Giant Fish Story - 7 Lb 4 Oz Brook Trout!

You've been asking for the story behind this giant fish and today we're finally letting it out. This is the story of Matt's 7 lb 4 oz Brook Trout! You already know the story of the 17 lb largemouth on the left side of the desk, here is the story of the incredible fish on the right!

This fish catch took place when Matt was 10 years old. He and his family were visiting Cherry Lake in California. An average day of bank fishing took a turn toward the incredible when the big brook trout inhaled Matt's Rooster Tail spinner.

A Brook trout of this size is a catch of a lifetime for any adult, let alone a small boy. The catch itself is incredible but the chain of events it kicked off changed Matt's direction in life forever. Even at a young age, the desire to "just catch fish" vanished and was replaced for a desire to catch the biggest fish he could find.

While TacticalBassin's primary focus today is bass fishing, Matt and Tim are actually accomplished multi-species anglers. They hold a handful of non-bass world records and thoroughly enjoy chasing fish of all species.

Below is the Rooster Tail and line that Matt was using that day. We've also included an updated rod/reel combo that we would use today for this type of fishing.

Rooster Tail:

Maxima Ultragreen Line:

Modern Combo...

Rod- Zodias 6'8" Medium Light:

Reel- Nasci 1000 Spinning Reel:

Line- Sunline Sniper 4 lb:

Other Trout Lures...

Keitech 2.8 Swimbait:

Panther Martin Spinner:

Mepps Spinner:


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Lipless Crankbait Buyer's Guide - Best Baits For The Price

The Buyer's Guide series continues with a look at our top lipless crankbaits. Whether you're looking for a budget-friendly option, the perfect bait to burn over grass, or a balanced option for slow fishing the depths, we've got you covered.

With so many lipless crankbaits on the market its hard to know which baits to invest your time into. With these 6 baits you can cover every application.

Lipless crankbaits have a reputation for losing big fish at the worst times. Stock baits often deserve the bad rap but with a few simple modifications these baits have a great hookup to land ratio! Add in a dedicated rod and you have a recipe for big bass success.

Below is a breakdown of the baits we recommend as well as rod, reel, and hardware upgrades to increase your hook up to land ratio. We'll also include our confidence colors for each bait.

The baits...

-Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap:

Recommended colors: Blue Blood Shad, Ghost Minnow, Rayburn Craw Red, Silverado.

-Cotton Cordell Super Spot:

Recommended Colors: Royal Red, Foxy Shad, Foxy Momma.

-Strike King Red Eye Shad:

Recommended Colors: Ayu, Chrome Sexy Shad, Japanese Shad, Royal Red, Sexy Shad.

-Jackall TN-70:

Recommended Colors: RT Scale Minnow, Super Shad, RT Holo Bluegill, Ghost Minnow, Chartreuse Shad.

-Lucky Craft LV-500:

Recommended Colors: American Shad, Chartreuse Shad, Phantom Chartreuse Shad, Ghost Minnow.

Megabass Vibration X Jr:

Recommended Colors: GG Gill, M Sliver, Sexy French Pearl.

Hook and Split Ring Upgrades...

Owner ST-56 Treble (Size 4):

Gamakatsu EWG Treble (Size 4):

Owner Hyperwire Size 3 Split Rings:

Favorite Lipless Combo...

Rod- G Loomis IMX Pro 845 CBR:

Reel- Curado 150 DC HG:

Line- Power Pro Maxcuatro 40 lb Braid:

Leader- 15 lb Maxima Ultragreen:

Other Budget Friendly Lipless Rods...

G Loomis E6X 845 CBR:

Dobyns Fury 7' Medium Heavy Cranking:

Shimano Curado 7' Medium Crankbait:


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8 Deep Diving Crankbaits You Need To Try - Buyer's Guide

Which deep diving crankbaits work the best? Tim and Matt went through all of their favorites and picked out the top 8 baits that are worth your time this year. If these baits could tell the stories of the fish they've produced for us, you'd want to fish them all!

