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A Trio of Techniques That Will Put Bass In Your Boat Spring Through Fall
“Trolling is the most consistent way to catch striped bass regardless of your skill level,” says Gary Caputi, a familiar face on the Mid-Atlantic striper grounds for over 35 years. He is the author of Fishing for Striped Bass and hundreds of articles on the subject.
“There are trolling techniques that can be employed throughout most of the year, even in Spring when cold water conditions prevail and bass are in shallow estuaries. In this article, we’ve assembled a group of top captains to discuss the when, where and how of each technique as well as the gear you’ll need to hone your skills. Their knowledge and experience are sure to help you catch more stripers in the coming year.”
Unlike most of his contemporaries fishing the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bill Lowen’s comfort zone includes fishing in high, muddy, fast-moving water. That’s what the Yamaha Pro found during the March 20-23 tournament on Alabama’s Pickwick Lake, and it never slowed him down.
Even though his professional fishing career began in 2000, Scott Martin describes his 2021 season as a “new beginning,” and now after his third Bassmaster® Elite Series tournaments, the Yamaha Pro has two goals. He wants to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic, and he wants to win the Bassmaster Classic®.
For most of the country boating is in the deep freeze or at least curtailed due to winter weather, but we are all looking forward to warmer weather and the upcoming boating and fishing season, and that means this is a great time to review your boat’s safety gear, something that should be done on a regular basis. Yamaha always recommends safe and responsible boating practices, stressing the importance of having adequate safety equipment onboard and maintaining it in good working condition. With that in mind, let’s review the U.S. Coast Guard required safety gear for recreational vessels and what to look for to make sure it is in shape for the upcoming season.
As Wes Logan made cast after fruitless cast on a cold, windy February day on Alabama’s Jordan Lake, he remembers getting so tired he put down his rod, zipped his life preserver a little tighter, and promptly fell asleep in the boat. It was during a bass club team tournament with his father, and he was six years old.
The record book shows the 2019 Bassmaster® Elite Series tournament at Lake Tenkiller lasted four days, but for Australian angler Carl Jocumsen, who won that season-ending event, the tournament really lasted nine years. The Yamaha Pro had been in America that long struggling to fulfill his dream of having a professional fishing career in the United States.
In what some thought might be one of the toughest tournaments of the 2020 Bassmaster® Elite Series, the year’s final event at Lake Fork in November, Patrick Walters won with an astounding total of 104 pounds, 12 ounces, almost 30 pounds more than his nearest competitor, and the Yamaha Pro still isn’t sure how or why it happened.
If saltwater fishing is your passion, you and your boat could have a new indispensable fishing tool—Helm Master® EX. It can make your fishing more precise, more productive, even less strenuous, and you can only get it with Yamaha Outboards.
A week after Clark Wendlandt had won his fourth Angler of the Year title, his first in the Bassmaster® Elite Series after winning three with the FLW® pro tour, the Yamaha Pro still had difficulty putting the experience into words.
Pop, Pop, Wow! What a Way to Fool a Pelagic Gamefish
There is nothing more exciting than witnessing a fish rush to the surface and explode on a surface plug! It is every angler’s dream scenario. Now, if that fish happens to be a tuna, you can up the excitement level by a factor of ten. It doesn’t matter who you are or how much experience you’ve had, it will get your heart racing and everyone on board screaming every single time.
Today’s marine electronics give anglers the tools needed to skip the lengthy search for fish and proceed directly to the fun part: catching them!
If you’re one of those people who don’t replace anything until it breaks and this also includes your fishfinder/GPS, there’s a good chance you have been left behind during the most amazing periods of advancement in marine electronics history. The biggest quantum leap occurred in 2009 when CHIRP technology migrated from the military to recreational fishing. Previously, sonar signals from fishfinders were a single-frequency, short-duration pulse sent out and returned that sometimes created an uncertain image on the screen… especially on the bottom. Is that a rock or a big fish? Higher in the column, the separation was such it was sometimes hard to distinguish between weeds and fish, and between big and small fish. The older units required experienced eyes to know what they were seeing.
