is the opportunity to come back to the spot. If chances are, I can come back later and not find someone sitting on my spot then I wont be as hesitant to leave it. I'm sure we all experienced this while fun fishing where you hit a spot and kill it until the bite dies, leave and then come back and its on fire all over again.

The other piece of it, and this may be more of a personal thing, is that what are you looking to achieve? Is this a club where the money, respect, etc comes from an individual tournament win or is it a group where the real money and real respect is placed on the AOY award and grinding out top 3/top 5 finishes in every event puts you in a good place to win AOY. It really depends on the group and what you want to achieve and I'm sure that would play into it.

Congrats on having a good year. That's awesome and don't think for a second that your confidence being high isn't feeding into it. It plays such an important role.

The Hawg Forum / Re: Independent Bass Anglers and Dead Bass
« on: July 17, 2018, 08:50:38 AM »
This is insanity. There are now online tournament clubs and car topper tournaments. They use videos. Show the whole fish, show inside its mouth, say a code word given for that time frame. Show the scale at 0. Show the whole fish while on the scale and show the weight locked on the scale. Super easy and the fish is back in the water in usually no more than 45 seconds. So many groups are using this now its crazy to think these dopes are using stringers. Despite all of us in our group having bass boats we even used those rules for the tournament we had during the spawn this year because we didn't want to be pulling fish off beds and driving them around in our live wells all day. Its crazy how the entire fishing world is evolving to be more conscious in their conservation efforts while these guys are killing fish for no reason.

Here's the kicker. They clearly aren't dropping money on high end gear, which immediately makes me think there's no way this tournament is for big money. On top of that the rules give a 2oz bonus for each fish released alive. That means a guy with a  working live well has a 10z advantage to start and people are still using stringers. So it cant possibly be for anything significant in terms of a payout. So the kicker is.... they are killing all those fish for absolutely no reason.

The Hawg Forum / Re: Hydrowave
« on: July 12, 2018, 03:53:19 PM »
And thats the funny part about it. I thought getting electronics would change me from good to great. Not the case. Actually the first year I had it I got a lot worse. Let me say this. It being referred to as a "fish finder" is a load of crap. It does not find fish. I spent hours on end staring at that thing thinking I was going to be like Brent Ehrler on MLF just video game fishing. Wow was I wrong.

In all honesty its a tool like any other and in the right hands it can help. In the wrong hands it cant. Its not going to make a bad angler into a good angler. I feel like it takes a great deal of skill to use these effectively. Just to explain, you are not looking for fish. I mean if you find them, great, but it is super hard to drop on them while they are under your boat and you see them on the graph. What you are looking for is depth, contour changes, hardness of bottom, rocks, grass, etc. What does that mean? Well nothing if you dont establish a pattern. You need to get bites, for these tools to help you get more bites.

Example: Yesterday out on a lake where they are doing some serious weed eradication. I start off a point (visual target) and start working off that point. As I am working dont the point I get to a place where it is about 10 feet of water and notice I am hitting clumps of grass on the bottom (purely from feel). As soon as I start hitting grass I start getting bites. I keep generating the bites in 10-12 FOW pulsing a chatterbait through the grass. Whenever I would hit grass I would violently pop it out of the grass and a lot of strikes came right then. I stack up about 5 fish and now start piecing it together for a pattern. I fish that spot until the bites die. Now I use my navionics map (I use my phone) to try and find places that might look similar to it no the body of water I am on. I start going to those places and idling over it. I dont see a single fish, but when I saw grass in about 10-12 feet of water adjacent to a primary or secondary point I would make some casts. I get on them there as well. I move further off the bank and find a hump where it goes from about 16 FoW to 11FoW and it has grass on it as well.. From there I just blister them.

The reason I mention this is it wasnt this magic wand that found fish. It took getting a line in the water, looking for visual queues, feeling the bottom, and getting bites to establish the pattern. From there you then use the tools you have to replicate it. In no way do this tools make up for and deficiency in skills. I think the name of the game here is efficiency. I could have found grass by dragging a jig or a Carolina rig, but this was far more efficient.

Good Stuff. and that makes sense. The Revo S has centrifugal brakes, the SX has magnetic, and the STX is the first model with both.  in the older models. Now the STX and above has the IVCB-6L braking system. I do have an SX, but  put that in my 8' flipping stick as I would not do more than punch with that thing. I wouldn't dare make a cast with the SX. I have owned everything from the S to the Premier. Bang for the buck the STX is probably the best choice. In your assessment the STX would have been in the same price range as the Curado, but the STX would have dominated in specs and performance. The SX and that nonsense infini magnetic brake system is a nightmare.

