– Welcome into another episode of The Fisherman’s Handbook. Bass fishing is a metaphorical puzzle that has to be solvedeach time you take to the water. Today, we join Jeff Reynolds and host Wade Middleton on their quest to piece things together on this cold winter afternoon. – You know bass fishingis just an addiction for a lot of people, me included, and I think a big part of it is always about that puzzle because it’s always different. The water temperatures might be 40, you know, sometimes when you’re fishing might be 90 another time you’re fishing. You might have a wind out of 14 different directions on the same body of water that you visit all year long. The lake might be 20 feet high one trip, and it might be five feet low the next,and that’s one of thecoolest things about it to me is every trip, every hour of the dayis so different when itcomes to bass fishing. – We come to the lake, get out here and get to fishing, and I really thought, especially when we got to where we ended up catching most of them. There was some milfoil around there, and I really thought I could catch more trap, and a trap should be the way to catch the better fish. I could not get a bite on a trap. I threw it, and I threwit, and I threw it,and I could not get bit. – We gonna catch one here?- Well, I would’vethought we was going to. – I would’ve bet you a dollar. When old lakes get down like this, you got a drop like this, you’d think there’d be – Mm-hmm. a big one living right there,but he’s always smarter than us. – Oh yeah. – You know, when you first look at water, a lot of times you’ll make a decision as a bass fisherman or angler for anything, this is the color or this is the bait or this is what they should be doing, and it gives you a starting point, and you go out on the water and it doesn’t work, and you’re like, “Oh I thought I’d catch one here. ” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone down a bank, and I try to catch one here, and this is what he should eat and they don’t eat that. They don’t bite that. Was it the color? Was it the angle?Just the wrong time of the day? Were they not feeding? You know I don’t have the answer to that because if I had the answer to that I would never not catch a fish when I had that feeling. But you keep moving, you keep going to different locations, you keep fishing what you believe in,and sooner or later,if the fish are biting, you’re gonna dial it in and start catching something. There’s one right there. Pretty good one. – That might be number one. I don’t know, hedoesn’t wanna come back. – You want me to grab him for you?- Look at him, golly!- Man, he choked it too. He smoked it. Golly, he’s strong. Fish are just stronger this time of the year, you know it?- Yes, they are. Water temperature in the 50s. Want me grab him for you? – I got him. You can grab him with all them hooks in his mouth. I got him, Jeff. Come here, buddy. – I was kinda thinking maybeif you took a little more time, I could catch a little one and get him in before you did. – That’s awesome. We got him out heregood, look at that guy. That’s a pretty fish, right there. Go ahead and let him go. I don’t wanna hold him out any longer. That’s number one, Jeff. What’d you say about nothaving a dollar to lose? – Man!- Y’all both down thereeating that sandwich. See, I got picture proof of you two down there eating sandwiches. And I just told you, I’d caught them right here before. – Yeah, but you didn’t tell meuntil you got upto make a catch. I feel like I gotwronged in that somehow. – You know, Jeff and I get to hunt and fish a lot together,but a lot of times, we don’tget to fish like that together. He may be running the camera watching me fish, you know. You’re talking about aguy that’s a multi-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, wins all over the place. He’s a stick, you got to catch him. So when you get a chance to beat upon your buddy and agood fisherman as well, you kinda rub it into him a little bit. It’s fun, and I gotta tell you, it’s been like 10 trips this year for methat I ain’t caught afish over three pounds,so, when I set the hookon that first good one, and he was still sitting down there eating and playing around, I was pretty giddy right out of the bat. I knew right then it might get uglybecause I knew he wasn’tgonna grab a crankbait. – You can’t beat the old fire tiger. – Nah, man, you think about it, there’s some colors that have just stood the test of time and still produce. There’s always lots of different versions of it, but that’s one that produces. – Wade catches the first one. Then he gets a conference call. He’s piddling around on thephone, he’s doing this and that, he’s catching ’em back here while he’s sitting down talking on the phone, and I’m grinding. I mean I’m like really thinking, now this ain’t fit to start heading,and I’m fixed to start catching. He’s on the phone, I’ma get ahead of him. No, it didn’t matter what he did, he was fixed to get a bite. I’ma sit back here and just thumb my little old school crankbait color. – You want one of these?Actually, it’s my turn to throw it. – He’s going another way. Golly. Are you gonna let him whip you? – He’s trying to whip me. Look how he deep he ate it too, the same way that other one ate it. – That’s when you know you’re throwinga bad color right there. – Golly. You gon get him big guy? – I was gonna let him go. That’s a good one right there, I’ll tell you