Bass Fishing With Finesse Swimbaits – Fall Transition

Small swimbaits are great for catching numbers of bass! In early Fall the big bass school up with smaller fish and the finesse swimbait is a great way to get big bites from giant bass that wouldn’t normally eat such a small meal. If you’ve got baitfish in your lake, you’re probably missing out on a fantastic finesse swimbait bite right now!

Unlike their larger cousins, finesse swimbaits can be fished on standard tackle. Depending on the size of the head you choose they can be fishing on anything from a light spinning rod to a heavy jig rod. The concept is the same as throwing big swimbaits but you’re much more likely to get steady action throughout the day.

The key to small swimbaits is to match the size of baitfish in your lake. If you’re seeing the bass chase tiny minnows, don’t be afraid to drop down to a little 2.8 keitech. If big baitfish are present, upsize your offering to match. Below is a breakdown of some of our favorite heads for different size swimbaits.

Weedless Heads…

Owner Beast Hook 4/0: http://bit.ly/2ancP66

Owner Flashy Swimmer 5/0: http://bit.ly/2e8O4Y7

Underspins…

Blade Runner: http://bit.ly/29UVegz

Cool Baits: http://bit.ly/2boS7QA

War Pig: http://bit.ly/2pcQnRP

Swimbait Heads…

Matt Allen Head: http://bit.ly/29RrTYN

The swimbaits…

Keitech Fat Swing Impact (2.8, 3.8, 4.8): http://bit.ly/2ab7s8v

Basstrix 6″ Swimbait: http://bit.ly/2aiy7SR

Strike King Rage Swimmer: http://bit.ly/2evZF8j

Reaction Innovations Little Dipper: http://bit.ly/2brnU5I

Finesse Swimbait Rod…

Rod- G Loomis GLX 843C MBR: http://bit.ly/2gqziwT

Reel- Chronarch MGL 7:1 Ratio: http://bit.ly/2n8DghB

Line- 30 lb MaxCuatro Braid: http://bit.ly/2clBRiQ

Leader- 12 lb Maxima Ultragreen: http://bit.ly/2ae97J9

Budget Friendly Combo…

Rod- Dobyns Fury 7′ Med Heavy: http://bit.ly/2bGvlVV

Reel- Shimano SLX 7:1 Ratio: http://bit.ly/2NfdOnk

Line- 15 lb Assassin Fluorocarbon: http://bit.ly/2h4LNjm

________________________________________________________________

Need Apparel? Tacticalbassin Gear is in stock! Get your hats, Hoodies, and sunshirts by emailing Tacticalbassinapparel@gmail.com

Rigging a Drop Shot

Rigging a Drop Shot thumbnail
Mike Iaconelli

I’ve been catching bass on a drop shot rig for years, and until a couple of years ago I always rigged it the same way. I tied a fluorocarbon leader to a braid main line and tied the hook somewhere down the leader. Then, I nose hooked my bait, or maybe hooded it in the middle, and went fishing.

It worked. I caught my share but I was dissatisfied with my hooking percentage. I just felt like I could do better. And, at the same time, I was having trouble with line twist. Even my braid started giving me trouble after several hours of fishing.

Because of those problems I started experimenting. I tried everything I could think of or imagine.  And then one day, sure enough, I invented a better mouse trap.

VMC Ball Bearing Swivel
VMC Ball Bearing Swivel

For openers, I now use a swivel between by braid and my fluorocarbon leader. It’s really tiny. I use the VMC Ball Bearing Swivel, not the Rolling Swivel. It’s too big. The Ball Bearing one will pass through my guides when I cast without a problem and it takes most of the twist out of my line.

I say most because nothing is perfect. If you fish a rig all day, you’ll have some twist when you go back to the dock. I don’t think I have to tell you, though, that’s a heck of a lot better than what was happening. It’s manageable.

