Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dobyns Rods It Is

The rod hunt is over! Yeah it didn't exactly take very long. As of yesterday I am the proud owner of two Dobyn's rods. Gotta say, I'm very excited.
I hadn't indented on buying two rods. No, honest I really didn't. It started with an invite by two of my brother-in-laws to visit Capra's with them. I had never been and according to these two fine members of the BC Pro Staff, it is a store unlike any other. Variety and deals abound. I wasn't disappointed.
I had particular interest in visiting Capra's because they carry G. Loomis, Fenwick, St. Croix and Dobyn's rods. This was a great opportunity for me to be able to really compare all the various lines I had been thinking about. It didn't take long for me to land on Dobyn's being my next rod brand of choice.
I was able to check out the Savvy line and the Champion line of spinning rods. Unfortunately they didn't have any casting rods in stock. Both lines were exceptional. Well balanced. High quality. Extremely light. I ended up picking up a Champion 702 SF and a Savvy SS 703 SF.
The Champion 702 SF is a Medium Light rod with Fast action. I am actually going to use it as a drop shot rod even though it says it is more for shaky, darter heads, ect.
The Savvy SS 703 SF is a Medium rod with Fast action. This is going to be a really versatile rod for me. I plan on using it for almost every application. No limits on this bad boy.
The Champion retails for $240 and the Savvy $160. But that isn't what I paid on this fateful day at Capra's. I paid $160 for the Champion and $99 for the Savvy! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Both rods are brand new. Both rods are backed by a lifetime warranty. Both rods are amazing and are going to catch me tons-o-fish.
It was a terrific deal. Now to put them to the test in less than 4 days on Lake Fork.
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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Golden Fishing Nugget by Wired2Fish

I've been spending a lot of time thinking, reading, dreaming, preparing, worrying about the BC Pro Staff Lake Fork trip coming up. I've been all over the place in terms of my mental state. Most of the time I'm excited but as the date draws closer I'm not beginning to worry that we will have missed the bite because of how far ahead the season already seems to be due to the weather. I mean for pete sake, even up here in Minnesota we are talking about moving the bass opener up by a whole week. While that might not seem like much, a change like that with our DNR is nothing short of a miracle.

Anyway as I was out surfing the web as I've been doing literally every single night, I came across a very interesting article on Wired2Fish. I like those guys and their site. Very informative and visually appealing. Sorry, got off track there. So yeah I came across an article on fishing ahead of the curve. This specific paragraph I thought was a good reminder about the way bass move;

"Obviously, if you don’t fish a lot with consistency it’s hard to know where the fish were or are at any given point in the year. But the spring is a rapidly progressive transition for the bass. They are out on the main lake, then move to secondary structure in bays in creeks, then up shallow in the pockets and flats, then they begin working back out, stopping along familiar secondary areas and shallow cover laden areas until the finally reach their summer destinations back out deeper yet. Sometimes, this all happens in a month. Sometimes, it seems like it takes several months depending on factors like water clarity, water levels and water temperature."

That will be something that I will keep front of mind as we get down to Fork. My natural inclination will be to fish shallow. It will be important for us to be disciplined and remember to hit all of those locations mentioned above.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Farewell Fenwick?

I'm in a pickle. Perhaps not a terrible pickle just yet but a pickle all the same. For the longest time I have been a devout Fenwick rod guy. No real rhyme or reason for it other than it happened to be the first brand of rod I bought with my own money way back when. I can't even remember what influenced that decision all these years later.

Today I own several (understatement) Fenwick Elite Tech rods. I love them. There is only one thing I would change about my current Elite Tech line up, I'd make them all split grip handles. But that to me is a minor change, the rods are just that good. They are balanced well, ultra sensitive, cast a mile (when paired with my revo's), and have been very durable. So what is the issue? I've got two and a half of them. First, is that the new Elite Tech rods seem to have dipped in quality. Yes the price has come down significantly as well. The new ET rods are $139.99 vs. $200+ of the old ET's. Maybe I'm being hypercritical but I can't get past the feeling that the lower price point also means a lower quality rod.

The second issue, probably the more significant one to consider, is that I'm unsure I like the ergonomics of the new style grips and reel seats they are using on the ET line.

And third, the new Elite Tech line is specific to smallmouth fishing. That in itself isn't a big issue but more of a "huh...interesting concept" type thing. I guess my current ET's are necessarily specific to largemouth and yet I use them for any fishing I do. Again, not really an issue but when I start picking them apart I always list this in the "con's" category.

