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Never before, in all his years of professional bass fishing, had Justin Lucas ended a tournament season with tears in his eyes, but it happened last month when the 2018 Bassmaster® Elite season concluded. The Yamaha Pro’s tears were well justified, however, because he had just won one of bass fishing’s most coveted titles, the B.A.S.S.® Angler of the Year.
Yamaha Pro Brandon Palaniuk Not Surprised at Recent Tournament Results
A year ago when Brandon Palaniuk first saw the 2018 Bassmaster® Elite Series tournament schedule, he predicted it would take a 100-pound catch to win the four-day event on New York’s St. Lawrence River, and the Yamaha Pro missed his guess by less than five pounds. What’s amazing is that he was predicting a weight for smallmouth bass, not largemouths.
Yamaha Pro Ish Monroe Believes Current and Habitat Both Position Bass
When Yamaha Pro Ish Monroe won the Bassmaster® Elite tournament on the upper Mississippi River this past June by fishing his favorite floating frog lure over shallow vegetation, the victory validated two of his primary beliefs about river fishing. First, bass in rivers nearly always concentrate in specific areas more than they do in lakes; and secondly, water movement and habitat put bass in those specific areas.
If it’s spring, the first thing Randall Tharp looks for on a lake are spawning areas, just as most bass fishermen do. Tharp, however looks for spawning areas in summer and fall, something most fishermen don’t do.
One Lost Fish May Have Cost 2015 Win for Yamaha Pro
Bobby Lane admits he still remembers a bass he lost on the first day of the 2015 Bassmaster Classic® that might have cost him a win in the event, but the Yamaha Pro likes his chances even more as he heads into this year’s Classic,® to be held March 16–18 at Lake Hartwell near Greenville, SC.
Defending Champion Not Feeling Pressure, Looking Forward to Lake Hartwell
Only five anglers have won the Bassmaster Classic® more than once during its 47-year history, and of those, only two have won the event in consecutive years. This March, when the 2018 Classic® is held on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell, Yamaha Pro Jordan Lee hopes to add his name to both lists.
The Skinny on a New Tournament Series and Tips on Finding Kingfish
The Outer Banks of North Carolina are a national treasure. The region starts as a peninsula a dozen miles north of the Virginia state line and extends unbroken for 70 miles until you reach Oregon Inlet. From there, it becomes a series of barrier islands extending another 100 miles to Cape Lookout. OBX separates Currituck, Albamarle and Pamlico Sounds from the Atlantic Ocean, and encompasses some of the most beautiful beaches, quaint towns, fishing ports and expansive backwaters in the country - all teaming with fish, waterfowl, sea birds and even wild horses.
Yamaha Pro Bill Lowen Uses Three Lures in Shallow, Well-Defined Places
Veteran tournament angler Bill Lowen enjoys these cold, frigid days on the water because he knows bass will be in well-defined areas they use year after year, they’ll hit one of his three favorite lures, and by day’s end he and his companions may have caught and released as many as 100 fish.
Yamaha Pro Already Motivated to Win Another Title in 2018
As Brandon Palaniuk accepted his first B.A.S.S.® Angler of the Year trophy on the weigh-in stand at Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota, two thoughts flashed through his mind. First, the Yamaha Pro felt relief that he had at last won the coveted title after holding the points lead since July; and secondly, that he was already motivated to win the title again.
Live video feed of hearing available on Yamaha Outboards YouTube
Soldotna, Alaska, August 18, 2017 – Yamaha Marine Group President Ben Speciale will testify at a U.S. Senate field hearing held by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, at Kenai Peninsula College in Soldotna, Alaska from 1:00-4:00 p.m. AKDT, 5:00-8:00 p.m. EDT.
YOUNG ROOKIE ANGLER USING XPRESS® X-21 IN BASSMASTER® ELITE SERIES
Yamaha Pro Hamilton Comfortable Competing in Aluminum Boat
Young Rookie Angler Using Xpress® X-21 In Bassmaster® Elite Series
FISHING INSIDE WATERS FOR AGGRESSIVE FLOUNDER CAN BENEFIT FROM THE RIGHT BOAT AND THE RIGHT TECHNIQUES NO MATTER WHERE YOU CHASE THEM
Fishing inside waters for aggressive flounder can benefit from the right boat and the right techniques no matter where you chase them
SALTWATER FISHIN' VOL. 10, NO. 4
Yamaha Pro Mark Davis Offers Two Solutions For Catching Bass This Spring
FISHIN' VOL. 10, NO. 2
Yamaha Pro Bobby Lane Alternates Jigs and Crankbaits in the Same Water
By most standards, Florida-based pro Bobby Lane would be among the last to say he enjoys fishing cold winter water, but just the opposite is true. The veteran Yamaha Pro has developed a two-lure approach that has nearly taken him to victory in the last two Bassmaster Classics,® both conducted in extremely cold weather.
Fall is Striper Time. Are you ready for the action?
If you live in New England, it’s already started. If you live in the MidAtlantic you know that fall is in the air and millions of striped bass are heading your way. The southward migration of these highly-prized gamefish is a months-long fishing extravaganza that gets any fisherman’s adrenalin pumping.
As water temperatures continue to cool now during the late autumn and early winter months, bass fishermen often tie on topwater lures in hopes of having a final flurry of surface action. Yamaha Pro Todd Faircloth, however, does just the opposite, choosing a deep-diving crankbait to target fish that have already moved out of the shallows.
FISHIN' VOL. 9, NO. 7
Over the past decade, Bill Lowen has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the best jig fishermen in professional tournament bass fishing, but in the autumn as water begins to cool, you might actually see the Yamaha Pro throwing a spinnerbait, buzzbait, or a crankbait.
FISHIN' VOL 9, NO. 5
The way Justin Lucas won the recent Bassmaster® Elite tournament on the Potomac River surprised everyone in the 107-angler field, possibly most of all the Yamaha Pro himself. The weather was hot and humid and fishing on the famous waterway had been poor, but Lucas led all four days of competition and weighed in 72 pounds, 14 ounces of bass, all from a single long boat parking dock.
Yamaha Pro Brandon Palaniuk Fishes Jerkbaits Year-Round for Quality Bass
Bass tournament fishermen are famous for having “secret” lures they don’t tell anyone about, but Brandon Palaniuk’s secret lure is one that’s in virtually every angler’s tacklebox. The Yamaha Pro’s lure is a jerkbait, but his secret is that he fishes it all year, and he especially likes to use it during the hot summer months.
Savvy and always fun to fish with, Capt. Mark Finelli knows his home waters and enjoys sharing them with his clients and friends
Long Beach Island, as the name might suggest, is the longest of the barrier islands along the New Jersey coast. At the northernmost tip of the island is the historic hamlet of Barnegat Light, a commercial and recreational fishing haven for over 150 years, and it remains so today. It was there at the High Bar Yacht Club that the Yamaha team met light tackle fishing guide Mark Finelli, Jr. and hopped aboard his Yamaha-powered 23-foot Parker® center console. The plan was to spend the morning plugging the jetty rocks at Barnegat Inlet where he finds striped bass and bluefish throughout the fishing season.
FISHIN' VOL. 9, NO. 3
Matt Herren’s recent victory in the Toyota® Texas Bass Classic, one of the most prestigious bass tournaments in the country, hinged almost entirely on the Yamaha Pro’s ability to recognize and adjust to rapidly changing water conditions, even though he’d never before seen the lake he was fishing.
Yamaha Pro Changed Lures to Imitate Shad
Takahiro Omori’s recent Bassmaster® Elite Series victory on Alabama’s Wheeler Lake underscores just how important it is for a fisherman to be observant of both bass and baitfish activity going on around him. After seeing a bass chase a shad to the surface right in front of him, the Yamaha Pro changed lures, caught that bass, and went on to win with a total of 81 pounds, six ounces.
SALTWATER FISHIN' VOL. 8, NO. 1
Brunswick is the southernmost coastal county in North Carolina. It extends from the South Carolina border at Little River Inlet in an east-west direction out to Cape Fear and Smith Island, where the county line turns inland toward Wilmington. It varies greatly from the Outer Banks, but is home to a thriving recreational fishing community and offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities, from the coastal rivers and backwaters to bluewater action along the western edge of the Gulf Stream.
EARLIER SUCCESS ON OTHER OZARK LAKES GAVE YAMAHA PRO LURE CHOICE, LOCATION
Whenever you’re fishing a lake you’ve never been on before, look for cover or structure that lets you fish your favorite lure and technique and gives you confidence. That’s the advice of Yamaha Pro Randall Tharp, who followed it without hesitation in winning his first Bassmaster® Elite tournament on not one but two lakes he’d never fished before
Yamaha Pro Todd Faircloth Matches Rod Actions to Specific Lures
Among his contemporaries in professional bass fishing, Todd Faircloth rates as one of the most consistent anglers in the sport, regularly finishing well and always a threat to win any tournament he enters. The Yamaha Pro has a simple answer for his consistency: he doesn’t lose very many fish.
