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Over the past ten years I have been capturing some incredible underwater images of Largemouth Bass hunting and feeding in the wild and it was time to put some of the images into a video that everyone can enjoy..For me capturing the footage is the real fun and going into the edit phase is where I get a bit frustrated that my storyline is not perfect, but finally I feel that with my video Largemouth Bass XL I got it pretty close to what I visioned in my head

The opening scene is a question that I will ask for the rest of my life “what is it about these Largemouth Bass that drives us to constantly come back for more” I know that I have had the bass fishing obsession since I was six years old, how about you?

Early in the video I added some scenes of some Monster bass chasing and crushing rainbow trout and tried to show just how real the struggle is, and later the video I show many scenes of the food chain and how the small bass need to be aware of  larger bass and just them trying to move from one area to another could mean your dinner for a Big Bass.

In future videos I will pick out specific scenes and and do some comentary of what I believe was going on while filming and after seeing the clips in edit…

So enjoy the video and please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Instagram at MikeLongOutdoors

 

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

I have caught Big Bass from shore, wading, bass boat, rental boats, rafts, and float tubes, but when I got my Pursuit Kayak from NuCanoe a whole new world of options opened for me to pursue those monster bass..Here is a video to explain some of what I like about my NuCanoe Pursuit Kayak..  #Nucanoedoit

https://vimeo.com/224974118

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

For quite some time now I have been using swimbaits and more times than I can count I’ve had to modify them with an added hook in order to catch some tricky bass. There are lots of ways to add a hook, but the method I’ve used for years the ML Stinger Rig is one that you can rig in the field in a matter of minutes and add to your swimbait, or many other lures.

ML Stinger Rig Some of the items you will need are some quality treble hooks, swivels, split rings, 22 gauge wire, or Christmas ornament hangers, and some split ring pliers.

ML Stinger Rig Owner HookFor treble hooks I prefer to use the Owner Stinger short shank size 1. it has a semi flat side that sits against the baits real nice, and the hook points are bent in towards the shank of the hook which really help keep the hook out trouble like rocks, and wood.

http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Owner_Short_Shank_Treble_Hook_ST-35/descpage-OSSF.html

ML Stinger RigYour going to need two size #3 split rings, one Stinger treble hook, and one #4 swivel. I try to match the size of the hook to width of the bait, and the conditions I will fishing.

ML Stinger Rig

A good pair of split ring pliers and small needle nose pliers really help in putting the ML Stinger Rig together, but you can use your thumb nail on the split rings if you have durable nails.

ML Stinger Rig

Step One: You want to start by having everything out in front of you ready to go, and start by getting one split ring open ready and ready for the barrel swivel.

ML Stinger Rig

Step Two: Now it’s time to add the barrel swivel.

ML Stinger RigStep Three:  Add the second split ring to the barrel swivel.

ML Stinger RigStep Four:  The needle nose pliers really help to turn the split rings onto the barrel swivel.

ML Stinger Rig
ML Stinger Rig

 

 

 

 

 

Step Five:  Time to add the treble hook to the ML Stinger Rig.

ML Stinger Rig

You can prepare the ML Stinger Rig at home and some ready go as pictured above, or build what you need in the field.

ML Stinger RigStep Six:  Time to add the ML Stinger Rig to your lure. I prefer adding the rig to the lure tie eyelet.

ML Stinger Rig Once the ML Stinger Rig is attached it’s time to secure the rig to the lure.

ML Stinger Rig

Your going to need a Christmas ornament hanger as pictured above, or 22 gauge wire with the green coating which can be purchased at almost any hardware store. Look online for the Xmas hangers, or stock up in December.

ML Stinger Rig

ML Stinger Rig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut the hanger in the middle which should leave with two 2″ pieces, now you’ll need to bend one into a tight “U” shaped hairpin as pictured in the above right picture.

ML Stinger RigNow you’ll need to push the hairpin over the hook shank at a bit of an angle into the plastic swimbait.

ML Stinger RigWhen the Hairpin is placed properly it should look like the picture above. Make lots of Hairpins due to loosing them on fish strikes and catches.

ML Stinger Rig

Make sure the ML Stinger Rig is aligned correctly on top of the swimbait.

 

 

ML Stinger RigYou can make your ML Stinger Rig longer if needed by adding one more barrel swivel and split ring. I have had the most success with the rig pictured above.  The two good things about the ML Stinger Rig, is how easy it is to add, and with the barrel swivel your hook will stay hooked in the bass mouth and not twist out….Good Luck and stick a Hog!!

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Over my 40+ years of Bass fishing I have seen lots of new products come out, and once in awhile something comes around that really gets my attention. When Owner came out with their “Beast” line of swimbait hooks I was stoked to see a big wide gap heavy wire hook with a fixed weight attached that I had to get a few and try them out.

Owner Beast Swimbait Hook

The sizes Owner came out with first worked great for rigging swimbaits 5″-8″, and in 2016 Owner released a Monster Beast Hook a 12/0 which is giant wide gap hook that fits most of my 9″-11″ swimbaits.

owner-beast-size-chart

The size chart above from www.tacklewarehouse.com shows all five Owner Beast Swimbait hooks with weight size, quantity per package, and price.

beast

My two favorite sizes of Owner Beast Swimbait Hooks are the 12/0, and 6/0. They work great on my Rago Alpha trout in 6″ and 9″ lengths.  One thing about me I’m a huge fan of weedless swimbaits, I like to fish my swimbaits where the Big Bass live and not every swimbait is weedless, but most can be converted weedless with the Owner Beast Swimbait Hook.Owner Beast Swimbait Hook

Each Owner Swimbait Hook comes with a Twistlock which is pictured above. This Twistlock has a center guide pin which makes it really easy to center the Twistlock on your swimbait.

beast5

The picture above shows the application process of Twislock into the swimbait. It is important to find the apex section on the nose of the swimbait and then push the center guide pin into the swimbait and with some light pressure applied on the Twistlock begin pushing it towards the swimbait. Now you will begin the twisting of the Twistlock into the swimbait keeping pressure towards the swimbait..

Owner Beast Swimbait Hook

In the picture above you can see about how far to seat the Twistlock into your swimbait. Two things to watch for. One, make sure to keep the Twistlock as straight as possible in the swimbaits, and two, the hook needs to be in the vertical position as in the picture above or the hook eyelet will twist and tweak the nose of the swimbait.

Owner Beast Swimbait Hook

Next step is to use a sharpie and make a small dot where the end of the hook will be in the swimbait.

Owner Swimbait Hook

Now it’s time to cut a 1″ line on the belly of the swimbait about 1/4  the depth of the swimbait. In the 2″ swimbait in the picture above I made cut around 1/2″ deep cut. You want to start cutting just past the end of the hook mark you made and continue about one inch towards the head of the swimbait.

Owner Swimbait HookNow it’s time to gently without putting to much stress on the Twistlock to run your hook through your swimbait. The trick is to keep the point of the hook as straight up as possible.

Owner Beast Swimbait Hook It is very important to make sure that the point of the hook goes through the top middle of the swimbait, or the bait will not run true while swimming. The picture above shows plenty of hook exposure, this swimbait is almost ready to use.

mend it

A little trick I use to make my swimbaits more durable and last longer is to add a little Mend-it soft plastic glue to the plastic.

 

 

mend-itmend-it

 

 

 

 

 

 

mend-it

By adding some Mend-it glue around the head area and around the hook, and hook barb area you strengthen the plastic which will give your swimbait longer life.

My advice on the Owner Beast Swimbait Hooks in size 12/0 is to use no lighter than 20lb line. I prefer 25, 28, and 30lb line for good barb sets, and a 8′-6″ MegaMag rod with a heavy back bone and your ready to hunt some big fish.

 

 

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

As a huge fan of lifelike lures I could not wait to get my hands on one of Lunkerhunt’s Lunker Frog baits.  I had the chance to test the 1/2oz model in a Green Tea color on a pond that was half covered in weeds. Right out of the box I could tell that the Lunker Frog was not like any frog lure I had ever used before due to the Lunker Frog’s lifelike legs that extended when I retrieved the Lunker Frog back to shore.

