June Pro picks at Tackle warehouse

Brandon Palaniuk’s June Lure Selection

Fishing in June can be challenging, but also very rewarding. Elite Series pro Brandon Palaniuk says the bass are doing one of two things: bunching up and relating to bait in deep water, or cruising the shallows in a postspawn funk if they’re still on the banks. In tackling this month, Palaniuk looks for bait if he’s fishing deep, or cover that offers shade if he’s shallow. “Finding the bait is key this month,” he says. “If you find it, you’ll likely find a bunch of bass. You need to cover a lot of water, too.”


Berkley Power Worm:

Palaniuk likes a 10-inch model in either red bug, green pumpkin or blue fleck when targeting deep bass. “Once you’ve located fish, this worm will catch the biggest ones in the school,” he says. “Those big females are deep and getting their feed on.” He targets weedlines, shellbeds, ledges and other areas where bass are ganged up. “I can fish it in a foot of water down to 50 feet if I want. I just change the weight,” he says.

Rapala DT-14:

Palaniuk will often start his day with a crankbait because it’s most efficient at covering water. “It was a toss-up between this and the worm for No. 1. I like this to cover a lot of water, and I throw it in the same places I throw the worm, typically that 12- to 16-foot range. Plus, when I find a school it’ll fire them up, and you can catch a bunch in a hurry.” He prefers the line of Ike’s Custom Ink colors, saying their faded hues look more natural in the water.

Snag Proof Ish’s Phat Frog:

If the offshore bite is nonexistent or not hot, Palaniuk focuses on shallow fish, most of which will be hanging under or around cover. “I like to skip a frog under overhanging trees or docks or work it across grass mats,” he says. “All of these places offer bass shade and food.” More often than not, these are postspawn fish that haven’t come off the bank yet. Palaniuk uses either a black or a white frog. “You can catch big ones this way.”

Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper:

This finesse worm pulls double duty for Palaniuk. He’ll put a green pumpkin model on a shaky head when fishing shallow for bass, or he’ll thread it on a drop shot when targeting finicky offshore fish. “You can also skip it under docks weightless and that super slow fall makes for an easy meal,” he says.


What Brandon Palaniuk Throws In June June 2012 Bassmaster (DavidHunter Jones pg. 24)

Berkley Power Worm 10″
Rapala DT Series Crankbait
Rapala Ikes Custom Ink DT Series Crankbaits
Snag Proof Ish’s Phat Frog
Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper 6.25″ 12pk

ledge fishing tips and tackle

Summer Ledge Fishing With Elite Series Pros

Ledges are open water reservoir structures targeted by Bassmaster Elite Series pros, particularly during the summer tournaments. These offshore structures often hold large numbers of lunker bass that can be caught with a variety of lures and presentations. Use these pro tips when probing ledges on your home waters.


Locating Ledges:

“A ledge is basically the old river bank in a reservoir,” says Elite Series pro Pete Ponds, of Mississippi. “If you look at a topo map of the lake, you’ll see the river channel and major tributary channels snaking throughout the system. The shallower areas immediately adjacent to these channels are ledges, and they’re major holding and feeding stations for bass.”

“The defining feature of a ledge is its rapid descent into deep water,” Ponds notes. “Many of the ledges we fish in competition are around 14 to 22 feet deep on top and drop off quickly to 60 feet or more when they hit the channel. Bass, often big schools of them, will move on and off these structures throughout the day, and if your timing is right, you can often load the boat quickly.” Ponds and other B.A.S.S. pros use sophisticated electronic units with side scan technology to pinpoint ledges. “But even a $99 graph will clearly show these structures,” he says. “They’re relatively easy to find – just idle your boat out away from the bank toward open water while watching your graph. When you see the bottom drop rapidly into a deep channel, you’ve found the edge of a ledge. Idle along that edge and drop several marker buoys near the dropoff as you follow the structure; the markers will to give you a visual casting target.”

“Ledges are often large structures, and bass aren’t everywhere on them,” says KVD. “They’ll stack up in key places along ledges that we call sweet spots. These might include isolated pieces of cover, like a big stump, a sunken tree or a rockpile, or some structural irregularity in the ledge, such as where it makes a sharp bend or indentation. Finding these sweet spots is what ledge fishing is really all about, because bass often gravitate to them from a wide area and in large numbers. If you can pinpoint these key places and figure out how to fish them correctly, you’ll have some of the most memorable bass fishing moments of your life, whether you’re casting for cash or fishing for fun.”

Lure Selection & Presentation:

Elite Series pros use several lures and presentations when probing ledges, including the following:

Deep-diving crankbaits: “Big diving plugs like Strike Kings’s 6XD are my No. 1 ledge lures during summer tournaments,” says Elite Series pro Kevin VanDam, of Michigan. “I usually fish them on a 7-foot medium action cranking rod with a 5.3 baitcasting reel and 14-pound fluorocarbon line.” VanDam positions his boat in deeper water, makes a long cast onto the ledge, then grinds the crankbait along the bottom of the structure, trying to “crash the lure” into bass-holding cover to provoke a reaction strike.

