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  Bait Colors
Posted by BigBassJB on Monday, August 04 @ 09:34:57 MST (1063 reads) (Read More... | Score: 0)
Bass Fishing Lures Bait Colors – Do They Make A Difference?

Most of us are like a kid in a candy store when we go into one of our favorite fishing tackle locations and see the vast assortment of lures and lure colors. It doesn’t matter that we have ten or more tackle boxes full of baits that will probably never be used – we are still looking for that new bait or color that no one else may have. So with all of the colors available- which colors should you be using? Well water clarity should be a key factor in your bait selection.

With probably more than a zillion lure color combinations available today, keep in mind that many of these colors are made with the fisherman (and his pocketbook) in mind as much as they are by using basic scientific knowledge. I think all of us will admit that emotions are far stronger than logic when it comes to what a fisherman will buy.

Our first consideration is that colors we view on the surface may look very different underwater to a bass. What we perceive as color is basically light reflected from objects to our eyes.

Color is based on an associated wave length and how our eyes perceive or don’t perceive these visible tones. The photo sensory cells in a bass’ retina consist of cones (Daylight - for color vision) and rods (Night - for black, white and shades of gray vision). Water selectively filters color at various depths but this filtering process can be greatly affected by different elements or particles in the water such as tannic acid from the trees, silt and runoff.

Bass do not have eyelids so they can not blink or close their eyes. But they do have a black pigment that shades the photosensitive cells of the retina, which allows them to see well in extremely bright conditions with little discomfort. So much for the thought that bright light hurt the bass’ eyes. I also read in one of the journals that it is believed that a bass’ vision increases with age. This could very well be one of the reasons that BIG bass are so difficult to fool with artificial lures. .

So what does all of this “stuff” mean to the average fisherman? I remember being on a flight a number of years ago with Doug Hannon, a well known author, researcher and tackle designer. His comment was that the darker the water or if it’s cloudy, go with the more solid colors. When the water is clear and you have those blue-bird skies stay with those colors having some transparency such as watermelon red and motor oil.

So let’s consider the basics - Shad and minnows are silver, chrome, white and bone colored. Bream are represented by brown, purple and chartreuse. Crayfish are certainly a major food source and are usually represented by tones of red, black and brown.

Keep in mind that all of these colors can also have many different shades. The chartreuse color produced by one company may be quite different than that of another company.

Since we know the basic colors of these food sources let’s look at how the colors may change with depth in clear water.

Red is at the low end of the color spectrum and will fade to a rust color at about 10-feet and gradually goes to a darker off-green as it gets in deeper water. Orange looks pretty good at 10-feet and then at about 30-feet looks somewhat brown. Yellow has basically no change in the upper depths but then at 30-feet becomes very pale. Green does not change much until you reach below 30-feet. Blue and purples are at the high end of the color spectrum and will remain truer at deeper depths. (Bill Dance once stated that “Any color worm will catch fish – as long as it’s blue”). Black objects hold their color well as the depth of water increases.

Keep in mind that these basic color guidelines are for clear water so now you need to add the other variables such as time of day or night, weather and other factors.

Here are a few general color guidelines to consider as you select your bait:

Sunny Days – Red, Blue and Silver
Cloudy/Rainy – Dark colors like Black, Brown, Green and Chartreuse
Night – Darker colors with Black being the primary choice
Clear Water – Natural, Pumpkin, Silver, Black/Blue, Green and Translucent Dark Water – Darker colors such as Reds & June bug
Muddy/Stained Water – White, Chartreuse, Orange, Red and Brown

White imitates forage food much like silver so it can be a bass catcher over a wide range of light and water conditions. I didn’t mention blue in the above chart because it retains its color properties at most depths.

Another key item to remember is that a bass is primarily a visual hunter, especially in clear water. When something in the water moves, the motion grabs the bass’ attention and is probably interpreted by its brain as food. Since clear water allows a fish to inspect a bait more closely, and as opposed to murky water, your bait should appear as lifelike as possible.

All of us have our own favorite colors and for this part of the world it would seem that watermelon, watermelon-red or candy, green pumpkin, junebug, redbug and black/blue fill most of these needs.

But while you are trying to decide the color for the day let me leave you with one final thought. I remember reading in Buck Perry’s primer on structure fishing (Spoonplugging: Your Guide To Lunker Catches) that he felt in order of importance there were five things to consider when fishing a bait: Depth, Speed, Action, Color and Size.