Make this great gamefish into great table fare
Striped bass are the most sought after gamefish on the East Coast. So many anglers fish for them, especially during the spring and fall migrations from their breeding grounds in the Mid-Atlantic to New England and back again, that they are highly regulated. Most of the member states that make up the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the interstate compact that manages striped bass, currently have a bag limit of one fish with a minimum size of 28 inches for ocean-caught stripers.
Yamaha Pro Matt Herren Uses a Fast Retrieve to Trigger Bass Into Biting
November ranks as one of Matt Herren’s favorite months of the year, but not because he enjoys deer hunting and most whitetail seasons open this month. Rather, the Yamaha Pro knows November means it’s time to burn his spinnerbaits for autumn bass.
Use two anchors to get on the structure and stay there!
Even though the hot days of summer fishing are a memory and fall is starting its march toward winter, mid-Atlantic anglers shouldn’t have to take their boats out of the water just yet. The best fishing of the year for blackfish, aka tautog or tog, is just getting started, and the season is open through January in most states along the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts. Open seasons, size and bag limits vary from one jurisdiction to another, so be sure to check your state’s marine fish regulations so you don’t run afoul of the law.
Yamaha Pro Bobby Lane Believes These Lures Will Catch Bass Anywhere Right Now
Among his peers in professional tournament competition, Bobby Lane is best known for his skill using spinnerbaits and Carolina rigs, but when water begins cooling in the autumn, the Yamaha Pro often changes to a topwater popping plug. Usually considered a summertime lure, Lane actually keeps a popper tied on throughout the fall months
It’s That Time of Year When Albies Are Back in Town
Inshore anglers along the East Coast, from Florida to New England, look forward to fall for a lot of reasons. But those among us who enjoy a really good fight on very light tackle tend to rejoice more than our brethren. That’s because fall is when one of our favorite adversaries moves inshore, often right along the beach fronts, offering us some fast-and-furious, run-and-gun fishing with the lightest of tackle. It’s albie time!
Yamaha Pro Mark Davis Offers Suggestions to Improve Your Technique
Even though it’s September and the next major move bass make will be into shallow creeks and bays, Mark Davis still has a deep diving crankbait tied on and ready to cast. For him, the deep cranking season will continue for at least another month.
This past May, while practicing for the Bassmaster® Elite tournament at Lake Havasu, Brandon Palaniuk tied on a big topwater lure to use in the ultra-clear water. The Yamaha Pro finished 10th in the event, and now, three months later, he still has that same surface plug on his rod.
Does spinning tackle have a place offshore?
If you like offshore fishing imagine this—three days running around the Gulf of Mexico in a triple Yamaha-powered 42-foot Invincible center console doing nothing but fishing for yellowfin and blackfin tuna with surface plugs. The excitement of watching tuna attack a popper right before your eyes, not once, but again and again and again, is enough to give any saltwater angler heart palpitations. The Yamaha team recently spent some time with Bill Butler, owner of Venice Marina, aboard his tournament-rigged boat. Using his vast knowledge of the Gulf, Bill really put our team on the fish.
For more than two decades, big eight-, 10-, and 12-inch trout-imitation lures known as ‘swim baits’ have enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for catching huge largemouths, especially in California where they originated. Now, however, a handful of anglers like Yamaha Pro Chris Zaldain have been equally successful using much smaller swim baits with light lines and spinning rods.
No matter where his busy tournament schedule takes him, Randall Tharp nearly always spends at least part of each practice day searching for thick cover where he can use his favorite technique, a heavy tackle presentation known as “punching.” The reason is easy to understand: punching has helped the Yamaha Pro win the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup,® along with half a dozen other FLW® and Bassmaster® national events.
From the early reports, 2015 is shaping up to be a bonanza year for bluefish along the Eastern Seaboard. Early spring has seen massive schools of these great gamefish moving into shallow bays from Maryland to New York. New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay, with acres of shallow flats and narrow, winding channels, has been chock full of big bluefish since late April, and they don’t seem in any hurry to leave. The same goes for estuaries further north and well to the south. While bluefish are frequent visitors to these bays in the spring, most years they are of the smaller variety, often called cocktail blues, running from two to five pounds. But this year, the full-size choppers are in and average eight to twelve pounds with some pushing the 20-pound mark. They are hungry, eager to hit anything from surface lures to bait, and are a real challenge on light tackle. And when you catch them in shallow water like this, they spend a lot of time airborne.
Yamaha Pro Todd Faircloth Usually Starts on Lower Lake Ridges and Humps
The biggest problem veteran tournament angler Todd Faircloth faces during the month of May is simply trying to decide where to start looking for bass. The Yamaha Pro knows he will find fish in some stage of the spawn practically anywhere on a lake this month and he has to decide which ones he wants to catch.
Satellite Data that Helps You Find Fish
Offshore fishing is as popular as ever and with the advent of larger, more seaworthy outboard-powered boats, the desire to catch tuna, billfish, sharks, kingfish and other pelagic species of gamefish will likely continue to grow. More reasonable fuel prices will no doubt add to the affordability of chasing big fish offshore, and there are certainly plenty of opportunities along the U.S. coastline.
YAMAHA PRO TERRY SCROGGINS FISHES MORE SLOWLY FOR BASS HE CAN’T SEE
The bass fishing world already knows how much Terry Scroggins likes to fish oversized 10-inch plastic worms during the summer months, but few realize the Yamaha Pro considers these his favorite go-to lures for spring spawning bass, too.
It’s been a brutal winter for most of the Mid-Atlantic States, with record low temperatures and an amazing amount of precipitation in the form of snow, sleet and freezing rain. Just what does that mean for spring striper fishing? If past experience is any indicator, fishing might get off to a slightly later start. The water will be a bit colder due to the spring snow melt, resulting in a rush of cold water pouring into the bays where the first bass of the year are usually encountered. All that extra fresh water will probably be carrying more silt, which could hinder water clarity and affect feeding preferences, but that can be accounted for with the right techniques.
Yamaha Pro Kelly Jordon Hops Spoons Slowly Just Above The Bottom
If you caught 15 bass, each weighing between four and six pounds, on the first 15 casts you ever made with a new lure, wouldn’t that lure become one of your all-time favorites? Of course it would, which is exactly what happened to Yamaha Pro Kelly Jordon several years ago when he decided to tie on a big flutter spoon one afternoon at Lake Fork. Ever since that day, Jordon has kept a box full of spoons in his boat and ready to use, regardless of the time of year.
It takes a tough fish to make its living eating critters encased in hard shells, but the pugnacious blackfish fits the bill. Blackfish are also known as tautog or tog, shortened versions of the name given to them hundreds of years ago by the Narragansett Indians who called the fish tautauog. Whatever you call them, they are a popular fish for saltwater anglers in the Mid-Atlantic and New England states in fall, winter and spring, and with very good reason.
After Missing 2014 Season Due to Injury, Cliff Pace is Ready to Fish Again
With the Bassmaster Classic® world championship now less than eight weeks away, it’s pretty safe to say none of the 56 anglers who will be competing are looking forward to the event as much as 2013 Classic® winner Cliff Pace. That’s because the Yamaha Pro has fully healed from a severe leg injury that forced him to miss the entire 2014 Elite Series season and 2014 Classic,® and also because this year’s event will be on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell, where Pace finished second in the 2008 championship.
Yamaha Pro James Niggemeyer Chooses Creek Channels, Points, and Rocky Banks in Cold Weather
James Niggemeyer’s “to do” list for winter bass fishing is a short one. The Yamaha Pro looks for vertical structure that changes the bottom depth; he checks that structure for possible vegetation cover and he slows his lure presentation. It’s a strategy that has served him well during his career as both a professional tournament angler as well as a guide on Lake Fork, Texas.
So your wife, girlfriend or daughter wants to try fishing? How you handle her initial experience can make all the difference.
“Daddy, take me fishing,” are four words any fishing father loves to hear from his son, but it has become a more common refrain from daughters—and it’s just as welcomed. In fact, it’s not just daughters showing a greater interest in the sport, but women across the spectrum. That’s a great thing! While fishing is still a male-dominated sport, there has been a steady increase in the number of women fishing alongside men, and a new breed of distaff anglers who get out there and do it on their own.
Autumn’s Cooler Temperatures Can Affect How Certain Fish Feed
Although cold fronts and other weather changes in the autumn months are seldom as severe as those occurring later in the winter, they can still change bass behavior very quickly. That’s why Yamaha Pro Marty Robinson always has several rods with completely different types of lures rigged and ready to cast whenever he goes fishing this time of year.
Yamaha Pro Dean Rojas has proven how versatile plastic frogs really are.
It’s a pretty safe bet that no professional bass fisherman looks forward to the cooling waters of autumn more than Yamaha Pro Dean Rojas. That’s because he knows October signals the beginning of the fall frog fishing season, and few understand how to fish the soft, hollow body plastic lures better than he does.
