Friday, 18 January 2013

My Favourite Combo

The other day I got a package in the mail from Ardent/Evercast reels (In Depth coming soon) and there is one combo that I haven't been able to put down since.  I've been out in the backyard casting, in the kitchen jigging it and in the living room just holding it.  It's incredibly light, yet has the cahones to bring in the biggest of bass.

That combo for me is my 7' Denali Rosewood Shakey Head rod paired with an Ardent/Evercast Forge 2000 spinning reel.  Living in Southwestern Ontario, the majority of my bass fishing is for Smallmouth Bass. It's undoubtedly my favourite fish to target.  I love dragging a tube from Angler's Choice, it's my go to bait choice when fishing for Smallies, and this combo is my tube rod combo.

Denali Rosewood Shakey Head rod paired with an Ardent/Evercast Forge 2000 spinning reel
The Denali Rosewood Shakey Head rod is a 7' rod with a medium/heavy action and a moderate/fast tip.  This is an extremely light rod that won't wear out your wrist or arm holding it all day.  The medium/heavy action allows me the backbone to easily drag a tube on a 1/4 ounce tapered jig head, yet is sensitive enough with the Rosewood foregrip to feel even the lightest of bites.  The moderate/fast tip allows me to safely pull that tube through weeds, rocks, sand, whatever you may be faced with, but has no problem setting the hook into the jaw of a porky Smallmouth.  The cork split-grip handle finishes it all off in a light, comfortable and eye-catching way.  This rod is also extremely versatile as I use it for wacky worming, shakey heads (duh), tubes and I will even use it to drag a small football head jig.  Arguably, if I could only use one rod for the rest of my life, it would be this one.

My favourite rod from Denali, the Rosewood Shakey Head

The Forge spinning reel from Ardent/Evercast is a work of art.  Just in terms of appearance, it has me hooked!  The carbon fiber pattern is eye catching, I love the foam knob - its comfortable and looks great.  The Forge 2000 has an 11+1 ball bearing system, and is frankly one of the smoothest reels I've ever laid my hands on.  It has a 5.2:1 gear ratio, a lightweight aluminum bail wire, aluminum spool and a high strength aluminum forged body.  It is specifically engineered for a smooth, silent retrieve, and that's exactly what it does.  The 2000 series has a total weight of 9.8 ounces, and it doesn't feel heavy in your hand at all.  The 2000 spool holds about 100 yards of 10 pound McCoy Braid, and I add a 6-8 foot 8 pound McCoy 100% Flourocarbon leader.

A sharp looking reel, the Forge 2000 will silently, and smoothly, put that big Smallie in your livewell
I can't wait to get out on the water and use this puppy.  In fact, I will have at least two more of this exact same combo by the end of the season, I can guarantee that.  I would highly recommend you check out both Denali Rods and Ardent Reels, who knows this might become your go-to combo as well!  What's your favourite combo?

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Siebert Outdoors/Jig Fishing

I just wanted to take a few minutes to talk about an outstanding order of jigs I recently got in the mail.  Mike Siebert, owner of Siebert Outdoors, makes a great jig for a great price.  The colour selection for both heads and skirts is out of this world!  He worked with me to get the colour combination I was looking for and was available whenever I wanted to talk jig fishing.  Take a look at the picture below, just a sampling of the jigs that I ordered.

Siebert Outdoors jigs - hand tied, affordable and great colour selection

Siebert Outdoors has the entire jig spectrum available to the buyer.  Arky style, football heads, big old brush jigs, swim jigs - you can get it all from them.  They all come with a trim-able weedguard, and my favourite hook, the Mustand Widegap Ultra Point.  Those hooks have helped me put fish in the boat and they will for you too.  They've also recently started making and selling spinnerbaits as well, which are top of the line like the jigs.

Tie on a jig and get ready to hold on, those bass will inhale them!

Personally, I think that a jig is one of the few baits that are great at any time of the year for any type of cover.  Whether you want to rig up a 3/4 ounce bullet head style jig and pitch it into the weeds, flip a 1/2 ounce arky style at a dock or isolated cover, or one of my favourite techniques, rig a 3/8 to 1/2 ounce football head and drag it along sand or rocky bottoms, the fish WILL eat this presentation.  Bulking it up with a trailer is certainly the way to go.  I like the Speed Bug or Flappin' Craw, both available from Angler's Choice.  The jig and pig as it's called is one of the few baits that just about every single bass fisherman out there has tied on at all times. 