Hummmmm……Perhaps the color of that bait is not as important as we think it is?????

Good Fishing – JB

Thought for the Day - Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
 

  New Baits From Stanley
Posted by BigBassJB on Tuesday, January 28 @ 13:17:30 MST (1670 reads) (Read More... | Score: 0)
Bass Fishing Lures Lonnie Stanley 

Honey Craw
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M
any years ago fishing legend and tournament pro Lonnie Stanley
introduced some of the finest fishing jigs on the market and many tournaments are still being won with these great products. Over the years the company has expanded its product line and continues to produce some of the highest quality baits on the market. 

Many of you may not know that Stanley Jigs has gone through some recent changes.  The new company name is Hale Lure LLC dba Stanley Jigs.  Robert, William and John Hale are well known in the fishing industry and John Hale serves as the CEO of the company.  Robert Hale developed the idea for their new SIDETRAC lures and was also the originator of the Hale's Craw Worm - a dynamite bait that has been a bread and butter lure for many of our top anglers.  Robert is also that fellow that dominated the tournament scene on Toledo Bend Lake during the 70's and up to the 90's.  These innovative guys have a number of new products that they will be presenting to anglers during 2014.  

I recently visited with Lonnie and we discussed a couple of brand new 2014 products that will soon be available at your local tackle dealer.  .

Sidetrac Shad The first is called the “SIDETRAC SHAD”, and it is a dandy. The soft plastic bait has the ability to “trac” either right or left depending on the hook placement. If the small appendage on the side of the head (called the “Action Maker” is to the left of the shank of the hook the bait will trac to the right. Turning the action maker to the right of the shank of the hook will cause the bait to move to the left.

This can be dynamite when you are working around a dock, near over-hanging brush or in any situation where you want to make the bait go back up in areas that big bass call home.

The SIDETRAC SHAD is not one of those baits that you just cast out and reel in. The best technique is to work the bait with a gentle “twitch and pause” to achieve the desired trac. I also found that if I held the rod tip to the left, the bait would more easily trac to the right, and likewise holding the rod tip to the right helped the bait trac to the left. What a great little bait – and one you definitely need to try in the upcoming months.

Lonnie recommends using a hook with a pin-type keeper such as the Mustad 91768KH in a 1/0. 2/0 or 3/0 size for best results. Screw-type hooks are not recommended but I did find that an offset, wide-gap worm hook worked well. I can imagine many situations where the SIDETRAC SHAD will work exceptionally well, and am also anxious to try it on a drop-shot rig.

The
SIDETRAC SHAD comes in a 4.5-inch size; however a 3.5-inch & 5.7-inch model are being developed.  Colors include Watermelon Red, Blue Gill, Wild Shiner, Hickory Shad, Gizzard Shad and Watermelon Magic. Cobra and Mud Puppy

Another addition to the Stanley arsenal is the 6-inch SIDETRAC MUD PUPPY and 10-inch SIDETRAC COBRA. Both of these baits include the “Action Maker” on the side of the head to give you that same control of the bait that you have on the SIDETRAC SHAD. The baits are ribbed and slide down easily through that thick grass and brush.

The 6-inch size looks ideal for days when the bass get “finicky” and there is not an aggressive bite, and I can’t wait to try the 10-inch Cobra in those areas where those really big bass live.

Colors include Red Bug, Watermelon Red Flake, Hickory Shad, Watermelon Candy/Red Flake, Green Pumpkin/Black Red Gold Flake, Sprayed Grass, Watermelon Seed/Red Flake, Black Neon/Blue Gill Belly and Garter Snake. Knowing the Stanley bunch there will probably be even more dazzling colors available by the time this goes to press.

I would like to mention a couple of other Stanley items because they are some of my favorites. Y-Not The Y-NOT, has been around for a bit and what a fish catcher it is when fished “wacky style” or teamed up with either one of the FlipMax Jigs or a WedgeHead jig.

The bait has a simple Y-shaped body, but believe me - there is nothing simple about this lure's design and its uncanny ability to mimic a living, breathing crawfish. It drives bass crazy! Y-Not

Small air pockets are built into the legs of the bait and they float super high in the water. Air is also trapped within the dozens of soft, flexible rings surrounding the lure's body and legs. Each time you twitch the bait tiny air bubbles are released. Bass are drawn to the “breathing” bait by the sound and sight of the air bubbles.