November is the time to catch false albacore, and Cape Lookout is the epicenter of the shallow water action
The skiff was slowly moving across the shallow waters along the south side of Cape Lookout, with the 150-horsepower Yamaha engine so quiet we had to look back to be sure it was running. We were at a spot called the “Gun Mounts,” where the remnants of World War II artillery emplacements can still be found on the beach, when the calm surface around us suddenly erupted. Small baitfish were being driven out of the water by ravenous false albacore, the small tuna slashing in all directions in an attempt to corral the school of tightly packed bay anchovies. That group was quickly followed by another, and another until it seemed they were feeding everywhere. With a short back cast and a double haul, the eight-weight propelled the fly into one area of boiling water where it was inhaled on the first strip. Line started melting off the reel as the fish took off, moving rapidly away from the melee. It was a scene that would make any angler’s heart beat faster. Right now you can get in on the action, too, because it’s albie time in North Carolina, and the fishing is anything but lazy.
Of all the lures in Todd Faircloth’s tackle boxes, the ones he does not talk about very often are his big, deep diving crankbaits. That’s because the Yamaha Pro knows how effective they can be during
“Deep diving crankbaits are not easy to use because they really tire you out,” explains Faircloth, “but I like them because I think they attract larger bass than jigs or Carolina rigs do. If you can convince yourself big crankbaits are worth the effort it takes to fish them, you’ll realize they’re effective from late spring through early autumn on lakes all around the country.”
Catching fish on light tackle requires skill and understanding. It’s also a lot of fun!
The popularity of thin braided lines has resulted in anglers using line tests that far outstrip the fighting ability of many of the fish they catch. The simple fact that gel-spun braided lines offer all the breaking strength of monofilament, but at a fraction of the diameter, has created a strange trend. Many anglers who used to load a reel with 12-pound test monofilament are now filling it with 30-pound or stronger braid. Why? Because they are about the same diameter so the reel holds about the same amount of either line. For some, being able to use stronger line on smaller outfits is a benefit, but for many species of gamefish it poses a serious question. Does fighting a fish with such strong line require less skill on the part of the angler and, therefore, is it less sporting?
It may sound strange to some bass fishermen, but much of the time Jared Lintner is happy to get seven or eight strikes a day, even when his competitors are getting 20 to 30 strikes. That’s because the Yamaha Pro’s favorite presentation is a technique known as “punching,” and with it, the bass Lintner catches are nearly always heavier fish.
Pro Mark Davis Likes Carolina Rig Plastics For Big Fish Now
The prime spring spawning season for catching big bass may be over, but that doesn’t mean Mark Davis stops fishing for them. If anything, the Yamaha Pro and former Bassmaster Classic® champion concentrates that much harder on putting a heavyweight into the livewell.
If you want to be a successful fisherman, you have to know how to tie knots. Specifically, you have to know how to tie a variety of knots for different connections. You’ll need one you can count on for tying on swivels, snaps and lures; another for adding a shock leader, and still another for tying fluorocarbon or monofilament leaders to braided line. It’s also a good idea to know how to snell a hook.
Bass May Hit These Lures When They Won’t Touch Anything Else
Terry Scroggins has a storage box on his boat filled with more than a dozen different styles of fishing rods, just like every other tournament angler, but what sets him apart is that several of his rods are always rigged with big, oversized plastic worms. The Yamaha Pro fishes 10-inch plastic worms year-round, something few of the other pros do.
New York City. Just the name conjures up images of the Empire State Building, Lincoln Center, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and great fishing for striped bass. Well, maybe the fishing reference is a little strange to some. The Big Apple might be the city that never sleeps, but it is also surrounded by water that comprises one of the major spawning and nursery areas for the equally iconic Atlantic striped bass. The Hudson River, East River, Harlem River, Western Long Island Sound, Raritan Bay, Jamaica Bay and the New York Bight make up a lot of water, and no one knows it better than Capt. Frank Crescitelli of Finchaser Charters, based out of Mansion Marina on Staten Island. We caught up with Crescitelli for a little early-season striped bass fishing in Raritan Bay aboard his Yamaha-powered 32-foot Regulator® in late April.
Everyone’s favorite fresh-caught seafood is flounder. Here’s how to clean them like a pro.
Seems no matter where you fish in the coastal waters of the world, there is a flatfish of one species or another available to anglers. In the United States, if we start in New England and work our way around the country to the West Coast, you can encounter Atlantic halibut, yellowtail flounder, black back or winter flounder, four-spot flounder, summer flounder (commonly called fluke), southern flounder, Gulf flounder, California halibut and Pacific halibut. They range from small fish that might average a pound or two, like the winter flounder, to enormous flatties that can reach 9 feet in length and weights to over 500 pounds, like the Pacific halibut.
On Heavily-Pressured Waters, Russ Lane Chooses Worms Instead of Jigs or Crankbaits
When Russ Lane gave up a promising baseball career to become a fulltime professional bass fisherman, he quickly realized he had to change his normal fishing strategies if he wanted to compete successfully against the best bass anglers in the world. The Yamaha Pro’s initial decision—looking for alternative lures—turned out to be one of the most important he’s ever made.
Each spring when he’s searching for pre-spawn bass, Matt Herren uses a fish-finding process he occasionally describes as “fishing backwards.” The Yamaha Pro first locates prime spawning flats bass will be moving to, then moves out to slightly deeper water and structure where he believes bass will staging immediately prior to their move into the shallows.
Light Tackle and Small Plugs Catch Early Season Linesiders
While the Mid-Atlantic states are still dealing with a long, cold winter, there are signs of spring showing up every day – like the robins seen pecking away on the front lawn this morning or the tiny buds of new leaves sprouting on bushes and trees. Even though it’s still cold, we are only a few weeks away from some early season striper fishing. Time to get your gear ready for action.
Yamaha Pro Credits Technique with His Two Elite Wins
Brandon Palaniuk knows the mental part of professional tournament bass fishing can be as important as the physical part, so he relies on a technique known as ‘positive visualization’ to carry him through the tough days of competition. It’s something the Yamaha Pro learned as a high school wrestler, and he simply continued when he began fishing professionally in 2010.
PACK UP YOUR TACKLE AND HOOK UP THE TRAILER FOR A WORLD-CLASS FISHING VACATION
While most tourists consider a visit to New Orleans the highlight of any trip to Louisiana, if fishing is your passion aim your sights a little further south to the famed Mississippi Delta and the town of Venice. The quality and variety of the fishing opportunities available from Venice are quite simply unsurpassed by any place in the United States, or many of the heralded fishing destinations around the world.
Yamaha Pro Faircloth Shares Tips for Fishing Jerk and Creature Baits in Winter Month
Although many bass fishermen have already put away their soft plastic lures and replaced them with crankbaits and jigs now as water temperatures get cooler, Todd Faircloth isn’t one of them. Instead, the veteran Yamaha Pro is still using soft plastic jerkbaits, creature baits, and worms because he can fish them slower but still impart a lot of action to them.
Yamaha Pro Bobby Lane Adds Personal Touch to a Traditional Technique
For more than two decades, Yamaha Pro Bobby Lane has relied on a technique and presentation known as “Carolina rigging” to propel him to the top of tournament leader boards, but, as in almost every professional bass fishing technique, Lane adds his own personal touch. In his case, the difference is concentrating in extremely shallow water.
From Southern New England to Florida, These Bottom Dwellers Are Easy to Catch for Old and Young Alik
When it comes to bottom species, anglers have closely-held beliefs about which ones are the most challenging, the most fun and the best table fare. But one thing we can all agree on is that black sea bass are abundant, easy to catch and an epicurean delight. The species is widely distributed both in their geographical range and in the depths in which they are found.
Rethink Spoons as a Deadly Bait for Cold-Water Smallies
As dissolved oxygen and water temperatures become more evenly distributed in water bodies in late fall, smallmouth bass can hold just about anywhere. Finding them is the key, which means presentations that cover water fast are best…and nothing covers water better than spoons.
Each year about this time, as the water cools and bass begin feeding actively on baitfish in the backs of coves and pockets, James Niggemeyer’s lure choice becomes easier and easier. The Yamaha Pro ties on a 1/4-ounce swimming jig and simply heads to shallow water.
Two factors greatly impact walleye fishing success, yet most walleye anglers don’t even consider them.
The first is fishing pressure and it is more intense than anglers realize. Last year, anglers invested 3.05 million hours of fishing effort on Minnesota’s 128,000-acre Lake Mille Lacs. The impact of this much pressure can’t be ignored; it pushes walleye off classic structure and secondary spots often become “A list” fish-catching locations.
It may sound a little strange, but there are times when Clifford Pirch casts lures and knows bass won’t hit them. It doesn’t bother him, because the Yamaha Pro is using the lures simply to fool fish into showing their location, and when they do, he immediately throws back with a different bait to catch them.
Diamond jigs are the hot ticket for fast Mid-Atlantic action from now through year-end
Fishing along the Mid-Atlantic coast isn’t over so keep the boat in the water, break out the cold weather gear and enjoy some of the best inshore fishing of the year.
All bass tournament pros have their favorite lure choices for each season, and rarely do they agree with each other. The exception comes now, during the late autumn and early winter, when crankbaits seem to be everyone’s first choice.
