Posts Tagged ‘fishing’

Isn’t This What It’s All About?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

In our recent newsletter we invited subscribers to submit their fishing photos, videos, stories and experiences for the purpose of sharing with our blog readers and Facebook fans. The simple reason is that collectively we can cover far more water and uncover so many more positive aspects of this sport than any one of us can individually.  Within minutes of the newsletter send, we received our first response from D. Echols of Florida.  We can’t agree more with the title, yes, this is what it’s all about. One fishing trip and all three anglers walk away with three completely different experiences, all of which are incredibly rewarding and valuable.  Mr. Echols and Louie are fans of Avenger spinning reels and to keep the team together, we sent a fresh one down for Wyatt.

I’ve been an avid (some would say “fanatical”) fisherman since the age of three. Let’s see, minus the two years I spent in the Army, that’s over a half century. That’s plenty long enough to have gone through many of the hardships that can and do befall some of us “hard-core” anglers… things like hooks in the fingers, hooks in the feet, hooks in the back of the head, hooks in the top of the head, sinking boats, caught out in the storms, knots on the head from lead weights, a ton of cuts, stabs and bites from a variety of different fish, falling out of boats, broken rods, burned-up drags and I could go on and on. Having grown up right on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River in Southwest Florida, I’ve got so many fishing stories, and some so wild that most people don’t even believe me when I tell them. But that’s okay.

Wyatt's big bass

Your standard picture is worth a thousand words. This one seems much more valuable! Great Job Wyatt!

Fast forward quite a few years. There usually comes a time or two in one’s life when things take a drastic turn, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. If yours hasn’t happened yet, stand by, it will. I’ve had my share of both. One of the worst was when I was diagnosed with cancer a little over two years ago and was pretty much written off by everyone except my immediate family and one fantastic doctor who ended up saving my life. But on the other end of the spectrum, one of the best times was when a little boy who I call “Louie”, came into my life. My goodness, things have definitely not been the same since. A little over ten years ago God blessed our family with this little boy and it didn’t take long for me to realize that he was a whole lot like me, especially when it came to fishing. I guess when he was about two years old and would get my fishing rods out of the garage and fish in the pool is what really gave it away. Since then I’ve made it my mission to teach Louie everything that I possibly could about fishing. Not that I’m an expert by any means, but I (like many of you) do have a lot to offer. Louie has no Dad, so I have stepped in and tried to fill that gigantic void in his life. And at this stage of my life, nothing is more satisfying than watching him grow as an angler and as a person. Learning how to deal with whatever life has to throw at him, and having that spirit of a fisherman, I believe is helping prepare him for what lies in store later on in life, just like it did for me.

Having said all of this, all of the teaching and sharing of my experience paid off for me in a big way a few weekends ago. Louie’s cousin (and best buddy) Wyatt came down from Clermont Fl., for a visit. Wyatt’s eight years old, and has a keen interest in fishing, but doesn’t get to go much. I saw how excited he got while looking at the giant bass in some of Louie’s fishing photos. We keep them in a big album there on the coffee table in the living room. I asked him if he’d ever been bass fishing. He said “yeah, a couple of times with bread, but I’ve never caught one”. Louie and I looked at each other and I could tell just what he was thinking. So right there I said, “let’s take him to Mockingbird Lake right now”! Of course I got no argument from Louie.

We loaded up in the truck and off we went. And folks, this is where it got oh so good. What a great feeling it was, to just hang back and watch Louie take Wyatt under his wing. Listening to him tell Wyatt, with all the confidence in the world, just what to do, from the bait choice, to the cast and even the retrieve. My heart swelled with pride when I heard him yell “you got one, set the hook, set the hook, keep your rod tip up high & keep that line tight”, for it was just a few years ago that I was yelling this same stuff at Louie. Thanks, at least partly to Louie’s coaching and instructions, I watched as Wyatt caught the biggest bass of his life.  And there’s no doubt in my mind, that he is now hooked, and hereafter will never be the same. And neither will Mr. Louie. Thanks Louie and way to go Wyatt! Hopefully, as Wyatt returns to Clermont and goes fishing with his buddies, he will now impart his newfound fishing savvy and will be yelling “you got one, set the hook, set the hook, keep your rod tip up high & keep that line tight” to one of his friends. I know that most of you have heard it said “take a kid fishing” many times, so I won’t say it here. But how can you read this and not come to that conclusion.  After all, isn’t this what it’s all about? Thanks for reading.