Football jigs: “These are big fish baits that are perfect for ledge fishing in hot or cold weather,” swears Mississippian and Elite Series pro Cliff Pace. “I’ll use either a 1/2- or 3/4-ounce V&M Living Image Football Jig with a craw trailer, depending on the depth of the ledge I’m fishing. I’ll make a long cast past my target, let the jig hit bottom, hold my rod at a 45 degree angle and use my reel handle to crawl it slowly along the bottom, like a live crawfish.”

Big worms: “In hot weather, a big (10- to 12-inch) plastic worm, like my signature Yum Big Show Paddle Worm, either Texas or Carolina rigged, is an awesome ledge lure,” says Floridian and Elite Series pro Terry Scroggins. “Cast it past fish-holding cover or structural irregularities and bump it slowly along the bottom. Worms are slower to fish than crankbaits but often work better when the bite is less active.”

Flutter spoons: “These metal spoons are big – often 5 inches long – and displace a lot of water, so they flutter to the bottom erratically, like a dying shad,” claims Elite Series pro Kelly Jordon. “I really like ’em on ledges because they’ll catch the bigger, lazier bass that are often holding under a school of smaller fish and are used to preying on injured baitfish.” The Texas pro fishes spoons on heavy baitcasting gear. “Cast to your target, let the spoon flutter down, then stroke it off the bottom with a sharp, upward sweep on your rod. As the spoon falls back down, lower your rod while reeling up slack line, then stroke it again. Most strikes occur as the spoon flutters back to the bottom, so watch your line and set the hook hard if you see it move.”


Pro Ledge Fishing Tactics June 2012 Bassmaster (Don Wirth pg. 68 – 69)

Strike King Pro Model 6XD Crankbaits
Strike King Pro Model 6XD Silent Crankbaits
Quantum Tour KVD Cranking Casting Rods
Quantum Tour KVD Cranking Classic Casting Reels
V & M Living Image Football Jig
V & M Mudbug Trailer
Zoom Ol’ Monster 9pk 10.5″
Nichols Lake Fork Flutter Spoons
Strike King Sexy Spoon
Talon Custom Lures Lake Fork Flutter Spoons

Frog fishing tips

Froggin’ With Dean Rojas

Elite Series angler Dean Rojas has spent more time on the water throwing a frog than just about anybody. His experiences have taught him to frog when and where other anglers would never consider it. The story of how Dean Rojas has forever changed topwater frog fishing has been told many times since he introduced his first Bronzeye frog for Spro at the 2005 ICAST fishing tackle show.



“Basically, I throw a frog into places where I can’t even see if there’s water there,” the Arizona pro says matter-of-factly. “I try to get the frog into the hardest, darkest places I can find, because that’s where bass don’t see many lures. They’re more relaxed, more apt to come after the frog. “The lure has no limitations. You can fish it anywhere. You can keep a frog on the surface and in the strike zone indefinitely and literally tease a bass into grabbing it. That’s what I do.”

“When I’m fishing the frog, I want to put as many of the percentages of hooking and landing a bass in my favor as possible,” he emphasizes, “but at the same time I want to give the bass as many advantages as possible to get the frog. That’s why I don’t fish the big milfoil mats, the very places where frog fishing was born, because it’s too inefficient. The same is true with lily pads. I want the bass to have a clear view of my frog and an unobstructed path to it. Milfoil and pads have too many obstacles in the way.


“Most fishermen retrieve a frog too fast,” he says. “When I’m fishing around heavy cover, I believe a slower presentation allows bass more time to detect the lure and strike. This could be part of the reason fishermen who skitter their frogs quickly across the top of milfoil beds miss so many strikes. I like to stop my retrieve, too, especially when I think I am in a strike zone. I always try to visualize exactly where a bass is located and where the strike is going to come from so I can adjust my retrieve accordingly. “I like a walking retrieve because it’s slower and keeps the lure in the strike zone longer, but when I do fish through thin, scattered surface vegetation, I may use a stop-and-go chugging presentation, especially if the bass are aggressive. When I’m fishing choppy water and need more commotion, I’ll try a chugging presentation, too, but I can always change back to a walking retrieve if chugging isn’t working.”

Dean’s Frogging Gear:

The rod he designed, a 7-foot medium-heavy action with a 10-inch fast tip and a broomstick butt, is what allows him to work the frog this way; that tip is all he shakes, not the entire rod. The rest of the rod is used for hook setting and controlling the fish. His frog line, Sunline FX-2 Braid, is 80-pound test but has the same diameter as 65-pound braid, and it doesn’t break. When he gets hit, the rod absorbs his hook set and, because of the braid, Rojas has the fish coming toward him instantly. There’s no drag on his Quantum Smoke Burner 7.0:1 reel because Rojas has locked it down. He doesn’t play a bass at all; he swings it into the boat as quickly as possible, using the fish’s own forward momentum.