During the final Bassmaster® Elite Series tournament of 2013 in Detroit, Mark Davis finished second with a four-day catch of 76 pounds, 13 ounces, all from a spot on Lake Erie the Yamaha Pro had never fished before. His secret? Fishing slowly and thoroughly
Among his contemporaries, Matt Herren has long been considered one of the best spinnerbait fishermen competing on the Bassmaster® Elite Series, but all are surprised to learn the Yamaha Pro actually keeps very few of the popular blade-type lures in his boat.
The SKA® National Championship and Yamaha Professional Kingfish Championship in Biloxi this November are the offshore equivalent of the Bassmaster Classic® and more
If you want to see hundreds of the most exotic, high-performance center console fishing boats on the water today, fielded by the top competition saltwater fishing teams in the nation going head-to-head for big cash purses and glory, then you better head to the Golden Nugget Casino and Marina in Biloxi, Miss. for the week of November 4th. It promises to be an amazing display of fishing prowess and the newest, hottest boats and gear.
Yamaha Pro Steve Pennaz makes his living finding fish on new waters. Here’s how he does it.
The challenge for most anglers today is not catching fish, it’s finding them.
“As the old adage goes you can’t catch a fish that isn’t there,” said Steve Pennaz. “Fishing’s greatest challenge has always been locating fish. That’s true even with today’s superb sonar units and mapping software.”
Learn the More About the MSA Reauthorization
Do you fish in salt water? Have you been frustrated by short seasons for certain species and catch limits for fish that seem to live in great abundance in the ocean? If the answer to these questions is yes, you need to understand the importance of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the primary law governing fisheries management in the U.S. It is coming up for reauthorization in Congress soon, which means the law can be changed
When veteran bass angler Jeff Kriet has a tournament on lakes where smallmouth bass dominate, the Yamaha Pro always gears up for another species, as well. That fish is the northern pike, and Kriet looks forward to catching them, even though he can’t take them to the weigh-in scales.
Yamaha Pro Brandon Palaniuk knows that in professional bass tournament fishing, confidence and determination can often be as important as lure choice and technique when the final weights are tabulated. He demonstrated just how important by winning the recent Bassmaster Elite tournament on New York’s St. Lawrence River.
You don’t need a big sportfisherman to chase summer bluefin
Summertime presents an interesting fishing opportunity for outboard boat owners in the Mid-Atlantic region as schools of small-to-midsize bluefin tuna take up residence on the middle grounds. That means that boats incapable of making the run to the edge of the Continental Shelf, and the many submarine canyons that attract yellowfin and bigeye tuna, have a shot at catching those species’ very substantial inshore cousins.
Want to Catch More Walleyes? Leave the Live Bait at Home.
Like a lot anglers in the heart of walleye country, Steve Pennaz finds himself using live bait less often when pursuing ol’ marble eyes.
“Ten years ago live bait was my go-to offering when fishing walleyes,” said Pennaz. “Today, I use it only occasionally, maybe 10 percent of the time.”
They may be flat, but summer flounder and their down home cousins, the southern flounder, are aggressive predators
Among the most popular and readily available saltwater species found along the East and Gulf coasts are those funny-looking flatfish called flounder. Don’t let the name and strange appearance fool you into thinking these fish are lethargic bottom dwellers because nothing could be further from the truth. Flounder just use a slightly different modus operandi than more prized gamefish such as striped bass, red drum, bluefish and sea trout. When you pursue them using light tackle, you’d be surprised at their ability to bend the rod, especially when you tie into a nice one.
Jigs have long been acknowledged as some of the most effective lures for winter bass fishing, but Yamaha Pro Bill Lowen considers them just as effective during the hot summer months, too. The only thing Lowen changes is how he presents the lure.
There’s a good reason tournament angler Kelly Jordon describes the hot months of summer as one of his favorite bass fishing seasons. The Yamaha Pro follows fish from shallow water to deep during the day, a technique he learned during years of guiding at Lake Fork in Texas.
A World-Renowned Angler and Teacher Talks About Getting Started
Only a handful of fishermen have attained the reputation and status of Capt. Jake Jordan in the world of saltwater fly fishing. He attained his incredible bank of knowledge by catching almost every oceanic gamefish that swims on the fly. How many people can you name who have caught salmon sharks in Alaska on a fly rod?
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.
On a recent trip to South Dakota’s Lake Oahe, often described as one of the nation’s premier smallmouth bass fisheries, Yamaha Pro Jeff Kriet left most of his fishing tackle in his truck. He didn’t forget it; he knew he wouldn’t need anything except two spinning rods and a box full of small soft plastic lures. By day’s end, he’d caught and released more than 30 smallmouths.
On a recent trip to North Carolina, Yamaha caught up with the charter captain brothers Brant and Barrett McMullan, highly-ranked professional kingfish tournament anglers and Yamaha Pro Team members. The McMullan family owns and operates the Ocean Isle Fishing Center in Ocean Isle Beach, home to the Jolly Mon King Mackerel Tournament. The initial plan was to run offshore to fish for tuna and wahoo, but Mother Nature was not cooperating so the brothers took the heavy tackle off their Yamaha-powered 32’ Yellowfin center console and replaced it with some light gear to fish for Spanish mackerel, bonito and gray trout inshore.
Of all the problems bass tournament pros face, being forced to re-locate fish that have suddenly moved ranks among the hardest to solve, and it happens often this time of year during the transition from spring into summer. It happened recently to Yamaha Pro Greg Vinson, who after leading a Bassmaster® Elite event for two days, lost his fish the next day and fell to 23rd in the standings.
Few anglers anywhere face the problem of locating bass on new lakes more often than Yamaha Pro Ish Monroe, who competes on both the Bassmaster® Elite and FLW® tours, as well as in any other events he can fit into his schedule. He doesn’t often have time for pre-tournament practice nor does he research each lake, but rather, he relies on his four ‘confidence lures.’
Conquer Cold Water Spring Striper Fishing with This Easy Technique
It’s been a long winter followed by an unseasonably cold spring that has been keeping water temperatures down. These cooler temperatures have many eager striped bass fishermen suffering from a case of dampened enthusiasm. Instead of lamenting the cool days of spring, try breaking out of the doldrums with some clams.
For Todd Faircloth, fishing lipless crankbaits is a fact of life in the spring, and a single glance in his boat will always reveal at least one, and usually several, tied on and ready to cast this season of the year no matter where the Yamaha Pro is fishing. After all, Faircloth’s two heaviest fish of his career, both 11½-pounders, came on the vibrating shad-imitation lures.
How will the “Storm of the Century” affect spring striper fishing?
As named storms go, Hurricane Sandy was unlike anything that has ever hit the New York/New Jersey area. It is the largest Atlantic tropical storm system on record, with a 90-mph counterclockwise rotation that piled a massive storm surge on top of an already abnormally high tide. The result was destruction on a grand scale.
Tackle Toothy Critters with These Top Kingfish Rigs
In the first segment of this two-part series on live bait rigs, Captain George Mitchell of Jupiter, Fla. covered three single-circle hook rigs for fishing small-to-medium live baitfish for sailfish, tuna and other non-toothy gamefish. This issue will address how to work with wire for kingfish.
Few tournament anglers make catching huge bass look as easy as Bobby Lane, who, in a sport not really known for producing truly big bass, has brought three fish topping 11 pounds to the scales, along with numerous others in the eight to 10 pound class. In fact, to his peers on the Bassmaster® Elite Series tournament trail, the Yamaha Pro is known as “Big Fish Bobby Lane.”
Of all the lures Yamaha Pro Jeremy Starks normally stocks in his boat and truck, his supply of vibrating jigs always gets packed within easy reach. They’re not just his “go-to” lures if fishing gets tough, they’re his “anytime, all the time” choice.
There’s more than one way to rig a live bait…here are a few of the best!
Fishing with live bait is an extremely effective technique for catching a wide range of gamefish, and Florida’s own George Mitchell is an expert on how to rig and fish ‘em. Mitchell, a 40-year veteran charter captain, guide, tournament fishermen and Yamaha Pro Angler, has been sharing his knowledge through Yamaha’s Saltwater School for many years. He also has an impressive number of wins and top ten finishes in the Southern Kingfish Association’s Professional Kingfish Tour. In this two-part series, Mitchell will demonstrate seven of the rigs he uses for kite, trolling and drift fishing for sailfish, kings and tuna. He will also cover deep drifting for bottom species and with downriggers.
For Yamaha Pro Cliff Pace, fishing transition zones, those places bass stop to feed and rest while en route to spawning areas, proved to be the key in winning the Bassmaster Classic® on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake in late February. During the three-day world championship tournament, Pace caught 14 bass weighing a total of 54 pounds, 12 ounces.
Former Bassmaster Classic® champion Alton Jones ranks winter as one of his favorite seasons of the year to catch bass, because he can literally fish top to bottom with two of his favorite lures, surface plugs and deep diving crankbaits. These lures aren’t normally associated with cold weather fishing, but the Yamaha Pro has been catching winter bass with them for years.
