Archive for the ‘Okuma Fishing Tips and Techniques’ Category

Okuma’s Newest Bass Offerings Help Scott Martin Take Down FLW Potomac Event

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

When you’ve designed, crafted and delivered rods and reels of the very highest caliber, it’s a natural extension to put them in the hands of elite professionals and have them perform on the major fishing tournament trails. With the release of Helios rods and reels, Komodo high-speed baitcast reels and completely redesigned and upgraded C3-40X rods, that’s exactly what we did.

Scott Martin has been with Okuma Fishing Tackle since November of 2011, and just 6 months into fishing the gear, his performance on the Potomac River last weekend was dubbed “unstoppable” by FLW reporters, jumping out to a massive lead, then following up for three more days to seal the victory.

Martin bested 145 top professionals, leading the tournament from day one through the finish.

Martin focused on grass throughout the Potomac River FLW event with a three pronged approach: chatterbaits, stick worms and flipping. Here’s the gear that got it done:

Chatterbaits & Stick Worms: Helios HS-262V reel on Helios HS-CM-701MH Mini Guide rod.

The lightest rod and reel combinations in the Okuma lineup, Helios models are purely tournament-driven for extreme sensitivity, minimum fatigue and all-day comfort…necessities of four day, high-pressure fishing marathons. The Helios HS-262V weighs just 6.3 ounces total. Constructed on an all-aluminum drive system, featuring an aluminum frame and right side side plate, the reel defines refined power and strength. Premium ABEC-5 bearings are stock equipment, setting free absolutely effortless casting that’s governed by an internal 7-position centrifugal cast control system. In Martin’s chatterbait & stick worm applications, the 6.2:1 gear ratio delivers precise control over every presentation.

Helios Mini Guide rods begin on a foundation of 40-Ton carbon, fast-action blanks. The HS-CH-701MH weighs just 3.7-ounces, bringing Martin’s rod and reel combination to 10-ounces total, prior to line winding. To reach the minimalist weight while retaining all the inherent power, Helios Mini Guide rods feature ALPS Mini Guides with ultra-hard Zirconium inserts. Martin fished 17-pound fluorocarbon, but the guide system is up to the task of any line type desired. ALPS Mini Guides deliver 100% confidence in strength at micro-level weight. The system improves both sensitivity and casting by maintaining a superior, close relationship between line and the rod blank. At the handle end, Helios Mini Guide rods feature an EVA split grip, delivering outstanding balance and again reducing every bit of sensitivity-robbing weight. Rated for 1/4- to 1-ounce casting weight, the 7-foot HS-CM-701MH and Helios reel are perfect choices for the applications the conditions called for.

Flipping: Komodo KDR-273V reel on Helios HS-CM-761XH.

Scott Martin, Day one Potomac River

A monster bag on day one provided a powerful lead, and continued clean execution brought the win home three days later.

At 6.5 ounces in total weight, the Komodo KDR-273V delivers speed and power by the tonnage, again in a platform driven by comfort and minimalist weight. The Komodo features a full aluminum drive system, aluminum frame and both right and left side aluminum side plates. Eleven stainless steel bearings include ABEC-5 spool bearings…just as Helios does. Key separating features of Komodo from Helios are apparent in the massive gear box. For flipping, Martin relies on Komodo for the high-speed 7.3:1 gear ratio. Commanding 31.5-inches of line with every turn of the handle, the reel extracts fish from cover and puts them in the boat with authority and conviction, backed by the strength of the aluminum drive system and full Carbonite drag system. Komodo is an angler favorite also, with models available in both right and left hand retrieve.

The Helios Mini Guide HS-CM-761XH is a lighter choice in flipping rods for Martin. The cover on the Potomac is not as demanding as other locations. For heavy flipping, you’ll most often find the C3-40X, C3-C-7111H in Martin’s hand. He’s dubbed it the best balanced 7’11” rod available in the market and relies on it’s longer length for increased distance and leverage. On the Helios HS-CM-761XH, features are exactly the same as the medium heavy: 40-Ton carbon blank, ALPS Mini Guides with Zirconium inserts, split EVA grips and Pac Bay MINIMA reel seats with zero fore-grip. The 7’6″ XH takes the lure ratings to 1/2- to 2-ounces, with exceptionally fast action.

