Category Archives: Reviews

Five Great Bass Lures for Fall

As the Waters Start to Cool, the Fishing Starts to Heat-up.

Great Bass Lures By Ben Team

After months spent trying to tempt stubborn summer bass into biting, the arrival of fall is well-received by most southern anglers. Whereas summer bass are content to keep a low profile and snatch up just enough food to remain healthy, autumn bass chase baitfish like it’s their last day on Earth.

Abandoning their finicky ways, fall bass begin feeding heavily in order to put on extra reserves to sustain them through the long, cold winter, when food is scarce and difficult to catch. Fish represent the most attractive food source for bass at this time, and a variety of minnow- or panfish-imitating lures work well for slaying salmoides.

Five Great Bass Lures

1.    Spinnerbaits

Spinnerbaits work in most water conditions and through most seasons, but they are especially effective in the autumn, when bass are actively chasing fish. The flash and vibration created by the spinning blades is simply irresistible for many bass and strikes often come in bunches.

Because you can fish them just under the surface or roll them along the bottom at a variety of speeds, spinnerbaits are great bass lures to use when trying to discern the best pattern for the day. Try a variety of speeds, cadences, depths and color combinations until you hit on the flavor of the day.

2.    Swimbaits

Few lures can match the lifelike movement of a quality paddle-tail swimbait, and few times of the year are better suited to their use than fall. “Match the hatch” when selecting a color and size, but don’t be afraid to add a little more color to the lure when working in low-visibility ponds and lakes.

A straight retrieve is often the most effective approach, but you can also use a vertical presentation to target isolated cover. If you rig the bait with a jig-head, it will drop in a nose-down manner; if you rig it with a weighted swimbait hook, it will tend to fall while sitting horizontally.

If you are looking to land a leviathan-sized fish, larger, joint-bodied swimbaits can also be effective during this time of year.

3.    Crankbaits

A variety of crankbait styles, sizes and colors work in the fall, but the wide, erratic wobble of a square billed crankbait is often the best bet. Rattling, lipless styles are also effective, particularly if the water is muddy, and you need some help attracting bass through the soup.

If you’ve been using deep-diving models to target bass in the Summer, consider switching to shallower-diving models as the weather cools. Because shad tend to move out of the main lake or channel and back into the feeder creeks and rivers, you should concentrate working such areas.

4.    Buzz Baits

The dropping water temperatures and shifting feeding habits of fall largemouth often combine to improve the surface bite, which is often tentative at best during the summer heat. Bluegill and shad color schemes work most effectively in clear or stained waters, whereas the superior silhouette provided by dark blue or black models provides the bass with a good target in muddy water.

Experiment with the speed of your retrieve when trying to pattern the fish. If you are having trouble keeping the lure at the surface while retrieving it slowly, experiment with different trailers. Bulky trailers create more resistance (drag) and the added plastic helps to increase the lures buoyancy.

5.    Swim Jigs

Most jig designs – casting, flipping, football and finesse – work for catching fall bass (when don’t jigs work?), but given their tendency to feast upon fish at this time, swim jigs are definitely worthy of special consideration. Swim jigs feature slightly “pinched” or cone-shaped noses, they have thinner weed guards and they are often constructed to produce a slightly subtler profile than other jigs do – all of which help to better mimic a baitfish or bluegill.

Standard jig colors – black, blue and combinations thereof – work, but try to mimic whatever species the bass are chasing if these old standbys don’t elicit strikes. Pumpkinseed, watermelon and bluegill patterns are great if the bass are chasing panfish, while whites, grays, silvers and blues help to mimic shad.

Try out some of these great bass lures over the next few weeks and let us know how they work for you. Did we leave anything off the list? Let us know in the comments below. We’d also love to see what you’ve landed lately, so tweet us (or me) your best catch photos!



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The Perfect Fishing Cars

Bentley Launches it’s First Fishing Cars Especially for Fly Fishermen

Fishing Cars by Debbie Kay

There are many different things you need to consider when you are in the market for a new or used car.  Family, pets, hobbies and local weather are four major considerations that will narrow down your car choices.  Until now, there hasn’t been fishing cars that have stood out just for the options they offer fishermen.

If you have a few extra hundred thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket, you may want to check out the latest upgrade to the Bentley Bentayga.  This special edition fishing car, geared especially for fly fisherman, has a number of different features created specifically to assist fly fishermen.  The upgrade includes a custom leather, wood and aluminum storage box the size of the trunk that contains four cylinders for fly rods and drawers for flies. This upgrade adds about $100,000 to the cost of the quarter-million dollar car.

