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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Suspending Jerkbait Comparison

This past week I compared five different suspending jerkbaits. These five were the Smithwick Rogue Limited Edition, Strike King S, Lucky Craft Stacey King JGK100, Lucky Craft Pointer Sp, and the Rapala X-Rap. They were all tested with the same setup, which was a Pflueger President spinning reel, a 6'6" Bass Pro rod, 10 lb Berkley Big Game line and 65 F water. Please keep in mind this is not a scientific, by the book, completely accurate experiment, but it is my own experience with these lures.
Also, I want to make it clear that I am not sponsored by nor endorse any of the products mentioned in this article.

Casting Distance:

The Lucky Craft Pointer Sp, Strike King S, and Smithwick Rogue Limited all casted about the same distance. The difference was negligible.
The Lucky Craft SK JGK100 casted the farthest. In fact, I could launch it a good 50 -75% farther than the first three.
The Rapala X-Rap casted the shortest.

None of these lures were completely suspended, staying in one spot as long as I wanted it to. The closest to doing this was the Rapala X-Rap. It did eventually rise, but very slowly.
The worst suspender was the Lucky Craft SK JGK100. It rose fairly quickly to the surface.
The Smithwick Rogue Limited and Lucky Craft Pointer Sp were the second best suspenders behind the X-Rap. They did rise, but very slowly.
Surprisingly, the Strike King S suspended for a couple seconds, then sunk very slowly.


The Rapala X-Rap had a very predictable action. Each time I twitched it produced almost identical movement.
The Lucky Craft Pointer Sp and the Smithwick Rogue Limited also had a very predictable action, but not quite as predictable as the X-Rap.
The Strike King S had a more erratic action. The most intriguing movement of this lure is when it was paused it turned to the side, making the next twitch almost like a "walking the dog" action.
The most unpredictable and erratic action was the Lucky Craft SK JGK100. I couldn't tell what it would do next. One twitch it would go right and one it would rise and go left. A very unpredictable lure.


Smithwick Rogue Limited and Strike King S both had 3 treble hooks.
Lucky Craft Pointer Sp, Lucky Craft SK JGK100, and Rapala X-Rap all had 2 hooks.


Most expensive - Lucky Craft
Least expensive - Strike King
In-between - Smithwick and Rapala

My Opinion:

I liked different aspects of each of the lures I tested, but overall, I believe the Smithwick Rogue Limited was the best for me. The reason is although I couldn't cast it as far, it had a very predictable action when retrieved on any type of cadence, and it suspended fairly well. I think one suspend dot added to the underside would make it suspend almost perfectly.
My least favorite was the Lucky Craft SK JGK100, because I couldn't tell what it was going to do next. I guess sometimes bass like this unpredictability, but I like to know how my lure is going to react.
The others were all usable, but I tend to pick the one I like and stick to it.
Also, if one wanted to factor in price, you can buy 3 Smithwicks for the price of one Lucky Craft.
Once again, these are my opinions based on my testing. You do not have to agree with my results. I strongly encourage you to test the products for yourselves and use the ones that you prefer. After all, if we are to become better anglers, we need to know what to expect when we tie on a lure.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Coming Soon - Comparison of Popular Jerkbaits

I am currently testing products in order to write an article comparing several types of suspending jerkbaits, including Smithwick Rogue, Lucky Craft Pointer, Lucky Craft Stacey King, Strike King, and Rapala X-rap. I am trying to be ready to post the results and my opinions on Saturday night, 4/25/09. Please check back.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday Night Thunder 4/14/09 - 3rd Place

Brandon and I fished in the first Tuesday Night Thunder of the year and finished in 3rd place out of 20+ boats. We had 3 fish that weighed 10.26 lb. Two were smallmouth, 19 and 21 inches, and one was a largemouth, 14 1/4 inches. We also won lunker smallmouth with the biggest being 5.12 lbs.
We started out where we had planned to, but didn't move as soon as we had planned due to the fact that we caught 2 keeper smallmouth in that area and believe there are more there. We tried a different technique that we were not very comfortable with, but after tonight we are. I think we could have had a huge bag if the sun would have stayed out longer.

