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The BassGrubb Ohio Fishing Blog is where you will find lots of useful information about fishing for large and smallmouth bass. Learn what baits to use, why and when to use them. Learn fishing techniques and tips that will give you the best chance to be a successful bass fisherman.

Plus, I'll even throw in a few stories about some of my more memorable fishing experiences. Some might make you laugh, others might actually teach you something.

You can't buy happiness, but you can buy a boat and go fishing. And that's pretty much the same thing!

Fish on!

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BUZZBAIT FISHING (WHEN, WHERE, & HOW)

Posted by Al Rubosky on May 15, 2019 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (69)

    Buzzbaits produce savage top water strikes from bass that actually seem to be annoyed by the disturbance created by the bait.  Buzzbaits are available in many styles and designs.  

  • straight shaft buzzbaits:  Very similar in design to a spinnerbait, buzzbaits offer a skirted painted jig head, an upturned hook, an overhead rotating blade, and often some sort of soft plastic trailer attached to a wire frame.  Blade sizes vary and are selected to match fishing conditions.  Blades may spin clockwise (cw) and counter clockwise (ccw).  The counter clockwise blade starts spinning immediately and allows the angler to retrieve a buzzbait much more slowly while still remaining on the surface.  Most store bought buzzbaits will spin clockwise and will sink if not retrieved immediately after they touch the water.
  • buzzbaits with a clacker: This buzzbait is designed with a small triangular piece of aluminum attached on the wire directly behind the blade.  As the blade rotates, it continually strikes the clacker and creates a much louder sound as the bait is retrieved.  A buzzbait with a clacker is popular with anglers fishing in dirty water and are used quite often for night fishing as well.  The different sound created by the addition of a clacker may also provoke strikes by fish seemingly conditioned to the less noisey standard buzzbait offerings.
  • buzzbaits with a plastic trailer:  Another buzzbait option is a buzzbait built without a skirt.  The angler adds a soft plastic trailer to the skirtless jig head.  Popular soft plastic choices include a frog body or a small paddletail swim bait.
     Buzzbaits may be fished anywhere and at any time of the fishing season.  Many anglers limit their use to just low light conditiions.  I believe that there is no wrong time to throw a buzzbait.  Several productive locations for me include shallow coves and pockets, main lake flats, and near docks. 
I find fishing shallow flats and coves very effective in the spring before and after the spawn.  Bass seem to be especially aggresive at this time of year and you may experience some amazing top water strikes.  I have my best luck when the water temperature is between the mid 50's and the mid 70's.
Main lake flats are also a great  location to find fish most times during the year.  Bass hold on submerged rock, timber, and scattered weeds and ambush passing bait fish.  Buzzbaits are able to fish clean and allow the angler to cover water.   As a buzzbait passes overhead, the bass find it an easy target.
Another great place to throw a buzzbait is around docks once the sun gets high in the sky.  Make casts parallel to the docks, as close as possible.  Try to make the blades strike vertical piliings or the dock itself if possible.  This extra commotion may cause a reaction strike. 
Most anglers prefer using monofilament line to provide a little extra stretch and excellent castability.  Braided line will offer no stretch and may pull the buzzbait out of the fishes mouth during the hook set.  I like to use a baitcasting reel with a 6:3:1 gear ratio and a 7' medium-heavy action rod with a soft tip when fishing buzzbaits.  The lightweight tip allows the fish to inhale the bait, yet the rod is still powerful enough to pull the fish out of heavy cover when necessary.  
Buzzbait fishing is a fairly easy technique that offers exciting topwater action and allows you to catch some larger than average bass.  Buy a few buzzbaits, cast, retrieve, and hold on!

Al Rubosky

Bassgrubb-ohiofish.com

 

HOW TO FISH WITH A TOKYO RIG

Posted by Al Rubosky on April 4, 2019 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (1)

     A relatively new bass fishing technique called the Tokyo Rig is taking the fishing world by storm.  The method was invented in Japan.  The fishermen there are fishing in extremely pressured waters where the fish are difficult to catch and have become conditioned to existing techniques.  Mike Iconelli, a Bass pro, actually went to Japan to learn about the Tokyo rig first hand. The technique combines a drop shot method with a flipping/pitching technique. 

     The Tokyo rig consists of a split ring, a swivel, a hook, and a short stainless steel dropper wire.  The line is attached to the swivel which prevents line twist.  A weight is attached to the stainless steel wire to hold the bait down on the bottom.  Some fishermen use two weights or a weight and a brass clacker.  The weights then bang together and act as a fish attractor, similar to the carolina rig.  The size of the weights may be adjusted to fish shallow or deep water.  Also, the size and type of hooks may be changed quickly with a pair of split ring pliers based upon the soft plastic bait you select . 