I like to place a rattler into the air pockets for added attraction or the chambers can be left empty to trap more air for a greater buoyancy. When the bait is hopped along the bottom the two legs stand straight up, imitating with amazing realism a defensive crawfish with pincers in the air. The bait can be pitched, cast, flipped, jig’d, used on a drop-shot rig or fished as a suspended bait. Its versatility is truly unmatched. FlipMax

The FlipMax jig has a hand-cut rubber skirt that Stanley refers to as “a crawler skirt”. When submerged, the specially-cut thick rubber strands resemble crawfish legs. When pulled through the water the “legs” flare out realistically imitating a swimming crawfish. The flat, wide rubber legs displace more water causing a greater commotion and vibration that bass can't resist!! Add the Y-Not as a trailer and you have a one-two punch that is hard to beat.

WedgeHead

LogoIf I am not using the FlipMax jig I like to couple the Y-Not with one of the Stanley Punch Jigs called the WedgeHead. This bait was designed to be punched through thick - heavy cover. It is also great for bass that are holding in deep grass or drop offs.

The WedgeHead has a swivel hook system designed for a wide variety plastics. If you want a jig that can slide easily through those thick grass mats – this is the one for sure.  Ribbit


Ribbit Double-Take Hook - As most of you know, the Ribbit is one of the most widely used baits in our area, especially in the upcoming months when the bass get shallow. Lonnie Stanley and colleague John Hale applied a great deal of common sense and logic when coming up with the idea of the Ribbit Double-Take Hook. Two hooks are always better than one, for hooking and landing big bass!

The Ribbit Double-Take Hook is specially designed to fish with Stanley Lures' Ribbit soft bait but works wonders with other frog-imitation soft lures as well. Bass tend to strike violently at the “racing” frogs that run across the top of the water, and will often miss a single hook. The Ribbit Double-Take Hook with its longer shank and two points doubles your chances of hooking up, says Bassmaster Classic veteran, Stanley.

It's longer than other hooks, allowing the tips of the two hooks to penetrate lower within the legs of the Ribbit frog. The churning legs of the frog grab the fish's attention and are often the target of the strike. The added length to the shank of the hook greatly reduces the likelihood of the fish missing the hooks. The Ribbit Double-Take Hook is definitely going to get a double take from our anglers.

Original Casting Jig Casting Jigs – These are the “bread and butter” baits that started the entire Stanley product line. The original casting and flipping jigs are the best of the basics for all jig fishermen. An all time favorite color would have to be black/blue, but others that receive a nod of approval from our area pros are the black/brown, white and watermelon seed.


**I also have some news that is hot off the press.......  Stanley will soon offer
15 new hand-tied jig skirts and 20 new hand-tied spinnerbait skirts.  They are dynamite!!!!!

Well there you are, a few of the newest baits on the market from one of the front runners of the fishing industry – Stanley Baits. As I mentioned earlier, quality is what you get when you purchase a Stanley product and having a high level of customer focus is their way of doing business. Give some of these items a try – They just may help you catch that bass of a lifetime.

Good Fishing – JB

JB For more information go to www.fishstanley.com or call 936-876-5713.
StanleySunset  Logo






















 

  Rat-L-Trap - A Class Act For 50 Years
Posted by BigBassJB on Wednesday, December 11 @ 16:58:16 MST (1683 reads) (Read More... | Score: 0)
Bass Fishing Tackle   Logo JB


           Rat-L-Trap 
 A Class Act For 50 Years


It’s been 50 years since Bill Lewis sold fishing lures from the back of his old Ford “rattletrap” station wagon and the famous Rat-L-Trap continues to be one of the best baits available for catching bass. This super-tight wiggling lure with its noisy built-in rattle chamber will often catch fish when other baits won’t even get a sniff.

Lake Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend were the testing grounds for this special bait and the “Trap” as it is often referred to was made famous on these fertile waters. At this time of the year special attention is paid to colors such as “Rayburn Red”, “Orange Crawdad”, “Bleeding Shiner” and Toledo Gold”. These are proven early springtime patterns that bass just can’t seem to resist.