Light Tackle Father and Son Guide Team Can Up Your Score
“Florida’s northeastern coast offers great fishing for redfish, sea trout and flounder,” said Mike Vickers Sr., “and between me and my son, Mike Junior we bring our charters to the best of it from Jacksonville south to the Flagler Beach area.”
Colder weather seldom stops Mark Davis from going bass fishing. All the Yamaha Pro does to adjust is tie on a smaller crankbait and use lighter tackle.
Davis, winner of the 1995 Bassmaster Classic® as well as three Angler of the Year titles, is well-known for his expertise using diving lures, so his lure choice comes as no surprise. He fishes water less than 15 feet deep, and often uses spinning rods and eight pound fluorocarbon line.
More than 10 years ago, Marty Robinson began experimenting with different ways to retrieve his jigs around heavy, shallow cover so they wouldn’t continually get snagged. Not only did the Yamaha Pro eventually develop a swimming and hopping presentation over the cover that eliminated snagging, he also discovered it produced more strikes, especially during the cooler months.
When the 2013 Bassmaster® Elite season opens next March on the Sabine River near Orange, Texas, Greg Vinson knows he’s going to enjoy the tournament even if the bass aren’t biting. That’s because the Yamaha Pro knows another species, the redfish, probably will be hitting his bass lures.
If it’s autumn, it’s time to fish spinnerbaits, especially a model with tandem willow leaf white blades. That’s what Yamaha Pro Matt Herren has tied on his rods this time of year, in weights ranging from as light as 1/8 to perhaps as heavy as ½ ounce.
These high-seas wanderers are beautiful, abundant, accommodating and an epicurean delight!
Dorado are a wildly popular game fish, not to mention spectacular table fare. The native Hawaiians liked these fish so much they named them twice—mahi mahi. And if you’ve ever caught one of significant size you probably did a double take, too. They are fast, strong and can compete with any billfish in the jumping department. Set the hook, and they are immediately airborne. Hook up a teen size dorado on almost any tackle and it will make a good showing of itself, but on light trolling, plugging or spinning tackle they are a joy to fight.
Living in Florida as he does, Bobby Lane certainly understands hot weather bass fishing, but what surprises many is how much time he spends fishing shallow during the summer, rather than probing deeper water like other anglers do.
During the hot summer months when Cliff Crochet fishes buzz baits, his favorite color is black and the only retrieve speeds he uses are fast and faster. He may be the only angler on the water using this unusual combination with the loud, surface-splashing lures, but the Yamaha Pro has been doing it successfully for years and isn’t going to change now.
Not long after he retired from law enforcement and moved to Toledo Bend Reservoir to continue his bass fishing career, Yamaha Pro Dave Mansue realized the huge lake on the Texas/Louisiana border has another species he enjoys catching just as much, the crappie. Although generally smaller than bass, crappie are considered one of the best-tasting of all freshwater fish, and Mansue goes after them regularly to keep his freezer stocked.
A Top SKA® Pro Shows How It’s Made
Traditional two-hook kingfish rigs for fishing with live baitfish like blue runners, menhaden and mullet are typically crafted from single-strand stainless steel wire that can kink and break, usually at the most inopportune time. These rigs are also responsible for a fair share of missed hook-ups by tail biting kings, yet many pros, and most weekend warriors, continue to use them. At the SKA® Nationals in Biloxi, Miss., we got some advice from an innovative Yamaha Pro captain who doesn’t take problems like this lying down.
By anyone’s standards, Todd Faircloth has compiled an excellent record during this year’s first seven Bassmaster® Elite Series tournaments, including a win, a runnerup, and two other top-15 finishes. He’s won a check in all but one event.
One of the things Brandon Palaniuk likes most about summer bass fishing is how easy it is to decide which lure to use. The Yamaha Pro’s top choice is a big 10-inch plastic worm, and often it will be the only lure he’ll use during a full day on the water.
James Niggemeyer still likes to talk about a day of fishing he experienced at Lake Guntersville during the 2009 Bassmaster® Elite tournament; the Yamaha Pro didn’t win the event, but he knows he’s never found so many bass crowded into such a small area, nor had as much fun catching them.
Observers wonder why tournament angler Todd Faircloth often has three or four rods lying on his boat deck, each rigged with the same lure, but what they don’t realize is that while the lures are alike, the veteran Yamaha Pro has rigged them with different types and weights of lines. As bass begin moving deeper and tighter to summer cover, Faircloth knows choosing the proper line for the conditions he’s fishing can be critical to his success.
Few fish generate more interest from small boat anglers than flounder. They are easily accessible and can be found close to shore, in bays and estuarine rivers. They respond as readily to artificial lures like plastic bodied jigs and bucktails as they do to a variety of baits fished from a drifting boat. To top it off, they are great table fare. Flounder fillets fried or sautéed in a coating of breadcrumbs are one fish dinner the whole family can enjoy.
Whenever anyone asks Mark Davis why he spends so much time studying “old fashioned” paper maps instead of relying more on the newer GPS/sonar “map chips” in his boat electronics, the Yamaha Pro tells the story of his 1995 Bassmaster Classic® victory.
It’s been six years since Michael Iaconelli caught the heaviest bass of his life, 14 pounds, one ounce, but the Yamaha Pro has never forgotten the excitement of that catch, or the way he caught it. The big fish hit a wacky rig, a finesse-type presentation with a plastic worm, light spinning tackle, and thin line.
Capt. Brian Rice uses light tackle to troll for early season striped bass - Here’s how he does it
Captain Brian Rice ran the Jersey Devil, a 29’ Yamaha-powered Contender®, from its slip in the Nevasink River down into Raritan Bay, a large embayment nestled between the tip of Sandy Hook, New Jersey and Staten Island, New York. He was headed toward the mouth of the Raritan River to an area of flats surrounding the main shipping channels. Upon reaching his destination, he slowed the boat, and the depth finder lit up with pods of striped bass hugging the bottom in 20-to-30-feet of water. This area is part of the larger estuary complex that is home to the Hudson River stock of striped bass, which also includes places such as Jamaica Bay and Western Long Island Sound. It is similar to other estuary complexes associated with the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay stocks of stripers, and they are all great places to fish for linesiders in the spring months.
For tournament pro Cliff Crochet, jerkbaits offer the best of both worlds for pre-spawn bass because he can fish them in both shallow and deep water and fish hit them in both areas. In fact, laughs the Yamaha Pro, this is practically the only time of the year he uses the slender, minnow-imitation lures.
With most of the country experiencing a mild winter, it’s likely that saltwater fishing is going to be off to an early start this season, begging the question: Is your gear ready for action? Here’s a checklist that will help assure everything you need is up to the challenge of tackling that first fish of the new season safely and with all your tackle in battle-ready condition.
Tournament angler Bill Lowen’s most recent fishing trip, during which he caught and released 25 healthy largemouths while fishing in 39-degree water on a cold, drizzly day, surprised everyone except Lowen himself. Afterall, the Yamaha Pro frequently fishes under such conditions in lakes near his Indiana home.
When fishermen think of Biloxi, what comes to mind? Sure there are the usually calm, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, which offer a wide range of fishing opportunities from blue marlin to redfish, but there is a whole different fishery found on the other side of town that makes you feel like you’re light years away from the tourists, sandy beaches, big hotels and the lights and excitement of the casinos. It’s called the bayou, seemingly endless back water channels that meander into the marsh for miles, intersecting and opening onto shallow bays and coves filled with strange, and not so strange animals, amazing birdlife and great light tackle sport fishing for sea trout, redfish and even the occasional largemouth bass.
The 2012 edition of bass fishing’s world championship, the Bassmaster Classic,® won’t get started on Louisiana’s Red River near Shreveport until February 24, but all 13 of the Yamaha-sponsored anglers who qualified for the three-day tournament have had their rods, reels, and tackle boxes packed since early December.
Of the 49 anglers preparing for the 2012 Bassmaster Classic® world championship Feb. 24-26 on the Red River in Shreveport, La., few feel as confident as New Jersey Pro Michael Iaconelli. Afterall, the Yamaha angler launched his pro career on the Red River in winning the BASS® Federation championship in 1999, and finished second here by less than a pound in the 2009 Classic.®
This time of year when falling water temperatures make catching bass difficult, veteran guide and tournament angler James Niggemeyer spends a few minutes with pen and paper in hand before he picks up his rod and reel. The Yamaha Pro likes to prepare a check list of fishing options he can try throughout the day until he locates fish, and boat docks, isolated cover, and rocks nearly always lead the list.
Tournament veteran Dave Mansue doesn’t mind fishing jigs for winter bass, but he’d much rather throw a deep diving crankbait, and he often does. The Yamaha pro knows that if he can find baitfish, bass won’t be far behind, and they’ll nearly always hit one of the diving lures.
Camden County, Georgia is a beautiful patchwork quilt of islands, sounds, tidal rivers and creeks that offer some of the most productive fishing grounds for spotted sea trout and redfish found in the southern Atlantic states. The jewel of the area is Cumberland Island with its wild horses, tall live oaks draped in Spanish moss and shorelines filled with downed trees, old root systems and great fishing.