 

Company: Lunkerhunt

Bait:  Lunker Frog  logo

Color: Green Tea

Length: 2-1/2″

Weight: 1/2oz

Style: Hollow Body/Weedless

Price: $7.99

InsetAt first glance you can tell that Lunkerhunt company paid attention to detail when designing the Lunker Frog. The Lunker Frog has one of the most life-like frog bodies on the market today, and for me that is a huge plus when I’m hunting those monster bass that are locked in on real frogs.productspecsThe Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog has a real life kicking motion when you retrieve and pause the bait which I found in open water and on the edge of weed matts to be highly effective in creating more strikes than a standard frog lure.

7

8When the Lunker Frog is paused on the water the legs are tight to the frog body and once you give the Lunker Frog a light pull the legs extend giving the Lunker the most life-like motion of any frog lure I have ever used.

There were multiple times while fishing the Lunker Frog in open water with no weeds that the leg action was the difference in getting a strike, or not.

3I also found that the life-like frog feet gave the Lunker Frog a little extra splash while retrieving the lure.

2The finish on the Lunker Frog is top notch and held up fairly well over two days of fishing and catching well over 20 bass.

5

6The Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog is built with a soft plastic body that really helped with hook sets with the weedless hook system.

4

The Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog’s legs hang down below the surface just like a real frog, and many of my strikes were while testing the Lunker Frog in heavy cover while the Lunker Frog was not being moved for long periods of time. This is something to keep in mind while fishing this bait is to work it slow with many long pauses during the retrieve especially in small openings in the weed mats.

1Overall I found the Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog to be one of the best imitation frogs I have ever used.

 

Pros: Very durable, great hook set ability to ultra soft body construction, very life-like in appearance, pause and retrieve motion creates more strikes.

Cons: The legs can come off with some bass strikes, but they float if they do not get eaten..

Visit www.http://www.lunkerhunt.com for more info on all LunkerHunt products

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Over the years of chasing bass during the day I have encountered several severe sunburns and till recently I have had very little in the way of light weight clothing alternatives for fishing. I have had a few fishing shirts over the past couple of years , but when Mojo Sportswear Company contacted me and sent me a sample of what they offered for the fishing community I was on cloud 9..Finally a light weight comfortable shirt that I could go to battle with while chasing bass in the extreme sun and heat of Southern California.. Before writing this review I put Mojo Sportswear Company’s product to the test for well over a month of extreme bass fishing.

 

Company: Mojo Sportswear Co.

Shirt: Vented Wireman

Color: Bass                              logo

Size: XL

UPF:  50+

Moisture Wicking: Yes

Quick Dry: Yes

MSRP: $41.95

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

M-PFV3350L_1024x1024I always look for a light colored shirt that reflects the suns harsh rays and are breathable and Mojo Sportwear has the perfect shirt for those really hot and bright days on the water. Mojo Sportswear uses 100% Technical Poly Microfiber which has UPF rating of 50+ and it is moisture wicking which will keep you dry all day. The material is also wrinkle and stain resistant.

M-PFV3350L-side_1024x1024The Mojo Sportswear Vented Wireman shirts come with vented armpits as well as venting under the arms which I found to really work well to help regulate body temperature. The stitching between the materials was top notch, this shirt should last for years.

M-PF3500L_1024x1024Mojo Sportswear Co. also offers a very cool Bass Camo shirt which is also made out of 100% Poly Fiber. There is no venting on the Bass Camo shirt.  I found the Bass Camo shirt to be very comfortable and lightweight and after a long hot day of fishing I had zero sun damage to my skin.

M-FCG0007_medium

Mojo Sportswear Co. also offers Bass Camo headgear which is a must to keep the sun off of your ears, and neck, and it looks really nice matching the Bass Camo, and Vented Wireman shirts.

For me while hunting Big Bass I always try to blend into the environment as much as possible to not spook the giant bass off and the Bass Camo Headgear, and shirts are a perfect match for those Big Bass hunting days.

 

Visit  www.mojo-gear.com   for ordering, and more information on Mojo Sportswear Co. Products

 

Pros: Light weight material which keeps you dry and cool all day. UPF of 50+..The shirts move with your body and don’t interfere with casting in any way at all.

 

Cons: I would love to see a Mock version of both shirts to help keep the sun off the neck when not wearing any headgear.

 

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Over the years, as underwater sports cameras have evolved, I have been able to keep stride with this ever changing technology and sometimes add my creative twist of thinking outside the box to get those underwater shots that in the past we could only imagine. So I have decided to make a series of short videos of underwater bass activity to try to help unlock some of the mysterys of just what the heck these bass are thinking when we toss our lures out in their environment.

The baits I used in the video are my own Natural Series Swimmers AM Shads

AM Swimmers - ©MikeLongOutdoors

 

One of the questions I hear a lot is “Why are the bass just following my bait?”

BBB1 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe picture above shows a large group of bass that were just curious about the swimbait and never made an advance towards it, just followed the bait and stayed just behind it. While filming, it was the middle of a hot Summer day, heading into a no moon phase and the water was clear and around 80 degrees.

I have found that in these periods of the year, and time of day, most bass in clear water will be low light feeders and once you find them they will be offshore, suspended just deep enough to stay out of the sun’s bright summer rays.

BBB2 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe above picture is a snapshot of a behavior I have seen many animals exhibit in nature and that is to rub their body, or scent onto the bait and mark it. I’m not totally sure why bass would do this, but the bass in the video never bit the swimbait just marked it.

BBB4 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsUnder the same mid-day hot and bright conditions I was able to get a few bass to chase down my swimbait and get a little more aggressive with it once I got the lure down around 25 feet.

BBB5 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsAfter finding that perfect depth of water I was able to consistently keep my swimbait in the bass biting zone.

 

Enjoy the video!!

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Thinking back well over 40 years of bass fishing one thing always comes to mind and that is how I have always liked to tweak existing lures, or build new ones from scratch that would work for the bass hunt I was currently  on. I absolutely enjoy creating something from just a few ideas and testing it in the water and hoping it would trick those finicky bass, not every idea works, but you learn from each one. Tweaking, or adjusting a lure is something I do on almost every trip, so after time and time of doing this you kinda know what most bass fisherman are looking for in a specific style of lure.

I have also spent many years working with, or consulting with some of the finest swimbait makers on the planet, from Sean Donovan the original owner of Optimum Lures to Jason Scott (Castaic, Decoy Lures), to Matt Servant (MattLures), and Jerry Rago of Rago Lures. These guys are all legends in the swimbait world and have made several lures to date that have caught many personal best for thousands of bass fisherman. These men all have one thing in common, they are all driven to build the best lures on the market today.

For well over 30 years I have worked full time in the construction industry, but a few years ago after that industry collapsed I decided it was time to pursue one of my dreams and build lures for the general public and so my company Natural Series Swimmers was born.

It has been a learning curve making production lures. In the past I only had to make a few lures at a time which is much easier than trying to make 20-50 a week.

The first lure I built under Natural Series Swimmers  name was a glide shad .Glide Shad

I Started with a picture of threadfin shad and an idea of how I wanted the bait to swim and after years of watching shad in the water and viewing countless hours of under water video footage of shad in their natural environment. I knew how I wanted to start.

Next it was time to make a carving.Glide Shad Template
I started with the picture of what I wanted the lure to look like, traced it out with some tracing paper and transferred that image onto some bass wood and then cut out my design. I made the shad in one piece first so I would have a future template that I could build multiple jointed baits with.

Wood Glide Shad

Every hard bait I build has my “ML” intial and is numbered in the order as it was built.ML Initial and Number

The end result which was made out of urethane and hand painted had to be field tested, which for me was one of funnest parts of the entire process. On the first field test of the glide shad I scored a few nice bass up to 11 lbs. and found I only needed to make a few minor tweaks as to where the hooks were placed and what size.Natural Series Swimmers Glide Shad Big Bass

This 6″ 2.5oz. lure which I call my Glide Shad is an incredible little bait that did everything I designed it to do. I prefer to use the Glide Shad with a 7′-4″ Dobyns Rod (744) and 18Lb. Maxima Fluorocarbon line. I also add a #4 Duo Lock snap to every bait which really helps give the Glide Shad maximum freedom in the water. I balanced the baits with Owner size 1 treble hooks which work perfectly with the 6″ Glide Shad.