I have worked with the Rat-L-Trap folks for a number of years and had the privilege of developing the Toledo Gold color. Toledo Gold It was a fun experience and I have enjoyed hearing all of the reports from anglers that have had success with this pattern.

Last year I also had the privilege of touring the Rat-L-Trap factory located in Alexandria, Louisiana. If you are in this area be sure and stop by for a quick tour of the facilities. It will blow your mind how many colors and sizes of the Rat-L-Trap are produced.

Clown Technique - The Rat-L-Trap is an exciting bait to fish and it will work really well in our upcoming months when you need to quickly explore new water. My favorite technique is to set that trolling motor switch on go and just start chunking the “Trap”. A moderate to fast retrieve will work best. This technique will allow you to cover lots of water and make a number of casts in a short amount of time. Once you catch a bass slow down and work the area thoroughly because more bass are probably present. I am always amazed at how hard a bass can hit one of these fast moving baits.


Cherry Bomb When fishing those deeper water areas I recommend casting the bait out and allowing it to fall on a semi-tight line. The strike can vary drastically from a light “tic” to almost having the rod jerked out of your hands.  Another proven technique is to burn the bait fast and then suddenly stop it and allow the bait to free-fall by a tree or other types of partially submerged brush. The falling bait probably looks like an injured baitfish and the strikes can be dramatic and heart-stopping!

***************************************************************

             So what’s new for 2014? Tournament

Tournaments – Mark your calendar because Rat-L-Trap recently announced that they will be hosting the Rat-L-Trap Open on Lake Sam Rayburn – January 19th, 2014. This “Traps” only tournament will be the kick off event for a nationwide Rat-L-Trap Tournament Tour. The five-stop tour will start off in Texas on Sam Rayburn and end this fall in Texas on Lake Fork. Along the way there will be a tournament at Lake Guntersville in Alabama, then on to the California Delta and a stop at Lake Toho in Florida.

There will be a 100% payback and both cash and prizes will go very deep. Entry fees will only be $100 per boat and a $20 big fish pot will be optional. Since 2014 will be the 50th Anniversary of Rat-L-Trap you can expect many exciting things to take place during the year.

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Baits – The freshwater series offers the 1/8-oz. “Tiny Trap”, ¼-oz. “Mini-Trap”, ½-oz. “Rat-L-Trap”, ¾-oz. “Magnum Trap”, 1-oz. “Magnum Force” and the 1 ½-oz. “Super Trap”. Each bait is made with the highest quality hardware and Mustad Triple-Grip hooks. Char/Black Glass

The “Super-Nova” (the explosion of a star) series brings an explosion of light and color together in each lure. Internal luminous inserts produce fish attracting light waves that are irristable to gamefish. Available in 13 colors. My favorite is either the Purple Tiger or Char/Black Glass.

Super-Natural series has 15 exciting colors and the “naturals” look like the real thing. My favorite is either the Blueberry Perch or Sunfish Perch. Sunfish Perch

The Stealth Trap is a new addition to the Rat-L-Trap family and should be a real winner. The bait does not have rattles but produces a ton of vibrations that are picked up on the lateral lines of the fish. This could be just the change-up you need to trigger those wary fish. Six colors are available - my favorite is the Chrome Blue/Back. Stealth

Knock-N Trap is another new player to the field. The bait produces a low-frequency knocking pitch that really drives fish wild. I predict that this bait will be a knock-out for all of you tournament fishermen. Six colors are available - my favorite for some reason is the Toledo Gold.

Zombie Shad series offers nine attractive colors that look really great. My favorite is the Lake Fork Zombie. Liv-N-Image series offers six colors and it is hard to tell the bait from the real thing. My favorite is the Liv-N-Chrome.

Chrome-Blue The Chrome series is bread and butter for many fishermen. There are few anglers that don’t have a Chrome Blue Back, Chrome Black Back or the Bleeding Shiner Chrome pattern in their tacklebox. There are 14 colors offered and my favorite in the new colors has to be the Sexy Chrome.

If you like gold colors check out the Gold series which offers six color patterns with my favorite being the Gold Tennessee Shad. Stained water and chartreuse go together like red beans and rice.

The Chartreuse series offers six colors with my favorite being the Chartreuse Black Back.

