Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sinking Worm baits.

Sinking worms wacky rigged  are One of my favorite ways to get a hook into the mouth of a largemouth bass. Of all the Senko style worms the two brands that have worked well for me have been the Lucky Strike Shim-E-Stick 
And the Stank X Stix 
The Lucky Strike worm is very salty and holds up better than a YamoSenko, I prefer the Watermelon seed and watermelon red flake colors. The Camo and Bloody Peppers StankX Stix have produced well for me. All Stank X Products are impregnated with a product called C B's Hawg Sauce.The stuff stinks to high hell but seems to draw a bite when the fish are tight lipped, word of caution, I spilled some in my truck while I had a summer cold and thought I was going to be sick after driving for a few minutes, took a day or two to air out. 


If I had to pick one of the two I'd go with the Stank X product, they are happy to customize your order how ever you want even mixing new colors if you want and the shipping is reasonable. Try doing that with Lucky Strike or Yamamoto. To put a cherry on top, you'd be buying USA, which we all know is the way to go. 


As for hooks my favorite hook is a 4/0 Gamakatsu Wide Gap Finesse hook in black or red. 
A Medium light spinning reel with a 500 - 1000 size reel spun with 6lb test Fire line works best for me, I have the strength with this setup to pull a good sized fish out of the weeds and the sensitivity to detect the lightest bites. Even the small ones can't get away. 
 I like to start close to shore and move further and further away fan casting to cover more area. If I do not have a lot of time I will focus on structure working from shallow to deep, I like working this way because since most fish seem to like to hit this bait on the drop. I seem to be able to catch more fish from the same cover this way, especially from shore.
My buddy Angel caught his first Illinois bass on a Stank X Stix, as well as several after that at Vulcan Lake in Crystal Lake, Illinois. 


Another great spot for this bait is around lily pads near dead fall trees or stumps, guys like this love those spots


Just about everything will take this setup, here is a pike I caught while fishing the Deep Lake WCF Tournament
Even Perch will take this bait


I had to add this picture from later in the day at the first weigh in, the kid in the back does not seem to approve of my catch. 
If a wacky rigged worm is not a part of your arsenal you might want to add it, check out Stank X and go catch some fish, I bet you get some fatties. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sims Spinners

Every once in a while i would like to share about a product that I use and enjoy, It has been a while since I have had internet and haven't been fishing much so nothing much to report as far as fishing in the Central valley goes. I wanted to take some time to blog about Sims spinners because they are a product I believe in, they are durable, versatile and a good American made product that just plain catches fish.
I first heard of the small lure company on the Chicago fishing forums, seeing pictures of DesPlaines river pike with the small double spinning inline spinners in their mouths was too tempting. I has caught a few pike on Rapala  crankbaits but break offs were too costly for me, plus I had a few Ideas I wanted to play with. Dan Sims posted that he could customize his spinners however the customer wanted.
 
   I had always wanted to see what would happen if you created a double bladed spinner with two different sized blades. I contacted Dan to see what he could do. I ended up buying a few spinners, some with black bucktails and some with white. The main blade was a #4 Colorado and the secondary blade was a #2, the result was a spinner with more vibration but not as much bulk. A perfect combination to draw aggressive strikes from pike and not immediately get hung up in tree roots and other river debris.

My first few casts and I had a nice 28 inch pike.

A few very nice bass as well in Plainfield, Illinois in early November.
Even Gar can not resist these things.
http://www.sims-spinners.com/gallery/2010-fishing/dsc00371.jpg.php
One thing I never got a chance to try is their Muskie spinners.

Several nice fish have been landed with a Sims in their first year of production.
Tom Harris
50" Musky - Northern Minnesota
Caught on a Sims single #5 yellow spinner.

If you want an expensive, low quality lure that the fish don't like this is not the lure for you.

I lost a few Sims to snags in the spring when that water was high, I came back one fall day when the water was low and found 2 of them, wiped the dirt off and they were as good as new, that says something about the quality. You are not going to find a double Colorado blade spinnerbait you can throw with a medium action rod anywhere else. The single blade Colorado and French blade spinners work nice and can be painted about any color you would want.
    I have caught many after that ranging from Pike, Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, Bluegill, Crappie and Warmouth on Sims spinner baits.If you don't believe me, go to the site order a few and see for your self. Dan Sims (Owner) and David Mannion (Co-owner) are just two guys who love fishing and enjoy making a quality product. Buy local, buy USA.

The photos on this blog post that are not my own are straight from the Sims spinner website. http://www.sims-spinners.com/

More to come.

It has taken a month to get an internet connection at the new house.
More to come soon.
Dan

Monday, November 7, 2011

2,500 miles with 2 dogs and 2 cats...

Just got enough internet to post so I will tell ya about my trip.

I started off at my parents house in Illinois. headed to the San Fernando Valley where my wife just bought our new house. It started off with a bang when the trailer fell off my ball hitch. I was able to pick it back up and hook it up right and I was off.
 Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska basically looked like this.
 I has the animals and 2000lbs of gear loaded in the trailer and in the bed of the pickup.
 Things were smooth sailing until I hit Denver, the grades were super steep and my 4 cylinder 5 speed manual truck weighted down was not happy about it.
 I wonder what people thought about my kayak sticking out the back of the mess.
 I wish I could have stopped and pulled out the fly rod because the rivers in Colorado looked nice.
 My dog was passed out for most the trip...
 Near Boulder Junction the land changed again.
 Nothing like this in the mid west.
 The first part of Utah just looked like a lot of dirt mounds.
 There were some great senic rest stops I could let the dogs off their leashes at.
 They seemed to like it.
 I was in awe of the beauty of this place.
 Miles of nothing but mountains and gouges.
 Can you see the guy climbing out of the canyon? I was nervous just standing near the edge.
 This is what I think about now when I hear Utah.
 I stopped at this stop to let the sun go down because it was too bright for my eyes.
 Typical self portrait.
 Cacti every where.
 Utah sunset.

We can't stop here. This is bat country...
The sun went down and I was in the dessert between Las Vegas and Barstow.

I left 5:30 AM from Winfield, Illinois on Thursday morning and arrived in Hanford, California on Saturday at 1 PM. It was a heck of a trip to do alone and I can't say I ever want to do that again.

The thing I will miss the most about Illinois is the people I fished with and talked fish with. If your reading this, you rock. I know more adventures lay ahead.