For complete coverage of the FLW Potomac River event, check out FLW’s website here, FLW- Simply Unstoppable, and BassFan’s coverage here, North South Grass Combo Kept Martin On The Right Fish.

Makairas On El Matador In Puerto Vallarta!

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Some of our first reports of solid action on Makaira reels came from PV.  And one year later, testimony to Makaira performance continues to pour in.

Makaira MK-15II with angler and yellowfin tuna on El Matador

Makaira MK-15II knocks down a quality yellowfin on El Madador

Captain Manny Orcaranza owns and operates El Matador Sportfishing.  As a Captain, Manny’s star is on a fast rise as one of the top “young guns” in the business.  El Matador Sportfishing focuses on the big fish opportunities offered by locations El Banco and Corbetania.  With solid availability of large yellowfin tuna, along with blue and black marlin, El Matador’s fishing grounds also make exceptional proving grounds for equipment of all kinds, and for the last six months Captain Manny has been putting Makaira MK-15IIs, MK-20II’s and more recently MK-30II SE’s (gunmetal gray, open top 30 wides) through their paces, knocking back quantities of tuna from 50- to over 200-pounds along with plenty of billfish.

Catching up with Captain Manny, here’s the quick rundown of his applications for each size Makaira he uses.  Makaira Mk-15II’s are the everyday reels of the fishery.  Very few lures are ever trolled on El Matador.  The preferred method is drifting live bait (goggle eyes) amongst the porpoise schools.  For yellowfin from 50- to 200-pounds the MK-15II is the preferred model for its’ combination of fantastic drag, light weight and necessary line capacity.

Makaira Caught Yellowfin on El Matador

A big part of the draw in Puerto Vallarta is the accessibility of this grade of fish within a 12-hour trip.

The MK-20II comes into play when the tuna are obviously on the larger end of the scale, 150- to 200+-pounds, and as the everyday reel for baiting blue and black marlin.  In Captain Manny’s own words, “I’ve never had a reel that is as smooth.  Such a smooth reel… the drag… fighting fish. Two hour fights on tuna and it remains smooth.”

The MK-30II SE’s are relatively new additions to El Matadors arsenal.  “I’ll use them for trolling live skipjack for 200- to 300-pound tuna and marlin.”  The 30-wides are also the reel of choice for kite presentations.

“I personally think they are the greatest reels I’ve used,” finished Captain Manny.

The fishery in Puerto Vallarta continues to be one of the most convenient and accessible land-based opportunities for yellowfin of exceptional size.  Interested?  Look up Captain Manny Orcaranza and El Matador Sportfishing’s custom, air conditioned 35’ Cabo at: www.elmatadorsportfishing.com

The Love of the Game. Winter Tactics by Joel St. Germain

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Ever wonder what a tournament angler with over 50 career wins thinks about when not under the pressure of competitive fishing? For Okuma Pro-Staff member Joel St. Germain, it’s still fishing. Always looking to learn and to glean new information for sure, his approach shifts and focus widens, taking in many more of the simple pleasures fishing offers. We loved this article and wanted to pass it on. To judge a day simply by numbers of fish is to miss out on much of the available experience. Please enjoy!

Everyone says they love to go fishing, right? For most of us, there’s not much we’d rather do than launch boat and spend a day or part of a day with our friends, chunkin’ and windin’.

But there’s another breed, another level, of fisherman. These are the folks who go fishing whenever they can, and I mean whenever. The only reason these people look at the weather report is to just make sure it’s physically possible to launch the boat. Wind, rain, cold, ice – these are just variables, not obstacles to going fishing.

Joel St. Germain with winter bass

There's a solitude and peace to winter bass fishing. And the rewards ain't to bad either!

I can tell you, I have had some of my best days fishing in the winter. Being from New England, we’re used to bad weather. In New England, the winters are bone-chilling cold. By late November, most of the days are in the 20’s overnight, with daytime highs in the 40’s. We get a lot of wind, and the wind chill factor brings it down to the teens some days.

As a result, around here, tournaments end in late October. After that, the weather is just too unpredictable. On the other hand, for me I’m just settling into my next season and keeping my Okuma gear in my hands! I’m a firm believer the time I spend on the water in the winter will really help me hone my skills. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

My favorite style of fishing is for deep smallmouth that pile up on humps and points in 30 feet of water. When we do this, I throw a drop shot or spoon. Both work, and both will catch fish after fish even when the water is in the low 40’s.