When winter’s chill slows bass action, many anglers turn their attention to walleye, a widespread and popular gamefish that provides excellent cold weather sport. Walleye also provide a unique opportunity for bass fishermen to sharpen many of their fishing techniques, since the two fish have many similarities.
Two trips to the Southern Kingfish Association (SKA®) Championships in Biloxi has netted the Yamaha-powered Ocean Isle Fishing Center team two Open Class National Championship titles, one in November of 2009 and now in November 2011.
It’s easy to understand why Kelly Jordon considers topwater buzz baits some of the best lures to use for late-autumn largemouths. After all, the Yamaha Pro has never forgotten how close he came to winning the second professional tournament he ever fished back in 1996, after catching more than 50 pounds of bass on a buzz bait in two days.
If you ask Todd Faircloth to describe his favorite fishing memory, don’t be surprised if he tells you about a big bass he caught one October afternoon along the edge of a grassbed in the back of a tributary creek. The fish weighed 11 ½-pounds, and ranks as one of the largest fish the Yamaha Pro has ever caught.
Want to catch more fish? Spend more time with your depth finder!
A modern LCD depth finder is good for a lot more than just showing water depth. It is one of the most important pieces of fishing tackle on your boat no matter what kind of fishing you do, which is why they are also called “fish finders.” Unfortunately, many new to fishing don’t understand the critical role an LCD depth finder can play, especially given the fact that there are many species of fish classified as structure dependent.
Lily pads are generally included on any angler’s must-fish list, but during the autumn months they’re always at the very top of tournament veteran James Niggemeyer’s list. The Yamaha Pro likes to start his day casting to the familiar green floating plants, and it normally doesn’t take many casts before he finds bass, either.
You Can Catch Stripers, Bluefish, King Mackerel and Even Grouper With This Simple Technique
There are many ways to find and catch popular inshore gamefish, and trolling is definitely one of the most productive. It allows you to go to an area where fish might be and, motor around pulling lures they find enticing. When you troll near enough to your chosen quarry, chances are you are going to get a bite, and chances are even better that you will hook the fish.
When veteran tournament angler Cliff Pace packs his boat for a fishing trip to the shallow, weed-filled Louisiana Delta, at least a dozen of his 20 rods will be spooled with braided line, but when the Yamaha Pro heads to the clear, deep waters of Table Rock Lake in Missouri, he’ll likely leave braid at home and use fluorocarbon instead.
When Yamaha Pro Todd Faircloth begins a day of fishing, he may strap as many as 15 different rods on his boat deck, each rigged with a different lure or type of line. To many this might seem excessive, but to Faircloth it’s often a shortcut to success.
The Northern Puffer is the clown prince of saltwater fish. Kids and adults love ‘em!
Introducing kids to fishing from a boat can be an interesting exercise, especially small children who might not be able to spend many hours on the water without losing interest or feeling uneasy. The whole key to making a child’s initial experience with saltwater fishing enjoyable is to keep it short, simple, close to shore and, most importantly, make sure to catch some fish. I can’t think of a better way to accomplish this goal in the Mid Atlantic than to go fishing for northern puffers, better known as blowfish.
Veteran Yamaha Pro Mark Davis has always liked the phrase “hiding in plain sight,” because that’s how he looks at main lake points when he’s searching for summer bass. Of all the places the fish can hide during the warm weather months, points are among the most reliable places to find them.
For Yamaha Pro Greg Vinson, the best place to be bass fishing during the hot days of summer is up a river where current is flowing. The water movement will produce lower temperatures and increase the oxygen, two important factors that will keep fish more active and willing to bite.
Bass fishermen competing on one of the professional tours for the first time often face the daunting task of having to catch fish on lakes they’ve never seen before, but Yamaha Pro Brandon Palaniuk has solved that problem with a method anglers everywhere can use on any new lake they fish.
By Phil Dyskow, Immediate Past President, Yamaha Marine Group
The Yamaha Marine Group has been sponsoring the annual Kenai River Classic for 18 years. It is the largest and most important tournament on the Kenai River in Alaska, and it draws participants from all over the United States.
False albacore are a light tackle fishermen’s delight!
The birds were wheeling and diving over the massive school of baitfish as unseen predators from the depths attacked and drove the fish to the surface. The frantic bay anchovies were so thickly packed that they made a dark spot in the ocean, and all around splashes appeared on the surface as false albacore, affectionately called Fat Alberts, picked off any that happened to get separated from the pack. The little metal jigs we were casting into the melee with light spinning tackle were hit almost immediately upon being retrieved.
Anyone looking at Bobby Lane’s boat this time of year might be surprised to see eight to 10 rods on his front deck and each rigged with a different lure, but for him such a mixture is standard procedure. The Yamaha Pro believes lure choice is more important than location when it comes to catching bass during the summer months.
Kingfish Pro Capt. Brant McMullan on Finding and Catching Kingfish
King mackerel, a.k.a. kingfish or just plain kings, are speedy game fish that are fun to catch and tasty to eat when fresh off the boat. With all the emphasis on tournament fishing and the efforts pro anglers put into finding and catching that one big fish to win, a simple fact tends to get lost—anyone can catch kingfish and have a blast doing it!
For Kelly Jordon, the hot months of summer have come to mean only one thing, that it’s time to fish deep-diving crankbaits, not only for numbers of bass but also for big bass, as well. The veteran Yamaha Pro has caught more bass in the nine to 12-pound range with big crankbaits than he can count, and had plenty of days where the lures have produced 50 or more fish in the four to six-pound class.
If you’re having trouble deciding which lures to use now that summer is here in full force, consider Yamaha Pro Dave Mansue’s advice: throw a big topwater bait, retrieve it slowly so bass think it’s an easy meal, and stay in water less than 15 feet deep.
For Yamaha Pro James Niggemeyer, late spring and early summer provide some of the best opportunities of the year to catch bass in shallow water with a spinnerbait. The reason is because bream as well as shad, both prime forage for bass, have moved shallow to spawn, and bass are taking advantage of it.
The first lesson Todd Faircloth learned about bass fishing in lakes filled with flooded timber was not to fish the individual trees. It’s a lesson the Yamaha pro admits was hard to accept, especially while growing up near tree-filled Toledo Bend Reservoir, but it has since served him well during more than a dozen years of top-level tournament competition.
This toothy predator is, pound-for-pound, one of the feistiest game fish in the ocean and always up for a tussle with anglers.
As one of the most popular and readily available game fish along the Atlantic coast, the bluefish is one of the hardest fighting fish you can challenge with light tackle. Many children are introduced to saltwater fishing by catching that first snapper, another word for the young bluefish that migrate into bays and tidal rivers to feed on the abundant grass shrimp and small baitfish that live there each summer. Blues can be caught trolling, casting plugs, jigging, chumming and bait fishing. Each year millions are caught, and a high percentage are released making it one of the most sought-after species encountered by recreational fishermen. But most anglers know surprisingly little about this unique fish.
Spring fishing weather frequently includes wind that can make both lure and boat control difficult, but years of experience on the wind-blown lakes of the Pacific Northwest have taught Yamaha Pro Brandon Palaniuk how to continue putting bass in the livewell during even the most adverse conditions. His secrets? Use moving lures and never run head-on into big waves.
Bass tournament veteran Ish Monroe normally doesn’t have trouble catching bass in spring; his dilemma is deciding whether he wants to catch more fish or fewer but larger fish. Thus, the Yamaha Pro always has two different lures ready, a plastic floating frog and a buzz bait.
22nd Annual Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico
This March, Yamaha Pro Dave Wolak traded in his rod and reel for a 40 lb. military ruck sack and paired up with some former Marines and one wounded Marine to compete in the 22nd annual Bataan Memorial Death March. The march is 26.2-mile full marathon in the sandy, mountains and desert of New Mexico.
Understanding How Water Temperatures Affect Feeding Will Help You Catch More Striped Bass
The water might be cold and their metabolism is a bit on the sluggish side, but there are plenty of striped bass in Mid-Atlantic estuaries foraging for an easy meal right now. The key to catching them is finding the areas where they will concentrate on various tide stages, and then matching the bait or lures you use to their current level of activity.
Sight-fishing for spring largemouths can be one of the most difficult ways to catch them, even though the fish are usually in very shallow water and clearly visible to anglers. That’s why fishermen like Yamaha pro James Niggemeyer have developed alternative techniques and that often do tempt these stubborn bass.
Of all the lures anglers can use to catch spring bass, none are more misunderstood than the category of crankbaits known as “square bills,” so named because of their distinctive short, squared-off diving lips. It only took Yamaha Pro Dave Mansue one fish, however, to decide he liked the lures and to study them thoroughly.
Much in the same way boating has been improved through the use of modern, digital technology so too has fishing. Advanced technologies, like Yamaha’s Command Link Plus® digital engine monitoring and operating systems have revolutionized the way operator and engines interface. Improvements in the amount and quality of the data available through the gauge package combined with electronic controls result in improved vessel operation, enhanced fuel efficiency and safety. Similarly, improvements in navigational and fishing electronics can make fishing more productive and enjoyable, and also help reduce fuel expenditures. Just like the GPS in your car, the GPS chart plotter in your boat can be used to plan your fishing day so you can fish more and burn less.
