How to Tune a Crankbait

Its so frustrating to reach in to your box, choose a crankbait, make that perfect cast, and find out the bait won't run straight. In some cases the bait may even spiral back toward the surface. Luckily, there is a really simple solution to this problem!

All you need is a pair of needle nose pliers. For us boaters, Tackle Warehouse offers quite a few pairs of stainless steel and aluminum pliers to avoid rust.  If your bait is tracking to the right, slightly bend the metal anchor in the bill to the left. If its tracking left, gently bend right. Keep in mind that its very easy to over-bend and create an even more significant pull in the other direction, so make very small adjustments at first.

Lastly, don't forget that you can intentionally cause the bait to run sideways. Let's say you're fishing a rip rap bank that extends for a few hundred yards. Instead of having a bait that tracks parallel to the wall, a simple adjustment can make the bait track toward the rocks, causing the bait to deflect and draw more fish as it bounces along the wall.

We hope these tips helps! Stay tuned for next week and until then, good luck out there!

Backlash Tricks

There's nothing worse than fishing in the wind, trying to hold position on a spot, picking away at a backlash that just won't budge! Some of us face this more frequently than others but the reality is, we all get backlashes. Over the years we've picked up a few tricks to speed up the process.

If you're not using these two quick tricks when you get a birds nest, you're wasting a ton of valuable fishing time!

Both of these methods work best with monofilament or fluorocarbon. (In case you're wondering both Tim and Matt use Seaguar AbrazX when fishing Fluorocarbon) They'll work with braid as well but you'll need them less often.

While both tricks are simple in execution, they're difficult to explain without demonstration. The first involves thumbing the spool and reeling over the backlash then backing the line out slowly to loosen the trapped lines from within. The second method is to back the drag off and remove excess loops instead of pulling 5, 10, or even 15 extra feet of line off the spool to get that last loose loop or two off the spool. Please watch the video to fully understand how both methods are used.


Launching a Boat By Yourself

Like many fishing guides around the country I spend most of my mornings pulling up to an empty parking lot and launching my boat without any help, long before the sun rises. Without any other anglers around or bright lighting to help, its important I get it right the first time.

I regularly bump into other anglers struggling to get their boats in and out of the water without the help of a partner. This sparked an idea for Tim and I to show you exactly what it looks like to launch the boat alone. Its really a simple process and with a little practice can become second nature. Having no partner shouldn't keep you from going to the lake and having a great time!

The next time you're at an empty launch ramp take a few minutes to practice launching solo. Before long you'll be catching fish whether your partner is available or not. Good luck out there!

Note: For those of you launching solo in areas without docks or improved ramps, check out the Z-Launch system to simplify the process.

Summer Bank Fishing Tips

So much of today's bass fishing is about flashy boats and fast driving that its easy to forget where we all came from. Most of us started out walking the shoreline and slowly graduated to rafts, float tubes, or tin boats before buying our first beat up bass boat. Its a progression that takes years.

This week's video is dedicated to the masses of anglers that are either starting the progression or that fish small waters and have no desire to own a bass boat. Tim breaks down how he approaches a lake from shore during the summer. The day doesn't go exactly according to plan but that's the reality of bank fishing. I think there is a lot that can be gleaned from watching his day unfold.

Tim's top 5 baits for Summer Bass Fishing from the Bank are as follows:

1) Topwater Frog: Tim uses the frog to catch bass in heavy cover. The particular bait in this video is the Bully Wa 2.

2) Buzzbait: Tim uses the buzzbait to quickly cover water. There are a lot of great baits out there but the particular bait in the video is a D&M Slow Roller. When the grass gets thin he switches to a Whopper Plopper.

3) Texas Rigged Worm: The big worm gives a great slow presentation that will catch bass of all sizes. Tim recommends the Zoom Ol' Monster or the Hag's Tornado with a 3/8 oz tungsten weight.

4) Texas Rigged Senko: The Senko needs no explanation. It falls slowly and bass love it! You can fish it virtually anywhere and it catches bass of all sizes.

5) Pitchin' Jig: Tim uses the 3/4 oz Pitchin' jig by Dirty Jigs to catch the biggest bass in the pond. It works best on a hard bottom but can also be flipped into this cover for big bites.

Fire on the Mountain

Well, as much as we'd love to bring you a fresh, new post this week, some more important activities have been taking place around here. As most of you know, Tim lives on the shores of Clearlake and Matt is a guide on the lake. This week, the mountains near Clearlake caught fire.

The "Rocky Fire" has been explosive since it took off a few short days ago, now encompassing 67,000 acres! Let me begin by saying we're safe and not at any risk of direct impact from the fire, so please don't worry about us. We've continued doing our jobs and living life, but fishing is the last thing on either of our minds.

While we've been blessed with safety, others are not so fortunate.  Its burned 24 homes, more than 6900 others are threatened, and it shows no signs of slowing!

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and communities being impacted by the blaze! Whatever you believe and wherever you are, we ask the Tacticalbassin community to pray for those being impacted by this brutal fire! This too shall pass but its leaving destruction in its wake and we can't help but hurt for those that are losing everything.

We'll keep you posted of any drastic changes and will be back to our normal content shortly. For now, the safety of friends and neighbors trumps the need for bass fishing content. Be safe and we'll see you soon! 

King Sling: A Loop Knot Every Angler Should Know

This week we break down how to tie the "King Sling", a simple knot that every angler should know. Its quick, its easy, and it can save you from the headaches of split rings and snaps on your hardbaits.

Personally, I use it in place of a snap on all of my big swimbaits so that I know I've got a positive connection that allows the bait to move freely without the risk of opening and failing. Topwater is another prime time to use a loop knot.

When tying to a "walk the dog" style bait with a traditional knot like a palomar you create a very rigid connection that limits the bait's ability to move freely. Tying a loop allows you to create a strong connection without limiting the bait's ability to move.

There are many loop knots out there but the King Sling is our personal favorite. Its quick and easy to tie and has been a work horse for us for many years. We hope it helps you this summer, good luck out there!