Citrix Rods and Reels-Uncensored

Thursday, February 16th, 2012
When you want an honest answer, it’s sometimes difficult to find the right person to ask. When Citrix rods and reels were introduced for 2011, our Pro-Staffers were ecstatic, they’d tested and had input in the development of the products. But we wanted to find out how top recreational anglers felt. The guys without the relationships, buddy deals and swag that goes along with some of the touring pros. We turned to the group at ultimatebass.com for some no-holds-barred third-party input.
This group is made up of the guys on the water next to you. They work Monday-Friday so they can fish on Saturday. When laying down the bucks for gear, every decision is a serious one. Ron Fogelson and a few others stepped up to put Citrix rods and reels through their paces. What follows is Ron’s review. For depth, thoughtfulness and thoroughness, we wish all reviews were this well done. And if you’re wondering, yes, we’ve made a few in-line changes based upon the information received.

Written by Ron Fogelson
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 05:00
Back on February 23, 2011 I received two packages from Okuma Fishing Tackle as stated in my first article regarding this set up “Okuma Fishing Rod/Reel first impression”. The rod and reel were packaged very well with extra care to ensure both the rod tip and butt were protected with reinforcement inside a solid shipping tube. The Citrix Low profile 7.3-1 high speed reel was in its original reel box and placed in a second shipping box and packed just as secure. Both arrived safe, without damage and shipping was quick.

My preliminary point of view was the reel wanted to roll slightly to the right as I held it in my left hand. Please keep in mind that I’m left handed so with the natural position of the reel rolling to some extent to the right I’d hoped I could flip without having the line tangle in the reel handle as it sometimes does with other reels. Also, the rod was rated by Okuma as Medium Heavy for line 10 to 20 lbs and lure weight of ¼ to 1 ounce so the first thing I did was rig it for punching. This was a mistake as the action of the rod and tip speed proved “at least for me” that this was not the ideal application for this combo. Although it was more than able to handle the load and size of the ¾ ounce weight casting I found while flipping or pitching with any bait above about one ½ ounce caused the tip to slingshot my lure skyward.