Siebert Outdoors Okeechobee jig with a Flappin Craw in Okeechobee Craw from Angler's Choice

I like to flip a jig on a 7' Denali Rosewood Worm and Jig rod, an Ardent Edge Tournament reel lined with 30-50 pound McCoy Braid, depending on the structure I'm fishing.  I'll top that off with a 15-20 pound McCoy 100% flourocarbon leader.  Either way, a jig is definitely a bait that you need to invest in as it will most definitely put fish in your livewell.

Check out Siebert Outdoors HERE

Check out a jig from Siebert Outdoors, tie it on your line, and prepare to catch some bass!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Angler's Choice In-Depth - Introducing the Kill Shot

On January 6th my friends over at had the opportunity to introduce a brand new drop shot bait from Angler's Choice called the Kill Shot.  You can check out the review HERE and be sure to check out the tank footage HERE.

This bait is going to be your go to drop shot bait in 2013, this I can almost all but guarantee you!  But before you say "yeah right!!" let's go In-Depth.

Angler's Choice Kill Shot - On top is the 4", bottom is the 3"

Size and Colours

 The Kill Shot is available in both 3" for a pure finesse approach as well as a versatile 4" version.  Available in all the colours offered by Angler's Choice, shown above are some of my favourites.  Be sure to give owner Dave McCready a call if there's a custom colour you want, he will do his best to work with you on getting it matched.

My go-to colours for the Kill Shot this year will be Misty Craw, Smoke Holo, Work of Art and Smoke Purple Pearl/Silver Holo with Pearl/Silver Holo.  But make sure to check out the entire colour lineup to find your go-to colour!

Top L to R: Misty Craw & Smoke Holo.  Bottom L to R:  Work of Art, Smoke Purple Holo


Like the rest of the Angler's Choice lineup, the Kill Shot is made with a softness that is second to none, thus giving it an incredible action in the water.  The ribbed body helps to disperse water to help call in the bass as well as expel air bubbles that have the bass dying to eat it.  The spade-style tail also has lateral lines on it that give it a ridiculous up and down action in the water.  The Kill Shot looks natural sitting in the water, and when you work your rod to impart some action it will bounce and shake around enticing bites from even the wariest of bass.


Since this is a drop shot bait, it's primary job will be to get tied onto a drop shot rod.  I plan to give this thing a WORKOUT on the drop shot rig.  I'll do that using a 7' Denali Rosewood Drop Shot rod paired with an Ardent/Evercast Forge 2000 spinning reel with 8lb McCoy 100% Flourocarbon.  But like the rest of the lineup, remember that this bait is versatile.  I plan on rigging it on a football jig and dragging it, a shakey head and tossing it at docks, heck I might even wacky rig it!

A 4" Emerald Shiner rigged on a VMC Spin Shot hook with a 1/4 ounce drop shot weight

This bait is not available online or in stores yet, its release will be at the Toronto Spring Fishing and Boat show, Februray 15-18th 2013.  Come see me or any of the other Pro Staff for this bait and we'll set you up!  But make sure you get there early, this is going to the one of THE hot baits of the show. 

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Angler's Choice In-Depth - Speed Bug

I wanted to write an entry on the Angler's Choice lineup, but rather then have one giant entry, I decided to go in-depth on each bait.  This way I can go deeper into rigging, techniques, equipment and other ways to help you boat the bass of a lifetime.

Todays In-Depth entry is going to focus on the Speed Bug.  Far and away one of my favourite baits in the Angler's Choice lineup, this little guy is versatility at its best.  Texas rig, drag on a football head jig, drop shot or rigged on a shakey head, this is going to help me put fish in the boat during the 2013 tournament season.  Let's take a look at this outstanding bait.

My three favourite Speed Bug rigs. Clockwise from top: Shakey Head, Drop Shot, Fin-Tech Football Head Jig

The Speed Bug is a craw imitation bait that is excellent for finesse situations.  It's an incredibly soft bait that is full of that stinky scent we all love our soft plastics smelling like.  I love to rig this one of three ways: shakey head, drop shot and texas rigged on a Fin-Tech football head jig.  Coming in many colours, this small, compact bait is also great as a jig trailer and flipped or pitched under docks, into weeds or at isolated cover.  My go-to colours for this bait are the Texas Man Handler, Okeechobee Craw and anything green with some flake in it.