It isn’t surprising that one of Cliff Crochet’s favorite spring bass lures is a floating frog. Afterall, the Yamaha Pro lives in south Louisiana where the water is shallow and filled with vegetation, and frogs are part of the regular diet of largemouth bass. What surprises many, however, is that Crochet doesn’t hesitate to throw frogs into open water, too.
There is something about a crankbait in the late winter and early spring that bass just can’t resist. Hands down, these lures, either the diving models or the lipless versions, need to be a major part of your pre-spawn tackle because these bass are definitely catchable.”
According to Yamaha Pro Todd Faircloth, anglers still have time to enjoy what he describes as bass fishing’s ‘forgotten season,’ when fish are migrating back out of tributary creeks to main lake structure where they’ll spend the winter.
Saltwater fishing isn’t as simple as it used to be. Our grandfathers could flip a line off their boats, catch a mess of fish and take them home for dinner, but we have to abide by an ever growing number of regulations. A fish that doesn’t pass regulatory muster must be released, but have you ever stopped to wonder if they survive the encounter?
Living on Kentucky Lake as he does, where crankbaits probably catch more bass than any other lure, it’s easy to understand why Yamaha pro Mark Menendez always has dozens of the diving plugs in his boat, even now as water temperatures are getting colder. In fact, early winter is one of his favorite crankbait seasons.
During the autumn months when bass are still moving in tributary creeks feeding on shad, tournament angler Dave Wolak may only have one type of lure in his boat. It will be a 3/8-oz. pearl/white spinnerbait with double willow leaf blades and a white plastic trailer, a lure the Yamaha Pro has been using for years on waters throughout the United States.
For Todd Faircloth, Dean Rojas, and Mark Davis, the Bassmaster® Elite season ended this past June but the three veteran Yamaha Pros certainly haven’t parked their boats and forgotten about fishing. In fact, Davis, a three-time Bass® Angler of the Year, has been fishing nearly every day since the season ended.
Understanding striped bass migration patterns will help you atch more fish!
The striped bass is the premiere game fish along much of the East Coast, and some of the most exciting fishing of the year is just getting underway. By tracking their migratory path, you can put yourself in a position to enjoy some of the fastest, most exciting fishing of the year.
Man-made fish habitat provides great fishing and diving opportunities close to home
There’s nothing “artificial” about the great fishing and diving artificial reefs provide. Most coastal states have developed reef-building programs, but N.J. led the way with an aggressive private/public partnership program over 30 years ago. Today, the state boasts 14 major reef sites where once only featureless sand bottom existed. Altogether they encompass a mere 25-square miles of bottom, yet about a third of all recreationally caught fish statewide are caught on these reefs and the many wrecks sunk on them, which range from small tugs and barges to 400-foot-long decommissioned Navy ships. In fact, these sunken treasures have become some of the most popular recreational dive sites on the coast.
Terry Bolton doesn't remember the first bass he ever caught on a crankbait, but he can always remember the most recent one. That's because the Yamaha Pro always has several of the diving lures tied on and ready to cast, no matter what season of the year he's fishing, and he uses them regularly.
When most anglers think about fishing for tuna, they usually associated it with large diesel boats, heavy tackle and long runs offshore. But anglers in the mid-Atlantic states have been enjoying a fishery for bluefin tuna that is within reach of smaller outboard-powered boats. Three of four techniques used to catch them, jigging, casting surface plugs and fly fishing, involve battling big fish on very light tackle.
Tournament Pro Bobby Lane has been a fan of swim baits ever since the day four years ago when a friend showed him how to fish the plastic wobbling, fish-like lures in the lake behind Lane's home. When his friend hooked the largest bass Lane had ever seen in the lake, the Yamaha Pro was hooked, too.
"Be prepared®" might be the motto of the Boy Scouts of America,® but it should also be a mantra that all saltwater anglers take seriously. Why? To paraphrase the great philosopher Forrest Gump, "going fishing is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." So to maximize your fishing success, it's a good idea to be prepared for as many different flavors as you can. Here's an example that explains what a difference preparation can make.
Twenty years ago when other bass tournament anglers kept beating him regularly by fishing floating plastic frogs, Ish Monroe decided he'd better learn to use one, too, if he wanted to survive in the sport. Today, the Yamaha Pro is considered one of the best frog fishermen in America, and in the process he's changed many of the established "rules" about how and when to fish the popular hollow-bodied lures.
Most of the time, the deck of Dave Wolak's bass boat looks like a tackle store. The Yamaha pro covers it with a wide assortment of rods, all rigged with different types of lures.
Yamaha Pro Russ Lane picked a good time to win his first BASS® event – the Ramada® Trophy Chase tournament on Alabama's Lake Jordan. The two-day tournament, which concluded Sunday, is the first of back-to-back events that will determine one of the most prestigious titles in professional bass fishing, the BASS® Angler of the Year.
Yamaha Pro Greg Vinson qualified for the Bassmaster Classic® during his rookie season on the Elite Tour in 2009, and he qualified for the Classic® again during this Elite season, and in both years he attributes nearly all of his success to one lure, a football jig.
I recently had a chance to fish on Japan's Lake Biwa with the Largemouth Bass World Record Holder Mr. Manabu Kurita. Even though I have been going to Japan for over 35 years, this was my first opportunity to go Bass fishing there. Japan's culture is both ancient and diverse, but I was surprised at how much Bass fishing is similar to what we see in the U.S. However, there are some exceptions, which I will try to explain.
When Yamaha Pro Clark Wendlandt fishes shallow water cover, which is just about everywhere he fishes, the veteran tournament angler uses a two-lure approach that fools bass throughout the summer months. It's a technique that has taken him to 13 Forrest Wood Cup® championships and three FLW® Angler of the Year titles during his career, so it works on lakes and rivers throughout the country.
Even though summer weather where Cliff Pace lives in Mississippi is usually hot and humid, the Yamaha Pro still ranks June, July, and August as his favorite fishing months. That's because he knows it's the best time of the year to find schools of bass where he can catch them on every cast with a deep diving crankbait.
The beginning of summer is flatfish time for many saltwater fishermen. If you're not one of them, you haven't fished for these odd looking, but very tasty critters. Once you do, you'll find it as addictive as we do. Off the Mid Atlantic States the prime target is the summer flounder. In the Southeast and Gulf states there are southern flounder and on the West Coast you can find the hefty Calif. halibut. All three share some common traits, not the least of which is they are some of the best eating fish you'll ever filet. They all share the same low-to-the-ground appearance, but don't let that fool you. They are very aggressive predators with a mouth full of needle-sharp teeth that they use to grab and hold onto prey before they swallow it. Then there's the simple fact that they are not too hard to tempt with bait or artificial lures, which means they can be fun for the whole family!
Beginning in late spring and continuing throughout the summer months, bass often exhibit two well-known characteristics: they gather in huge schools, and they abruptly stop biting at the most unexpected times. Veteran Yamaha Pro and former guide Mark Davis has found his share of bass acting like this, and over the years has learned some tricks to make them start biting again.
When Yamaha Pro Kelly Jordon won a national bass tournament on Lake Guntersville several years ago, he caught more than 80 pounds of fish by throwing a spinnerbait over shallow milfoil vegetation, but he couldn't figure out why the bass were there.
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Thousands of saltwater fishermen have taken up the challenge of competitive fishing. From redfish in the south to striped bass in the Mid Atlantic, you can focus your efforts on your favorite game fish, but no tournament trail has attracted as much participation as the SKA® Kingfish Tournament Trail.
Of all the lures available for successful pre-spawn fishing, tournament veteran Mark Menendez believes swim baits may be the most over-looked. They’re among his first choices. After using the large wobbling, swimming-tail baits in early spring tournaments from California to Florida, the Yamaha Pro has caught enough big bass to realize just how effective they can be.
Yamaha Pro Clark Reehm describes them as the most overlooked bass cover on a lake, even though bass can be found on them continuously between spring and early fall. They're easy to fish, frequently hold quality bass, and you can visit them repeatedly because more bass constantly move in to them.
Even though the 11-pound bass Bobby Lane caught during a recent Bassmaster® Elite tournament in Calif. hit a swimbait, the Yamaha Pro readily admits his favorite spring fishing technique is flipping shallow, weedy cover, and he adds, it's just as likely to yield a trophy-class bass as the swimbaits are.
For most bass fishermen, cold, muddy water represents one of the worst of all fishing conditions, but Yamaha Pro Mike Hawkes looks for that type of water when the temperature drops.
A good friend who loves fishing, but doesn't have a competitive bone in his body, is fond of telling me "tournaments just aren't for everyone." And while I agree, the reason some anglers love them and others avoid them has little to do with age or gender. Fishing tournaments can be fun for male or female anglers of all ages if they are allowed to participate and one organization goes out of its way to encourage the practice, the Southern Kingfish Association.