If you like a crawfish pattern then check out the Classic Crawfish (my favorite is the Red Dog Red), the Crawfish series and the Liv-N-Sound. As you continue to scan through the rainbow of color patterns offered by the Naturals, Holographic Scales, Halo, Reaction Solids, Spark-L-Trap, Letric Shad, Shad/Shiner, Bleeding Shad and Bleeding Craw you will be truly dazzled.

And that’s not all – there is still the System 10, HD Trap, Floating Trap, Slap Stik, Pro Trap, Vibra-Trap and Spin Trap series available. And did I mention that Rat-L-Trap also offers a service where they will build a “Trap” with your specific color specifications or even put your company logo on the bait? WOW! D.E.R.



If you are a Saltwater angler you will love the 2014 line-up of baits. This series includes the ½-oz model Rat-L-Trap, ¾-oz. Magnum Trap, 1-oz. Magnum Force, 1 ½-oz. Super Trap and the brute of the class – a 3 ½-oz Bluewater Trap.
Blue Shiner The Magnum Force, Super Trap and the Bluewater Trap are equipped with 350 lb. wire-through harness, heavy duty split rings and extra strong hooks. Be sure to check out the special colors such as the Electric Chicken, Pink Transparent, Cocahoe Minnow and Mackerel.

Well there you are a quick look at some of the exciting new products offered for 2014. To see all of the new and brilliant color patterns go to www.rat-l-trap.com.

From all of us fishermen I would like to say “Congratulations Rat-L-Trap”. Not only for your fifty year celebration but for also producing what has to be one of the best fishing baits in the world. JB
Honey Craw Candy Craw
 

  Confident Angler
Posted by BigBassJB on Wednesday, July 24 @ 09:15:25 MST (1733 reads) (Read More... | Score: 0)
General Bass Fishing Articles & Stories How Confident A Fisherman Are You? Harold Allen Glen Freeman

To many anglers bass fishing is like rolling the dice and hoping that you don’t get snake-eyes. Even local pros and great fishermen like Tommy Martin and Harold Allen have days that regardless of all that sophistated equipment – the bass still wins. No matter how much knowledge you gain or how many days you are on the water, there are just some days when the bass get “lock-jaw” and refuse to cooperate. 

Many things can go wrong during a fishing trip. Perhaps the day starts off with miserable weather. Maybe you are worried about those job lay-offs or that amount of time that your youngster is spending on the cell phone. Perhaps it’s the ups and downs of the stock market or even that funny noise you heard this morning from your towing vehicle. There are a variety of other worrisome things that can take place to make it difficult to fully enjoy your day on the water. However, if you don’t enjoy the trip simply because the fish don’t cooperate, then you are not really an angler in the truest sense of the word. 

The amount of enjoyment to get from bass fishing depends largely on your attitude towards fishing and your confidence. In many cases when the fishing gets tough an angler will just fold up and lose their confidence. I have a number of guide friends that deal with this on a daily basis. The clients arrive all enthused and ready to set the world on fire. The fishing gets slow and out the window goes all of that early enthusiasm and confidence. I assure you that all of the guides I know want you to have a great day on the water and catch fish. 

But hiring a guide guarantees nothing except that the guide will do his best to find fish. Tommy Martin Jim Binns Most of the pros are confident anglers and even when the day is tough they know that there will be another day on the water to validate their skills. These guys are pros because they have learned to succeed at bass fishing by learning from earlier failures. A bad day on the water can teach as many lessons (or more) as a good one. 

So how do we go about being a confident fisherman? Well here are a few comments that might help. 

A confident angler is not always trying to impress others simply to pad their egos or get public admiration. And you don’t become confident anglers without paying your dues. Most confident anglers study their sport and spend hours on the water. They experience many disappointments before they are proficient at this sport.  I have used the statement many times that “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find the princess.” How true this is in bass fishing. 

Confident fishermen have a truly deep understanding of the fish they are after. They study their seasonal feeding habits and the types of lures that are best for attracting them. I have been told that most anglers are “hard-headed”, but I know that confident anglers are also very versatile and willing to experiment with various presentations. 

The confident fisherman also needs to understand that weather plays a major role in what kind of fishing day he may have. They learn how different weather conditions affect the bass and why. They learn more about temperature changes, seasonal fronts, water depths and the wind because these are all important factors in deciding a feeding pattern. 