that. – I’ll get the pliers for you. – That’s a good fish. There we go right there, that is the color combination so far, buddy. You want to kiss him, touch him? – I just wanted to see what he feels like. – Alright, we’ll let him go. I need to talk turd more often. – Coming up, Wade has started to piece togetheran early patternworking a very specific crankbait along the rocks. Learn more about the Spro little John,and find out how long it’lltake Jeff to finally tie one on next on the Fisherman’s Handbook. The Fisherman’s Handbook is brought to you in part by, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, your adventure starts here. Garmin, fight your fish,not your fish finder. And by Yamaha Marine,reliability starts here. So far in today’s episode, action has gotten off to a great start. Working the crankbait along the face of the dam, host Wade Middleton is putting on a clinic for his good buddy, Jeff Reynolds. – It’s toogood sitting back here, – The only thing I need you to move for, is to get me one of them crankbaits. – There’s about four orfive of them in there. I mean it’s just a color, that you, I mean it’s a color we colored on it when we were 10 and you first started casting. I love this type, and actually when the water’s about 50 to 58 degrees, it’s little John, you’ll see me throw this color, or not this color, but this style of bait many, many times. I mean the water is low here, they’ve pulled it down,so it’s got of a kindof different look to it. My mind said that’s the color. Old school looking fire tire, and obviously these fish like it because the last two I’ve landed looked like they couldn’t get it any further down in their mouth. You know the Spro little John crankbait that we were throwing while we’re fishing out here, it’s kind of a flat-sided crankbait. It’s got a tighter wobble or wiggle, you know, when it’s out there hunting these fish for you than a lot of the bigger water wobbling crankbaits. I think that’s really important when you’ve gotwater temperature that’s colder. I think that tighter wiggle really allows these fish to hone in on whatever it is, that action this type of the year. It gets down to six to, you know, nine feet deep,based on your linesize that you’re using. Very durable bait, very true right-out-of-the-box, you don’t have to tune it much at all. Hooks your stinky shark right out of the box as well, and it’s just the bait that over the last, I don’t know, almost decade, I have built so much confidence in when it comes to crankbait fishing,when the fish are at that depth and the water temperature is in that 50 to 60 degree range. This might be a big one, a really big one. – Pretty good. Got it. – Choked it again. Choked it again. – Oh, every bite. Hey there. – Damn in there! – Look how healthy he is. – Good golly. If I catch another one I bet you change. – Naturally I’m thinking, “I need to tie on the crankbait. ” I mean, there’s no doubt, I need to tie the crankbait on. Sometimes, I get a little stubborn. That is stupid, don’t do that when you fish. Especially when your buddy is catching themright there beside you,doing the same stuff, just a different bait tied on. – I got a good one. I got a good one. Golly!I can’t even doanything with this one. Holy cow. Dear God. Another good one, come here buddy. Dang. They’re all just tanks!- I mean they’re all good ones, All tanks! – They’re all four pounders. I mean, just tanks. Least all I can do is hold on to him. I mean, he hit that thing like a freight train. I mean that little John is one of my favorite crankbaits,for that watertemperature in the 50s. – Yeah. – Could you give me a little something? I mean enough’s enough. – He hates the crankbait tease. It’s not his favorite thing to do, ever. Anytime. I mean, I don’t know he might catch five crankbait fish, and I’m not talking about squarebills, but you know deeper diving crankbait fish, you know. And, but then once I setthe hook on another one, you had to see what happened. – After the break, Jeff finally gives in and ties on a Spro crankbait and it doesn’t take long for that first fish to bite. Stay tuned for more great fish catching action here on the Fisherman’s Handbook. The Fisherman’s Handbook is brought to you in part by, Ranger Boats, still building legends one at a time. Engel, the originalhigh performance cooler. Sunline America, the strength to guarantee your confidence. And by Bradley Smoker,food smoking made easy. – Finally, after I’m down about five to nothing, I was like, “Alright, Wade. Where’s the little Johns at?” Well, this ain’t his first rodeo on a little John, ’cause I look in his box, and he’s got like 50 of them in there. – Oh see, you think he don’t catch many? He’s got a pile of them right there. He knew if we would come out here, that they were gonna be biting that. – I was pretty proud of Jeff. I know, not only did he have to swallow his pride a little bit, not only did he get thrashed a little bit, and I know my time’s coming. I’ma get thrashed in the near future. But he got down, and he tied on the old Spro Little John. He even talked to little John a lot. He kept telling, “One more. Come on little John, get to work!” – Got it?