VMC Finesse Neko Hook
VMC Finesse Neko Hook

The other thing I’ve started doing is threading my plastic bait on my hook rather than nose hooking it or hooking it in the middle. The threading gives me a much higher hooking percentage. I use a VMC Finesse Neko Hook in a No. 1 or No. 2 size. (These hooks are new. I don’t think they’ll be available until later this fall.)

This is the perfect drop shot hook. It has a point that’s 3 degrees off center so it’ll drive home with light tackle without getting into your bait and it has an adjustable keeper that holds any small plastic finesses bait in place.

All I do is thread my bait — usually a Berkley Powerbait Maxscent Flat Worm or Hit Worm — on the shank with the bend, the barb and the point exposed and in a straight line above my lure. This gives me a clean hookset and it helps to hold the bait horizontal, away from the line. It looks more natural that way.

Berkley Powerbait Maxscent Flat Worm
Berkley Powerbait Maxscent Flat Worm

I can’t say that you’ll catch more bass with my rig but I can say you’ll hook more of the ones you do catch. That’s a big part of the battle out there.

My line choices are pretty simple and straightforward. I use 10-pound-test Berkley Fireline Ultra 8 Superline Crystal for my main line. I like Crystal (white) because it’s more visible than any other color. That gives me a better look at soft bites, the kind you don’t feel. My leader is either 6 or 8-pound-test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon.

Try rigging a drop shot my way once or twice. You won’t be sorry.

____________________________________________

Learn More About Dropshots with Mike Iaconelli.
Learn More About Dropshots with Mike Iaconelli.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Iaconelli - NatGeo Wild
Mike Iaconelli – NatGeo Wild – Oct 12, 8:00 pm

DON’T MISS IT!:  Fish My City with Mike Iaconelli on Nat Geo Wild, starting Oct 12 at 8:00 pm!!

____________________________________________

Like Ike on Facebook,  and follow him on Instagram and Twitter to see weekly Vlog for Going Ike episode, along with fishing and fun content.

Subscribe to Mike’s YouTube channel, Going Ike,  to ensure you see every adventure video.

Return to Mike Iaconelli’s website

 

 

Trolling Motor Installation: Minn Kota Ultrex

Step one in our bass boat retrofit is a new trolling motor. We’re upgrading from the Maxxum Pro to an Ultrex 112. Matt explains each step of the process as he shows just how quickly and painlessly these motors can be installed. Start to finish the installation takes less than an hour.

If you’ve considered the Ultrex for your next trolling motor its definitely worth the investment! Once you’ve experienced spot lock, heading, and a few of the other features there really is no going back. It adds an incredible level of convenience to your day on the water.

Ultrex Trolling Motor w/ I-Pilot Link: http://bit.ly/2vFQypW

Ultrex Trolling Motor (Non-Link): http://bit.ly/2NPTY6c

Cleaner- Safe & Easy Hull Cleaner: http://bit.ly/2xAJNID

We use the 112 lb with 52″ Shaft. If you are combining with Humminbird Electronics be sure to use the “Link” version of the motor so you gain all of the available features.

________________________________________________________________

Need Apparel? Tacticalbassin Gear is in stock! Get your hats, Hoodies, and sunshirts by emailing Tacticalbassinapparel@gmail.com

I Fish the Neko Rig

I Fish the Neko Rig thumbnail
Mike Iaconelli
Last week at the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods I fished the Neko rig. I didn’t finish all that high but I did catch several bass that I wouldn’t have caught any other way. So, I thought it was worth sharing.
Neko rig
Neko rig

The Neko rig is a super successful technique because it mimics the real thing. When it’s fished right it kind of pecks along the bottom. That’s exactly what real baitfish do when they’re feeding. They put their tails up and then they just peck, peck, peck as they move across the bottom eating whatever they can find. Every now and then you’ll see a puff of mud or sediment kicked up by their actions.