Author Ron Fogelson

It is sometimes difficult to compare rods as the blank/bait specific action/price point/materials and building technique all vary from company to company. It is of my opinion the citrix rod is on par than say a like type crucial rod, yet I found it lighter and better balanced than the same. Whereas Okuma’s ratting is of a Medium Heavy if I put it head to head with a crucial I’d have to match it more to a Medium crank bait rod yet it is still $40.00 less and has proven to hold its own in strength and durability and has the back bone to keep and retain control of fish bigger than you might expect when holding the rod for the first time. I’d like to praise Okuma for the aluminum reel seat threads, it is a great feature, but I’ve found that unless you snug them down quite hard the large threads tend to back off; letting the reel feel loose. Again I think the aluminum reel seat threads are way above par but would recommend they opt for a thinner tighter thread pattern.
The trigger in my humble opinion is about one half inch to far back on the rod. With the compact design of the reel, I find that the combo is difficult to hold over the course of a full day of fishing. I’m able to fit both my middle and ring finger in front of the rod trigger while with other rods only my middle finger is resting on the trigger. Also, the trigger when I first got my hands on this rod were very smooth where the two sections were joined together and stated so in my initial review. However, having to crank down on the aluminum reel seat so much to ensure it stopped backing off I’ve found a gap to be forming. It appears as the trigger has separated a bit but to risk sounding like a broken record on the subject I believe retooling the threads to a smaller tighter pattern will fix both issues.
The use of EVA foam is in contention from angler to angler. I normally prefer cork but that is based on my preference and that, over the years, I’ve found EVA to vary so much from rod to rod. Some times it’s way too soft and the sun makes it crumble over a short time. Or, it is so firm that it’s just too hard to keep a confident grip on the rod while in use. For me, the Citrix EVA foam was very comfortable, firm and has a tacky kind of feel; however, I found it a tad short for my liking and it tapers in at an abrupt rate so with bigger hands it feels like part of the grip is missing.
I remain impressed by the sensitivity of the rod and for a light weight blank it has the back bone to put good fish in the boat. I have found that it is an all around rod at home with top waters like a spook/PopR/chug bug as well as moving baits like a swim jig/rattle traps/vibrashocks/square bill crank baits and spinner baits along with light 1/4oz and under rigged soft plastics and for me excels as my wacky rigged flick shake or weightless fluke rod.
As far as the Citrix reel, I found and still believe that, for a high speed application, I’d buy this reel before I picked up another Curado. I’m not saying I believe the Citrix is that much better, rather I no longer believe the Curado is worth the additional price just for a high speed reel. The reel was and remains smooth as can be the handles are large and comfortable if not a little to firm for my taste. I am fond of the swept in drag star because I’ve found that while palming the reel “left hand” I’m able to reach under the rod and reel with my middle finger to engage the reel out of free spool to be ready for the hook set while pitching or flipping wacky rigged a Hatch Match Stick “Stick Bait” without having to let go of the line and use the handle to do so. I do like the big paddle style grips on the reel handle. However, I wish there was a little more flexibility to the material or were made with a tacky texture. In the heat of the day, or when my hands get wet lipping a fish or in the rain, they are a little bit slippery.
The Citrix reel is a lot of fun to use, it casts very well, and I’ve not had a single issue with its performance. It remains as smooth today as it first did back in February. The drag is strong and even when fighting a larger fish and has handled the surges at the boat with ease. I had some slight worries as the handle and star drag stick out a bit farther from the frame than other reels that I use. However, with the handle and star drag being swept back to the reel, I’m pleased that I can still (while holding the reel in my left hand) engage the reel with my middle finger by turning the drag star or handle as soon as the bait hits the water; without having to take my right hand off the line to do so.
The external centrifugal brake design is a fantastic option, very easy to set up and adjust on the fly with changing weather conditions or baits adjustments and is a highlight of this reel. The brakes are adjusted with a dial like with magnetic brake reels but uses the External adjustable centrifugal cast control system. Giving you get the speed and ease of adjustment of magnetics with the strength and time proven reliability of centrifugal brakes.
Over all, I believe that both the rod and reel are a good buy at the $119.00 price point. You are getting a quality rod and reel, that fishes as good as it looks for a reasonable amount of money. If you would like to upgrade or are a seasoned angler and want to add a combo to your line up without breaking the bank, Okuma, might have what you are looking for. I know full well I was picky on the few things I brought up, but when I do a review I’m equally as brutal with the products as I am with any praise if any are warranted because I’m very hard on my equipment and understand the difficulties we all face when looking to part with our hard earned money on the slew of fishing gear, tackle & accessories on the market. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the rod, reel or the pair as a combo to add to your line up because I believe Okuma understands the meaning of value.
See You on the water.
Ronald Fogelson
Ultimatebass.com Administrator

Captain Todd Mansur and the Boardroom

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Captain Todd Mansur operates the 65′ Hatteras sportfisher, The Boardroom. Fishing the elite-level offshore tournaments on the Pacific side of North and Central America, Mansur’s travels have him on the water every fishable day during tournament season. A key product tester of Okuma reels and rods, few have access to the strength of fisheries, for the duration, that Mansur’s tournament crew has. On the way to the 2011 Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Tournament, Mansur kept some notes on both the fisheries encountered and the gear used that we thought we’d share with you…

Cedros Island Yellowtail

One of many Cedros Island yellowtail on a Cortez, Makaira rod combo.

This year in southern California was a challenge for every level of fisherman but just below our border, there was a terrific fishery brewing due to the currents and conditions that we have been missing. Our trip really started when we reached Cedros Island. With all of our inshore gear ready, we approached knowing that the Yellowtail fishing was on fire. We knew this was going to be our chance to fish some Okuma tackle that we had been admiring all season but hadn’t really been able to use much due to slow fishing in our local waters. In the arsenal of tackle to be used were the Cedros star drag 10 and the Cedros lever drag 10, along with the Cortez star drag 10 and one of my favorites, the Andros 5II. As we all know jigging and live bait fishing yellowtail is not only fun, but with fish weighing up to 40-pounds they can put inshore reels to a test. And test they did. Not one of the reels showed any signs of fatigue. We were fishing all these reels with Tuf-Line 65lb. braided line to 30lb. mono top shot. This combo was perfect for this application. The rods we were using were the Cedros jigging rods for the Cedros reels, Makaira rods for the Cortez reels and the awesome Cedros inshore rods on the Andros reel.