Draggin a Football Head

This would have to be my favourite way to present this bait.  I rig it on a 1/4 or 3/8 Fin-Tech football head jig.  The great thing about the Fin-Tech jig is the 100% weedless rigging style. What I like to do is then drag this along the bottom, preferably rock or sandy bottoms with a little weed.  It does an excellent job of mimicking a feeding craw (imagine that!). 

For this application, I like to use a 7' Denali Rosewood Shakey Head rod.  It has a medium heavy action with a moderate fast tip, giving you backbone you need to pull in those tank smallmouth.  I'll use 20 pound McCoy braid with a 12 pound McCoy 100% Flourocarbon leader.  To horse in those smallies, I'll round it out with an Evercast Forge 2000 spinning reel from Ardent.

Top: Fin-Tech football head jig with a TMH Speedbug.  Bottom: Shakey head in TMH

Shakey Head Speed Buggin'

A fun way to rig the Angler's Choice Speed Bug is on a shakey head.  Above, I have it rigged on a 1/8th screw in shakey head jig.  I would use this on a flat with isolted cover, or pitch at docks along the shoreline.  What I'm trying to do with this is put it right on top of the lockjaw bass so they just SLURP it up.

In terms of gear, I throw this bad boy on a 7' Denali Jadewood Shakey Head rod, or even the 7' Drop Shot rod.  I'll have 10 pound McCoy braid rigged on an Evercast Edgewater 2000 spinning reel, with an 8 pound McCoy 100% Flourocarbon leader.  I downsize the gear as I use this in more of a finesse application.

Drop Shottin' for Smallies

If you like drop shotting, and let's face it, all of us Smallie guys do, then give this a try.  Rig a Speed Bug up on your drop shot and get ready for a good old fashioned case of bass thumb!

I use a 7' Denali Rosewood Drop Shot rod with an Evercast Forge 2000 reel from Ardent.  I'll use straight 8 or 10 pound McCoy 100% Flourcarbon. I mostly use a VMC spin shot hook with a 10-12 inch leader to a 1/4 ounce drop shot pencil weight.

Drop Shottin for Speed Bug Smallies

Well there you have it.  Do yourself a favour and pick up some Speed Bugs from Angler's Choice.  I can flat out tell you that the fish love 'em and will eat 'em! Head on over to today!

One of the many bass catching colours offered by Angler's Choice - Texas Man Handler

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year - 2013!

First off let me say to everyone Happy New Year!  2012 closed out with a bang for me, and I'm expecting to have a big year in 2013.  With that being said, everyone has resolutions.  I'd like to share with you some of mine for 2013.

Catch a 6lb Smallmouth

I love my Smallmouth fishing, and with the bodies of water accessible to me, this is definitely an attainable goal.  Lake St. Clair, Lake Simcoe, Lake Erie - there was an almost 9lb smallie caught on Erie at the Frostbite tournament in November.  With dedication, this is a realistic resolution.

Maintain this blog a little better

I'll be the first to admit that I did NOT update this blog regularly enough.  Well, that has been and will continue to change.  I promise to bring you guys in depth reviews on products from Denali Rods, Ardent Reels, McCoy Fishing line, The Rod Glove and Angler's Choice baits.  My goal with these reviews will be to help make your decision process easier when selecting what products to give your hard earned money to.

Place top 5 in at least one tournament

For some, it might be place top 5 in ALL tournaments, but I want to be realistic.  Obviously, the goal is to win every tournament.  But, unless you're KVD, that's not always a possibility.  Last year was my first fishing competitive bass tournaments with the Tri Bay Bass Association, among others, and, although we didn't finish dead last, we didn't fare overly well either.  With what I was able to learn over the course of last season, and the support I have from some great companies, I think placing in the top 5 in one tournament would be the number one resolution I have this season.

Get my first bass boat

This one is probably the furthest resolution from reality I have haha.  With a wife, a 2 year old, a second little guy due in April, home renos and other things, unless I win the lottery, this might be a little far fetched.  But it's something I'm working towards and hey, I can dream can't I?

Promote my sponsors better than ever

Pro Staff stands for promotional staff not professional staff.  With that being said, I want to do my best to promote them through every avenue possible.  I have some big things in the works that will help me do this, debuting early summer.

So there they are, my resolutions for my fishing year in 2013.  I'd love to hear yours so feel free to comment what some of them are!