Every bait is field tested to make sure it meets my standards.

When working the Glide Shad it is very important to keep your rod tip pointed towards the lure and make it glide side to side with a reel retrieve only. I made a video which shows the Glides Shads swimming and how I’m “reel retrieveing” them to get the side to side motion.

My second glide bait is my Gliding Panfish

Gliding PanfishThis is a 6″ bait that weighs in at around 3.6oz. and along with a floater comes in sink rates of super slow sink, slow sink, and fast sink.Natural Series Swimmers Gliding Panfish

The Gliding Panfish is a bait that I have made for myself for quite sometime, I just thickened up the tail and smoothed the edges to make a more durable swimbait for production to the public. That is one problems I have with my personal baits is that they are not always built to take a lot of abuse, but built as life-like as possible and when fins break you just build a new one and your back in business.

Gliding Panfish Wood CarvingThis was another bait that I carved the template out of wood off of a concept I liked in a two piece bait. Once again this is a balanced swimbait that needs a steady reel retrieve to get the Gliding Panfish to swim hard left and right. This little 6″ swimbait is a beast around docks and trees where you can get the glide the  lure partially into these targets where some giant bass are hiding out.Gliding Panfish Catch

Field testing the new design went very well, I found I only needed to make a sleight hook adjustment which is now in all the new Gliding Panfish.

The Gliding Panfish comes with a #3 Duo Snap, two Owner Stinger 2X Black Hooks, custom Taxidermy eyes, and two magnum grade screw eyes to hold each section together. Each bait also comes with the “ML” initial and  is numbered in the order it was built. Every bait is field tested before it is packaged. Along with a floating version, there is slow sink, super slow sink, and fast sink.

Attached is a link to a video showing the Gliding Panfish in the water and the proper rod position with a reel only retrieve:

Gliding Panfish Video

Here is a link to the Glide Shad in Action:

Glide Shad Video

By clicking on the “Store” tab on the homepage there will be a link to the Natural Series Swimmers that are currently for sale:

Online Store

The Gliding Panfish are $105+shipping, and the Glide Shads are $68+shipping.

Coming soon are the AM Shads a soft plastic realistic looking shad with a internal bladder and weight system that gives this little 5″ bait a very realistic look in the water. This new bait is something I have been working on for awhile and just fine tuning the color patterns.AM Shads

 

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Mattlures has once again built one of the most realistic looking swimbaits on the market today with the 10″ Dead Twitch Bait. With a weight just over seven ounces the Dead Twitch is a bait you will need a heavier rod and reel to cast it with and lots of patience, but the reward can be the bass of a lifetime.

Company: MattLures

Bait: Dead Twitch

Style: Floater (slow twitch)

Length: 10″

Weight: 7.6 ounces

Color: Dark Rainbow TroutMattlures 10" Dead Twitch

Hooks: Owner 2/0 (2)

Hinge: One

Composite: Soft Plastic

Custom Paint: Yes

MSRP: $49.99

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

Matt lures Dead Twitch BaitThis is the second version of the Mattlures Dead Twitch with the 10″ model and once again Mattlures has put his professional signature paint job on the 10″ Dead Twitch bait with plenty of colors to choose from.

Mattlures Dead TwitchThe 10″ Mattlures Dead Twitch bait has a innovative hinge design that gives the bait very smooth movement while the bait sits on the water.

Mattlures 10" Dead Twitch BaitThe rear section of the Mattlures Dead Twitch bait has almost 90 degrees of left and right movement which I found to be perfect for this style of swimbait.

Mattlures 10" Dead Twitch BaitMattlures cut no corners and put taxidermy grade eyes on the 10″ Dead Twitch bait which really give this bait life in and out of the water.

Mattlures 10" Dead Twitch BaitThe Mattlures 10″ Dead Twitch bait is a floating bait that was designed to sit just under the surface of the water and have some of the dorsal fin and tail stick out of the water.

Mattlures 10" Dead Twitch BaitThe Mattlures 10″ Dead Twitch baits were designed to sit just under surface and slowly be worked in, or just let it sit in one place while the wave action moves the bait, so being patient is key to catching bass with this bait.

Pros:  The Mattlures 10″ Dead Twitch has a very life like paint job which is key to its success and the internal design is by far ground breaking for a large swimbait.

Cons:  After a few hours of using the 10″ Dead Twitch it occasionally became water logged, but I found just letting it dry out for minutes and bleeding out any water that was trapped between the lures skin and internal bladder system fixed the problem.

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

The first time I did a review on FlipinTheBirds weedless topwater bait I was very impressed. It was a bait that could be used not only on weed mats, but next to the tules, trees, or brush that can line any body of water. It is a realistic style of lure matching a small bird that hit the water and is in distress and since almost all bodies of water have birds around them it by far is a great choice for a lure.

P1010120 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsFlipinTheBird comes in multiple colors from natural colors to bright colors for stained, or dirty water. P1010128 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsI hand picked some of my favorite colors of FlipinTheBird from the Black Bird with Red Bird to White and Chartreuse Bird and my new signature Bird in Brown and Black.

I really believe one of the reasons the FlipinTheBird out fishes all other hollow body weedless topwater is its profile on the water. Since it has multiple strand wings and tail it puts out a  much larger profile than any other lure of its kind, and while having rubber strands for wings it also gives the bird added vibration on the water which gives the bird a life-like presentation. P1010131 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsBeing a weedless hollow body bait these bird lures are absolutely a blast to fish during times when bass are tight to structure and occasionally in open water situations. I have had best success fishing the bird two ways; one by tossing the bird up tight against the tules, or tress and just letting it sit. And the second technique I like is to walk the bird across the surface with an ocasional pause in the retrieve.

On the original lures they had a tendency to land upside down from time to time, but FlipinTheBird has fixed that problem by adding some weight to the hook so the bait will always land on its belly instead of its back.P1010125 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsMy Mike Long Signature Bird in Brown body and Black head is not only is a new color for FlipinTheBird, but has a soft rubber popper added in the front of the bird to give the new signature bird some added water displacement and sound which has really increased the lures success in the catching bass department.

P1010127 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Check out a cool video I made of my Mike Long Signature Bird in Action:

Mike Long Signature Bird Video

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Every now and then someone, or something comes along in life that changes everything.  And as the fishing world collided with social media and technology improved with a new line of portable high definition inexpensive video cameras, it was only a matter of time before someone was going to put it all together into an awesome new video packed full of incredible bass fishing actiongGjgaAzdShj3slbE-Ad9XDbKrSEZdNFWMTVkXYa7HrA

Big Big Bass Dreams Volume One is a story about one mans quest (Oliver Ngy) to catch that elusive monster bass on nothing but swimbaits. It was produced by Oliver Ngy, and directed and edited by Mike Gilbert. This epic bass fishing video takes you on a journey into the epicenter of Southern California’s Big Bass Country. 9j3wu3RzC0Jhk2GkXfLxDUnBofJdlOSPUFFdtqNnpLgThe Video really gives you a taste of just how productive using swimbaits can be for catching large bass and just how important it is to be prepared and have a game plan before hitting the water for a all out swimbait assault.yqRmSU1Hdg7fucQd1z2p6Awtc54e9o-ELe32_7tzdX0

Big Bass Dream Volume One also does a great job capturing the agony of defeat with giant bass coming off right at the boat.

hBQ6HUlPAU4R_9UxsoKMzLi7h-MDgAeaiqjXXeS8rgcBig Bass Dreams Volume One has more big bass caught from cast to catch than any other video ever to date. And how the video was edited with 27 minutes of edited bass catching action in sequence one, and just over 30 minutes of complete cast to catch bass catching action in sequence two is what makes these two sequences combined the most innovative bass fishing video ever produced.
XmkYNO7RrnmlLnQIbJvzDD7-ywadOcwcn1thE2kO18E z68I8PZ27ob1RyHowJlZD9vZ1QLIiEHQ6lKEBuyWVco                                                                                  Oliver Ngy is no stranger to bass fishing and while growing up and fishing in Southern California and having a passion for fishing with tons of success catching trophy bass he was able to capture some of his passion and put it into his video. I have watched many bass fishing videos where they bore you with to much talking and not enough action, but Big Bass Dreams Volume One has plenty of action along with some humor and some awesome music. I believe you’ll want to watch it over and over again.