The Neko rig is a simple thing to put together and doesn’t cost much, either. I start with my hook selection. I always use a VMC Ike Approved Neko hook, either with a weedguard or without one depending upon the conditions. They come in a half-dozen sizes. Use the one you want. I go with a #1 or a #2 about 90 percent of the time.

VMC Ike Approved Neko Hook
VMC Ike Approved Neko Hook

As far as baits are concerned you can use any straight tail worm or any soft stickbait. I’m partial to soft stickbaits.

They perform better when they’re pecking, or at least it looks that way to me. At Lake Hartwell I used a Berkley Powerbait Maxscent The General Worm. It’s a great pick when you want something to look natural and that has lots and lots of scent. I think scent is really important with a Neko rig.

VMC Ike Approved Weedless Neko Hook
VMC Ike Approved Weedless Neko Hook

I rig my hook to the plastic with a Wacky Ring from VMC. I like the clear ones because I don’t think the black ones look right with certain colors. I haven’t really tested my thinking on that a lot but it just doesn’t look right sometimes, and when something doesn’t look right I don’t fish with it. It’s a mental thing, but it matters.

I put the hook about three-quarters of the way down the worm near the weight. I always make sure that the point of the hook is up. I want an easy and efficient hookset when a fish takes my bait.

VMC Half Moon Wacky Weight
VMC Half Moon Wacky Weight

And speaking of weight, I use VMC Half Moon Wacky Weights. They fit right into the fat end of my plastic — that’ll make the rig look and act more natural — and they’re ribbed so that they don’t fall out on every other cast. In shallow water I like the 1/32 ounce model. When the water’s a little deeper I go with a 1/16 ounce weight.

Once you’re rigged up, it’s time to pick a rod and reel. I fish my Neko rigs with a 7 foot, 2 inch, medium action “Ike” Finesse Series Spinning Rod from Abu Garcia. My reel is a 20 or 30 size model from Abu Garcia. I like the REVO Rocket because of its fast retrieve speed. Truthfully, though, any model they make will get the job done. They’ve been making quality reels forever.

Abu Garcia Ike Finesse Series Spinning Rods
Abu Garcia Ike Finesse Series Spinning Rods

You can spool up with either straight fluorocarbon or with braid as your main line and fluorocarbon as your leader. I think the braid to fluorocarbon gives you better performance. I start that combination with 10 or 15-pound-test Berkley Trilene Professional Grade Braid. My. leader is usually 6 or 8-pound-test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon Line.

Once you’ve got everything together all you have to do is cast it out, let it fall to the bottom and shake your rod tip for a minute or two. Then, reel it in a ways and do the same thing over again.
Always keep your rig on a semi-tight line and watch carefully as it falls. Aggressive bass will grab it before it hits the bottom.

The Neko rig is easy to build, inexpensive to fish and it catches them. What’s not to like about that?________________________________________

Learn more here:

Hottest finesse technique with the VMC® Neko Hook & Neko Half Moon Weight
Hottest finesse technique with the VMC® Neko Hook & Neko Half Moon Weight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

________________________________________

Like Ike on Facebook,  and follow him on Instagram and Twitter to see weekly Vlog for Going Ike episode, along with fishing and fun content.

Subscribe to Mike’s YouTube channel, Going Ike,  to ensure you see every adventure video.

Return to Mike Iaconelli’s website

Jiggin’ Spoons

Jiggin’ Spoons thumbnail
Mike Iaconelli

I’ve been out in San Diego, California, doing some saltwater fishing for my new TV show. We’ve been using jigging spoons, but in two ways besides just letting them fall to the bottom and then jerking them up or snapping them at a predetermined depth. So, for this blog the term jigging spoon is a little misleading.

Early in the morning when the baitfish are up on top we’ve been casting them out and holding the rod tip real high as we cranked them back with an occasional twitch of the rod tip. They work really well for that kind of fishing.

