Tag Archives: Bandit

Spotlight: Yak4It Tournament of Champions, Heddon Video, Fishing with Kids, Lurenet.com

This recent spotlight features one of the most exclusive kayak bass fishing tournaments in the country, a product feature, tips for fishing with kids and one of my favorite tackle sources:

The Yak4It Tournament of Champions at Lake Fork, Texas, is coming up in November and I’m excited to have qualified again this year to compete. This tournament is by invitation only and qualifiers are selected from tournament circuits or events around the country yak4it-toc-300x257based on how the anglers have performed in those events. This is the second year in a row I will be competing representing Arkansas along with other qualifiers from the state. The tournament is held at famous Lake Fork and Lake Fork Marina and Motel serves as the epicenter of the event. Last year was my first time on the lake, am hoping for a better finish this year.

As the tournament season begins to close, I want to thank brands who have shown the support for me this year on the tournament trail: Bending Branches, Dobyns Rods, YUM, Booyah, Rebel, Norman, Smithwick, Arbogast, Cotton Cordell, Bandit, Bomber, Heddon, Fish Allure and Stormr.

Heddon is an old school fishing brand that I love to throw because I simply catch fish with these lures. Here is a nice video from Heddon showing off some pond fishin’ with a Pop’n Image.

Kayak Fishing Blog is my favorite website for reading about kayak fishing topics and once again they have a great article, this one on 15 Tips for Kayaking with Kids. Taking kids out on the water is a great way to create a legacy and grow the sport. Make it a great trip by using the tips in their handy infographic.

If your local big box store doesn’t carry some of the plastics or lure variations you need, check out Lurenet.com for baits. This site carries only certain product lines (including some big ones like YUM and Booyah) but has the deepest selection from within their offerings. For example, I like to use the YUM 10″ Ribbontail worm in Black/Blue flake, but this is a hard one to find. Lurenet.com has it and a lot more.

Applying Scented Tabs to Hard Baits

Many bass fishermen use scent on their baits when looking for an edge in creating a bite. When using a crankbait, topwater or otherfa1 lure there is a way to add scent to help trigger strikes – applying Fish Allure tabs.

Fish Allure tabs come in various sizes to fit different types of lures.
Fish Allure tabs come in various sizes to fit different types of lures.

Unlike spray-on or gel scents, Fish Allure scented tabs can be applied to hard baits and will not immediately wash off once in the water. When water hits the tab it activates the amino acids. This puts out a scent designed to help convince the bass they are chasing live prey. The tabs last for up to 60 minutes in the water, so you can be confident it is working.

Using Fish Allure Tabs
This Bandit 100 is ready to catch fish with the tab placed right behind the front treble hook.
This Bandit 100 is ready to catch fish with the tab placed right behind the front treble hook.

I utilize Fish Allure tabs the most on topwater lures like a Heddon Zara Spook or on a squarebill crankbait like the Bandit 100. When applying the tab I try to place it where the bait will stay in contact with the water but the tab is protected from the harshest action of the lure. After 60 minutes, simply peel off the tab and replace, or, if finished with the lure before time is up you can dry off the tab and use it again on the next trip.

On a Zara Spook I will place the tab just in front of the front treble hook.
On a Zara Spook I will place the tab just in front of the front treble hook.

For tournaments or other outings where I’m tying on early or the night before. You can go ahead and add the scented tab in advance – unlike other oils, gels or sprays. Fish Allure comes in various scents. I generally prefer to use the Shad scent on most baits. If you are looking for an edge in your fishing and something different than what others are using, try Fish Allure.

Boost your confidence when fishing for Largemouth Bass, Spotted Bass or Smallmouth Bass.  Improve your success with hard baits by using Fish Allure tabs.

 

Spotlight: RTT Competition Recaps

Fishing has begun across the Razoryak Tournament Trail for 2016 and so far it’s been very competitive, with some familiar and some new names at the top of the standings for early events. BoldBluegill

In NW Arkansas, the Arkansas Kayak Anglers kicked off their season on Swepco Lake on an incredibly blustery day. Nathan Bohannon took 1st place and Jason Klingman walked away with big bass. I was one of several anglers who didn’t spend the full day on the water due to the wind and finished 16th out of 61 anglers. My catches came on Yum plastics. For more info, read the tournament recap here.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette was there to cover the Swepco Lake event and wrote up a great article about kayak fishing. This was great local coverage of the sport and our members they interviewed represented us well.

Western Arkansas Kayak Anglers held their kickoff event on my nemesis lake, Lake Fort Smith. It was a cold, dark and rainy day with a very tough bite – producing almost no limits. Lloyd Mize took 1st, Christa Hibbs 2nd, Benny Williams Sr. 3rd, and Brandon Ward took big bass. My love/hate relationship with Lake Fort Smith continues as I scratched out a 13th place finish out of 31 anglers, catching my fish on a Bandit squarebill.