Big Bass Dreams Volume did a great job showing if you invest a good amount of time into something you truly believe in  then the sky is the limit. From Oliver’s infectious smile and laugh to the scenery of Southern California’s lakes, to the true stars of the video the bass I think you enjoy this video from start to finish.

To order your copy of Big Bass Dreams Volume One go to www.bigbassdreams.com

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Fishing in San Diego where the lakes are small and easily accesible you very rarely get on a bite that you can keep all to yourself.  After over 40 years of fishing these pressured waters I’ve learned a trick, or two to stay ahead of the crowd and the most important one is to keep your mouth shut. Easier said than done when your excited about a bite, or large catch……… Remember that day, or days when you had the lake all to yourself??

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYes, those are the times you love the most just you and a nice sunset and a sore thumb from all the bass you caught un-harrased.

1972-Bass-Fishing1Or that time on the water you got to spend with you dad, or a good friend when you were young and boats were small and motors were much slower. Yes these days are almost all but gone.. We live in the age of the internet where information moves almost as fast as you can catch that personal best bass.  There once was a time where if you caught a big bass and weighed it at the marina you had until the newspaper posted your catch and then the crowd came looking for the bite they read about in the newspaper.

6a00e55120ac92883401287771a3bd970c-800wiThese days with the internet if you catch a big bass under the dock and send a picture out to social media, or just a good friend the next thing you know your surrounded by boats  and yes, that bite is over. Those giant bass just can’t take the pressure of all the boats, or bank fisherman bombing the area.

GOPR0689 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsIt’s one thing to get the verbal information that a big bass was caught, but when there is a picture on the web the CSI (crime scene investigation) crowd can pick your picture apart and pretty much figure out location, time of day, if it was warm, or cold by the sky and clothes your wearing and if there is a rod in the picture that too tells a story, I think you get the point. It’s hard to believe that there are so many people who really don’t respect someones bite, but that is the new high pressured world we all live in, everyone who bass fishes wants the to catch a giant bass and how they go about it is just like watching the television show Survivor.

I think from time to time we are all guilty of hi-jacking someone else’s bite, I guess it’s just a part of bass fishing especially when your in a slump, but exercising a little respect is always the best way to approach these situations. If that person who found the bite shows up and your sitting and fishing their honey hole that you did not find, I suggest backing up some and talking with them and letting them onto their spot and fishing  just outside them. You never know when the situation will turn and they may be on your bite and spot. This approach has really worked well for me, but when you get large groups on your bite all bets are off.

For me every time I go fishing I try to challenge myself and find the bite myself, it’s a much better feeling in the end if you catch a large bass and you figured it all out yourself it’s a feeling of satisfaction that I hope all fisherman can experience at least once in their life.

Another way I try to challenge myself is if everyone is on a good bite at one lake, I try to go against the grain and go to another lake that is dead quiet with almost no fisherman there and test my talent and see if I can get a quality bass, or two. This has really helped my fishing because I’m concentrating much more on the lake, weather, sun and moon trying to figure out where the bass are and what time they will bite instead of worrying about a bunch of fisherman in front of me, or on some of the key spots in the lake.

Fishing is suppose to be enjoyable and when you look back on your life and all those fishing trips you want to feel like  you always did it the right way and not that you cut corners to get to the prize your after in life. Remember you’ll always feel better after a fishing trip if you just exercise a little respect while on the water, it goes a long way!

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Jigs, most fishermen look at these big fish lures and think they are all the same…They are not!
Now living up in the great Pacific Northwest I have been introduced to Justin Blackmore. Justin is the Owner and operator of J&J Tackle. Justin is making premium quality custom jigs, spinnerbaits and even wrapping custom rods. If you are in the market for a Ultra Premium grade Jig off the shelf, then Justin is your man!

JandJJigs_Card

Justin will color match any special color you are wanting to duplicate or that one color you have in your mind and have always thought if you could just find it, you know it would get THUMPED! Justin makes his jigs using only premium quality grade components. Utilizing premium grade hooks, skirt materials, paints, he also hand ties his skirts to the head by hand using premium quality wire. Yes, some people still are using wire. The benefits of wire is it will not dry out and crack and leave you with a skirted mess when you grab that jig to tie on.

The best feature about Justin’s jigs is the incredible durable clear finish he applies to his painted heads. I have never fished with a jig in all of my 44 years where the paint is as durable as those of Justin’s. He’s doing something really special here. If you are like me and like to have your dollars stretch as far as possible, you need to contact Justin! Like me, you will be impressed. Being a custom jig maker, Justin will use any hook you prefer so long as it works in his molds. I really love his football jigs, they are clean, affordable, hold up better than any other jig I have used and he will match whatever it is you are wanting.

JandJJigs_Jigs

Currently his website is still in the process of being built, but you can find him on Facebook by either his name (Justin Blackmore) or the business name (J&J Tackle).

J & J Tackle (Owned and Operated by Justin Blackmore)

Nicholas Hinkle

Previously lived in SoCal for 43 years. Recently relocated to Oregon. My home town is San Diego, Ca, which is home to trophy class bass and some of the most pressured lakes around. I work for a Fortune 52 Co. (UPS) in Sales, I’m also a writer/ Field Tester that enjoys sharing the information I have obtained in the industry with all to better their experiences. I’m looking forward to being a regular contributor to MLO as well as other sites and magazines . Look me up on FaceBook!

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Have you ever caught a Bass in a Clown Suit?  More commonly known as the Peacock Bass, South Florida is the only place in the main land USA that they live. They’re a tropical fish that require warm water to survive.

DSCN2415A

I went out to hunt for these unusual looking fish with local guide Chris Licato, AKA “The Swamp God.” Chris is the ultimate guide with a flair all his own; he talked about techniques, locations and presentations all the while giving positive feedback. He never brought a rod or caught a fish.

He’s the kind of guide whose main goal is your enjoyment and experience.  A lot of guides will fish during trips and not surprisingly catch the biggest fish, which is not cool in my opinion. The Peacock Bass are by far stronger and fight harder, pound for pound, than a Largemouth! They don’t achieve the massive size of the ones in the Amazon, but still have the same “Never give up“mentality and could be described as a Smallmouth on steroids!

As the case with the Largemouth, Chris recommends that the fish be released, but with that being said, I believe the limit is two per day. The fish are most active during the warmer months in Florida. ChompGod Check out  Chris at his website, swamp god outdoors   or send him a PM on Chris’ Face book page  for the best times to come.  Chris will provide all the tackle, but if you like bring some of your own, he’ll also instruct you on what to bring and what to wear.   Kudos to Chris for a fantastic fishing trip and for our friendship. I have a new-found respect for these Bass in Clown Suits! I also want to thank Breathe Like a Fish, Bassaholics, Glacier Gloves and California Reservoir Lures, Bozo the Clown Killer Jigs  for their fine products that made this trip that much more enjoyable.

Put this trip on your bucket list you’ll be glad you did… Until next time Stay on Em … CHOMP !!

DSCN2432A   SGB

 

Danny Barker

I’m a Calif. transplant living in Ocala, FL. I’ve lived here for the last 6 years. My home town of Sacramento/ Folsom, Ca is where I lived for 40 years. Some of the best bass fishing in the country with the Delta, Clear Lake, Folsom and tons of other outstanding water. I write/moderate for a cool website called the Unemployed Fishing Club Unemployed Fishing Club, I’m also a writer/ Field Editor for North Central Florida Fish Explorer.com. Looking forward to contributing to MLO. Look me up on FaceBook too !

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For those who did not know I have been working with BassMaster Senior editor Ken Duke over the last month on how to catch the biggest bass of your life.  We are on step 3 which covers fitness, nutrition, hydration, and proper clothing. Check it out and let’s here your feedback.

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Now that the days are longer than the nights, and the waters around the country are in the low-to-mid 80’s, and the bass’ metabolism are as high as they’ll get all year long, it is time to fish some of those fun reaction baits.