Magdalena Bay was holding quality wahoo on the troll.

I have to tell you guys, everyone on this trip has years of fishing experience. Aside from talking about how great the fishing was they couldn’t stop talking about how awesome the reels preformed. After a day of putting our tackle to the test, as well as our arms and backs, we started south for Mag Bay. Knowing that we would be seeing a great Dorado fishery down in Mag, we were very excited. Along with the Dorado we hoped to catch Wahoo as well and this meant it was time to get out some trolling gear. We paired up two Cavalla 30ll with the new Makaira 50lb. trolling rods and two Titus 30ll with the same and put out the Wahoo lures and some small Pakula Marlin lures. We thought this would be a great combo and it was. As soon as there was enough light we were hooked up. Dorado everywhere, again putting the inshore tackle to the test without failure. Throughout the day we released over fifty Dorado and boated three nice Wahoo. We really loved the action of the Makaira trolling rods they were beefy enough to pull hard, but still had great action to give the angler a thrill. Nice roller guides as well.

Grouper off Mag Bay

This Andros set up is spooled with 60lb. mono to 65lb. braid we went 4 for 10 on the groupers. We never stopped the big ones, even when I put 100lb. on the Cedros lever drag 10."

As we continued to fish Mag Bay each day was great. What a fishery.

There were days that we really put Okuma to the test.

This Andros set up is spooled with 60lb. mono to 65lb. braid we went 4 for 10 on the groupers. We never stopped the big ones, even when I put 100lb. on the Cedros lever drag 10. This was great. We really put the pressure on these fish to keep them out of the structure and again the tackle was bulletproof. At the end of the day it was like we just took the reels out of the box.

With fishing like this for over a week in Mag Bay we headed south to Cabo San Lucas to start pre fishing For the Bisbee Black and Blue Marlin Tournament.

The tuna bite at El Banco was solid, along with the black marlin that would have been nice to have off Cabo instead of PV.

Well guys this is the only sad part of this story. There were really no fish to catch. After 4 days off pre-fishing we couldn’t come up with a good strategy. There was just no fish biting so we just decided to fish lures and cover ground. After the three-day tournament all we had to show for was a sailfish release and an empty wallet. So off to Puerto Vallarta we went, hoping that we would get over the really sore fishing in Cabo. We did, however, get to show off the beautiful Makaira 80-ll. They drew lots of attention and I hope to get a chance soon to put them to the full test that I know they can live up to. As we approached PV, our hopes were high before even checking in to port we fished the first day at what is called El Banco. Thinking that maybe live bait fishing with small skipjack tuna would give us a chance at a large tuna we put out the 30ll Cavalla’s and the 30ll Titus. A 30-ll Makaira would be ideal. Anyway we were right, live bait fishing skipjack worked but it wasn’t a tuna on the line after 2 hours and 45 minutes. We had a 320lb. black marlin to leader. I know that these reels aren’t in the making any more, but they worked great and still work great after that test of strength. I’ll get you picks of that fish I haven’t put them into my computer as of yet. After that we knew we were going to enjoy the next couple of weeks here. The target here was tuna and tuna we found on most days. It was the gyro’s that got us located on tuna either under Dolphin or bird schools. We caught fish every day. With fish being picky some days we had to fish much lighter line than we wanted, so Okuma engineering really got put to the test. Here is one of the amazing fish we caught.

This was caught on a Makaira 10-ll with 100lb Tuf-Line braid to 130lb fluorocarbon leader with a #8 circle hook. There has never been a reel that I have been more proud, to have and to fish, with than the Makaira. WOW! I have made a great career as a fisherman and have fished every type of reel on the market and I will gladly argue anyone that says that Okuma is anything but superior to other reels. You guys have definitely done it right.