     Soft plastic bait choices on a Tokyo rig will vary based upon the conditions you are facing on your local body of water.  They may include creature type baits for flipping/pitching, swim baits, worms, jerk baits, crawfish immitations, lizzards, and the list goes on and on.  I have only just begun experimenting with the Tokyo rig, but I plan to have one rod rigged with one on every fishing trip I take this season.  Fish on!



Al Rubosky

Owner-BassGrubb-Ohiofish.com   


FOLLOW THE LEADER

Posted by Al Rubosky on March 25, 2019 at 5:15 AM Comments comments (7)

     This humurous tale begins with my younger brother Luke fufilling his lifelong dream of owning a bass boat.  Luke purchsed his boat from a gentleman named Bubba Redding, who lives in California.  Bubba, having been a successful tournament angler for many years, had accumulated a large number of fishing sponsors.  Consequently, to give these guys their proper recognition, he wrapped his boat and trailer in a beautiful ocean blue color, and displayed the logos of each of these sponsors.

     After the boat purchase, my brother Luke and I promptly joined the Western Pennsylvavia Bass Team Series.  We entered their first tournament of the year, which was held in April at Raystown lake, located in northern Pennsylvania.  Raystown Lake is an impounded river system, with steep sloping banks and water depths up to 200'.  Since most of our fishing experiences had been at lakes with a maximum depth of about 30', we began our first tournament in a type of lake very foreign to both of us, to say the least.  

     Raystown Lake is about a 4 hour drive from our homes.  Due to the cost of fuel and hotels, we were unable to pre-fish on the lake at all.  In fact, the morning of the tournament was the first time either of us had ever seen Raystown Lake.

     Now imagine how the competitors at this event may have reacted when they saw us roll up in this beautiful bass boat from California, all wrapped in ocean blue with no less than 30 sponsors logos all over the boat.  I am willing to bet that some of these guys believed that some profesional anglers had come to fish the event.  Needless to say, that couldn't be further from the truth.

     The temperature during the event was about 39 degrees with a west wind blowing steadily all day. Finding and catching fish was especially difficult under these conditions.  Since we had no fishing history on this body of water, our fishing strategy was to fish a specific area for a short time, and then relocate.  Each time we moved to a new location, at least 3 boats full of tournament anglers would move into the same area that we had just vacated.  This happened time after time, each time we moved, all day long.  Unfortunately for those poor guys, they were following a fancy boat and two anglers who had less of a clue where the fish were than they did.  Normally a good strategy, it is safe to say that on that particular day, looks can be deceiving!

     We managed to get only one bite, and caught the nice 2.5 pound smallmouth bass pictured below.  We had a great time, but still have quite a bit to learn about tournament angling.

Al Rubosky

BassGrubb-Ohiofish.com

BLADED SWIM JIGS

Posted by Al Rubosky on March 19, 2019 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (2)

A bladed jig, is a jig with a vibrating blade out in front of it.  The placement of a blade in front of a jig head provides additional flash, vibration, sound, and adds an eratic action. Bass pro Mark Davis, famous for his crankbait fishing, describes the choice of fishing a bladed swim jig as an option halfway between a spinnerbait and a crankbait.  He feels that is fishes better in weedy situations, may be used to cover a lot of water, and acts as a great search bait.

Blade options available include nickel, gold, or black in color.  Blades also are available with bubbler holes for added movement of water.  

The head and skirt color combinations I choose will vary greatly depending upon whether I am trying to imitate craw fish, bait fish, or blue gills in the different lakes I fish.

There are many plastic trailer options as well. My favorite craw fish trailers include twin tail grubs,chigger craws, or rage craws.  My favorite bait fish trailers include paddle tail worms or paddle tail swim baits.

I will vary my retrieve based upon how the fish are reacting to the bait.  

There are many ways I like to fish a bladed swim jig.

cast and wind                     Many fish are caught by just making long casts and retrieving the chatterbait at a constant speed.


vary the retrieve                 By deflecting off of cover whenever possible, many reaction strikes will occur.


pause during the retrieve  By pausing your retrieve occasionally, the bait will fall, and a fish following may strike.


pump rod tip                       By pumping the rod during the retrieve, the blades will stop for a moment and the skirt will flare causing a strike.


fish like a jig                      Cast, let the bait fall to the bottom, and move the bait by raising your rod tip, then let the bait fall.  Strikes will usually      occur on the fall so keep tension on your line.


Fishing bladed swim jigs is a great way to catch a lot of fish.  I highly recommend adding a few to your arsenal for 2019.  Fish on!

Al Rubosky (owner)

BassGrubb-Ohiofish.com


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