The sun is very intense in the Summer and bass, who have no eyelids to block out the suns rays, will seek shaded cover for ambush, and feed in low-light conditions early in the morning and late in the evening; before  and after the sun rays hit the water. Maybe it’s that shaded side of the lake, or in the grass, or in the deeper waters where the suns rays can’t quite penetrate. Summertime is all about finding these areas and choosing the right reaction bait to entice and catch those aggressive Summer bass.

Early morning is a great time to fish the shallows 5′ to the bank and use a popper style search bait.Popper Bait

The small splashing and the subtle popping noise of the popper simulate small baitfish feeding on bugs on the surface of the water and what bass can turn down such an easy meal.

Nothing is more fun in fishing than seeing a bass blast a topwater bait off the surface. Another good lure in the early morning, along the shallow water, is a walk and spit style lure like a Daiwa TD Pencil. This type of bait you can walk and splash water at the same time.

Bottom line early morning before the suns rays hit the water you have night time feeding bass up shallow trying to catch baitfish that are trapped on the shore where they feel safe and there is some submerged cover, so any style of lure that floats and can move some water whether it be splashing, or side to side movement is going to get a bass’ attention.

My first choice early morning is a popper, I prefer it due to its smaller size, moves slowly, makes a good noise, and stays in the strike zone longer. I will switch after the popper does not get as many hits up shallow and when I feel the bass have moved out a little deeper. I will switch to the TD Pencil and work the lure a little faster and try to cover water to find those roaming bass.

If there is grass along the bank I will toss a popper right along the deep water weed edge and work it fairly fast trying to trick those bass to come out of the weeds and attack. If the popper does not get their attention, I will use a hollow body frog on top of the weeds. If in a boat I will cast to the bank and work it onto the weed mat with some moderate downward pumps of the rod all the way back to the boat. A bit of advice is to keep the boat at least 20-30′ from the deep water edge of the weed mats, so when you work your frog back in towards the boat the bass have a chance to follow it through the weeds until the lure hits open water and they can see it and attack it. I have caught hundreds of bass that have followed the frog and tried to hit it and even push the weeds up a bit and follow the frog until it hits an open pocket, or the weed edge and then blast it, so staying off the weed edge may put more fish in the boat.

Frog Baits

When working a grass mat your going to need a med-heavy rod, a high speed reel and at least 50lb. braid for line. I prefer four colors of frogs, black, brown, green, and white with black being the most productive for me. I believe the darker color provides a better silhouette that helps a bass see it through the dense weeds and track it better. Rule of thumb when frog fishing, when you see your frog get bit count one thousand and one and then set the hook. This will give the bass a chance to compress the hollow body of the frog and expose the hook.

Towards the middle of the day you can find a good amount of fish deeper especially if your fishing a lake that has depths around  100′, or more. Where I live the lakes are deep and the night time cycle pushes plankton to the surface which the shad will feed on in the early morning. Once the sun hits the water the plankton start to sink in the water column and the shad will follow the plankton and so will the bass. The lakes can be as clear as 40′ in the Summer so the plankton and shad will be around this depth.P1012883 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

My lure choice when fishing this scenario is a 1/2 ounce shad patterned spoon on 8-10 lbs monofilament line and 7′ medium action rod. I’ll cast the spoon across creek channels where most of the shad balls are and count down till I believe the spoon is in the zone and then pop the rod hard from the 9:00 to 12:00 position giving about 2-3 seconds between pops until I feel a hook-up. This can be a great way to put numbers of bass in the boat during the middle of the day, but typically not the bigger bass which are most likely structure oriented in ambush mode during the heat of the Summer days.

Towards the end of the day I love to work a larger surface style soft swimbait along the shoreline, fan-casting from shallow to deep. The rod of choice is at least 7’8″  med-heavy action rod. I like a slow gear ratio reel 5.1-1 with 18-20 lbs monofilament line. I like the slow gear ratio so I can keep the swimbait in the strike zone longer.

The Summer banks that have wind blowing on them will be my first choice and any point with wind blowing on it, or across it is always good for a few good bass.Swimbait

I like at least an 8″ bait and will always start with a bass patterned color. A nice steady retrieve with the occasional pop and pause in the cadence is good. Sometimes I’ve found if the wind is light that a faster retrieve is better.  The Eagle style swimbait I use has the fishing line run through the bait and then tie to a size 2 treble hook. This hook rig works great for keeping bass hooked due to the way the hook is in the bass’ mouth and not the entire swimbait that a bass come break surface and use the weight of the bait to shake it free.

There are hundreds of great Summertime reaction lures out on the market today, so lets hear what your favorites are.

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

As I’ve gotten a little older the sun has really been harsh on my skin. I have had  plenty of days that when I got home after 12 hours of Summertime fishing that I felt like my skin was on fire and I was completely wiped out. I was dehydrated, and my skin was trying to heal from the sunburn so my body was tired and sluggish and it was hard to sleep. After years of wearing flip flop style sandals, shorts, and tank tops I started to realize I needed to wear shoes, pants, a long sleeve shirt, buff for the neck and face, a good hat, and light weight sun gloves.

After finding the right Sun protection clothing I have had much better success on the water by being in the game of fishing and not burnt by the sun and tired, sluggish, and overall miserable on the water. I can spend as long as I want out fishing in the brightest of sun and at the end of the day when I remove all my sun protection clothing I feel great and my skin is the same as when I started in the morning.

I put together a short three minute video to help with sun protection clothing.

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

There are lots of topwater lures out on the market today, but the Boing Topwater lure is just a little bit different from all the rest. From its aerodynamic balanced design which helps with casting distance especially in the wind, to its incredible internal clicking sound which you can hear while working the lure in. Boing has set the bar high so lets break it down and take a closer look at the Boing Topwater lure.

Company: Boing LuresBoing Lures

Lure: Boing Topwater

Style: Walking Bait

Sink Rate: Floater

Weight: .6 oz

Length:  4 1/2″

Speed: Med-Fast

MSRP: $24.99

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

 

Boing Lures 2When I first received my Boing Lures I was very impressed by the packaging containers that the Boing Lures came in. They were small round cylinders that were the perfect size to store in a tackle box, backpack, or in the boat. The lid on the packaging was also a very easy to open lid and very easy to put back on and that is a pleasant surprise compared to some of lure packages on the market today.

Boing Lures 3

The Boing Lure has an internal ticking sound that is activated when you move the lure, so not only will the lure attract bass like no other topwater lure on the market today, but the ticking sound will also help you in the timing of your retrieve cadence.

I really liked the tapered design of the lure, it was around 1/2′ at the head and gills section down to around 1/4′ near the tail end of the lure. Along with the weight that Boing added in the tail section of the lure, I could cast this lure through the air like a bullet. A very balanced lure while in flight and when the wind kicked up I could still make some great long distance cast into the wind which was great when fish broke surface far from the boat.

Boing Lure 4

The colors I used for my field test review were baby shad and dark bass which were painted by Dwain Batey from BaitWerks which is one of the best lure painting companies in North America.

If you take a close look at the picture above you’ll find that the eyelet is turned side to side instead of up and down which seemed to really help in walking the Boing lure during the retrieve.Boing Lure 6The Boing Lure was one of those fun to use lures where I couldn’t wait to make the next cast and walk the lure in.

Boing Lure 7The Boing Lure comes with Gamakatsu black nickel #4 hooks that on this 4 1/2″ lure worked perfect on almost every hook set.

Boing Lure 8Here is a look at the bass pattered Boing Lure which was an absolute big bass killer during my field test.

Pros: A very easy to cast lure with an incredible paint job. The sound chamber was by far a huge factor in getting bass to find and strike the lure. A very easy to walk lure at medium to fast speeds and the ticking of the sound chamber was very helpful in hearing and timing my retrieve cadence.

Cons: What I found during my field test was some bending out on my hooks due to the amount of bass caught, so bring some extra #4 treble hooks. The tail feather also got torn up  quick so have a few extra per trip.

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

Movie-Poster-FSSB-01Ever wonder how to increase your chances of catching monster bass, or any bass for that matter, by fishing swimbaits? Maybe you were afraid to ask or didn’t know who to turn to for information? The second in a series of instructional videos may have the answers you’ve been looking for! Catch Mike Long’s latest video, “Fishing Small Plastic Swimbaits,”  exclusively on video-on-demand on Vimeo.