Later in the day, when the sun was up higher, the baitfish would drop down and so would the fish that were holding under them. When that happened we’d let our spoons drop down to where the baitfish were — one foot per second — and then bring them back the same way except that we’d hold our rod tips lower to help keep our spoons down.

Molix Mike Iaconelli Lover Spoon
Molix Mike Iaconelli Lover Spoon

Finally, in the middle of the afternoon when the sun was high and it was getting hot, we fished them in a more traditional manner, snapping them up off the bottom.

A lot of anglers think only of jigging spoons as jigging lures. But they are much more than that. They’ll do the exact same thing in freshwater for you that they did for us in saltwater. All you have to do is pull them shallow and horizontal early, pull them deeper and horizontal in the late morning and pop them off the bottom in the afternoon.

I’ve done everything I’m describing to you here in Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments. It will work for you just like it has worked for me.

My choice for a jigging spoon is the Molix Mike Iaconelli Lover Spoon. My usual preference is the 3/4-ounce size. It’ll cast a mile. It’s as tough as a 10 penny nail, and it looks like the real thing. But, good as it is right out of the package, I make two modifications to it that make it even better.

The double hook is tucked tight to the body
Molix Mike Iaconelli Lover Spoon

First, I replace the back treble with a feathered one. (I don’t mess with the two prong front hook.) I don’t really know why but this makes it more effective. And, I never tie directly to the lure. I always add a split ring or a snap to the line tie. That gives it just a little more action, especially when it’s moving horizontally.

VMC X-Rap Tail Treble Hook
VMC X-Rap Tail Treble Hook

My Lover spoon comes in 5 colors. The best color is the one that most closely resembles the local forge where you’re fishing. This is a reaction lure but it needs to look natural. Color is a big part of looking natural.

Hobie Mirage Pedal Kayak
Hobie Mirage Pedal Kayak

PS: If you want to have as much fun with a spoon as I had out in California, fish one out of a  Hobie Mirage Pedal Kayak. You’ll be right down at the fish’s level. There’s nothing better than that.

 

 

Watch Mike fish the jigging spoon in San Diego:

Iaconelli in San Diego

Going Ike Episode 1: Kayak Fishing For Yellowtail In San Diego

And here Mike talk about the jigging spoon:

Going Ike - Season three, Episode 1, Recap
Going Ike – Season three, Episode 1, Recap

____________________________________

Subscribe to Mike’s YouTube channel, Going Ike,  to ensure you see every adventure video.

Return to Mike Iaconelli’s website

Matt Buys A New Boat!

Watch LIVE as Matt buys a bass boat. After 2 months of searching Matt found the EXACT Champion 210 bass boat he was looking for but it was half way across the country. This is what its like to make a major purchase across state lines. 

Our good friend Coop drove over from Arkansas and put the boat through the ringer. He inspected it, did the test drive, talked extensively with the seller, before handing over payment on Matt’s behalf. Buying across state lines isn’t complicated but you have to know the right steps to keep yourself as protected as possible. 

Its a 2008 Champion 210 Elite in phenomenal shape, and completely stock. Below is a list of upgrades Matt intends to make to the boat. We’ll do some very extensive videos in the near future showing Matt inspecting the boat for himself, as well as upgrading the components in the boat to make it reliable and travel ready. 

Matt will be upgrading to the following…

Hot Foot Throttle: http://bit.ly/2ob4kgO
Ultrex 112 Trolling Motor: http://bit.ly/2vFQypW
Solix 15 Electronics front and back: http://bit.ly/2pAkXr2
Talon 15′ Shallow Water Anchors: http://bit.ly/2F0QBSP
Hydrowave Feeding Stimulator: http://bit.ly/2BCrdVx

This is just the beginning of the upgrades. When working with an older hull, you’re able to pour more of the budget into dialing in the boat exactly how you’d like it. This is one of the benefits to be weighed while deciding between purchasing a new or used boat. We’ll also be making upgrades to the trailer, wiring, charging system, and more so be sure to follow along. 
________________________________________________________________

Need Apparel? Tacticalbassin Gear is in stock! Get your hats, Hoodies,  and sunshirts by emailing Tacticalbassinapparel@gmail.com

Squarebill Crankbaits For Shallow Docks

Matt is out on Clearlake with the new boat for the first time and the fish are biting! Come along as he puts the pieces together, searching for the balance between active shallow fish and larger, more lethargic deep water bass.