Options on Fishing Cars

If you’re saving that money to buy something else, like a house (or your dream fishing boat?), there are a lot of other choices as well.  There are several different features that can make an excellent car for whatever kind of fishing that you love.  These include:

  • All-Wheel Drive or 4WD: The ability to reach remote locales can up your fishing game.  This can mean driving on dirt roads, logging roads and off-road altogether.  Having four wheel drive or all-wheel drive can make a big difference.
  • Storage: The ability to have enough room for your gear is clearly necessary when fishing.  However, it’s nice to be able to store wet items without worrying about damage to upholstery or carpeting.  This can be accomplished with an SUV with a rubber mat in the back, a station wagon with a waterproof barrier or a pickup truck.
  • Tow Capacity: If you fish with a boat, the ability to tow is important as well.  Make sure your tow load is enough for your trailered boat, not just the weight of the boat.  Diesels are known for their tow capacity, though a gas engine with a V8 or higher can do the same.

Car Features to Avoid

On the flipside, there are also a number of cars with features that can land you in trouble if you try to push them too hard.  Though they can do in a pinch, they’re far from perfect.  These features include:

  • Low Clearance: A car with a low clearance can easily get stuck if you’re parking anywhere but a lot.
  • Limited Storage: Economy cars like smart cars are great for fuel efficiency, but they don’t offer much space for anything but a collapsible rod and a small tackle box.   Roof racks are a possible solution, but they don’t fit on every kind of vehicle.
  • Perfect Condition: A car with a pristine paint job and interior won’t necessarily remain in such good condition the day after a fishing trip.  A paint job won’t stay perfect after a drive down a brushy road.  Make sure you’re willing to accept that in whatever car you bring fishing.

Still not sure?  Find fishermen who are driving your possible fishing cars at public sites, and ask them what they think.   What’s your go-to car for fishing cars?  Leave us a comment below.

Get Started Fly Fishing Part: 1 The Basics


by Gerry Frederick

Now that fly fishing has become fairly mainstream, it’s enjoying a rather large influx of beginners each season.  These newcomers are getting younger, and the percentage of ladies among them increases every year.  That second group is especially significant;  some evidence suggests that women comprise the largest group of newcomers to the sport. Continue reading Get Started Fly Fishing Part: 1 The Basics

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Have You Checked Your Boat Safety Equipment?

Boat Safety  by Debbie Kay

As summer heats up, it’s definitely time to pull out the boat and head out on some warm-weather fishing days.  While you are prepping your tackle box and making sure that everything you need is there and up-to-date. It may be time to check your boat safety equipment as well.   This is not only a good way to stay safe in an emergency, it will also stop a routine Coast Guard inspection from ending your fishing trip early.  Here is a look at what you need to consider as you ensure that you have everything you need:

PDFs are Boat Safety Number 1

Personal Flotation Devices, or PDF’s, are one of the most important things to have on a boat, particularly if you are fishing far from shore.  In many cases with an open skiff and a small lake, there are boat cushions that will double as PDF’s and work fine.  However, you want to check your state’s rules when it comes to having kids on board. As the water gets bigger or your activity gets faster (like tubing or waterskiing), your need for a life jacket will get bigger too.  The rules for life jackets vary by state, so be certain to check your local requirements.

If you plan on boating with your kids, also double check that their life jackets still fit and that they don’t exceed the weight requirements listed on the jacket.  Finally, be sure to have one for everyone on the boat.  Kids under sixteen must wear theirs in most cases. Everyone must have one in reach whether they wear them or not.


Even if you only go fishing in the middle of the day, you need properly functioning lights on your boat.  Be certain that you have all of the lights required for your vessel type and size. Double check that they work.  If you have a boat with indoor storage, it doesn’t hurt to carry a couple extra bulbs of the right type and size, so that you can quickly fix them if they go out on you.


If you are on certain water types or have a large enough boat, you will also need signaling capabilities.  This often includes a horn, and may also include flares.  Many people don’t realize that flares expire. Be certain to do an annual check on them if you are required to carry them.

VHF Radio

If you have anything larger than an open skiff or bass boat, you probably have a VHF radio on board.  If you have one that doesn’t work, then you probably have a vessel size that requires it. If you go on larger waters, you will need to have it repaired or replaced.


If you have a smaller, open boat or a personal vessel like a canoe or kayak, be sure that you have some form of bailer to help you if you spring a leak or get swamped by a rogue wake.  Many shops dealing in personal watercrafts like kayaks and canoes offer small but effective versions the size of a portable bike pump. What are your boat safety checks? Leave a comment.

8 Items You Should Always Bring Fishing

Gear by Ben Team

Fishing is a gear-intensive pursuit. You have to bring rods, reels, lures, hooks, line, weights and a million other things each time you head to the water.  But what about all the other gear that makes sense to bring, but isn’t really “fishing gear?”  Do you opt for packing light, or do you splurge? Continue reading 8 Items You Should Always Bring Fishing

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