A confident fisherman understands structure because this determines where the bass live at different times of the year. Bass need food so the confident fisherman learns where the forage fish are because he knows that the bass won’t be far away. 

The confident fisherman spends a great deal of time assuring that all of his fishing equipment is in good working order. Nothing is more frustrating than to go to the lake and have a run down battery, a fishing reel that messes up or old fishing line that breaks as you set the hook on your first fish. Everything needs to be in perfect working order so you can concentrate on a great day of fishing. 

A confident fisherman spends time learning his electronics and proper boat control. Being able to follow a contour and make precise casts to hidden spots can be critical. For these guys the boat always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Under tough fishing conditions a confident angler will bare down, but he is never in a panic mode. He may have a bad day today, but has the confidence to know that his skills and persistence will pay off tomorrow. And he knows that he will never stop learning. 

Fishing is an exciting adventure filled with many wonderful experiences as you make the journey. A confident fisherman knows that the fishing is always going to be unpredictable, but will be mentally prepared for both the good days and the bad. A fellow fisherman much wiser than me once made a statement that I will never forget. “Bass fishing is a big ol’ puzzle and your job is to fit the puzzle pieces together. If one piece doesn’t fit you try another. If that piece doesn’t fit you try another. You do this until you find the right combination, and this is how you build your confidence.”            

Good Fishing -- JB
 

  Mustad
Posted by BigBassJB on Tuesday, April 30 @ 07:12:33 MST (1831 reads) (Read More... | 11453 bytes more | Score: 0)
Bass Fishing Tackle JB Mustad A Leader In The Industry

Odds are as you look through your tacklebox, you will find that many of the fish hooks you are using were made by Mustad. This fine company has been in business for more than 125 years and is the world’s largest manufacturer of quality fish hooks.

As you look back at the history of fishing hooks, it’s almost certain that early man used hooks made of wood and bone as he struggled to survive. Over time many other materials such as shell, horns and even claws were probably used to fashion these early hooks. But one thing was important for any of these hooks and that was their ability to catch fish. This is where the Mustad story begins.

Mustad began in a small town in Norway in 1832 where a farmer by the name of Hans Skikkelstad established a company that produced regular nails, horseshoe nails and other metal products. My how the company has changed since that early and quaint beginning. Mustad now has a worldwide operation with thousands of fishhook patterns in their sales program. Mustad also produces fully automatic systems for commercial long-lining – the Mustad Autoline and Miniline Systems.

It’s hard to imagine but in the early days each fishhook had to be manufactured by hand, one by one. But then a young inventor by the name of Mathias Topp joined Mustad and invented the first automatic fishhook machine. Steel wire was fed in at one end and hooks came out at the other. Many of the machines used today are very similar in concept to this original model.

Mustad trained its own workers and developed its own marketing methods – something unheard of in Norway at the time. And many of today’s employees can trace their employment with Mustad back over several generations.

Mustad recognized early that good marketing and quickly adjusting to change were requirements for growth. Knowing the needs of fishermen throughout the world and being able to satisfy that need quickly and effectively plays a major part in Mustad’s success.

The Mustad story is rich in history and tradition. In 1950 Mustad bought out a competitor and established a subsidiary in Auburn, New York. This strengthened the company’s position and gained it a larger market share. By 1970 Mustad had established a regional centre and fish hook factory in Singapore where they produced a range of products for sport fishing.

A Mustad company located in the Philippines followed by one in Brazil made it possible to further expand its product line. In 2001 Mustad decided to build a large fish hook factory in Wuxi, China. The plant was expanded twice and the last expansion was completed in 2008-09. The Singapore factory was closed down in 2007 and at this time all fish hook production was transferred to China.

In 2004 the Mustad company was divided in three separate companies — O. Mustad & Sön (fish hooks world-wide), Mustad Longline (Mustad Autoline world-wide) and Mustad Real Estate (managing and developing all Mustad properties in Gjövik, Norway). In December 2011, O. Mustad & Sön AS was sold out of the Mustad family. The present owner is the Norwegian company NLI Utvikling A.S. who changed its name in October 2012 to Ard.

Today Mustad is the best selling hook-brand on the planet and has a presence in more than 160 countries. If there is a need for a large shark hook or a tiny fly hook, Mustad meets that need. Currently, Mustad manufactures more than 10,000 different hook patterns to meet a vast number of fishing requirements.