My many thanks to all of the Okuma staff!

Captain Todd Mansur

Why We’re So Excited About Citrix

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Citrix is more than a new line of reels and rods. Citrix is a representation of a new direction in fishing tackle: a higher level of performance, brought within reach of more anglers than ever before. From a company 100% driven to create, construct and deliver equipment so good it becomes part of your motivation to go fishing… suffice it to say, we’re just a little bit excited.

Citrix low-profile baitcast reels lead an all-new extended family of baitcasters. The same ergonomic body design is found in the Alumina, Calera and Tormenta low-profiles also. As a group, these reels offer the largest selection of casting reels Okuma has ever offered in both right hand AND left hand retrieve. Citrix and family serve every casting preference, where ultra-premium Serrano and Cayenne bait cast reels are only available in right hand at this time.

Citrix low profile bait cast reel

Featuring a monster drop down gear case and 7.3:1 gear ratio, Citrix leads an all-new family of Okuma low-profile baitcast reels that includes the Alumina, Calera and Tormenta. (click image to enlarge)

Citrix low-profiles begin with Okuma’s ALC or AlumiLite Frame Construction, featuring a rigid die cast aluminum frame and machined and anodized Hi-Rise spool cut from A6061-T6 aircraft aluminum. This powerful center of strength prepares Citrix for the most demanding freshwater and inshore salt water fisheries. The drive system, including precision spool shaft, pinion shaft and machine cut brass gears come together in Citrix’s massive drop down gear box. Critical components are sized to their maximum within the housing, adding strength and greater surface area for long-wearing durability.

El Salto lake bass fishing with Citrix baitcast reel.

Citrix's 7.3:1 gear ratio comes in handy when trying to extract El Salto lake pigs from the timber.

The gear system is a point of separation that makes Citrix low-profile bait cast reels unique in the Okuma lineup. Available models include two options in gear ratios. The first is a blazing fast 7.3:1 that’s available in both right and left hand retrieve. Picking up nearly 32-inches of line with every turn of the handle, this incredible speed pushes the limit of what’s available in the market today. Whether burning rip baits across a flat or extracting fish forcefully from heavy cover, the high-speed Citrix is a bass angler’s ally. Steelhead fishermen who drift fish or cast floats, where time between casts is time lost forever, will appreciate Citrix’s speed between presentations as well as its’ ability to keep pace with the fastest running fish. Top competitive products offering this gear ratio are priced at $179.99, $219.99, $299.99 and even $399.99. At an MSRP of $119.99, Citrix provides the avid recreational and aspiring tournament angler unhindered access to the latest professional performance features.

Citrix is the only Okuma low-profile to feature an externally adjustable centrifugal cast control system. (click image to enlarge)

At 5.4:1, the low-speed Citrix, available in right hand retrieve, offers the most powerful gearing in the Okuma low-profile selection. Working even the slowest moving crank bait and spinner bait presentations with precision and accuracy, the standard speed Citrix does battle with steady, consistent pressure and a relentless attitude.

In either high-speed or standard gear ratios, Citrix casting reels are fluid performers. Featuring 8 bearings (7 ball-bearings plus one roller bearing), both casting and retrieves are set free from the feel of the internal mechanics, allowing anglers to focus on the presentation at all times.

With incredible available freespool, Citrix addresses the needs of casters with Okuma’s most desirable Velocity Control System: a patented, externally adjustable centrifugal cast control system. All other Okuma baitcast reels feature an internally-adjustable centrifugal system or an externally-adjustable magnetic cast control system (or a combination of both). Citrix is the only bait cast reel in the Okuma lineup to feature the centrifugal system with external adjustment. With total control available on-the-fly through the external dial, spool velocity is easily and quickly managed under ever-changing conditions and changes to casting weights.

Brandon with a toad on El Salto lake Mexico.

Brandon Cotton pulls a quality fish on a Citrix/C3 combo.

Lightweight and corrosion proof graphite side plates seal Citrix’s internal components with outstanding ergonomics that comfortably work with the hand. The smooth and powerful oversized disk drag system is dialed-in through the aluminum star that’s micro-click adjustable for precise drag settings. The handle is stamped from aluminum for strength. Cut slightly longer than traditional cranking handles, the increased throw is more natural, incredibly comfortable and provides for increased leverage when cranking big baits and fighting large fish. Outfitted with knobs suitable for adult hands, the ergonomics incorporated are well appreciated over a long day on the water.

