Guest Blog by: Eric Allee , Colorado 11/6/2017
In the past couple years Iíve posted almost 90 blogs on FxR with most being stories. When it comes to writing thatíll always be my bread and butter, but Iím going to start writing more blogs on the fishing gear I rely on too.
I fish at least a few times a week chasing a variety of species. Most of the time Iím fishing out of my Hobie Pro Angler, but there are times Iím walking the banks, or in one of my buddyís boats. Although I do target a variety species throughout the year the mainstays are bass and walleye. Below are a few baits and an old fish finder that have become staples in my fishing arsenal.
Bass Pro Shops XPS Lazer Blade: I fish blade baits a ton and the BPS XPS Lazer blade is the blade bait Iím most confident with. I fish blade baits on a stout casting rod paired with 7:1 reel with braid and a 12-15lb Fluorocarbon leader. When it comes to retrieves with a blade bait or any bait for that matter I always let the fish tell me what they want. Typically, Iíll start with an aggressive retrieve and slow down if needed. Iíll make a long cast, let the blade hit the bottom, then snap the blade up off the bottom basically with a hookset. As soon as the blade hits bottom I snap that bad boy back up again. Iím sure I look like Iím all hopped up on mountain dew when Iím fishing blades, but they flat out get bit. My go to is the chrome 5/8 oz. a perfect match for fishing bodies of water with shad. This year that big chrome XPS Lazer Blade has helped me catch a few double-digit wiper, countless walleye, and quite a few decent bass.
Jigging Raps: I was talking with Neal Wilkinson owner of Rocky Mountain Adventure Guides a few years ago. We were talking about a certain fishery when he told me his go to there was jigging raps. Iíd fished jigging raps through the ice but never in open water. Neal was generous enough to give me some great information on how he fishes Jigging Raps in open water. Loaded with that information I hit the water the next day and put the wood to over 20 walleye.Since that day I fish vertical a ton and always have a Jigging Rap rigged and ready to drop.
I use a stout casting rod paired with a 7:1 reel again with braid and a fluorocarbon leader anywhere from 12-20lb test. I know a lot of guys prefer to use swivels with Jigging Raps but the bass guy in me canít stand how bulky a swivel looks so I opt for tying directly to the bait. Thereís an old saying almost any plastic worm will work as long as itís 7 inches long and purple. Well, almost any jigging rap will work as long as itís blue/chrome in a size 9.
Trokar HD Shell Buster Jig/Strike King Rage Craw: This combo is deadly fished in areas with a gravel bottom and scattered rock, but will work in a variety of situations. Iíll throw the 3/8 oz. jig on my Skeet Reese Pro Carbon Spinnerbait/Worm Rod paired with a 7:1 reel and 10-12 pound fluorocarbon. Iíll try to match the Rage Craw to the crawdad's Iíve seen in the body of water Iím fishing. If I donít have an idea of what the crawdads look like in a new body of water Iíll start with Bama Craw. After fishing with my buddy George Mauries and seeing firsthand the difference small details like coloring the pinchers can make I always carry a selection of garlic scented markers with me now so I can make small color adjustments to my plastics on the fly.
The retrieve here is super simple and rarely changes much. Iíll cast out and let the Shell Buster/Rage Craw hit the bottom. After it hits the bottom I start pulling the Shell Buster/Rage Craw along with my rod feeling for changes in the bottom. As soon as I feel that the Shell Buster/Rage Craw is pulling through a rock pile Iíll start making a few short quick pulls with the rod tip about an inch or so at a time. The Rage Craw will be standing up and those short pops will make the craws flap like crazy. This drives smallies nuts! A killer spot to fish this combo is the south of the swim beach at Chatfield on the high spots between the old pits.
Lowrance Elite 4 HDI: Iíll be honest thereís nothing sexy about the 4-inch screen or the older technology, but I know this unit inside and out, I can load social maps from Insight Genesis, and if I have any questions I know Dan Swanson and Dave Kooser are always willing to help. Since day one my Lowrance with the little screen has done everything Iíve wanted it to and then some. Long story short itís been an amazing tool I rely on each and every time I step into my Hobie. Last year I won a Garmin Unit that has a bigger screen and side imaging, but it still sits unopened in the box. I might be old fashion this way but when a product earns my trust like my Lowrance has I canít see myself using another brand. Especially considering the awesome local support we have with Lowrance in Colorado.
Fishing has been a passion of mine ever since I can remember. Iíve committed myself to helping others not only catch more and bigger fish, but also enjoy themselves more while doing so.
FISHRANGLER, CO 11/7/2017 9:28:50 AM
When the water hits 55 and below work the blade very slow just tiny pops, just a few inches off the bottom for bass.
Skookshunter, CO 11/7/2017 5:21:02 PM
Good blog with a lot of helpful information. Nice write up Eric
Coyute, CO 11/8/2017 9:27:36 AM
Good info. However, I'd rather read your stories. There's enough advertising as is in this game. :)
Lloyd Tackitt, TX 11/8/2017 12:56:52 PM
Great write up Eric! I'll share on the Texas site.
Lloyd Tackitt, TX 11/8/2017 2:30:01 PM
I've had some pretty good results with a soft plastic hellgramite on a small jig hook in gravel bottomed areas. I like the looks of that Rage Claw though, I need to try that.
Eric Allee (TigerHunter), CO 11/8/2017 3:00:39 PM
The Rage Craw's are great Lloyd! Any movement at all and the claws start flapping big time. I like Zoom Speed Craws too, but prefer the Rage Craw.