Also, in case you missed it, here’s the previous video in the series, “In Search of Big Bass.”

Ed Castro is a writer & web developer living in San Diego, California. An avid hiker and camper, Ed spends his days playing with the latest outdoor products and exploring the great outdoors. He recently purchased a new rod & reel in order to return to the sport that introduced him to the great outdoors.

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“What swimbait should I use and why?” is one question that I get asked quite often.  Well, to be absolutely honest, in order to answer that question there are a few factors to take into consideration. First, you must ascertain what forage fish lives in the water where you plan to fish and then what time of the year you’ll be fishing the body of water.Bait Close Ups 2 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Where I live the majority of what the bass are feeding on year-round ranges between Threadfin Shad, Bluegills, Sunfish, baby bass, Crappie, Golden Shiners, crawdads, and Rainbow Trout. So one of the first things I need to do before finding a swimbait to match the hatch, is to determine what time of the year it is before choosing a swimbait size and color pattern. During the fall and winter months, most of the lakes here in San Diego stock Rainbow Trout between 6″ and 18″ so matching that hatch is crucial if you want to have any swimbait success. In swimbait fishing during these seasons the size of the prey that is predominant is important for two reasons. First, it is always important to match the size and color of what the bass are currently feeding on because they tend to program themselves to feed on one particular forage at a time and hone their hunting ability as they do; it is just how their mind works to survive. Secondly, during the winter and early spring months where the days are much shorter and the water is much cooler, a bass’ metabolism slows down and it tends to not feed as much during the day. But when they do feed they spend their energy on catching one larger meal that might take well over four to five days digest. So they may only hunt once or twice a week in cold season conditions.

I have witnessed large bass in cold winter waters look as if they were dead and barely moving, remaining very lethargic throughout the day. That being said there are fewer windows of opportunity due to colder conditions; the bass are almost in a hibernation mode waiting for a bright sunny day to warm their body and spark their metabolism and get them to feel like feeding. Their digestive system slows down and so does their desire to feed, but when they do, they will eat that one big meal and digest it slowly.

As the seasons change and the days get longer and warmer during the Summer and Fall months, the waters also warm.  This increase in temperature boosts the bass’ metabolism and they will feed more often. Sometimes they’ll hunt several times per hour, but when they do they tend to feed on much smaller forage 1″-5″ in size which is a much easier meal to digest.Small Shad

They expend lots of energy chasing smaller fish so they have to eat more often to replenish their fuel supply. Some of the forage fish such as Threadfin Shad, panfish, and baby bass, which are abundent after the Spring spawn, are high on the bass’ list of what they will feed on. So it is very important to match the size of these smaller baits first as well as the the color of what you believe the bass are currently feeding on. To explain this better imagine it’s a hot Summer day and you just went to the gym, or ran a race and afterword your going to want to re-fuel and eat a few small meals so your body can break down the foods quickly. If you eat too much too quickly you’ll load up your system and become sluggish and tired. Your body urges you to eat smaller meals throughout the day. The bass goes through the same motions during the warmer Summer and Fall months and its body urges it to feed on smaller meals throughout the day that its metabolism can easily break down.

Curious Bass 3 w-Baby Bass 1 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

If your lunker hunting with these smaller swimbaits during the warmer Summer and Fall months and your going through numbers of bass, but have yet to catch a lunker, don’t automatically switch to a larger swimbait. Try to think where the lunker bass are holding. They may not be right on the surface busting on the shad like the smaller bass, but may be 10′-15′ below the ball of shad waiting for an injured shad to fall to them or waiting to eat one of the small 4″-6″ baby bass chasing the shad on the surface. I find in the Summer on some of the hottest days the bigger bass will be low-light feeders, feeding in the early morning, or on cloudy days on the surface, or deep in the mouth of a cove during the heat of the day. Docks and sunken trees are a few other areas of low-light and shade where these monster bass could be hiding in ambush.

Something to also pay close attention to is the speed of the bait, I prefer a slow-medium retrieve during the colder months and a fast retrieve during the warmer months with lots of ripping and jerking the smaller lures to entice a bight. The water temperatures definitely dictates the lure speed and retrieve style, so slow and steady in colder water and fast with some erratic small fish evasion movement.

So downsizing swimbaits in that 3″-5″ size during for the Summer and Fall months is going to be a great decision that will allow you to catch more bass and still have that chance for a trophy bass, while during the colder months that larger swimbait for those cold lurking lunkers should be a great choice.

 

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

It was gorgeous day fishing on the Withlacoochee River, Florida, until I hung an expensive swimbait on a tree. No problem, I troll over, reach out and then splash head first into the water. Pop up, swim to the back of  the boat and get back in, a little embarrassed but no worse the wear. Then the bad news sunk in: my $250 .00 pair if RX sunglasses were gone! Lost in a murky Gator infested cove …Gator Withlacoochee

This started my search for another cost-effective way to protect my eyes and give me the polarized effect for seeing underwater. There was no way I could afford another pair of RX sunglasses. I remember running into Ish Monroe at the Live Eyewear booth at ICAST where he told me to check out the Cocoon sunglasses, designed specifically to be worn over prescription eyewear. The average cost was around 50 bucks which was a relief to know. Cocoons are the leading brand of optical quality sunglasses designed specifically to be worn over prescription glasses. All backed by a limited lifetime warranty! PicMonkey CollageG

I’ve been using them now for some time and can give them my two thumbs up review! The new Style Line MX fit perfectly over my eyeglass frames and felt comfortable through out the day. If you wear RX glasses give Cocoons a try!

Danny Barker

I’m a Calif. transplant living in Ocala, FL. I’ve lived here for the last 6 years. My home town of Sacramento/ Folsom, Ca is where I lived for 40 years. Some of the best bass fishing in the country with the Delta, Clear Lake, Folsom and tons of other outstanding water. I write/moderate for a cool website called the Unemployed Fishing Club Unemployed Fishing Club, I’m also a writer/ Field Editor for North Central Florida Fish Explorer.com. Looking forward to contributing to MLO. Look me up on FaceBook too !

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Ken Duke, Senior Editor of B.A.S.S. Publications just published a new article on Bassmaster.com on renowned big bass hunter Mike Long.

To complement the new article, we’ve just published a new gallery specifically for Bassmaster right here on Mike Long Outdoors.

Ed Castro is a writer & web developer living in San Diego, California. An avid hiker and camper, Ed spends his days playing with the latest outdoor products and exploring the great outdoors. He recently purchased a new rod & reel in order to return to the sport that introduced him to the great outdoors.

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ISOBB_MOVIE_POSTERWe’re proud to announce the first in a series of short videos that detail the secrets of monster bass. A year in the making, this series is the culmination of hundreds of hours of work to bring you the very best information about big bass we could put on film. We’ll explore their habits and habitat, and take a look at why they do the things they do. The main focus on these short videos is to help you find and catch the biggest bass you can.

Our first video, “In Search of Big Bass,” gives you a bass’ eye view of their habitat and feeding habits. If you’re a fan of bass fishing, this is a must see video!

Get It Now!

UPDATE: Thanks for the response! We’ve listened to your feedback (now less than the price of a premium cup of coffee)!

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

When I recieved my 7″ Drift Master from Pizz Customs I was not sure what to expect, but when I got to the lake to test the Drift Master I was very impressed. Pizz is well known for custom paint jobs on lures and reels, but soon will be known for making glide style swimbaits with what ever color you desire on your Drift Master Swimbait.

Company: Pizz Customs281338_221702281198483_5110202_n

Lure: Drift Master

Lure Style: Glide Bait

Length: 7″

Weight: 2.5 Ounces

Color Tested: BassP1012864 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

R.O.F.: Slow Sink

Material: Hard Resin

MSRP: $70.00

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

 

P1012866 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe Drift Master is a two piece bill-less glide bait built to glide left and right on a slow retrieve, or fast retrieve. This bait shocked me with how much balanced movement it had from a slow to fast retrieve it thumped my rod tip, it also on cadenced reel retrieve would glide at least 2′ left and right.