Ready for braided superlines, Citrix’s Zirconium line guide insert is impervious to braid’s abrasive effects.

Citrix low-profile casting reels are a performance-driven package on all levels of speed, handling, performance, comfort and durability. To advance angler experience completely and in total, Citrix rods were developed as the ultimate compliment to the reels.

With strikingly beautiful design elements, Citrix rods are the lightest, most responsive rods we've ever constructed. (click image to enlarge)

Put simply, Citrix rods are the lightest, most responsive rods we’ve ever constructed. And if that’s not enough, they’re also the hottest looking sticks on the water. To deliver the total package, every feature was scrutinized and optimized to deliver total performance.

Citrix rods are constructed of Okuma IM8 graphite to deliver the desired fast actions and incredible strength with minimal weight. The guides feature ALPS ultra-light stainless steel frames for strength with braid-ready Zirconium inserts.

The handle assembly continues Citrix weight loss program while also retaining a total commitment to strength. The rear split grip features comfortable and supremely light EVA grips. The fore grip has been completely eliminated, again to reduce weight, but also to allow for direct finger contact with the rod blank to maximize sensitivity.

The rear of the reel seat is Pac Bay’s MINIMA design. The reel hood, however, operates on custom built machined aluminum and two tone anodized seat threads. Custom made in Okuma facilities, the reel seat threads are the single area where some weight was retained as a function of superior strength. Going even lighter was an option, but the ultimate fishing rod should also include ultimate security of the reel mounted upon it.

Independently of one another, Citrix rods and Citrix casting reels clearly and recognizably advance angler performance on the water. In combination, the pair will raise your performance and excite your senses with every cast and every fish.

Okuma Reel Cash Rebate Available Now!

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

In early 2010 the release of Serrano and Cayenne low-profile baitcast reels began what has been one of the most dynamic and exciting category introductions in Okuma Fishing Tackle history.   These two

Okuma Serrano low profile baitcast reel

Serrano is a lightweight powerhouse optimized for salt water. Click image for product details.

reels authoritatively raise the bar on performance: Serrano as a salt water optimized ultra-premium workhorse that’s also one of the lightest reels in its’ class, and Cayenne as the freshwater counterpart, delivering not just tournament-level, but obsession-level performance along with a dollar value that’s simply unmatched.

The reviews on Serrano and Cayenne baitcast reels, from both fishing media and consumers, have been exceptional.  As these reels were proving themselves, however, our product development teams were putting the final touches on the next round of low-profile baitcast introductions:  Citrix, Alumina, Calera

Okuma Cayenne low profile baitcast reel.

In freshwater, Cayenne delivers ultimate performance. Click image for product details.

and Tormenta.  With MSRP’s of $119.99, $99.99, $79.99 and $59.99 respectively, it’s these new reels that will reach enthusiastic Federation, club level and recreational anglers and bring them a better fishing experience through better equipment performance.  To serve all anglers, we’ve made all four of these reels available in models for both right and left hand retrieve.

At Okuma we’re excited.  Including heart and soul into each of these reels in order to make them exactly the reels we want to fish ourselves, at every price they are the best they can be.  We want you to share our excitement, and our Reel Cash Rebate program makes it easy.

Now through May 15, 2011, make your best deal on a

Okuma Citrix low profile baitcast reel.

Citrix features high-speed 7.1:1 gearing and a matching rod line. Click image for product details.

new Okuma Serrano, Cayenne, Citrix or Alumina low-profile baitcast reel at an authorized retailer and receive a $30 rebate on Serrano, $20 on Cayenne or Citrix and $10 on Alumina by mail.  Rebate forms are available in better stores or get yours on our website here:  http://okumafishingteam.com/media_5.php

Rebate’s are limited to four per household, in combination and in total.  Whichever reel fits your needs, we’re confident that once you try your first… you’ll be back for more!

Okuma Alumina low profile baitcast reel

Alumina features dual cast control systems. Click image for product details.

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.