I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

• Looking forward into 2011

Here we are about a month into 2011 and I have yet to talk about what I see myself doing this year. In 2010, I only put up 25 fishing reports, so given my schedule, I’m almost certain I’m looking at roughly the same number of opportunities to fish in 2011. While I am not pleased with that amount of free time, I have to take what I can get, weather pending, of course. I plan on spending what time I do have on the water tackling a few new goals, while at the same time, revisiting several productive techniques that have served me well over the last two or three years.

Obviously, I cannot wait until that topwater bite comes in so I can put the Scumfrog back out in their faces, but this year, I really want to see how much better the Spro frogs do against the bass under the duckweed. The Spro bodies are not weighted quite the same, so I cannot bounce them like I do the Scumfrog, but the surface disruption should be enough to draw out some strikes. The hooks on my Scumfrog have been sharpened, so I’ll put my hook honing skills to the test this summer too.

One approach that I had hoped would produce for me in 2010 that did not was the finesse jig bite. I have not discounted the finesse jig entirely because I’ve seen what it can give me when the bite is there. Some time between now and early post-spawn, I will definitely have one ready to go.

My most recent outing on the 28th was not exciting, but I was able to try out my two new Pflueger baitcasters. I’m very pleased with my decision to add both to my arsenal. My day on the water was an all-Pflueger event, sporting two Patriarchs and two Summits. Casting was effortless and adjusting between casts was almost not necessary at all.

That outing also reminds me that in 2011, there are two other things I want to work with. The first is transitioning to tungsten weights. On Friday, I had a LFT Craw rigged up with a 1/2oz Tru Tungsten weight and after making only a few casts, I noticed a level of sensitivity I cannot recall experiencing with a regular lead bullet sinker. That experience could be purely coincidental, so in the months to come, I will be purposefully casting most, if not all of my plastics with a tungsten weight when the situation calls for it. The second thing I need to work on is my swim jig approach. I recently stocked up on several Revenge jigs and I plan on fishing most of them as a bottom bait, but I bought two colors specifically for swimming. I have a pack of Zoom Fat Albert grubs to use as trailers on both jigs. Now, if only the bass will decide to cooperate with me.

After watching Alton Jones on the Bassmaster Live Day on the Lake, I have taken to tying a new knot that is a huge time saver, but strong to boot. I’ve seen a 90 percent rated strength quoted on several sites for this knot and although Jones called it a Hangman’s knot, it is really called the Pitzen knot or the 16-20 knot. I still use my loop knot on certain lures and with my hooks, but on certain lures, I have switched to this Pitzen knot. If you have time, view the Alton Jones outing on Fayette County Lake just so you can see how fast and easy this knot is to tie. Otherwise, have a look on YouTube and imagine making six loops as you twist the tag end around the line above the lure.

While there are several lures in my tackle box and bags that I need to evaluate and review, there are several new crawfish lures that have been making their way around the bass fishing community lately. One of them is the Berkley Chigger Craw. I plan on buying a pack of them to see how they do compared to my LFT Craws and BBB Yo Mamas.

In terms of how this year looks, the spawn should be coming up on us soon, although if the weather turns as it has done the past two years, I’m afraid I might miss out. Heavy rains might keep me off the water, but cold snaps are not unheard of either. Part of me is honestly already eager for fall to roll around again.

I am generally a better shallow water angler, and by shallow, I mean water two to three feet deep. That five foot mark can be difficult to peg on some of our area cypress tree lakes, so I hope to dedicate some time fishing those mid-range depths down to eight feet. If I get out on Caddo, I really want to practice fishing some timber in those depths. Toledo Bend has some similar offerings, although much of the lake is quite deep. If I can muster up the energy, I really want to trailer down to Toledo Bend and give it a go.

I will likely fall short of accomplishing all that I aim to do this year, but at least a basic framework will keep me facing one direction. Ultimately, I'll be throwing what the bass tell me they want and not what I want them to bite. That's fishing.

If you're heading down to the Bassmaster Classic, enjoy yourself. I will be unable to attend, but I plan on watching what I can online. If I were down there, I know I'd spend all my time wandering around the showroom floor, thinking more about all the stuff I want to buy and less about the standings in the tournament.

And for everyone else, have fun in 2011!


MNAngler said...

These look like some great goals, bassdem. I look forward to reading your fishing reports and reviews in 2011.