Kayak Bass Anglers of Central Arkansas has had two events, with Jeff Otts winning the first event, and Terry Brown taking the second.  For Twin Lakes Kayak Anglers, Eli Powers took the top spot in their first event of the year. Visit the Razoryak Tournament Trail standings page for up to date rankings on all four trails.

 

Five Catch Photo Release (CPR) Tournament Protips

Almost any kayak fishing tournament involves the use of Catch, Photo, and Release (CPR) to record your fish for the event. Successfully executing this part of the tournament is almost as important as actually hooking the fish. For each kayak fishing tournament, read the rules prior to the event – there are differences which can be important. Here are five tips to help you get your fish properly photographed and counted:

  1. Using Proper Tools – Most tournaments require a hawg trough measuring device which has a concave design to hold your fish in place and a flat “bump board” on the left end. Be sure to use a Sharpie to draw a line along the area where the bump board joins the trough and to darken all of the measurement lines so they can be easily seen by the tournament director when reviewing the photos. Also, many will add a flotation device or some sort of leash to their hawg trough to avoid losing it on the water. As for taking the photo, you can usually use a digital camera with removable SD card or a mobile phone for the photos. If you use a mobile phone, you will have to hand over your phone password for judges to review the photos at turn in.  Note – Some tournaments now use apps such as iAngler Tournament or TourneyX which upload photos directly to the tournament director.  If this is the case, make sure your app is downloaded and tested before the tournament begins.
  2. Photo Basics – Although the rules can vary slightly, make sure you get down the basics. Almost all tournaments require the fish
    3.4 lb large mouth bass caught on a crankbait.
    Largemouth bass caught on a Bandit crankbait.

    to photographed on the hawg trough facing left with the nose all the way to the bump board, entire fish in the picture, eye uncovered and with the tournament identifier visible in the photo. The tournament identifier is something unique provided on tournament day to prove the picture was taken during the tournament period. This is often written on a hand or on some sort of card to be included in the photo.

  3. Rule Variations – After getting down the basics, know the specific rules of your event. Some allow the mouth to be open with the lip touching the board, while some require a closed mouth. Some events allow stringers, clips or other methods of securing a fish and others do not. In some cases you may pinch the fish tail while measuring and in some you cannot. Know the specifics of your event to avoid any deductions or disqualifications during turn-in.
  4. Avoid Deductions – As mentioned above, not producing a quality photo at turn-in can lead to a deduction. Deductions most often occur in some form related to the Rule Variations discussed above. Mouth is open when it should be closed.  Fish clip is used when it shouldn’t be. Can’t read the identifier or the measurement lines on the hawg trough.  Fish’s eye is covered or entire fish not in photo. You get the idea! My advice for avoiding deductions is to take more than one photo and then prior to turn-in go through and cull out the bad photos, leaving one of each fish that has all the right attributes.
  5. Practice – I cannot emphasize this enough! If you are new to kayak fishing tournaments or CPR events you will need to practice this before your first tournament. It sounds simple enough, but during the tournament your blood is pumping, the fish is fighting and bad things can happen. Every event has fish lost off the board that were never successfully photographed. Don’t let that be you!

I hope these tips help you successfully capture the fish you catch and will ensure they count toward your limit total. One of the great things about kayak bass fishing is how much focus there is in the health of the fish. With a CPR style event the fish are only out of the water for a short time and then are returned to the area where they are caught. Good luck!

Norman Lures Acquired

Thinn
Norman’s Thin N

One bit of news in the tackle business world caught my attention as Norman Lures was recently acquired. Norman Lures is a local company (based in Greenwood, Ark.) and has been producing
baits for more than 50 years. This news is interesting to me because of the fact Norman Lures is a local company, one of the oldest and well-respected bass fishing brands and is a producer of some of my favorite crankbaits.

Depending on the time of year, my kayak has several Norman lures on board including the Deep Little N, Thin N and Fat Boy in particular. It’s been announced that the specific Norman lures like the DD22, Deep Little N, Mad N, Flat Broke, and Fat Boy will be continued. No definitive word yet on some of their other lures. I’m personally a big fan of the Thin N, so I hope they keep it around.  The Thin N has a unique “coffin-bill” shaped lip that combines with the thin profile to give it a different wiggle than many other squarebills. This could mean I need to stash some more Thin N lures just in case they become unavailable.

Overall, this seems like positive news and will allow a great brand and some great baits to continue to be available to fishermen. Norman Lures was purchased by PRADCO Outdoor Brands, and you can read more about the acquisition in the Southwest Times Record. PRADCO produces many brands that I love to use including Booyah, Yum, Smithwick, Bomber, Bandit, Heddon, Rebel and Arbogast.

Kayak Cranking for Bass

Bandit 100 crankbait
Bandit 100 crankbait

This article from Yakfisharkansas.com has some good tops on shallow water crankbait fishing from a kayak.

Bass boat fishermen benefit from the ability to motor long distances quickly to find water and structure to match how they want to fish. Kayak fishermen on the other hand must find a way to catch fish wherever they are, and this requires an array of versatile go-to baits and techniques. Yak anglers can rely on using shallow crank baits…READ MORE