That brings us to the pickle I currently am in. I am due to replace two of my older casting rods (one will be used for pitching weightless soft plastics and the other jigs in 15+ ft of water)and two spinning rods either this year or for sure next. The brand that has been my mainstay doesn't feel like a viable option. So what are my options? I've got a few ideas in mind but want to keep an open mind. So rather than list out the current brands I've been eyeballing, I thought I would list out my buying criteria and solicit ideas from all of you. Here are the things that come to mind, please feel free to make specific rod suggestions or even call out things I should be thinking about when making this all important decision.

Price- I'm looking to keep the price below $200 a rod.
Warranty- If I'm spending $100+, I expect a lifetime warranty.
Handle- now that I've gotten into split grips, I think I prefer them. I could be swayed on this one but I think it's a requirement. A cork handle is absolutely a requirement. I just can't get into the EVA handles. To me it is a bit like the issue I have with the new ET rods, feels a bit cheap.
Microguides- I haven't landed on a firm decision on this. One minute I love the idea and the next I hate it. I'd welcome any thoughts on this. Do you have any experience with them? Good, bad, indifferent?
Cosmetics- arguably this shouldn't be part of the criteria, it should be function over form but hey, I admit that if I don't like the look of the rod I will feel less confident in the rod. Not a good recipe for success on the water.

Leave a comment or shoot me an email at thebasschroniclesATgmailDOTcom with your thoughts and suggestions.

Friday, March 30, 2012


This report was just posted by Fork guide, Lance Vick. I really hope the hot bite holds through our trip in April. I'm starting to worry we are going to be too late.....

Last Tuesday March 20th we received about 5 inches of rain that give the
lake about three foot of new water that bought the lake to a little more than we
where at the same time last year . What does this mean ? It means all the shoreline
growth -grass -willow trees-so on. are now providing bass with tons of cover.
And it took no time for bass to get right in it ...The low water over the last couple of years dried the bottom and created excellent spawning grounds that we have not had for years. I believe with the new bottom and new cover we are going the have a awesome spawn this year ..
With all the new water and cover fishing has been awesome you can catch them
fishing many techniques .As far as locations there seems the be fish everywhere
....its bass haven ...only places haven't seen alot of fish are where the water
is dark brown ..

During the morning while the sun is still low
we have fishing a Grandebass Swimming rattlesnake on a belly weighted hook in the Houdini and real shad and a weightless Grandebass flash same colors . This technique is working in the backs of the pockets .Look for shad spawning around floating grass. Fishing these lures on 17 lb and 20 lb fluorocarbon line.
When the sun gets high enough to see them we are sight fishing, there are
plenty of fish on the beds everywhere. We have been catching the spawners with a bubble gum colored 4.5 rattlesnake and for the big ones a texas rigged
diamond back rattle snake in the magic shad color will do the trick . I have this
7-6 extra heavy action rod rigged with 65 lb braid for the big girls .The diamond back profile really tick off a big bass....
When u cant see um winds to bad or waters off colored but u can still see bedding areas back out with ur boat and cast over the bright spots with a
tx rig or clamp a clam shot weight a foot in front of a 4.5 inch Grandbass rattlesnake fished slow around bedding areas .

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fatty Pike

Check out this 46 pound Pike slounch that was caught across the pond in merry old England.

You can get the full story HERE

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012


This just in from Fork....Drop Shotting is HOT HOT HOT!!!

I had the pleasure of fishing with a TFF Member, Galen and his buddy GQ! We spent the morning drop shotting catching both quanity and quality. Galen picked up on the technique quickly and soon after boated a nice 7#, shortly after loosing a big girl in a tree. Once the sun was up good we went looking for a fat girl on a bed. It took awhile to locate a big girl but did manage quite a few good slots and a few easy unders while hunting for that big one. We ended up finding a beautiful pair in some clean water and it took less than 10 flips to get her hooked up and landed! Dropshots, wacky work & bed fishing is what has been best for us!

Baada Boom!!!

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Gators on Fork!!

What the HECK?!?!?! You've got to be kidding me!!

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Wow, this is a long report but waY, wAY, WAY, too good to pass up putting on the blog. While I have no idea how one might estimate the percentage of fish that have spawned, I'm sure he's got a fairly good idea having spent as many years on that lake as he has. So without further delay, I give you the TFR, enjoy;

I’d estimate maybe 30% or 40% of the fish have spawned already but there is a bunch yet to do their thing. With prespawn, spawning, and postspawn fish all available, fishermen have a lot of patterns to choose from. The cornucopia of options allows you to find some fish biting in just about any conditions Mother Nature throws at you. If you’re not getting bit, keep changing up tactics and locales until you find them.