On a side note, I have the new Revo Ike series reel coming in today or tomorrow. It is supposed to be released on 8/1, but I pulled some strings and should have it in my hands by this weekend. Really looking forward to this one. It essentially took the power from the STX and the weight of a premier and added a new handle and a pimped out paint job. I will likely do a video on it in the coming week.

The older revos definitely had their issues with backlashes. Most really needed some TLC to get them dialed in. However, the SX was one where I felt was a backlash nightmare waiting to happen (might be the one you are talking about). It was frequent and it was nasty. They have made improvements to the braking systems and now they are pretty good across the board but the higher end models braking system is awesome. 

I was afraid the revo X would be a cash grab.. Glad to hear its good quality.

The Hawg Forum / Re: Jack Hammer
« on: July 12, 2018, 10:20:19 AM »
Its hard to argue with due to the amount of success people have had with paddle tails. I think a lot of that has to do with he fact that when this bait burst onto the scene its what we all used as a trailer. Fast forward and people are now putting together videos that show how the paddle/boot tails work against the chatterbait rather than with it, and that its mostly been the profile and not the action that has triggered strikes. More and more people are coming out with videos about rigging the paddle tail upside down or cutting the paddle off to not make it work against the chatterbait. Meanwhile companies are making plastics specifically for this purpose (magic shad, hammer shad, zako, etc). Zona's words were strong and I thought he was nuts. Having tried the other options (he recommended a zako) I understand what he means. The difference in the action is on a whole other level.

The Hawg Forum / Re: Jack Hammer
« on: July 12, 2018, 09:17:48 AM »
So all spring I have been tinkering around with a combination of the original chatterbait, some locally made BSJ's and the jackhammer. I have to be honest and say that when it comes to the original chatterbait and locally made BSJ's in terms of performance they are about the same. The BSJ has a wider wobble but when you cast them they both sometimes get a little twisted and done always run right away. Sometimes (not always) you gotta give them a twitch to get them to start vibrating. I have found that the original chatterbait skips a lot better than a BSJ with a split ring. However, the line connection on the original chatterbait is suspect to say the least while most home made BSJ's use decent quality snaps.

So now I lead to the Jackhammer. Always runs as soon as you turn the handle, it skips a little better than the original chatterbait (likely because of the weight), and the connections are not a concern. The wire double keeper eliminates my need to put a dab of glue to hold the trailer. Does it justify the price tag? Eh. I plan on having a bunch on my boat, but do I feel that everyone needs a box full of these? No. Having 1 or 2 in your favorite color wouldnt hurt if you arent breaking the bank to get them.

As for trailers. I have been experimenting with a few different trailers. Mark Zona during a seminar stated that paddle trail swimbaits on a chatterbait "suck". Thats a bit strong as people have had a ton of success with those. However, I will say there are much better options. People are adapting and starting to rig paddle tails upside down or cutting the tail off. I think these options are better. The first is the cheapest, easiest and most versatile for other applications, and that is the zoom fluke. Super cheap, very effective, and odds are you already have some. Reacts well to the action of the head and doesnt work against the bait.  The second is the Yamamoto Zako. A little pricier, and really serves one purpose as a chatterbait trailer. However, it allows for good side to side swimming acting and reacts ok to pulses, stop/go, and stroking/ripping. The best trailer IMO and its not even close is a bit more rare. It is a segmented swimbait with a tail that is horizontal. Originally from Japan it is a Imakatsu Javallon. In the fall I bought this mold and have been pouring my own and now Lake Fork Lures is now carrying these as the "Live Magic Shad". In terms of action, these things are money. They follow the lure remarkable well and will really react well to a pulse or twitch as the bait will react like a segmented swimbait with the body following the head. The one down side to these are that the plastic joining the segments is very thin and smaller fish tend to tear them in half quite a bit. So you go through a lot of these. However, they are a clear #1 in my opinion. I've felt this way for a while and spent a good portion of yesterday experimenting with different chatterbaits and different trailers. Just talking what the "best" combination is I feel its the jackhammer with the Javallon / Live Magic Shad / BHB Swimming Shad.

Welcome to the world of Revos. Im happy they came out with a cost effective reel that wasnt the pro max, black max, etc. The Revo world is so much better than the reels from the max series. Fair assessment of the Magtrax braking system. Its a good system, but definitely leaves you tinkering around quite a bit. One of the key features of the more expensive revos is the IVCB-6L braking system which really is awesome. I mean there isn't much dialing in at all, but the cheapest model that has that system is the STX at retail of $199 (you can find them around $150).

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