Matt found his best success using two squarebill crankbaits. The first was a silent Lucky Craft, the later was a rattling 6th Sense. By using both he was able to fine tune what the bass were keying on and by day’s end the bites were coming one after another.

The Baits…

Lucky Craft 1.5 Squarebill (American Shad): http://bit.ly/2BGxKPa

6th Sense Crush 50 (Chrome Treuse Shad): http://bit.ly/2HbaCGT

Ned Worm- Finesse T.R.D. (Green Pumpkin Goby): http://bit.ly/2hs4RtR

Ned Head- Lockz HD: http://bit.ly/2kIgRYK

Matt’s Squarebill Combo…

Rod- G Loomis IMX Pro 845 CBR: http://bit.ly/2og0BmK

Reel- Aldebaran 50 MGL (7:1 Ratio): http://bit.ly/2uQ4oH8

Line- Assassin Fluorocarbon 12 lb: http://bit.ly/2h4LNjm

Matt’s Ned Combo…

Rod- G Loomis GLX 852S JWR: http://bit.ly/2A6HH3O

Reel- Exsence 3000: http://bit.ly/2iMtscV

Line- 10 lb Power Pro MaxCuatro: http://bit.ly/2clBRiQ

Leader- 8 lb Maxima Ultragreen: http://bit.ly/2ae97J9

________________________________________________________________

Need Apparel? Tacticalbassin Gear is in stock! Get your hats, Hoodies, and sunshirts by emailing Tacticalbassinapparel@gmail.com

Squarebill Crankbaits For Shallow Docks

Matt is out on Clearlake with the new boat for the first time and the fish are biting! Come along as he puts the pieces together, searching for the balance between active shallow fish and larger, more lethargic deep water bass.

Matt found his best success using two squarebill crankbaits. The first was a silent Lucky Craft, the later was a rattling 6th Sense. By using both he was able to fine tune what the bass were keying on and by day’s end the bites were coming one after another.

The Baits…

Lucky Craft 1.5 Squarebill (American Shad): http://bit.ly/2BGxKPa

6th Sense Crush 50 (Chrome Treuse Shad): http://bit.ly/2HbaCGT

Ned Worm- Finesse T.R.D. (Green Pumpkin Goby): http://bit.ly/2hs4RtR

Ned Head- Lockz HD: http://bit.ly/2kIgRYK

Matt’s Squarebill Combo…

Rod- G Loomis IMX Pro 845 CBR: http://bit.ly/2og0BmK

Reel- Aldebaran 50 MGL (7:1 Ratio): http://bit.ly/2uQ4oH8

Line- Assassin Fluorocarbon 12 lb: http://bit.ly/2h4LNjm

Matt’s Ned Combo…

Rod- G Loomis GLX 852S JWR: http://bit.ly/2A6HH3O

Reel- Exsence 3000: http://bit.ly/2iMtscV

Line- 10 lb Power Pro MaxCuatro: http://bit.ly/2clBRiQ

Leader- 8 lb Maxima Ultragreen: http://bit.ly/2ae97J9

________________________________________________________________

Need Apparel? Tacticalbassin Gear is in stock! Get your hats, Hoodies, and sunshirts by emailing Tacticalbassinapparel@gmail.com

Tube Fishing Tricks For The Fall Transition

Are you struggling to catch fish right now? The Summer to Fall transition can be a difficult time to keep track of the fish. In recent weeks we’ve given some key tips on consistently catching fish during this transition but if you’re still struggling, this video is for you!