Yamaha offers a popular line of four-cylinder four-stroke outboards that are used in a wide range of single and twin installation applications, in both fresh and saltwater, all over the world. From pontoons to center consoles, bass boats to work skiffs and even water taxis, they are great performers and real workhorses. The most popular are the F90, F115 and F150 models, and many are used in climates where they are taken out of service for the winter months.
While there’s definitely merit in having your outboard winterized by a certified Yamaha dealer, the process is simple enough for owners to do themselves when armed with the right tools, products, and a bit of proper education.
We recently caught up with the now 35-year-old Chris “Zaldangerous” Zaldain and asked him if he still uses the same methods to plan ahead. Chris stated, “This article highlights a scenario that happens frequently on tour, no matter which lake. I still study the lakes as much as I can prior to fishing them.”
For second-year Bassmaster® Elite tournament angler Chris Zaldain, finding bass on lakes he’s never fished before involves a lot more than casting his favorite lure and hoping it lands in front of a hungry fish. The Yamaha Pro actually starts “fishing” a new tournament lake with hours of Internet research and map study weeks before he ever arrives at the water’s edge, a strategy especially important during the summer months when bass may be shallow, deep, or anywhere in between.
“The grass is always greener, but what you don’t know is that grass may be fake. Even though it’s greener, doesn’t mean it’s real.”
That’s one of my favorite quotes these days. There are lots of people out there wishing for different situations right now. Wishing to get out of the house, to travel, to stop homeschooling, to find a new job, to eat at a restaurant, to hang out with friends, to visit loved ones who are ill - even wishing for a break from very long hours caring for others who are sick and need attention. Our situations are all different and so many are dealing with great loss. It’s really hard to pull any positive thoughts out of the most devastating situations, but maybe one of the lessons we can take from this is to have a better appreciation for what is real.
Spring is right around the corner promising warmer, longer days and more opportunities to get out on the water. For boaters in cooler climates, the pending arrival of spring means it’s time to get busy prepping their boats for the first official splash of the season.
Are you ready to pass a Coast Guard safety inspection? Coast Guard policy requires safety inspections as a method of outreach to the boating public to impress upon them the importance of carrying the necessary safety equipment in case of an emergency. When your boat is properly equipped, you can enjoy your time on the water even more with the peace of mind that you and your passengers are safe. These preventative inspections can happen at anytime so it’s important to make sure you are always ready. As these hard-working men and women of the Coast Guard put their lives on the line when called on to make hazardous rescues at sea, boaters need to prepare for and respect these inspections so that they are completed quickly and efficiently.
That feeling going into Championship Sunday of the Bassmaster Classic. @chriszaldain
That morning sunrise on Championship Sunday.
Thank you to all of our owners and fans who stopped by during the @bass_nation Classic. Congrats to @ottdefoeon winning the 2019 classic on his home body of water! See ya in 2020!
“Ohhh Tennessee River” Day 2 of the @bass_nation Classic is underway.
It’s almost time to get this party started at the 2019 @bass_nationClassic!
If you are in Rocky Top, come to the @bass_nation expo and say hi 👋! Today thru Sunday!
One last salty post before we switch gears and get fresh on ya!
Great job to all of Yamaha powered teams and everyone that competed this week at @jjfishweek. See ya in 2020! Sail On!
XTO action at @jjfishweek@contenderboatsofficial
As the sun sets on day 1 of @jjfishweek Tomorrow is the final day!
Another tagged sword ⚔️ release for @thebillfishfoundation
There’s no replacement... #YamahaXTO
Sunday Funday Battle Station.
It’s that time of year! #Lunker
There’s no replacement for displacement!
The sight never gets old.
Chasing that bite... @camoknighton @jeffkriet.
Saturday night lights.
What Sunday Funday looks like with @alagnakriver.
Those weekend views are just ahead.