P1012867 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe joint of the Drift Master is a heavy duty built hinge with two screw eyes and a drop pin and will hold up to any size LargeMouth Bass you can hook.

Drift Master 2 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

I always use a quick clip to attach my lures and the Drift Master had a little more freedom using the quick clip, if you don’t want to use a clip you should add a 40-60lb. split ring to allow the Drift Master to have full movement in the water.P1012865 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

All the hardware on the Drift Master is heavy duty from the screws eyes, to the split rings this is a very well thought out and built bait. I was very impressed at the detail around the head of the bait. Pizz Customs added just enough fine detail on the gill plates area to give the Drift Master added life in the water.

P1012869 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsPizz Customs made a custom tail out of a very soft durable material that should last for the life of the bait. The tail is attached with super glue and should stay in place, but I would suggest checking it once in awhile to make sure it is secure.

To order the Drift Master go to www.pizzcustoms.com

Pro: Incredible swimming bait, the Drift Master at a slow to fast retrieve lure that thumped my rod tip with all the balanced action that came off the bait. The paint job was very life-like and Pizz Customs painted the inside of the hinge of the bait which really impressed me.

Cons: The hooks were a bit weak and I bent one a bit on a hook set, I would suggest adding your favorite hook.

MLO Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

When I think back on all my years of bass fishing there is always one image that sticks out in my mind and that is the image of a bass getting its head above the water and tossing my lure into the air. It’s happened so many times to me I have lost count. Even when I’m prepared for it I’ve had some bass charge towards the boat faster than I can reel up the slack and then come up and shake their head and toss my lure out. I guess it’s all just part of the battle and you’ve got to be prepared if you want win by landing the bass.

Jumping Bass Pic - ©MikeLongOutdoorsIn the picture above you can see a large bass getting it’s head and most of its body out of the water and attempting to shake my lure out.

Jumping Bass 10 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Jumping Bass 11 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Jumping Bass 13 - ©MikeLongOutdoors The three pictures above show a bass jumping completely jumping out of the water and not on this jump, but the next jump spit my swimbait out. Why does this happen? Water is much denser than air, so if a bass can shake its head back and forth underwater two times per second it probably can easily double if not triple that same head shaking ability above the water making it that much harder to keep the fishing line tight and the hook set in the bass’ mouth. Another factor is the weight of the bait, the heavier the bait the easier a bass can use that added weight to its advantage and toss the heavier lure from its mouth when above the water.

Hodges 9lb swimmer fish 1 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsOne technique that I practice after a hook set is keeping the rod tip close to the water and sometimes burying it into the water. At 6′-4″ this is not an easy task for a tall guy unless I’m using a long fishing pole.

Hodges 9lb swimmer fish 2 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThere are many times where I will get down to one knee and keep my rod as close to the water as possible. This really helps when I see my line coming out of the water towards the bass that is about to jump, I can easily bury the rod tip down into the water reel faster and hopefully slow down, or prevent the bass from jumping out of the water. The primary goal is to always keep the line tight and control the bass. We joke about this “tight lines” but it is no joke when your fighting a monster bass and it gets some slack line on you by getting its head out the water and shaking it. So thinking it through while battling the bass and staying very calm will help prepare you for what an angry bass might do while the fight is on.

Jumping Bass 6 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Jumping Bass 7 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsAnother technique I try to practice if the situation allows it is to fight a large bass by keeping the line tight and letting it go through any underwater weed, or submerged grass. I have found two things while doing this; one if I can get some underwater grass, or weed on the bass’ face and blind it some it seems to trick the bass that is safe and slows its swimming surges and gives me a chance to land the beast. Two if I can get some underwater grass and weeds on my line the added weight helps to slow the bass down in the water  and also slow down the head shakes when the bass tries to jump.

So next time your on the water keep the line tight and control the bass and you’ll be wearing a big ole smile on your face.

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

”Best tool of the modern days”

Tak_SevenSince the boom in social networking sites like Facebook, I’ve become a big fan of the technology. I should just say I can’ live without it, but I don’t just share whatever I’d think is cool or just chill online chatting with friends. I utilize social networks as a tool to connect with fellow anglers out there who share the common love for fishing.

It shows that fishing really is the common language we use to share experiences with each other. In fact, we all love sharing that passion. I wouldn’t be just randomly talking to people and say “What’s up, do you fish?” or something like that, but I like how we find one another and really start talking with enthusiasm about our shared passions. I believe the motivation is pure and helps us connect with fellow anglers across the country who feel the same way we do. That “fishing passion” opens me up to unlimited opportunities and possibilities.

Being A “GLOBE RIDER” – Beyond just online friends

After couple years of interacting with bunch of fellow anglers from different countries on Facebook, I really started thinking that I should visit them so we could fish together. The timing was perfect too.

Aurel (now one of my best friends) from Hungary, contacted me, offering me kind words on what I do through fishing and also mentioned he would take me to some good waters if I ever had a chance to visit him in Hungary.

So I immediately got back to him and said “Can I go visit you?” He said “Why not?” Just a few months later, I was standing at the famous Heroes’ Square in Budapest where I started the “Globe Ride.”

Tak_SixYou might say I’m totally reckless, but I always remind myself what comes first to your mind is the best idea you could come up with. The decision was right.

Aurel was the right person for my first global trip (my first Euro trip as well), as he obviously has the greatest personality. Thanks to him, I got to experience fishing a much different kinds of water and fishing for species I had never caught before like Pike and Perch. He arranged for me to fish with bunch of his fellow Hungarian anglers too.

The crazy thing was that there were people who came down to the hotel I was staying in just to see me and say hello. They even gave me a special bait with my name printed on it right before I flew back to Japan. It was just very flattering to me that I have such passionate people who live far away from where I live and think about me.

With the success on my first global ride, I continued planning trips with my fellow anglers. It was and has been pretty tough traveling around the world finding time between work and using my major finances to do it., but I knew I had to make it through because something good is waiting.

For the second trip, I ended up going to the East of France and Switzerland (Geneva-Montreux). Again, everyone I met was very supportive, and this trip was just as successful. I have lots of stories to tell from the trip, but it would make this article a hundreds pages long.

Instead, I’ll close this chapter with a simple message of thanks to all the people who make these trips possible. From the friends who let me stay in their place for a couple of nights to help me save money, to the others who share their wisdom and guidance and generous attitudes.

NEXT Time: Asia & Beyond

See Part One of this Series Here!

Takatoshi Murase

I have had a blast lately sharing some of my underwater bass pictures here on MLO and trying to tell a story through series of pictures. I have also had lots of requests for more underwater bass pictures so here are a few more bass pictures to share with everyone.

BES1BES2

BES3In the sequence of pictures of above I was able to capture the action of the bass swooping down to eat a 5″ bass colored Decoy swimbait.

Decoy Chase - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Decoy 2 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Decoy 3 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Decoy 5 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsIn the series of pictures above this bass chased the 5″ Decoy swimbait right up to the camera and finally hit the swimbait just out of the shot.

Fast Trout Miss 1 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Fast Trout Miss 2 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsFast Trout Miss 3 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Fast Trout Miss 4 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsIn the pictures above I was just able to catch this monster bass around 14 lbs. come out of nowhere to chase down this 2 lb Rainbow Trout. It was an incredible site to see in person let alone capture on film.

Swimbait Swimming w-bass 1 - ©MikeLongOutdoors - 2Not every photo shoot ended in a swimbait kill.

Giant Bass Stalking Trout 1 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsCan you find the bass in this picture?

Giant Bass Yawn 1 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsOne of my favorite shots was when this giant bass yawned in boredom with me taking its picture.

Thanks for viewing my pictures here on MikeLongOutdoors and please leave some feedback on what you would like to see here on MLO in the future.

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

I get asked all the time “How do you catch so many big bass” well the simple answer is eliminating water and spending more time in productive water. Basically if I spend a day just fishing down the bank I will only cover a small amount of productive fish catching water, where as if I spend my day on certain areas of the lake that I have found to hold bass like ledges, hard bottom areas with rock, sunken trees and bushes, and one of my favorite areas where I live docks then my success rate will be very good and thus i’m a happy guy.

