Captain Roger Lee Brown
"The Bass Coach"
Throughout many years of bass fishing I have seen so many different products that have been introduced to the bassiní industry that I lost count years ago. Some products have been exceptional, some good, some just okay, and some not so good, and with the industry being in the multi-billion dollar bracket there are literally thousands of products on todayís market, and out of these "thousands of products" there are just about a handful that I surely wouldnít be without, mostly because they have proven themselves time and time again to gain the "Exceptional" reputation they so richly deserve.
I would like to talk about some of these unique products that I have stumbled onto over the years, especially the ones that have proven themselves to be in the "Select" catagory when it comes to bass fishing. But first let me explain a bit about my product sponsorships and how I promote them. When I agree to a product sponsorship from a certain company I have to really accept the quality, performance, and dependability of their products before I can agree to promote them, the reason for this is because I have to teach the students that enroll at my 3-day bass fishing school as well as my bass charter clients how to use these products and why I use them, but letís not forget the most important part, "A Great Product Will Sell Itself!"
Now, the first type of product we will talk about is plastic baits. Over the years I have used selected plastic baits from many different companies and found that some of the companies may have a bait or two that might work well, but as a whole I would find myself shopping other companies to get the different designs, colors, sizes, textures, etc. that I really needed. (Boy, talk about your inconvenience right?)
Well, we donít have to be inconvenienced any more because I found (2) companiesthat supply just about everything a serious angler needs to fill his or her plastic bait shopping list, and in all honesty Iíd have to say that "Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits" and "Budíz Fishingí Wayíz Inc." (who produce the original Bobby Garland Gitzits) offer by far the best selection and quality in plastic baits that you will find on todayís vast market.
With all the different rod manufacturers world wide there are some really fine fishing rods on todayís market. Iíve used most all of them and I can see a lot of good features in most of these, but, the particular rods that I use (manufactured by Lamiglas) I find to be in the "Exceptional" catagory. I use Lamiglas Rods for many reasons such as; durability, strength, feel, comfort, quality, appearance, and selection and best of all, the Lamiglas Company has just about every type of fishing rod you will ever need for bass fishing.
When fishing with "Rattles" or "Glass & Brass" or any of these combinations with a Texas Rig, Carolina Rig, Tubes, etc. you will usually find that when fishing thick weeds, grass, moss, etc. the vegetation usually gets wrapped around your tackle (hooks, baits, swivels, and especially glass or brass beads!) and the whole purpose of the "Ticking Sound" is not what it should be, right?
I found a company called H & H Plastic Rattles that has taken care of this problem. The company makes a sealed rattle for all the rigs mentioned as well as rattles for jigs, spinnerbaits, tubes, worms, and!!! they make these in color assortments to match your baits.
Now, by placing the sealed Carolina Rig Rattle on your line and working the thick stuff, no matter how much vegetation gets on it, itíll still make that ticking sound. After using Glass & Brass for so many years with all the frustrations that go with them, now I just simply put on a H & H Plastic Rattle made especially for Carolina Rigs and let me say, "Boy, do they work great!"
I used to own a lure retriever that consisted of a heavy weight with little handles sticking off of it and a line attached to it. Now, when the wind came up (like it usually does) it was almost impossible to direct the boat and try to send this contraption down to retrieve my lure, sound familiar?
I found a company that makes this retrieving thing simple! "Easy Retriever" is the name of it and it couldnít be easier to use. You just slip the clip on your line and down it goes, and most of the time it will knock your lure free from whatever obstruction it got hung up on. The best thing about this item is the cost!.... for a fraction of what I paid for the one with the string retriever you can actually purchase a package of (3) Easy Retrievers. A great time and money saver!
I know youíll love this one! When a angler uses a fish formula (or attractant) it is usually applied by squirting, pouring, or in the case of the jelly substances, rubbing and spreading it on the bait. I know from past experience that when you spray or pour this formula on a bait, some goes on your boat, yourself, and mostly in the water, right? These formulas are not good for the carpet or the finish of a boat. The average angler usually goes through several bottles of formula in the course of a season (especially if he or she uses it all the time.)
I have found a company that makes what they call a "Scentbox". It is a plastic box with the ability to hold usually 1/2 of a bottle of formula at a time and will last longer that you would usually go through about 5 bottles of formula, but, the best thing about this Scentbox is that you donít spill, spray, pour, or spread the formula on your carpet, boat, hands, or anything but the bait itself. You just simply grab the line right in front of the bait, lift the lid, place the bait onto the box, close the box, open it back up and make your cast. The Scentbox is truly one of the best products I have ever used!, in fact, 95% of my 3-Day Bass Fishing School students and Bass Charter clients have purchased these Scentboxes after using mine. The cost is about what you would pay for about 2 or 3 bottles of formula but you will save money because you wonít go through near as much formula as you have in the past.
While being on the subject of the Scentbox, I found a certain Fish Formula (or Attractant) that works better than any Iíve ever used in the past! This stuff is so good that Iíve even doubled my setting ability with Jig & Pig combos using it, and if you have ever fished this type of bait you can understand what I mean, but not only Jig & Pig baits, this formula can be used on all artificial types of baits. The companyís name is "Scientific Bass Products, Inc." and they make what they call "Kickín Bass" fish formula. Not only do they make a product for just bass, but they make a Kickín Trout and Kickín Catfish as well. Now, the nice part about the bass formulas is that they make a few different scents for bass such as Garlic, Crawfish, and a Anise Shad formula that really helps fish to hold on to your baits. As a pro angler, I know that a few extra seconds of a fish holding on to a bait can really make the difference between catching the fish or not!