Yamaha Pro Todd Faircloth's third place finish in the recent Bassmaster Classic® on Alabama's Lay Lake provides a good example of why lipless crankbaits rank as some of the most productive lures for bass fishermen to use when fish are cold and lethargic.
Yamaha pros captured two of the top five and five of the top 10 positions in the 40th Bassmaster Classic® that concluded Sunday on Alabama's Lay Lake. They were led by Todd Faircloth and Russ Lane, who finished third and fourth, respectively.
Cold weather seldom keeps bass tournament champion Alton Jones from spending a day on the water, but when he does go bass fishing this time of year, the Yamaha Pro makes certain he takes a box of football head jigs with him.
During the 2010 season, 2009 Yamaha Pro Jay Yelas plans to fish swimbaits in hope of winning another Angler of the Year title. Fellow Yamaha Pro Clark Wendlandt, who won his third FLW® Angler of the Year title in 2009, simply wants to have another good season, while Yamaha Pro Bobby Lane will settle for a six-pounder in his first tournament of the season.
One of the reasons veteran angler Bobby Lane enjoys winter fishing so much is because it means flipping is the only lure presentation he usually needs to consider. The Yamaha pro keeps a flipping rod with him throughout the year, but when the water turns cold and the skies are bright, it may be the only rod he has in the boat.
Most bass tournament anglers agree soft plastic lures like worms and grubs are so effective because of their life-like swimming, shaking, and shimmering actions, but veteran Yamaha Pro Luke Clausen reminds fishermen that worms also work when they're dead, too.
Of all the lures a bass fishermen can try when he's fishing for cold water bass, floating jerkbaits don't get a lot of attention. That's fine, laughs Yamaha Pro Clark Reehm, who uses them all winter.
The upcoming 2010 bass tournament tour will be Yamaha Pro Dave Wolak's third season to use a four-stroke outboard, and while he admits making the switch from two-stroke power was not easy, he also emphasizes today that it's one of the best fishing decisions he's ever made.
Autumn's shorter days and dropping temperatures signal the massing of striped bass along the Mid Atlantic coast to fatten up for the long winter ahead. Larger mature bass are leaving New England waters, where they spent the summer months, to migrate to winter grounds off Virginia and North Carolina and they feed relentlessly as they go. Smaller fish tend to winter in the vicinity of the nursery areas where they were born with major concentrations located in the ocean waters adjacent to the Hudson River, Delaware Bay and in and around the Chesapeake Bay. These smaller fish will be on a mission to pack on the pounds too and present great light tackle opportunities for anglers.
Yamaha Pros Michael Iaconelli finished fourth and Alton Jones sixth overall in the final Bassmaster® Angler of the Year standings as competition ended Friday after two separate two-day tournaments concluded on Lake Jordan and the Alabama River near Montgomery.
Sometimes it pays not to practice for a bass tournament, even if you've never been on the lake before.
That's how Yamaha Pro Michael Iaconelli fished the two separate two-day tournaments that determined the 2009 Bassmaster® Angler of the Year; he won the first event on Alabama's Lake Jordan and finished fourth in the second contest on the Alabama River to claim fourth overall in the Angler of the Year standings.
Even though he's a three-time FLW® Angler of the Year and has competed successfully on different types of lakes all over the United States, Yamaha pro Clark Wendlandt admits having a special preference for fishing rocks.
Wherever he's fishing during the summer months, Yamaha pro Dave Wolak always includes bridges on his list of places to make a few casts. The big concrete structures are present on most impoundments, and Wolak has caught plenty of warm-weather bass around them.
During the summer, bass tournament angler Zell Rowland often "chatters" to bass, especially when he first begins looking for them in shallow water. The Yamaha pro's lure of choice for this technique is basically known as a chatterbait, a casting jig with a small, movable blade attached to the jighead that causes the lure to swim from side to side as it's retrieved.
Veteran pros Alton Jones and Kelly Jordon lead a team of six Yamaha-sponsored pros who have qualified among the top 12 ranked anglers in the 2009 Bassmaster® Elite Series and will now compete in two special post-season events in September for the prestigious Angler of the Year title.
During the hot summer months, two things constantly remind Alton Jones to keep a topwater lure tied on and ready to fish. The first is that when he began fishing as a youngster more than 35 years ago, he started with a topwater lure, and the second is the 9 lb., 9-oz. bass the Yamaha pro caught at Lake Amistad.
With summer now in full force, Yamaha pro Mary DiVincenti always knows the first lure she's going to choose to begin her fishing day. It's a ½-oz. white spinnerbait with a chartreuse plastic trailer.
Yamaha pro Clark Wendlandt won his third FLW® Tour Land O'Lakes® Angler of the Year title Sunday by finishing 7th in the season's final event at Lake Champlain in Plattsburg, NY. In the same event, Yamaha-Powered angler, Stetson Blaylock, captured the Pringles® Rookie of the Year honors.
Yamaha pro anglers have performed very well during the 2009 FLW® tour. So well, in fact, that the top three contenders for Angler of the Year are all Yamaha pros. A brief profile of each is included below. The 2009 Angler of the Year will be named on July 12 and Yamaha wishes all three contenders the best of luck.
It's been five years since Luke Clausen first used a shaky head worm rig in bass tournament competition but the Yamaha pro has been dedicated to the technique ever since. That's because he won that tournament, the 2004 Wal-Mart® FLW® Championship, and its $500,000 first prize.
Imaging fishing with live bait bigger than most of the fish you catch. Get ready to catch some really big striped bass with this technique.
For Yamaha pro Bobby Lane, the definition of a fishing pattern boils down to whatever he has to do to catch bass. And in many instances, it only takes two bass to tell him he does have a pattern.
Post spawn bass have a notorious reputation for being hard to catch during the brief interval between spawning and actually starting their return to deep water, but that reputation has never bothered Yamaha pro Clark Reehm. He simply ties on a 'wake bait' and keeps fishing.
Week Three of The Miller High Life® Professional Tarpon Tournament Series® presented by Century® Boats turned into quite a milestone for the Yamaha-powered anglers on Miller's Team Ale House.
During the recent Bassmaster® Elite tournament on Alabama's Lake Guntersville, Yamaha pro Michael Iaconelli spent each day fishing four different crankbaits to post spawn bass moving from spawning flats to summer structure. Each of the lures had slightly different wobbling actions, but Iaconelli retrieved all four the same way: as fast as he could reel them.
If you're a bass fisherman like Greg Vinson, all it takes to convince you to master a fishing technique is catching one big bass. Vinson's first bass caught swimming a jig weighed 9 pounds, 2 ounces, and today, more than 10 years later, the Yamaha pro still prefers the unusual presentation whenever he's fishing shallow vegetation.
Stripers are feeding in tidal rivers right now. Light tackle guide Terry Sullivan offers some tips to help you get in on the action.
Today's outboards seem to run forever; just hang 'em on the back and go, right? Not exactly. Technological advances – computerized engine management systems, fuel injection, and such – make current outboards more reliable than ever before.
Whenever you see Yamaha pro Jay Yelas with 10 or 12 rods on his boat deck this time of year, chances are he's planning to fish sea walls. These man-made retaining walls, designed to prevent wave erosion, rank as some of his favorite bass fishing hotspots, and for good reason: largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass all use sea walls, and the fish will hit everything from topwaters to tube jigs.
Throughout his 12-year career as an FLW® tournament competitor, Yamaha pro Randy Blaukat's "to do" list for summer fishing has always included one particular item for any lake he's fishing: check the points.
The water might be cold, but the bass are feeding. Here's how to catch them.
March might come in like a lion, but slowly warming waters are triggering striped bass to awaken from their winter metabolic slow down right now! They're hungry, but they are not aggressive. They're ready to eat, but not chase down prey so the best way to get their attention while enjoying some excellent early spring fishing is to key in on their scavenging instinct and break out the clams!
The technique of drop shotting a small plastic worm has been around for well over a decade and Brent Ehrler has used it frequently in FLW bass tournament competition, but the Yamaha pro admits he's still astonished at how productive the technique can be.
Just like your body needs the proper foods for good health, your Yamaha outboard needs clean, high-quality fuel to reach its performance potential. Contaminated fuel can make your outboard spit, sputter, idle rough, or in extreme cases, not run at all. It's very important to know what kind of fuel is best for your outboard so you can avoid major problems down the road.
Wind may be the great equalizer in bass fishing, but for Yamaha pro Mary DiVicenti, a regular competitor on the Women's Bassmaster® Tour, wind can also be an advantage.
Admittedly, Jared Lintner's favorite bass lures are big swimbaits – he once caught 11 and 12-pounders on back-to-back casts with one – but when fishing becomes more difficult, the Yamaha pro doesn't hesitate to change to a wacky rig worm.
Although Yamaha pro Bobby Lane never leaves the boat ramp without a supply of flipping jigs in his tackle boxes, he also saves room for plenty of plastic buzz frogs, especially during the spring and summer months.
Adding years of life to an outboard is easy and doesn't cost a dime. What's the secret? Flush the outboard with fresh water frequently, preferably after every use. It's that simple.