Ledge II - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Ledge Bass - ©MikeLongOutdoorsIn the pictures above you can see classic examples of how bass will congregate on a ledges with deep water access. I have found that if these ledges have a flat on one side and deep water access on the other side that they will be a highly productive area of the lake that I want to spend more time on throughout the day.

8 - ©MIkeLongOutdoors

Another productive area of a lake is a small isolated rock pile. This is another area that can hold a trophy bass and if approached quietly and correctly it can be a highly productive spot to visit throughout the day.

Big Bass in Tree 12lber5A - ©MikeLongOutdoorsOne of the hardest areas to fish in a lake is a sunken tree, or bush. These sunken trees and bushes act as shelter and ambush areas in a lake and can hold quite a few  fish.

1 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsIn the picture above this lunker bass was able to ambush a trout that swam by.

3 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe above picture is a great example of how a bass will sit in a sunken tree waiting in ambush mode trying to blend in with the tree until an unsuspecting fish swims by and gets ambushed and eaten.

9D - ©MikeLongOutdoors I have found that where you have boulders and small sunken bushes to be a highly productive area throughout the day that sometimes can be easily overlooked.

4 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Some lakes have tules, or what some call “cat-tails” that are rooted below the surface into the soft lake bottom around the shallow water areas and sprout anywhere from a few feet, to 15′ above the water. These tules can hold hundreds of bass as well as baitfish throughout the year.

2 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe trick to finding the productive water while fishing tules is finding pockets within the tules due to hard bottom where the tules cannot root. Once an area is found it’s all about finding the right lure to flip into these pockets and the correct rod, reel, and line to get these hiding bass out of this thick cover.

Hundreds of Bass6 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsOne of my favorite spots to fish on a lake is a dock, especially one that has deep water access. In the picture above a very large school of bass had moved up from deep water to hunt the the small bait fish that were grouped up around the dock in part due the ecosystem that thrives around the dock area.

7 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe picture above is a great example of why I love to fish docks. These docks can hold some very large bass throughout the day, especially when it’s sunny. These giant bass love the shade that the docks offer.

So if want to have more success while out on the water, then my advice is to try studying and finding the productive areas of the lake that will hold quality bass and spend more time in these productive areas of the lake and keep a journal of your catches and by paying close attention to the productive water triggers like low-light, the sun postion in the sky and what moon phase your in as well as when the moon will be overhead. By paying attention to these fine details you will understand when to be on the productive areas for maximum success. Good Luck!!

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

In my pursuit of chasing and learning more about giant bass over the years, I have been able to take a break from time to time and use my underwater camera to get some incredible underwater shots of big bass in their natural environment and catalog some of what these monster bass do throughout the day and throughout the four seasons of the year.

Bass Clan - ©MikeLongOutdoorsIn the picture above it was the day of the rainbow trout stocking and after a few weeks of the trout being stocked on the same day the bass became conditioned to be at the same place at the same time for the trout buffet. On this particular day I would guess that at least 1/3 of all the large bass over 12lbs in the lake were under the boat dock staged and waiting for the easy trout hunt.

BASS MOVIE II 2 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

This is by far one of my favorite shots a bass in the 14 lb. class chasing a freshly stocked 2 lb. Rainbow Trout on the launch ramp. She was so fat she could barely swim straight and missed at least three trout while I was filming her wild pursuit.

Big Bass II - ©MikeLongOutdoorsHere is another shot of the same bass trying to pin a trout on the bottom. Most of the large bass I have witnessed during trout stockings seem to try this pinning technique in order to get the trout head towards their mouth. This behavior makes a lot of sense to me due to all the years of success bottom crawling swimbaits.

TROUT MOUTH - ©MikeLongOutdoorsPicture above shows a giant over 12 lbs. with just a few inches of a trout tail sticking out of its mouth.

Bass Under Dock1 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Here a giant bass sits tucked under a dock days after a trout stock, digesting and waiting for the next trout truck to arrive. Throughout the year I am amazed how many giant bass can be found just under your feet under a boat dock. This low light environment  is a perfect place for a giant bass to hold especially with how many smaller fish that are attracted to the area around a dock. I have found that some of the best ecosystems in a lake are under and around docks.

Bass 2 - Untitled - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThis big bass in the picture above was just hanging out under a boat dock waiting for the right opportunity to grab a meal.

Sequence 1 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

As the Winter months end and Spring approaches some of the true giant bass of the lake head towards shallower waters and start mapping out and staying very close to where the spawning flats will most likely be. This is a great time of the year to find a large bass near to a ledge, large rock, or sunken tree next to a spawning flat.

Spawning Bass 3 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsAs Spring time approaches and the water temperature reaches the right level the male bass begins making a nest and spraying their pheromones in preparation for spawning. This pheromone attractant acts as a big bass love drug to hold these giant female bass shallow where they really don’t want to be due to intensity of the sunlight on their eyes.

Post Spawn - ©MikeLongOutdoors

During post spawn these exhausted giant female bass stay near the shallow waters and spend what little energy they have left to hunt some panfish. You can really tell the difference in the bellies of pre spawn bass vs. a post spawn bass.

Cats and Bass 2 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Cats and Bass 3 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsNot even a channel catfish is safe during the Summer months from a hungry bass.

Poway 14lber - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe bass in the picture above was in the 16 lb. class most likely a older bass. I love how beat up her tail is from years and years of spawning.

Knot Head - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe long hot days of Summer drive some giant bass into hiding in the tules to escape from the intense sunlight until the low light of the evening allows these monsters to come out and hunt again.

Dirty Water Bass2 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsAs winter sets in and the days get shorter and the storms arrive, run off from the storms muddy the water and change the water temperature. Bass metabolisms change and the big girls tend to move around less, so you can find some giant bass just sitting on the bottom next to some of the best structure real estate in the lake and if you slow your approach with a jig, or plastic worm you may land that trophy bass of a lifetime..

I hope you enjoyed my bass pictures and they gave you a little more insight into the world of the Large Mouth Bass and they inspire you and help you to better understand the world of the largemouth bass.

 I have had some emails about purchasing some of my bass pictures, they will soon be available on MikeLongOutdoors.com  Thank You for viewing and for your support!!

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.

I had been looking for a good bait casting travel rod for a reasonable price and I found that with the Santiam Fishing Rods in the Alaskan Travel Series. I wanted a light low profile three piece bait casting rod that I could put into my day pack and also mount onto my mountain bike.

Company: Santiam Fishing RodsSantiamLOGO

Series: Alaskan Travel Series

Type: SPC-703

Overall Length: 7’0″

Individual Lengths: 29″,29″ 30″P1012836 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Weight: 6.2 Ounces

Material: High Modulus Graphite

Action: Medium

Line Weight: 8-17lb.

MSRP: $69.95

MLO Rating: 5 out of 5

P1012834 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe Travel Rod comes in a very hard durable case with removable end caps that is ready for the back pack, or for a plane ride to your favorite fishing hole.

P1012847 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Santiam Alaskan Travel Series 7′-0″ SFC-703

P1012849 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsThe Travel Rod comes with a nice three pocket pouch that each piece easily slides into.

P1012850 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsOnce all three pieces of the rod are safely inside the travel pouch there are ties on each end that help to keep all three rod blanks in place.

P1012853 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

P1012841 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

Each piece is custom built to fit into the next and I found them to fit perfectly. As for movement while casting and setting the hook I had zero joint movement.

P1012842 - ©MikeLongOutdoors

P1012844 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsSantiam did not cut corners with the reel seat they used a open bottom reel seat for more rod sensitivity.

P1012858 - ©MikeLongOutdoorsI found the Santiam Travel Rod to fit perfectly in my back pack and with the custom pouch my rod did not get dinged, or scratched.

Pros: Santiam uses a high modulus graphite blank which for the low price of $69 off their website is an absolute steal. one year warranty is also awesome. I found the three piece rod to work just as well as a one piece rod with the same specs.

Cons: You need to remember to spray silicone to the female ends,or the ends tighten up a bit.

   MLO Rating: 5 out of 5

Mike Long

Mike Long, is well known for monster bass, like the 20.12 oz largemouth bass taken from Dixon Lake in 2001. That fish put him at number ten on the world record list, but it wasn’t his only large fish. He is among a handful of bass fisherman with hundreds of fish over 10 lbs to his credit.