Southern Open #1 Lake Toho Recap

Lineberger’s Southern Open #1 Recap

JAN201519

By Shane Lineberger: As I headed to Florida for the first stop of the 2015 Bass Pro Shops Southern Opens on Lake Toho the excitement of getting tournament season started began to build.  After a long drive to much nicer weather I began the pretournament ritual of prefishing.Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 8.50.33 PM

Upon arrival I quickly put together a pattern that I was catching some good fish on. This pattern consisted of being offshore with a rattletrap around spotty grass. Knowing that this pattern would fade I was trying to keep up with the bigger fish I had found. As we approached the starting day of the tournament the water temperature had risen approximately 10 degrees to 69 degrees and the fish were heading towards the banks in search of food and were hungry since the spawn had taken place several weeks ago. With my practice coming to a close I felt as if I had a chance for a great finish and felt comfortable with saying I could catch 12-14lbs. a day.

I followed the same game plan for both days 1 and 2 of the tournament. The first stop of each morning was a place I had found where some keeper fish were schooling.  I was throwing a Pro-blue Megabass jerkbait in this area.  I was using my Michael Murphy Signature Jerkbait Rod from Denali equipped with an Abu Garcia Revo Premier 7:1 reel and 10lb. fluorocarbon. This would give me a small limit and I would spend the rest of the day looking for fish that would upgrade my weight. I would target reeds and grass mats. I used a creature type bait in both scenarios.

While fishing the reeds I would use a Reins ½ Tungsten weight on 25lb. fluorocarbon with a creature bait on the business end. I used a Denali Jadewood Rod, medium/heavy action, equipped with an Abu Garcia Revo MGX 7.9-1 reel. While fishing the grass mats I had to upgrade the equipment a little for the thick vegetation. Again I used a Denali Jadewood rod but in extra heavy action equipped with the same reel. I also stepped up the line to 70lb. braid. Still using the creature bait I had to step my sinker up to a Reins 2oz. Tungsten weight just to penetrate the thick grass.

Overall I would finish in 62nd place. I had 8-2lbs. the first day and 11-15lbs. the second day for a total of 20-1lbs. The weather changed on day one with the air temperature dropping 20 degrees.  I still believe my decisions were the right ones for what I had found during practice. The cold front had them in a foul mood but I was still around the right fish to finish respectfully. Unfortunately the bites I needed never happened.  Looking back there is nothing I would have changed in my decision making.

Our next stop will be at the Alabama River where I will be looking for a better finish.

 

Sponsors

Skeeter Boats                                        Yamaha                                   TrueSouth Lures

Brians Bees                                             Denali Rods                          Abu Garcia

Power Poles                                           Foothills Marine                Reins

Proline Bow Strings

Rippin’ Winter Bass

JAN201504

A cold weather tip by Shane Lineberger: Do you think it is too cold to fish? As the New Year begins and the water temperature dips into the 40’s-50’s most people take a break and prepare for the upcoming season. I on the other hand hit the lake wide open in search of some of the best fishing of the year.

Fishermen have always heard how lethargic bass will become in cold water. This statement is true however presented with the right circumstances they still have to eat. The first thing you must find is bait. Finding bait is a big piece of the puzzle this time of year and helps aid in locating bass. Once the bait is found we must choose the right weapon. I always reach for a JERKBAIT! The jerkbait seems to be the right profile and its erratic action entices bass to hit that otherwise would not hit a slow moving bait. I throw the Megabass Vision 110 in sexy shad color. This setup closely mimics what the bass are eating this time of year.

Other important parts of winter time jerkbait fishing includes rod, reel and line. Starting out with line, I spool up with 10lb. Seaguar Invizx Fluorocarbon. This line is the most manageable line I have used and very strong when fighting those big fish. For my rod choice I opt for Denali Rods. The Michael Murphy Signature Jerkbait is perfect for this technique. At 6’8 this rod allows me to work the bait correctly in a downward motion. The med action of the rod also allows for proper action of the bait and has enough flex to aid in fighting the fish and helping not to pull the trebles out. I equip this Denali rod with an Abu Garcia Revo Premier 7:1 reel. This reel has excellent casting control over the Megabass jerkbait. Casting control is very critical especially on those windy days. The Revo’s drag is excellent as well. Using 10lb. line you have to make sure the drag is smooth for those hard running fish which seems to happen when they see the boat.

Lastly is the method to the madness. I use a simple cadence of “jerk”, “pause”, “jerk”, “jerk”, “pause”, “jerk”, “jerk”,” jerk, “pause”. The “pause” can vary so let the bass tell you how long to pause it.