With such a warm spring, I expect the spawn to continue for about another month. After that, it’s topwaters for post spawners and our best deep water structure bite of the year for big fish with deep cranks, Carolina rigs and football jigs from May into July.

Lake Conditions: Regular rains are slowly bringing up Fork’s water levels and most boat ramps are in good shape. The lake level is currently 398.55’ and holding steady (about 4’ 6” below full pool and up nearly 4’ since the fall). Water temps in the main lake are in the low 60s and some shallow creeks are considerably warmer in the afternoons. The rising water and wind has Fork more stained than normal, especially on the northern half of the lake and in the backs of major creeks. In general, I like the clearer water on the cloudy and windy days, while I feel more comfortable in muddier water when it’s sunny and calm.

Location Pattern: For prespawn and postspawn fish that are staging on their way in and back out, key on points and creek channels near spawning flats. With virtually no grass in the lake this year, bass are relating to the timber so make sure you are casting tight to the stumps. During warming trends, follow bass back into the creeks and check the edges of flats and creek channels. After the fronts, drop back to deeper water adjacent to where the fish were before the front and you’ll quickly relocate them. For spawning fish, look for protected bays in the north end of the lake or at the very backs of major creeks. As the water continues to warm and we move through April, bass will start spawning nearer the mouths of creeks and in deeper creeks. The main lake flats are typically the last areas to spawn, often as late as early-May.

Presentation Pattern: Just about every category of lure in the tackle box will be working by later this month. For prespawn and postspawn bass, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs, and lipless crankbaits will catch bass, especially on overcast and windy days. A great search tool are lipless crankbaits like the new Lucky Craft LV RTO. Red and crawfish colors are most popular and they often work well, although oddball colors often produce better on any given day. ½ oz spinnerbaits with tandem or double willow blades with white or chartreuse and white skirts will produce some nice bass in the same areas that the lipless cranks work, as will shallow running crankbaits like Lucky Craft LC 2.5 or BDS4 square bills. Square bills are notorious for losing fish and missing bites, so I use the fiberglass 7’ Dobyns 705CB MF for my shallow cranks. The fiberglass rod lets bass take the bait a bit deeper and the soft tip also keeps them hooked up. For big bass, try swimming a 4.5” Live Magic Shad on the back of a ½ oz bladed jig and fish it in the same areas you’d throw a spinnerbait. White or white/chartreuse bladed jigs with Sun Perch or Albino Shad Live Magic Shads work well. And for a real prespawn monster, pitching heavy cover along the first breakline and creek channels with a jig or TX rig is the way to go. I go with a 3/8 oz MPack Jig in black and blue or green pumpkin with a Lake Fork Craw or Hyper Freak trailer in matching colors. For the Texas rig, I’ll pitch a Lake Fork Flipper or Craw Tube in black neon, Bama Bug or watermelon/red with a 1/8 to 3/8 oz bullet weight and slowly work it around cover.

For bass that have moved onto spawning flats, weightless Texas rigged or wacky rigged soft plastic jerkbaits like Magic Shads, Live Magic Shads, and the Hyper Stick become your best option. Shades of green pumpkin and watermelon are normally top colors, but don’t forget Magic Craw Swirl and Blue Bruiser with the muddy water this year. These shallow fish are often spooky, so long casts result in more fish. For weightless soft plastic jerkbaits, I like using the Dobyns Champion 733C. The 7’3” rod whips the baits out there, while it still has enough backbone to drive the hook through thick worms on long casts. A finesse Carolina rig with a ¼ oz sinker and a 12” leader is another great way to present those same soft plastic jerkbaits to slightly deeper fish in 4’ to 8’ and it also keeps you in contact with your bait in shallow water when the wind is howling. When everyone is up beating the bank to a froth, move out a little deeper with the light Carolina rig and you can catch fish from under where everyone else’s boats are sitting.

Here’s hoping you catch the lunker of your dreams. If I can be of assistance, please contact me at 214-683-9572 or e-mail me through , where your satisfaction is guaranteed.

-Tom Redington- Lake Fork Guide

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Night Fishing at Fork

This young lad caught his personal best fish last night at Fork. This beast was 9.6 lbs, 25 1/4 inches and 19 inch girth. Man what a great looking fish!

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IHL All-Star Team

I know this isn't fishing related but one of my other passions in life is hockey. I play in a men's league here in Minnesota called; Integrity Hockey League. It is run by Fellowship of Christian Athletes. My team had a good run this season and I was fortunate enough to be voted onto the All-Star team and we played against our South Division rival All-Star team. The end result was a W for us, 10-5 final score. Pictured below are the boys of that team. Nice work fellas!

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