- I think it’s,- Fish? I think that’s fish. – That’s a fish. You have throw! Lemme get my bait out of the water, he’s heading my way. He was running to me the whole time. He’s not now. – Good one?He’s not bad, he’s not. He’s not locking with G bin kits in it. – You’re on a board. – Just got one on a crankbait! Like the second time I did it, one cracks. It’s like a two pounder and I thought, “He’s catching five pounders,now I’m catching two pounders. ” But that’s fine, I get a bite. Well, we finally rock on and I started getting a feel for what he was doing. I mean, he picked it up right off the bat, and I finally got that feel, and I finally started catching some. – That’s a good one. Yeah. – Four pounder?Yeah, that’s a good one. – – I mean, just exactly what you said. When you said pause, when Ipulled the thing and passed it, I mean he just slacked in. – That’s such a cool bite. See man, I don’t get hooked trying to grab yours. They sprawl yours. That fish has got in this guy. – Ain’t that a fun fight though? – Almost like a jig. Yes, I mean they’re knocking the fight out of it. – I think, when you’re fishing grass, any kind of grass,whether it be hydro or milfoil, there is a certain cadence, especially when the fishing’s a little bit tougher, colder water, that you have to be doing. You gotta have the right size line on, the right crankbait, you want to be running the right dip, you want to be hitting the grass, but you don’t wanna be burying up in it too far. You don’t wanna throw acrankbait that runs 10 foot deepwhen it’s, you know,grass is five foot deep. It’s gonna get down there and bury up too much. But you want it hitting the grass. Wade had the right sizeline, the right bait on, he had it dialed in. The biggest key todaywas probably the polls. You got it going on the line, buddy. – Golly. Man, trying to cuttle yours. – That’s a little more like my size right there. You just get the right cadence and the right rhythm going, everything goes your way. You know when you look at dissecting a body of water and catching fish and running around and using your lightronics to try to locate the grass,try to locate the bay,try to locate the fish, try to locate the fish on the stretcher, the drop offs,whatever it might beas part of that puzzle, you’ll gain confidence as you start to get bites and start to look for more of that in other locations. And really today, we had wind blowing in on the grass bed and on some rocks, and the fish were chomping there for about two and a half, three hours, and when I say chomping, they were taking that bait all the way down, basically as deep as they can get it. God, it feels like five feet of slacking that line. – I catch two pounders and you catch five pounders. It’s so fun. – Look at, the bait’s gone! I mean another one, the bait’s gone! – Look at that, holy cow. – Don’t go away,cause the fish haven’tstopped biting just yet. When we return, the action continues as Wade and Jeff haul more fish into the boat on the Spro little John. The Fisherman’s Handbook is brought to you in part by, Sawyer Products, we keep you outdoors. Secret Lures, the secret is out. And by Hobie Fishing, mirage drive pedal systems. – You know, when you look at water color, water clarity, I mean there’s just certain colors that pop to your mind as you fish more that are gonna performin that type of a color. And when I look at the water there, it was kind of a, I don’t know, it was murky. So, and this lake’s low. It had a huge flood not long ago, there was kind of aalmost silthy look to the water,and I don’t know if that’s the best way to explain it, that’s kind of what it felt like to me. And in that situation, I really like a chartreuse, a fish tiger, and it’s an old school color, I don’t know, been around longer than I have. And it still produces these to this day. Almost like it’sspinning dirt big fight. – Get it?I don’t know, it’s coming at me. I’ma find out. He’s coming up at me, yeah, he’ll be pretty good. That is a tank. – Golly, it’s a good one, Wade. He can’t even get his head out of the water. – That’s a grande there. Look at how fat that bass is. – That is good. Wow. Wow. Man they’re just all chunky, fat, healthy. – Big ol’ fish. I mean I paused it, andhe just hammered it. What a bite. Golly. What I’m talking about. Oh man, that fish is heavy. I mean it’s just a nice little pause,hit some grass and bang. Go back in this, girl. You make lots of big babies in here. Wow, that’s just fun. I mean, low 50s, 52 degree water temperature, lake’s about five feet low,and little bit scattered grass,and the bite is phenomenal. – You know it’s always fun getting a fishing buddy. Me and Wade, we go way back. We’ve known each other for a long time, and we don’t get to do this as much,I mean, you know as faras fishing together. And any time you get a chance to go fishing with your buddy, take advantage of it. Hat’s off to him, he beat me. The next time he’s not going to, cause I’ma fray his line or something where he can’t cast or, I’ma do something to him. I mean I gotta have the upper hand. – Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don’t. But when you dial in a bait and you dial in a technique and you’re catching when your buddy’s not. I want my buddy to catch this, but I’ll tell you right now it’s such a cool feeling when you’re whacking ’em and he’s not. He’s coming on in. The smallest guy of the day. That’s real cool. Has his mouth open. When they have their mouth openwhen you’re pulling ’em in. That bite is so fun. – Thanks forwatching this episode of the Fisherman’s Handbook. This has been a Careco TV production. – Yeah I catch two pounders and you catch five pounders. – This is so fun.