As I mentioned earlier, the most important thing about a fish hook is its ability to catch fish, and this is of course also the most important thing for Mustad when designing and developing a hook pattern. Fish Hook There is much technology involved when producing that little fish hook that we use and take for granted. Items to consider include, should the … (1) point be straight or bent in, (2) the throat be deep or shallow, (3) the shank be long or short, (4) the eye be straight, bent up or bent down, (5) the wire be thin or heavy. These items form the guidelines as to particular properties of an individual hook pattern and how suitable it is for a specific type of fishing

As a bass fisherman I am always interested in improving my fishing so I visited with Mustad Field Staffer Greg Batey to see “what’s new” in today’s market.

Greg Batey “Mustad has added three new treble hooks to the UltraPoint line that fit a broad range of fishing needs,” stated Batey. “These new hooks are part of Mustad’s Elite Series of Treble Hooks, and were developed by Mustad Pro-Staffers, including Denny Brauer and Kevin VanDam. I think fishermen will especially like the KVD Elite Triple Grip® treble design because of its hooking and holding ability. The Ultra NP Round Bend trebles also offer a great design for all-purpose applications.”

KVD Elite Triple Grip Trebles KVD Elite Triple Grip Trebles - available with a red finish Opti-Angle Needle Point, chemically sharpened, Nor-Tempered, two extra short shank, extra strong, special wide bend, ringed, red finish. Available in sizes 1/0 through 8. Ultra NP Trebles


Ultra NP Trebles - available with a red finish. Opt-Angle Needle Point, chemically sharpened, Nor-Tempered, standard shank length, round bend, ringed, red finish. Available in sizes 2 through 8. Opti-Angle Needle Point


Opti-Angle Needle Point - chemically sharpened, Nor-Tempered, standard shank length, extra strong, round bend, ringed, black nickel finish. Available in sizes 3/0 through 8.

Like all UltraPoint hooks, they feature Mustad’s 4.3 Micro Sharp Point Technology for a sleek, slimmer, incredibly sharp point. This unique, two-stage Opti-Angle point has less metal removed in the sharpening process than with traditional methods, providing all the benefits of a true needle point with incredible strength and durability.

For many years I have been a big fan of the Mustad “Mega Bite” worm hook for bass fishing in our area lakes such as Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend. The offset shank, extra-wide gap and stoutness of the hook gives me a great deal of confidence when I am looking for those BIG bass in heavy cover. 

KVD GRIP-PIN  BIG MOUTH
One of the hooks I recently tried with Batey was the “KVD GRIP-PIN – BIG MOUTH” model that has a 90-degree offset and a pin that securely anchors plastics in place. We used this when fishing the Carolina and Texas-rig with much success.

The integrated welded pin at the top of the hook shank securely anchors the soft plastic bait so it doesn’t slip, slide or tear. The hook also has an extra wide gap that makes it easy to get a good hook-set even when you are using those bulkier soft plastic baits. The hook eye & point are in-line, which transfers power directly to the point for a solid hook set.

And what I really liked was Mustad’s extra strong wire so you get minimal flex, even when using heavy braided line. The exclusive tempering process used to produce the hook makes it up to 30% stronger than conventional tempering methods. When using the 4.3 Microsharp Point Technology the point length is engineered to be 4.3 times the wire diameter of the hook, which is the optimum ratio for maximum sharpness and strength. The UltraPoint hooks are advertised to be 20% sharper and designed to stay sharper longer. GRIP-PIN - MAX

Another new item for my tacklebox is certainly the “GRIP-PIN - MAX” straight-shank, wide-bite hook that was developed and designed by Elite angler Denny Brauer for fishing plastics in heavy cover.

This is a brute of a hook and also offers the new MicroSharp 4.3 Point/Technology that will keep the point of the hook razor sharp longer. If you flip the cover for big bass this is definitely a hook you need to try. The hook eye is completely sealed for 100% confidence when fishing braid lines, especially when snelling. Well there you are, a bit of history and a look at a few of the new products from one of the leaders of our industry – Mustad.

My thanks to this fine company for their commitment to giving us anglers such quality products. And thanks to Greg Batey for giving me a few samples of these new products to try.

Fishers Of Men                          Good Fishing -- JB
 
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