We got your back!
“Back in my day” #TBTwith @skeeter_boats
Wednesday Workout 💪.
Monday meetings. #YamahaXTO
‘Tis the season
If you ain’t first, you’re last... @captainalexcastellanos
Great minds think alike. #YamahaXTO
The release...@captpage .
“Let me tell you about my hard day at work”
It’s always Sunday Funday here.
“Baby got back”
When your name is @showme_catfishing you better show me a catfish! Or hug one 🤗@g3sportsman
They say it’s cold up north. 🤷♂️
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Yamaha!
It’s all about perspective.
Your weekend starts here.
Team work makes the dream work.
Your weekend chariot awaits. @sirreelfishingteam #YamahaXTO
. . .
Poling through the work week. #skifflife 📷: @xpressboats
If you can think of a good fishing pun, let minnow.
Happy Veterans Day! Learn more about @freedomfighteroutdoors and their mission to help get Veterans on the water and outdoors. Click the link in our bio
Friday Night Lights
. . .
Fishing with @fish_shimano_north_america since back in the day #TBT
Wahoooooo! It’s Wednesday!
. . .
Hold on tight, it’s only Monday.
Wrote a note that said “Will be back in a minute”
Thank you to all of our customers, builders and dealers who visited us during the 2018 @fortlauderdaleintlboatshow. See ya in 2019! #FLIBS2018 #AnotherOneInTheBooks
That @chriscraftboatscolor match tho... 🔥 #YamahaXTO
Boat show flexing 💪 #YamahaXTO #FLIBS2018
Reliability, no matter where your destination is. #FLIBS2018
Friday Night Lights, boat show style! #FLIBS2018 #YamahaXTO
Day 2 of @fortlauderdaleintlboatshow #flibs2018 is on! #YamahaXTO
This year, take #Halloweento the extreme! #YamahaXTO 🎃
Sunday Sunrise. @maverickboats @mbgboats
Who else is ready to get on the water this weekend? @contenderboatsofficial
Who’s bringing the butter?
The last Wednesday and Thursday in July means one thing...#MiniSeason
The V8 XTO Offshore features an electric steering system—an industry first. An electric motor directly moves and secures the outboard, rather than using typical electro-hydraulics. This delivers responsive, precise, leak-free steering, while consuming less power, streamlining rigging and reducing maintenance. Click on the link in our bio to learn more. #YamahaXTO#YamahaOutboards
It’s Geaux Time for the weekend! @geauxtimefishingteam 📸: @mgcbc
Do the fish know the weekend is near? 📸: @sport_fish_gallery
This 5.6L V8 is powering the boats of today and ready for the boats of tomorrow. Click the link in our bio to learn more. #YamahaXTO
No caption needed.
We had that fishy feeling that @navionics and @garminmarine teaming up would produce results.
Weekends are best spent with a few friends. @evergladesboats#EBR18
“You’re not Good Time Charlie, You’re Awesome Time Charlie!!” @goodtimecharliecharters
Saturday morning at the Salmon-A-Rama!
Congratulations to @captbennyblanco for winning the 1st annual @costasunglasses@captainsforcleanwater conservative award. The work isn’t over yet but Benny is a great example to follow. #conservation
Those work week blues. @onthewatermagazine
Our version of a Monday morning meeting.
Sunday morning sunrise.
From the fish’s POV
Nothing says freedom more than the ability to go fly fishing for bonefish with an active duty Captain (USMC). @perrydiver
4th of July sunrise.
Free diving at the reef.
The beginning of July is special for many reasons! One of those is tasty and a great way to spend time with family. #ScallopSeason
Congratulations and Good Luck to @justinlucasbass and @jleefishing, both fishing on “Championship Monday” on Lake Ohae during the @bass_nation Elite series.
It’s an integrated power system. #YamahaXTO
Mornings at the gym.
The marine industry is in need of skilled technicians. We are at the @skillsusa National Championship where techs from across the country are competing not only against each other here but also with live on the spot job interviews for their future in the industry.