First place was Joel Wheelon and John Dunn with 13+ lbs and 2nd place was 11.2 lbs, but I forgot their names.

We had a great time, learned a new technique and are planning on using it all day this coming Saturday during the Blount County Habitat for Humanity tournament. So, the rest of you better eat your Wheaties! I may have to eat these words later, but that'll be alright.

Hit the water and have fun!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Son's First Fishing Experience

My wife and I took my 21 month old,Caleb, fishing on April 5 on Fort Loudon at Admiral Farragut Park. We went with our best friends and there 27 month old, Ethan. Needless to say the boys had more fun throwing rocks in the water than fishing, but that's alright. It was great just seeing them enjoy the outdoors.

Brandon's son, Ethan, caught his first fish, a bluegill. When he realized he had something on the end of his line he threw his rod down and ran beside his mother. It was really funny! Then, neither of the boys knew if they wanted to touch the fish or not. They finally did and said, "Eww!"

Even though Caleb mostly threw rocks and climbed around on the bank, he did play with his Star Wars fishing rod a little. He is learning how to reel in the line, but hasn't quite got the hang of it yet. That's fine because he isn't even 2 years old yet. But, to be honest with you, I had fun catching some bluegill on that little rod! The gear ratio must be something like 1:1, because it seemed like I had to reel forever when I hooked one!

Get your kids involved in the outdoors! It's going to be up to them to keep the tradition alive and they need to know how to do it. If you don't have kids, take a friend and his kid. Good luck to all and have a Happy Easter!

USA Bassin' 4/11/09, Ft. Loudon Division

Brandon and I won the second USA Bassin' tournament on Ft. Loudon yesterday, making it 2 in a row in this series. Our total weight was 9 lbs 15 oz and our biggest fish was 3lb 9 oz. The big fish of the tournament was 5 lbs.

We had planned to make a long run from the canal, where we launched, up toward Louisville Point Park, but decided to stop at a spot shortly after takeoff. We got into them and they seemed better quality than what we had been catching farther up the river, so we stayed. We launched at 7:00 am and had our limit by 9:45 am. Then, the bite just died for us. The rest of the day we caught 2 more keepers, culling our 2 smallest, and 4 more non keepers. We caught 26 total fish, 25 largemouth and 1 spotted.

All our fish came on plastics and crankbaits on or close to the main channel. The water temperature where we were was a fairly constant 58 F. It was cloudy all day and the wind was horrible.

We had a great time fishing with these guys. If you are near Knoxville, I suggest you come out and fish with us. I have been in hundreds of tournaments and have never experienced the fellowship like I have in this one. Charlie Gibson is the tournament director and does a great job.

Here are a couple pictures.

Monday, April 6, 2009


One of the directors of Tuesday Night Thunder out of Louisville Point Park, Frank Woody, called me this morning and said they were cancelling the tournament this week. It was supposed to be the first week, but we are expecting bad weather including snow and ice and I agree that it isn't worth getting someone hurt. Also, if the ramp freezes, we're all stuck. So, TNT will begin next week on Tuesday, 4/14/09.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fishing Report 3/30, Fort Loudon

We fished the Monday Night Madness tournament out of Concord ramp. Caught 16 fish in first hour and a half, no keepers. Night bite was non existent for us. We used jigs that I made, plastics, and crankbaits. Most came off the jig. We were fishing 3 to 10 feet deep. The tournament was from 6pm to 10pm, but we quit about 9:30pm, because I had to get up very early the next morning and we couldn't get bit after dark. Water temperature was 58 - 60 degrees where we fished. We were near Carl Cowan park.
I have a broken steering cable on my boat right now, so I took it to Kingsport where my wonderful Dad, Frank is fixing it for me. Thanks, Dad! Hope you enjoy the picture of Caleb!
I believe the area we are fishing is full of male buck bass and I believe if we keep hitting it, the big females will be there very shortly. When they arrive, watch out!
Good luck to all!