If you watched ESPN over the weekend, you might have caught some of their week-late broadcasting of the BASSMaster Classic. Yes, the tournament actually happened a week ago, but ESPN chooses to bury it for a week. In other words, if you really care, you know all about it before it hits ESPN. Whatever. B.A.S.S. also has decided to hold their “super bowl” to begin the season now, and that pretty much means they will always fish some southern water for the Classic. Wonder how those boys would do staring down an ice-hole?
Anyway, Randy Howell was the winner this year. There were some mammoth bags brought to the scales. It was not a tournament where crankbaits caught all the fish, but it was a tournament where crankbaits dominated. Interestingly, casting crankbaits along rip rap was one of the winning patterns for more than one of the top anglers including Howell. I love tossing crankbaits along rip rap for a variety of species.
I always find it fascinating that different tournament anglers find different ways to catch fish, lots of fish, on the same body of water at the same time. Now, someone always catches more or bigger fish and those are the decisions that make the difference between winners and almost-winners, but it goes to show that there often is not just one “best way” to catch fish.
Let me comment about one of those baits. I have been hearing some talk about these baits before, but now I am sure you are going to hear a lot more:
I am predicting this is the next “fad”, “hot” bait. Livingston Lures has a whole line up of “fish-calling” crankbaits, Livingston Lures.
Sound absolutely carries better through water than it does through air, and sound, including rattles, have been a component of a variety of artificial baits for a long, long time. We now are finding that there may be a whole lot more “noise” below the surface of our inland waters than we suspected. I am betting that most anglers are aware of sounds that can be made by catfish and perhaps other species, but there is research showing that there may be a lot of other sounds from other species out there too. Rattles are nothing new, but the claims these new baits are going to make is that they produce sounds that are made by bait fish, sounds that actually attract and trigger predator fish to strike.
There actually may be something to these new sound-producing baits. However, unless you have some really high-tech hydroacoustic equipment and the knowledge to use it, I do not know how you can verify whether these baits are even making sound let alone imitating sounds made by actual aquatic creatures. You will have to take their word for it. Before you jump to the conclusion that I am saying these baits are a bunch of hokum, that is not what I am saying at all! Buy ’em, give them a try. I might even do so myself, but I am not expecting them to be some kind of magic. I will look to them as I do the other crankbaits in my tackle box–different tools to fish different depths. I can already tell you that I have seen times when crankbaits without rattles have worked better than crankbaits with rattles. Maybe the sounds produced by these new baits will be more subtle and natural and maybe they will work even better? The only way to answer some of those questions is to tie them on, put them in the water and see what happens.
Back on the home front, make sure to check out this Omaha World-Herald story on some Nebraska boys who will be fishing in a big-time tournament later this week, Angling for a National Title and More. Ben Milliken and Ben Kroeger of the University of Nebraska-Omaha collegiate bass club will be competing for a national championship in South Carolina. Again TV coverage of that event will be delayed, but you can follow it live at flwoutdoors.com. Go “Bens”!!!!!