Bass Kandi Baits, a Lake Charles, Louisiana soft plastics lure company, recently signed Bassmaster Elite Series pro Byron “B.J.” Haseotes. B.J.’s knowledge of both small and large mouth bass works well with Bass Kandi Baits products and colors. “His professionalism and all around awesome personality on and off the water makes B.J. a great fit for our company,” says Mike Holland, owner of Bass Kandi Baits. “We look forward to working with B.J. for years to come and are honored to have him a part of our team.” “I used Bass Kandi Baits on the Elites last year, and was thrilled with the success I was having! Whether I was flipping the T-Craw or using the Speed Bug as a jig trailer, the life-like action is unlike anything else!” Says BJ.
By: Corey Campbell
One big misconception in fishing is that buzzbaits only produce during the summer in the early morning hours. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as I’ve caught many good fish on buzzbaits year around. While you probably will catch more fish on those early summer mornings when throwing a buzzbait that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t throw it during other key times as well. Right now is one of those key times as bass are looking to bulk up with bait fish being their key food source. The way I’ve been fishing my Helix Ninja buzzbait is I’ve removed the skirt and replaced it with a small paddle tail swimbait. Size and color are the 2 main factors here as you want to make sure you use a small swimbait so that you don’t weigh the buzzbait down, and definitely don’t use a 5″. While choosing the swimbait, try to match the size and color of the natural baitfish in the water in which you will be fishing. Once you have the lure tied on, I have found it best to work the buzzbait and try to bounce it off structure rather than just pull it back in a straight line, boat docks and tree branches have been awesome lately. Follow schools of baitfish and when you find them pull it right over the top of them. Think of it this way: the fish are already looking to feed on bait fish that resemble your swimbait; now you have added some disturbance with the buzzbait which really makes your presentation stand out from the rest of the baitfish in the pack. You get the benefit of both a feeding bite, as well as a reaction bite. Try this out and hopefully you will add a few extra fish each time out, plus there’s nothing like seeing that top water blow up!
By: Captain John Curry
YO-ZURI Sashimi Pencil SW
The YO-ZURI Sashimi Pencil SW by YO-ZURI AMERICA is one versatile lure. My shipment came with the 4’ floating version in the chameleon gold copper finish (CMGC). This surface bait’s idea is to change colors as the plug is worked through the water. This mimics a natural color change that baitfish give off as they are pursued by predatory game fish. The CMGC looks like a burnt rust color from the back and dark green color from the front. I used this bait just a few days ago while chasing Spanish Mackerel on the Gulf of Mexico near Boca Grande and the bait casts very far for only being 5/8 ounce in weight. Its design cuts the wind and long casts with light line are easy. Also, I tossed the lure near mangroves and caught a few slot sized Speckled Trout. Fish the lure like you would any top water “walk the dog” type of lure and I look forward to casting this to stripers and blues in the spring up north. The bait also comes with a circle hook option and ranges in 10 colors with the chameleon ghost shad (CGSH) matching just about any baitfish.
Reaction Strike Fathead 5” Swim Bait
The Apex Fathead 5” swim bait by Reaction Strike is one beefy swim bait. Like the name implies it’s very wide and has great action when retrieved like you would any swim bait. The bait has a weed guard on the top hook that will come in handy for weedy situations, but the bottom trebles proved to be effective at snagging weeds pretty easily so I removed it and the bait had swam with the same vibrating action. The Chartreuse Shiner color is nice, but will be ordering the Holo Shad as this will be a perfect color for big stripers and tarpon. It also comes in 8” & 11” versions for when the fish are feeding ion big menhaden.
Bass Kandi Coastal Crippler
The 3.75” Coastal Crippler by Bass Kandi Baits is versatile soft plastic bait. Fish these on any sized jig head for a variety of inshore species. I used the LSU color (the package said Strawberry/White, but the shipment was the LSU color of purple/ chartreuse) on a ¼ ounce green jig head and the Red Fish tore them up. They are durable with a slim profile and cast great. Work them around any cover like bridge pilings and docks for mangrove snapper and of course the schoolie stripers will engulf them. The paddle tail gives off more vibration than similar soft plastics. Make sure you feed them on the hook perfectly straight as their slim profile will make them swim on the side if not centered well.
By: Tackle Grab Team
Freedom Tackle “Rogue” Football Head – Retail $6.99
- Hook has “Free range of motion”
- Designed to minimize snags and enhance bait action
- Fewer lost fish, as they can’t use weight for leverage
- Hook is top quality, light-wire offset hook that is also interchangeable
TECHNIQUES – Pair the Freedom Tackle Rogue with a 7-7 ½ foot rod with medium-heavy action. Depending on water clarity, 12-17 pound test fluorocarbon line should be used. Texas-rig your favorite plastic craw, creature bait or worm, cast it out and work it slowly back to you, dragging it or hopping it, along the bottom.
Z-Man “Crawdadz” – Retail $3.99 6-pack
- Colorful and extremely lifelike
- Durable and buoyant
- Built-in hook slot that aids in weedless rigging
TECHNIQUES – The Z-Man Crawdadz can be fished by itself on a Texas-rig, Carolina-rig or on a jig head. It is also very effective as a jig trailer. The individual application will dictate what type of rod and line you will use. The Crawdadz can be flipped, pitched or slowly worked along the bottom in 2-4 inch hops. Try to imitate a natural crawdad crawling along the bottom.
Fishbelly “Helix Ninja” Buzzbait – Retail $11.99
- Revolutionary new buzzbait design
- Allows for slower retrieve than traditional buzzer
- The unique blade makes unique disturbance on the surface
TECHNIQUES – The Helix Ninja performs best when thrown on a 7-7 ½ foot rod with medium-heavy action. Throw it on 15-20 pound test monofilament or 50-65 pound braided line, depending on the type of cover you are fishing. Make long casts and retrieve the bait immediately upon hitting the surface, guiding the buzzbait alongside any visible cover.
Whiskey River “Whiptail” – Retail $3.19 6-pack
- 6” soft and subtle finesse worm
- Designed with a flat bottom like a traditional hand-poured worm
- Unique bulky body with a long, narrow tail – distinct action underwater.
- Excellent in clear water or tough conditions.
TECHNIQUES – The Whiptail can be utilized in multiple different presentations. Try throwing it on a Texas-rig or on a shakey head, when fishing in cover. It can also be rigged on a drop-shot for deep water fishing. It can even be used when swimming a jig as a trailer, allowing the action of the tail to ignite bites.