Many people ask….How do you catch them when the air is in the 20’s and 30’s and the water is around 42 or 44 degrees? I’m a firm believer… the key is finding the bait. You have to find the schools of white or yellow perch. The fish won’t be too far away. The water down at 30 feet is cold, probably even colder than the surface, but it’s always cold down there. Even in the summer, the water down there is in the mid-60’s, so for the fish, it’s not a huge change.

You have to fish slowly too. I spent many hours over the years working on mastering the art of spoon jigging, working it in small, tiny hops. Most guys yank on it like they’re jigging Cod. You have to just move it in tiny twitches, letting it flutter down. The fish usually grab it on the drop. Sharp hooks are a key too. You need to have the best hooks you can for this kind of fishing.

When fishing with a close friend “Jim”, we always have our rituals – we tell stories of the year past, talk about what trails we’re going to be fishing in the upcoming year, and exchange holiday greetings to pass on to each others families.

This past year I’ve had some fun memories fishing with Jim. For me, last year I caught my biggest smallmouth ever on December 20th and on the same day caught almost 50 fish in a half day, literally one after the other. At times, we had doubles and triples. Some were small, some were big, and some were just yellow perch. But it was fishing, and laughing, and a break from work, family, and responsibilities.

We learn a lot doing this, but there’s more to it than just putting in “time on the water.” For me, I just enjoy the fishing, with no pressure to find fish for a tournament, or put together a pattern. All too soon another tournament year will begin and I’ll be fishing my way back to the Bassmasters classic, looking for one more bite to seal a solid finish.

But for now, I’m just fishing… this is the way I like to think of it…..

“We are one day closer to spring!”

Peace
Joel

Dave Hansen On Calico Bass Basics

Friday, November 19th, 2010

At Okuma we’ve surrounded ourselves with an incredibly talented staff of field-testers who’s job it is to take the equipment we’ve designed to it’s limits, and beyond.  As a group, these professionals have forgotten more about fishing than most of us will ever know.  In order to capture their knowledge, we’ve asked, and they’ve agreed, to provide ongoing tips and tactics aimed at increasing skills and our collective success on the water.  This first short piece is by Dave Hansen, one of Southern California’s most exceptional saltwater anglers.

When fishing for calico bass, you need to decide whether you’re fishing with live bait or artificial lures. Personally, I prefer to fish with live bait… not that I can’t fish with artificial lures, but with live bait the bite is almost instantanious when it’s cast into the proper spot. Once the fish has bit the bait, it’s important to wait a few seconds before setting the hook. This will allow the fish to swallow the bait. When setting the hook, swing as if you’re trying to break the pole. Giving a “love tap” will only alert the fish that something bad is about to happen which will result in the fish spitting out the bait.

Calico bass are great fish and easy to catch with a little preparation.

When we head out on the water, we figure out where were going to fish. With all the books and videos out today, we have a vast number of spots that we can all fish. One of the most important things to consider are the conditions. What are conditions? Conditions can be weather, water clarity, tidal movement and current. When the wind blows out of the east…fishing is the least. When the wind blows slightly  from the west…fishing is the best. As far as tidal movement, what I’ve found over the years is slack tide on the inner boiler rocks seems to be what sparks the fish. Current; down hill current is the best. What I mean by down hill is the water is flowing from Los Angeles towards San Diego. Up hill is the opposite, water flows from San Diego to LA. If you wait for the perfect conditions, however, you’ll never go fishing.

When I’m fishing for calico bass with live bait, I use 12 lb. Vicious clear mono line. The reason I use 12 lb. line is because it floats, allowing for the most natural presentation whereas 15 lb. line or heavier line has tendency to sink, pulling the bait backwards. I use a bronze Mustaad thin wired hook (size of hook depends on size of bait). In the water, the bronze hook becomes invisible to the fish. Chrome and other colored hooks reflect sunlight allowing the fish to see the hook. The reason I use a thin wired hook, is also to allow a more natural look of the bait. Thick wired hooks add weight making it harder for the bait to swim as it naturally would. I use a medium to heavy 12-20 lbs Okuma Cedros Coastal rod and an Okuma Cedros 250 or 400 bass reel to complete the equipment list.