Why Dean Rojas Is A Better Frog Fisherman Than You June 2012 Bassmaster (Steve Price pg. 42-46)

Spro Bronzeye Baby Popper Frog
Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye Frog 65
Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye Frog Jr. 60
Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye King Daddy
Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog

Summer bass and bridges

how to Texas rig a Berkley Havoc Devil Spear

Abu Garcia® pro Mike Iaconelli speaks about his favorite ways to Texas rig a Berkley® Havoc™ Devil Spear™.

Looking for Big Summer Bass? Try Deep-Diving Crankbaits.

For Kelly Jordon, the hot months of summer have come to mean only one thing, that it’s time to fish deep-diving crankbaits, not only for numbers of bass but also for big bass,as well. The veteran Yamaha Pro has caught more bass in the nine to 12-pound range with big crankbaits than he can count, and had plenty of days where the lures have produced 50 or more fish in the four to six-pound class.

“Deep cranking, typically in the 10 to 20-foot depth range, is absolutely at its best during the heat of the summer because fish tend to gather in large schools close to baitfish, and a crankbait imitates that baitfish better than any other lure,” notes Jordon, a multiple tournament winner in Bassmaster® Elite competition and former Lake Fork guide.

“The deep-cranking season generally begins in mid to late May and continues through August, and it works on lakes everywhere, so there are ample opportunities to enjoy the technique.”
During the summer, continues the Yamaha Pro, bass often gather on the ends of deep points; on top of humps, ridges, and other high spots; over submerged roadbeds; and along channel bends. Jordon’s favorite place to look for these schools is off the ends of main lake points. Even though the bass themselves may be relatively shallow, deep water will usually be nearby.

“Very often you can see the bass on your electronics as you idle over the end of a point, or you might see the baitfish,” he continues, “and sometimes you may need to look at a particular place several times during the day. Schools of bass will use the very same places year after year, but because the bait- fish move, they may not be on a certain point the entire day, and sometimes they may not even arrive until later in the afternoon.

“The presence of baitfish is important, and the more you see on your electronics, the more you can be assured that bass aren’t far away.”

Several manufacturers produce crankbaits that will dive into the 18 to 20-foot range, and these are the ones Jordon recommends using. Using a light fluorocarbon line, such as 10-pound test, will help a crankbait not only dive deeper but also faster and with more action, and he also suggests using a casting rod with a very soft action that allows for longer casts so the lure stays in the strike zone longer.

“The most common way to fish a point is to keep your boat in deeper water and cast shallow so your retrieve brings the crankbait down the slope of the point,” adds the Yamaha Pro, “but this certainly isn’t the only way to fish. You may have better results actually casting completely across the point so your lure comes up, across the top, and then down the other side. Just make a long cast, hold your rod tip down, and start reeling steadily.

“You may have to try several different angles until you find one that produces the best. A crankbait will always be more effective if it’s digging into the bottom during your retrieve, so that means you’re probably going to lose a few on stumps and snags, but you’re also going to catch more bass.”

On Lake Fork, Jordon has experienced many days during which he and a client boated as many as 75 bass in the four to six-pound range in a single afternoon from the same point. Included among them were usually several in the nine to 12-pound range.

“One day I had a fisherman who had never experienced this type of fishing before, and he was just amazed at the number of big bass we were catching. Then he hooked one he brought all the way to boat before it jumped and threw the crank- bait. I saw the bass clearly and I’m sure it probably weighed at least 14 pounds, one of the biggest bass I’ve ever seen.

“It lay on the water right beside the Yamaha outboard for a second and I almost got it with the net before it dived out of reach, but that’s just a clear example of how effective a deep-diving crankbait can be during the summer.”

TackleTour Video – Pro Angler Bub Tosh goes Punching with the new iRod

Pro Angler Bub Tosh talks about the new iRod and what to look for in a punching rod. Bub demonstrates punching for bass in thick vegitation.

BPS Bass in the Grass Tips on Fishing Aquatic Vegetation (Kevin Van Dam)

BPS Bass in the Grass Tips on Fishing Aquatic Vegetation (Kevin Van Dam)

Swimming Bass Jigs with Kevin VanDam – Bass pro shop

Swimming Bass Jigs with Kevin VanDam

Skeet Reese Fishing Videos

Skeet Reese Videos


Drop Shotting


LV-500 Lucky Craft Video


Skeet Rippin


Pointer 78


Lucky Craft Pointer 100


Pointer 128

Flippin Big Baits

Post Spawn Plastics

Clear Lake Jigs

SKT mini MR/DR Lucky Craft