Pro's Corner

Pro's Corner

Tips and Techniques from Pro Fishermen

We've asked top professional fishermen across all circuits to help the FishAssist audience with tips, tricks and techniquies that are producing great catches.  

From the Pro's:

Dave Lefebre When you have to fish behind someone all day, here are a few tips that will help you put fish in the boat. Love the Senko, and don't skimp. This bait is pure magic and has an amazing action requiring zero movement on your part. Cast accurately and let it fall, then do it again and again. When the boat's moving faster, try a little faster presentation, a shaky head 4-5" worm on a 3/16 oz. Giggy Head is your best friend. I prefer the Yamamoto cut tails, but there are a lot of good ones out there. I guess "finesse fishing" is what I'm ultimately saying here. Don't try to copy your boater, even if he's getting bit and you're not. A green pumpkin color is hard to beat, add flake if the sun's out, add a little chartreuse if the water's dirty. Focus on what's in front of you, commit to it, and more often than not, you'll be rewarded by sticking with the lighter line presentations. I promise you, when a co-angler steps into my boat with 4 spinning rods with little green pumpkin things hanging from them…it scares me! @DaveLefebre

Travis Hartman When trolling deep diving crankbaits for walleye try hooking an entire nightcrawler on the back hook.  Hook the worm once through the head and let the entire worm trail behind the crankbait like a tail.  The worm will change the action, profile, and scent of the crankbait.  I’ve had days where this trick saved the day.  If that doesn’t work try putting a small piece of worm on the belly hook of the crankbait.  Make sure the piece of worm is short enough that it doesn’t touch the back hook of the crank bait. @TJH_ReelScience

Michael Murphy When fishing during the summer, I rely heavily on my Humminbird sidescan capability.  When using sidescan, many don't have it set up correctly.  Think of the Sidescan feature as a 3-D downscan, set the distance to 40 or 50 feet, and turn your contrast up to level 14.  This will allow you to see much more of what is going on, and to even better tell the difference of species and how they are positioned. @MMurphyFishing

Mark Lassagne Bass fishing is like a game of hide and seek by the process of elimination you will find the bass. The number one rule in finding fish is the seasonal migration.  Spring the bass are on the feed using ledges, ditches and creek channels to migrate and get ready for the spawn. When the water reaches about 60 degrees they go into spawn mode seeking protected flats, places where they can lay their eggs in a safe environment.  After a couple short weeks they are done spawning again seeking ledges, ditches and channels where they have deep water access and food is plentiful. Finding them is only half the battle, so stay tuned and we will look at ways to catch these bass though this season. @MarkLassagne

Colby Simms suggests a technique for muskies he coined in one of his internationally published print magazine articles, the Turn & Burn. When an active muskie follows a lure aggressively or swipes, but is not hooked, he leaves the area and returns a few minutes later, burning back through the spot with a small, heavy unique spinnerbait that runs true at extremely high speeds, the CST Hatchet Shad, to trigger a reaction strike from the fish. @colbysimms

Tim Blackley If you are fishing early spring (40-50 degree water) and are looking to catch pre-spawn female Crappie, always look for migrations routes like creek channels that lead to spawning flats or shallow water. Crappie use these as roads to areas they lay their eggs. @CrappieMasterTV

Paul Mueller (2014 Bassmaster Classic 2nd Place) During ice out conditions, try slowrolling a finesse swimbait like a 4" Reins Fat Rockvibe Shad. Use a color that resembles the forage, ie Baby Gill is a great color for mimicking perch or bluegills. Use a long spinning rod such as a Dobyns Champion Extreme DX 764 SF matched with Lews Team Gold Carbon spinning reel in a 3000 size and 15# Gamma Torque Braid with a 6-8 ft. 8# Gamma Edge fluorocarbon leader attached with a double-uni knot. Use a 1/4oz. jighead when targeting, 0-15 ft and a 3/8oz. jighead when targeting 15-25 ft. Concentrate on areas where deep water connects to spawning flats or main lake points. When fishing offshore, make parallel casts with the bank so that the bait stays in a consistent depth until you find out where the fish are staging. Slow down your presentation with a steady retrieve so that the bait is near the bottom at all times. Just a simple steady retrieve works best with this technique. The key is not to overwork the bait. @MuellerFish

Ott DeFoe (2014 Bassmaster Classic 4th Place) We are in prime Shad Rap cranking time right now (March)!  When trying to figure out how deep the fish are, make sure to fish the bait at a 45 degree angle off of the shore line. Once a depth has been determined, fish more parallel to increase the amount of time your bait stays in the strike zone. @OttDeFoe

Edwin Evers (2014 Bassmaster Classic 3rd Place) This time of year (March) with fish going shallow, stealth will help you get more bites. Try to be extra quiet in the boat. Turn depth finders off and use a push pole to sneak around. Make extra long casts and let your bait sit a little longer than normal. When fish are bedding it might take a minute for them to return back to the bed. @edwinevers2

Jimmy Houston Most southern "clear lakes" are getting prime for Yumbrella Rigs.  His personal preference is flash mob Jr, with bomber mud or Yum $minnow. @jimmy_houston

Destin DeMarion When spooling line on a spinning reel to cut down on snarls down the line, make sure that the line is coming off the spool in the opposite direction that it is going onto your reel. @Destinedtofish 

Ryan Chandler Whenever you a flipping or pitching I recommend that you use a straight shank hook and tie a Snell knot to it.By tying Snell knot when you set the hook it forces the hook to spring up to the top of the fishes mouth.Anytime you get a fish that runs on you before you realize it and don't get a good hook set,the Snell will spring up and stop you from missing those fish. @RynoBass 

John Balla For Spring walleye in rivers, vertical jig with 1/4 to 3/8 oz. jigs & 3" Gulp minnow.  Keep your line vertical and slip downstream, set the hook on any bump!! @jbwalleye

Paul Elias When fishing during the first spawn. Look for the closet drop to the spawning flats, like a ditch or slough. It does not have to drop very much. The big females will stage there and fall back to these locations during cold fronts. @PaulElias

Terry Wilson The need for speed.  When the bite seems to be off or just not as fast as it should be I often times will speed up. The change makes all the difference by the end of the day.  What I tell most people is when they think they are going to fast speed it up. @TerryWilson 

Brandon Palaniuk (2014 Bassmaster Classic 14th Place) When drop shotting in shallow or deep water choose a Tungsten drop shot weight such as EcoPro Tungsten.  The smaller size is less invasive into the fishes environment, and the density of Tungsten is higher allowing you to feel more of the bottom composition.  @BrandonPalaniuk

Just the beginning - More to come!!