The finesse tube is an overlooked gem for consistently putting fish in the boat. With the recent successes of the Ned Rig, Dropshot, and Neko rig, the tube has fallen to the wayside. Make no mistake, it is still an amazing producer!

Tim has seen consistent success on a tube for years, especially during difficult transition periods. In this video he breaks down the where, when, and how of catching bass on the tube. If you’re tired of struggling and ready to see success, tie on a 1/4 oz finesse tube and head to the lake.

The baits…

Dry Creek Tournament Tube: http://bit.ly/2cJwI6r

Z-Man TRD Tubes: http://bit.ly/2DbJB8s

Strike King FAT Coffee Tube: http://bit.ly/2OC0b2P

Gitzit Fat 3.5″ tube: http://bit.ly/2MLZIZR

Tube Heads…

Bite Me Flat Eye: http://bit.ly/2MLZIZR

Strike King Tour Grade Tube head: http://bit.ly/2xpDBDK

Provider Tackle Light Wire: http://bit.ly/2OAvYRv

Tim’s Tube Combo…

Rod- Daiwa Tatula Elite 7’6″ Feider: http://bit.ly/2QHupT9

Reel- Shimano Exsence 3000: http://bit.ly/2iMtscV

Line- 10 lb Power Pro Braid: http://bit.ly/2aFg46b

Leader- Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon: http://bit.ly/2p7fxju

Other rods that are great for tubes…

Dobyns Champion Extreme 742: http://bit.ly/29OVnDa

St. Croix Legend Elite 7’6″ Medium: http://bit.ly/2pjJWMA

G Loomis GLX 7’5″ Medium: http://bit.ly/2A6HH3O

________________________________________________________________

Need Apparel? Tacticalbassin Gear is in stock! Get your hats, Hoodies, and sunshirts by emailing Tacticalbassinapparel@gmail.com

Huge Tackle Warehouse Unboxing! Daiwa, 13, Lews, and More!

We’re expanding our arsenal to include all the brands you’ve been asking for! Its no secret what our favorite baits, rods, reels, etc are but we see your requests and we’ve answered the call! We’ve invested in Daiwa, Lews, 13 Fishing, a variety of JDM baits, and a whole lot more!

Expect in depth reviews and actual fishing footage in the near future! If you have particular bait that you’re interested in, leave it in the comments below. We see your comments and we’ll do our best to give it a try!

Here are some of our favorite stand outs from this order:

Baits…

Duel HardCore Glide Bait: http://bit.ly/2OHg8Vs

Duo Realis Spin Bait: http://bit.ly/2QKeL9X

Imakatsu Magnum GillSonic Lipless: http://bit.ly/2QKfHet

Azuma Z Boss Crankbaits: http://bit.ly/2poLKUC

Teckel Drunker Crankbait: http://bit.ly/2xryClV

Yamamoto Mermaid: http://bit.ly/2ODEorh

Scottsboro Tackle Swimbait: http://bit.ly/2NpyLjUg

Gan Craft Ripple Claw: http://bit.ly/2O0um6w

Molix Sneaky Frog: http://bit.ly/2QNyXra

Big Bite Baits Tour Toad: http://bit.ly/2NtAghc

Realis V Tail Shad: http://bit.ly/2PUH83Q

Fish Head Spin: http://bit.ly/2prEFTd

Reels…

13 Fishing Origin TX: http://bit.ly/2NUHiej

13 Fishing Concept A: http://bit.ly/2NtGVHZ

Daiwa SV TWS: http://bit.ly/2xALqpz

Daiwa CG 80: http://bit.ly/2NxaGbe

Lews Speed Spool LFS: http://bit.ly/2xEElEw

________________________________________________________________

Need Apparel? Tacticalbassin Gear is in stock! Get your hats, Hoodies, and sunshirts by emailing Tacticalbassinapparel@gmail.com