How many of you anglers have certain spots (honey holes) that youíve been fishing for years? Wouldnít you like to find more spots like these?, of course you would! Now you can do just that with this product called the "CatchCam" made by the Axial Corporation. This under viewing camera is about the best you will find. I have one and the more I use it the better I like it. It has a 50í lead wire attached to a waterproof camera lens that is attached to a viewing screen to allow you to see anything on the bottom you want to see. I have fished many spots that held fish in the past but didnít know exactly why the areas held fish, but now I know. It is truly an amazing tool when it comes to locating bass, pre-fishing, or just learning why fish hold in certain areas. The picture on the viewing screen is crystal clear, in fact, you can see even the smallest blade of grass. Just remember, this shows the actual picture and not the liquid crystal image like you would see on your fish finder!
FISH CARE PRODUCTS
Probably one of the worst nightmares for a tournament angler is weighing in a dead fish. Not only does this hurt when you get points deducted from your total catch, but as a "Catch & Release" angler, nobody likes to see a dead sport fish, especially a bass! Guess what, I have some really good news.... I have stumbled onto a product called "KeepAlive" and what it is, is a oxygen infusor. I know you are probably wondering what in the world an oxygen infusor is so Iíll tell you. This is a unit that you place in your livewell (it has suction cups on the bottom of it, completely submergible) take the wire lead clips and clip to your battery. Once the unit is operative it disperses millions of micro-fine bubbles that give more than a ample supply of oxygen to the fish in your livewell (which will keep them alive). This is good especially when fishing the warmer days when it gets hot and the surface temp get warm. Please!... make all efforts to keep the fish alive for release!......
BASS TOURNAMENT GOODIES
When fishing bass tournaments time is very precious right? I have found a couple of items that has really made a difference when it comes to not only the protection of fish, but has allowed me that few extra minutes needed to "Cash-In" in past tournaments, and has recently given me the extra precious minutes needed when Iqualified for the Vermont B.A.S.S. Federation State Team for 2001.
The first item is called "Bass Tags" made by Bag-Em Products. What this is, is a bass culling system that uses clips instead of stringer type snaps (that damage fish when you have to insert them). These clips with the colored tubes (attached) quickly attach to the fishís upper jaw securely without puncturing or damaging the fish. Along with this kit, you will receive a marking pencil and a weigh board to keep a quick record of your fish caught during the day.
The second product that the Bag-em Products Company makes is a great individualfish weigh bag that "once again" protects the fish from the damage of puncturing it when using the hook connected to your portable weigh scales. With this bag you simply put one fish in it, insert the hook from your scale into the provided holes already made into the bag (once again protecting the fish from puncture damage) and with the drain holes already provided in this unique bag it allows the water run out of the bag while weighing the fish for a accurate weight. Donít you just love companies that have "Fish Protection" in mind when it comes to the development of a product? This company also makes a very strong and durable Carry Bag (that will hold together!, not like others Iíve used in the past that have either fallen apart or torn easily) with handles to carry those big stringers to the weigh-ins. All in all, the best thing about the Bag-em Products Company is that (I am very proud to announce!) they strive to be the global leader in the preservation of sport and tournament fishing by providing conservation minded products.
How many times while outdoors fishing have you been attacked by insects? This can be a real drag right?, especially while holding a rod in one hand and trying to reel in a fish with the other hand, then by time you get to put the rod down, youíve been another victim of a insect bite. Or, how many times have you been out in the sun and got a good sunburn or even a windburn? Or, how many times have you been out fishing and get swarmed with gnats?......
I have been through all of these scenarios and then some and itís not fun! So after doing some research on products that can remedy some of these problems, I not only found a company that has every product to take care of all of these situations, but this company also makes one of the best bass fishing products Iíve seen in many years (which I will talk about in just a moment.)
The Tender Corporation is the companies name, and they make what they call a survivor pak that comes with the following items:
1. A power pen (which comes in handy when you solely depend on your flashlight batteries).....
2. Natrapel (a Nat repellent).....
3. Family Medic (a first aid cream).....
4. Benís backyard formula (a insect repellent).....
5. After Burn (a Aloe Vera base product that really soothes a burn from the sun or wind).....
6. After Bite (a stick roll on to take away the itch from a insect bite).....
7. A carry Bag (for all of these wonderful products to be carried in).....
8. Usually we save the best for last, but before I tell you about this amazing product I need to relate to you why this product is so great. How many times have you went to make a cast with your rod when it gets wet from the rain and you almost throw your rod overboard? I know that I have lost a couple of rods in my days by doing just that, and I can assuredly say that it can mess up a good day, especially if itís your favorite rod.
Now the last product you will find in this survivor pak is what the Tender Corporation calls "Dry Hands." This product is a solution you apply to your hands, rub it around and let it dry for a moment. Once youíve done this, grab the handle of a "wet rod" and try to slide your hand down it using a little pressure, "You Canít Do It!" this solution actually prevents your rods from slipping out of your hands when you get wet. A big money saver?... Iíd say so!
The Tender Corporation makes all of these products separate of course, but with the survivor pak you get it all. I carry a pak both in my vehicle as well as my boat, and let me tell you, there has been several times I was grateful the products were there when I needed them.
Once again, these are all products that I have personally been involved with and will stand behind each and every one mentioned. All I can say is that you need to at least give them all a try and Iím very confident that youíll fully agree with me when I say that these products are second to none! If you would like more information on these products or would like to purchase any of these items please Email me at [email protected] or call me at (518) 597-4240. Many of my Bass Fishing School students as well as Bass Charter clients are loyal to these products after using them. As the old saying goes; "Try it, Youíll like it!"
Until next time, Take Care & God Bless (Always!).... "The Bass Coach" Roger Lee Brown
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