1st official Blue Marlin release by the all new @gradywhite_boats456 powered by #YamahaXTO
Congrats to JB Pearsall of Grady White Boats fishing in day 2 of the Hatteras Marlin Club tournament. Official rules for lines out for the day was 3:00, and JB hooked up at 2:58.
Waking up with that froggy feeling. Congrats to @ish_monroe on his win on the Mississippi River.
Coming in August 2018 to a dealer near you. #YamahaXTO
Go inside Yamaha Precision Propellers, Inc. to see the art and craft of manufacturing propellers.
Triple Tuesday #Sunsetwith @gulfstreamyachts
Santa knows about reliability.
Pompano served up Shake N Bake style!
Saliors’s Delight! -@tysilliman
Who's looking forward to next weekend already?
Reliability with @cayosupandboatworks
@outboardpaintshop #yamahaoutboards #fishing @contenderboatsofficial #weekend #goals
Great minds think alike. Make sure to check out our friends at Power Pole for an awesome giveaway.
@power.pole #yamahaoutboards #powerpole #fishing #boats
Pushing through the work week
Catch n release sheepshead.
Exactly how big are these mini lobster? Be safe out there during mini-season!
We did it y’all!!! 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place cobia and I got top offshore lady angler during the @saltycatch fishing rodeo! ❤️🎣 Here’s my 1st place 57#!!
Swimming away to battle another day with @westinyancey and @g3sportsman
Congrats to team @intenseprofishing on winning the @adsfr_
📷:: @captainryanfarner of @haulingrassfishingteam
Weekend vibes ahead
@acevedo_alejandro via @cobiaboats
@officialg3boats certified guide @brianfetzer61 is looking forward to a walleye filled type of weekend.
#yamahaoutboards #g3boats @g3sportsman #freshwater #fishing #walleye
We have pushed our way through the work week. The weekend is near and @skiptheskiffdog is ready!
Multitasking for @captlacey
Fish on! @xpressboats
The happy place! With the sun setting they bit as fast as you could get it out there for a couple days in a row! This is as good as it gets! @captbrandonnelson
Lunchtime escape. @ryancollinsmedia
Struck out at the Blue Marlin Grand Championship but watching my nephew catch his first Red Snapper on Sunday made it much better! @doublejfishing
Kris with @nautilusflyreels and @oliverwhitefishing landing a solid Seatrout. @nativeflycharters #YamahaOutboards #nautilusreels #gloomis #cortlandline #flyfishing #saltwaterfishing #nativeflycharters#iftd2017 #icast2017 #maverickboats
When you’ve been in the fishing business as long as I have, you tend to reflect on the “good days” and “special catches,” and not as much about opportunities for others to have those memorable days on the water.
During seminars, I am often asked how long I stay on a spot trying to catch bass before I give up and move to some other location.
It’s really nice to see gasoline prices dropping, as fuel prices are usually one of the largest expenses when fishing or boating.
A lot of the new flats and bay boats on the market come with Yamaha Command Link® Digital Gauges as standard equipment...
When you travel around the country hauling a boat and fishing for a living, it’s super important that your boat runs well.
If you haven’t heard about Yamaha Customer Outboard Protection or Y-COP, then you really need to read this blog.
On my way to the last Bassmaster Elite Series event on Toledo Bend, I realized that I didn’t pack my back-up prop.
May is the top tarpon month in the Florida Keys, which means I’m on the water just about every day. I leave home in the dark and it’s usually dark when I get back home, so by this time of the month I’m running on autopilot.
When people talk about Yamaha’s Helm Master Digital Integrated Boat Control System, they seem to focus on joystick control, but Helm Master isn’t just a joystick; it’s digital steering that is by far the best you’ll ever experience.
It’s easy to overlook the importance of the tilt and trim unit on your Yamaha outboard motor, but it’s one of the most essential components for getting the best performance out of your boat and motor.