It was difficult to just select 8 baits, especially from such a broad category. Crankbait fishing can be so diverse and a deep diving crankbait can be used in so many applications. From dredging the depths with an oversized bait to ticking shallow rock with a mid-diver, the opportunities are endless.

In this video we are primarily covering the baits but below you'll find a breakdown that includes of some of the rods and reels we use for the technique. Also, hook selection is KEY to crankbait success so we will include those as well.

The Top Baits...

Megabass Deep X 300:

Strike King 10XD:

Strike King 6XD (Rattling):

Strike King 6XD (Silent):

Norman DD22:

River2Sea Goon:

Megabass Deep Six:

Strike King 3XD:

Spro Rock Crawler:

Baits that almost made the cut...

6th Sense Cloud 9 C25:

Azuma Z Boss 24:

Berkley Dredger 25.5:

Norman Deep Baby N:

Teckel USA Drunker:

Strike King 5XD:

Lucky Craft Classical Leader DR:

Preferred Colors Include Ghost Minnow, Sexy Shad, Chartreuse Shad, and Red Craw.

Hooks and Split Ring Upgrades...

-Oversized Crankbait Hook- Owner ST-36 Size 1/0:

-Standard Deep Diver Hook- Gamakatsu EWG Size 2:

-Finesse Crankbait Hook- Owner ST-56 Size 2:

-Hyperwire Split Rings Size 3 and 4:

Big Crankbait Combo…

Rod- Dobyns Champion 805 CB:

Reel- Shimano Curado 200K:

Line- 17 lb Sunline Assassin:

Small Crankbait Combo…

Rod- G Loomis IMX Pro Crankbait 845:

Reel- Shimano Chronarch MGL HG:

Line- 12 lb Sunline Assassin:

Other great rods from various brands...

Shimano Zodias 7'6" Medium Heavy Glass:

Daiwa Tatula XT 7' Medium:

St. Croix Big Cranker 7'8" Medium Heavy Moderate:

Cashion Elite Crankbait 7'3" Medium Heavy:


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Dropshot Fishing Tips to Catch Fish All Winter

Today we hit the water with spinning rods in hand, searching for cold water bass in Post Frontal conditions. We're out with Ross England, an excellent finesse fisherman and fishing guide. Despite the weather, we started catching fish immediately and had consistent action throughout the day.

If you're tired of struggling to catch bass in Winter, this video is for you. The drop shot isn't glamorous but its incredibly effective throughout the cold months. If you understand where to look for bass and how to work the baits, its only a matter of time before you start catching.

We used 4 different worms today and caught fish on all of them. The key was that we found bass that were grouped together. Its always easier to get bit when there is competition between fish. Whether its December with a dropshot or July with a topwater, grouped up fish compete for food.

Below is a break down of the baits, the gear, as well as Ross's contact information if you'd like to get out and do this style of fishing. Winter doesn't have to be a struggle, get out there and have some fun!

The Worms...

Berkley 4.75" Bottom Hopper Worm:

Strike King 4" Dream Shot:

Roboworm 4.5" Fat Worm:

Strike King Half Shell:

We focused on green pumpkin and purple colors for success. MMIII, Green Pumpkin, Junebug, and KVD Magic were the best producers.

Terminal Tackle...

Matt's Hook- Trokar Dropshot Size 2:

Ross's Hook- Gamakatsu Aaron Martens TGW Dropshot Size 2:

Lead Dropshot Weight 1/8 oz:

Tungsten Dropshot Weight 1/8 oz:

Matt's Combo...

Rod- Zodias 6'8" Medium Light:

Reel- Stradic CI4+ 1000:

Line- 10 lb Power Pro Braid:

Leader- Sunline Sniper 7 lb:

Ross's Combo...

Rod- Powell Endurance 7'2" Light:

Reel- Pfleuger Trion 25:

Line- 8 lb Power Pro Braid:

Leader- 8 lb Seaguar Red Label:

If you're interested in fishing with Ross or learning more about his guide service visit his website: He is an excellent guide and very knowledgable angler.


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