So as the water cools don’t get stuck inside. Spend a little time honing your skills and enjoy some great fishing. Trust me, once you find the bass you will forget all about the cold!

A cold weather tip by Shane Lineberger: Do you think it is too cold to fish? As the New Year begins and the water temperature dips into the 40’s-50’s most people take a break and prepare for the upcoming season. I on the other hand hit the lake wide open in search of some of the best fishing of the year.

Fishermen have always heard how lethargic bass will become in cold water. This statement is true however presented with the right circumstances they still have to eat. The first thing you must find is bait. Finding bait is a big piece of the puzzle this time of year and helps aid in locating bass. Once the bait is found we must choose the right weapon. I always reach for a JERKBAIT! The jerkbait seems to be the right profile and its erratic action entices bass to hit that otherwise would not hit a slow moving bait. I throw the Megabass Vision 110 in sexy shad color. This setup closely mimics what the bass are eating this time of year.

Other important parts of winter time jerkbait fishing includes rod, reel and line. Starting out with line, I spool up with 10lb. Seaguar Invizx Fluorocarbon. This line is the most manageable line I have used and very strong when fighting those big fish. For my rod choice I opt for Denali Rods. The Michael Murphy Signature Jerkbait is perfect for this technique. At 6’8 this rod allows me to work the bait correctly in a downward motion. The med action of the rod also allows for proper action of the bait and has enough flex to aid in fighting the fish and helping not to pull the trebles out. I equip this Denali rod with an Abu Garcia Revo Premier 7:1 reel. This reel has excellent casting control over the Megabass jerkbait. Casting control is very critical especially on those windy days. The Revo’s drag is excellent as well. Using 10lb. line you have to make sure the drag is smooth for those hard running fish which seems to happen when they see the boat.

Lastly is the method to the madness. I use a simple cadence of “jerk”, “pause”, “jerk”, “jerk”, “pause”, “jerk”, “jerk”,” jerk, “pause”. The “pause” can vary so let the bass tell you how long to pause it.

So as the water cools don’t get stuck inside. Spend a little time honing your skills and enjoy some great fishing. Trust me, once you find the bass you will forget all about the cold!

Seaguar

Denali Rods

Abu Garcia

Megabass

STORMR Outerwear – Review

NOV201418

A Christmas List – STORMR Outerwear

 

“He’s making a list and checking it twice”, you know how the song goes, but if you don’t have this item on your list, you better check it again and make room for it! Welcome to Stormr products! Stormr products are made for foul weather activities so you can still enjoy fishing on your favorite lake or casting to the waves from the surf, hunting the buck of a lifetime, or anything else that requires you to be able to move freely as Mother Nature dishes out here best to try to keep you indoors.

There are two key items I have been testing and would like to share my results. The first item is the Fusion lightweight raingear. While fishing the B.A.S.S. opens we do not have the luxury to wait until the weather clears. I have been very fortunate to have my Fusion gear with me all year. What really makes this gear stand out is the mobility I have while wearing the Fusion. While making several hundred casts a day you cannot afford to be bound up or it could cost you half of those casts. And another strong point is if there is a pitching/flipping bite going on your cast will be uninterrupted with this gear, whereas competitors gear may strain your shoulders and backing causing sloppy casts which could scare away the winning bag of fish. Not only casting but even while driving my boat in the big waters such as  great lakes it allows me to drive comfortably on long runs which could be an hour one way. For superior protection and lightweight for when the temperature gets above 40 degrees, Fusion is what I will be packing!

The second piece of gear is the Strykr. This is the best cold weather gear I have ever tried. From chasing winter bass to stalking big bucks the Strykr system will put the odds in your favor. This series allows you to outlast the harshest weather. This is the gear I reach for when on Lake Norman in the winter fishing or chasing ducks. There is no way to be effective at anything you do if you are not comfortable, and trust me shivering is not comfortable. The Stryker series is fleece lined for warmth, has abrasion resistant material for high-use areas, and has nearly five pounds of positive buoyancy! The only thing that shivers with the Strykr series is Ol’ Man Winter because he knows he doesn’t have a chance!!

So as everyone is making their Christmas list make sure you have Stormr on yours; if not you may be forced to stay inside on those bad days when the rest of us are out enjoying what we love to do. One other thing, “He’s gonna find out who’s naughty and nice”, so be sure you’re on the right list!

 

Bassmaster Opens Pro Shane Lineberger

http://www.shanelineberger.com

To purchase Stormr Outerwear, visit:

www.sfttackle.com

http://stormrusa.com/

vtwin

FALL TOPWATER FISHING

 

 

With the fall fishing season under way, I figured it would be a good time to let you in on one of my favorite techniques, the buzzbait. I have come to rely on this bait more and more when the leaves begin to change color. Where do you start, one might ask. I am going to tell you everything you need to know to help make your fall more successful.

 

Let’s start by looking at the setup and bait. The bait I go to every time is the True South Custom Lures V-Twin buzzbait. This bait can be worked slower and gets up on top of the water super-fast. I prefer to use a shad type pattern this time of year.  When throwing the V-Twin I use a Denali N2 rod in model N2823FJ, which is a 6’10 rod. I equip my N2 with a high speed Revo reel made by Abu Garcia. The 7.1:1 gear ratio allows me to quickly adapt the retrieve to what the fish want; rather it is a slow speed or really burning it back. Lastly make sure you spool up with some quality mono line. I prefer to throw 15lb. test when fishing this way. One thing to keep in mind,  bass understand the importance of feeding up before winter and will follow the bait through the regular seasonal patterns.

 

As the leaves begin to fall grab your V-Twin buzzbait and head out to the lake. This technique can produce some of your biggest bass of the year!!

http://www.abugarcia.com/

http://www.denalirods.com/

http://www.truesouthlures.com/

 

 

 

lake norman recap pic

I had an unbelievable tournament during the 3rd stop of the Bassmaster Southern Open at Lake Norman. This was my first top 12 cut. Let me break down how things went.

 

In practice, I spent most of my time looking for clear water being the upper part of Norman was turning over. Finding clear water in this situation is a must in my opinion.

 

The baits I caught fish on in practice were a True South Lures jig, a V-Twin buzz bait, and a Brian’s Bees prop bait. They were staging around small pockets just inside many different creeks. The deeper pockets seem to be the ticket.  I found areas where I could catch a lot of fish and every so often a big one. I knew I was going to have to make a lot of casts and try to figure out a more detailed pattern as the tournament went on.

 

 

 

Tournament Days

 

 

 

On day one, I was ready to get the job done. I was boat 107 with a check-in time of 4:45. Fairly quickly, I caught five keepers; nothing big, but it settled my nerves. I caught a couple on a V- Twin buzz bait and most on a jig. The conditions set up better for the slower moving baits being sunny and calm.

 

I had a decent bag before noon, so I was feeling pretty good. I thought I had a good chance to upgrade my smaller fish with the afternoon flipping bite. Unfortunately that bite never matured for me and I weighed in 10lbs 12oz.

 

Since I was able to capitalize on a tough day one, I felt confident going into day two. I knew I needed to have consistent weight under the tough bite to make it to day 3. Day two I brought to the scales 10lbs 12oz. That put me in 12th, and I made the first top-12 cut of my career. I knew with the weather changing I had a better shot with some wind on day 3.

 

 

 

I had a good day three. I brought in another consistent bag that weighed in at 11lbs. even. I caught most of my fish on day 3 on Brian Bees prop bait in the color PBC. The wind blew and I caught several fish but I just never got the big bite that I needed to help me advance even further. I ended up with a 6th place finish for the event.

 

ST. CLAIR RECAP

shane northern open

Going up North I had one goal in mind, and that was to qualify for the Elites. I understand how fishing goes and how things don’t pan out the way we envision them sometimes. All I try to do at every tournament is to find the best fish I can and let the cards fall where they may.

 

This tournament was no different and I finally found a small school of 4 plus pound fish. Being this place is so brutal on your equipment and body, my plan was to go catch 20 pounds the first day and fish a closer spot I found on day 2.

 

We left take off on day 1 in great conditions and the run took us approximately 45minutes. Got to my spot and the fish were there! I was catching them by dragging a tube. I was on the right ones but I could not keep them buttoned up. The same ride back took us an extra 30 minutes due to rough waters. As brutal as it was my Skeeter/Yamaha brought us back safely. Day 1 resulted in 3 fish weighing in at 11.8 lbs. Again the right size just not enough of them in the boat.

 

Day 2 lead me to scrap the original plan and take the gamble with the rough waters and head back to where I knew where the big ones were.  Unfortunately I was unable to relocate the school of big smallmouth and scrambled to catch 2 small fish weighing 4.3lbs and finishing in a disappointing 127th.

 

Looking back I would not have changed anything. I did what I thought gave me the best chance at catching the fish I needed to. I fish with no regrets and can’t wait to fish the last Southern Open on Lake Norman, Oct. 2-4.