Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The next generation.

He's 2.
I wish I could do that when I was 2.
Good going son.
Oh and next time try not to wipe fish slime on me.

Monday, April 28, 2008

4-25 & 4-26. The perfect storm.

Mike Kauchak reports:
Temps in the upper 70's with the mother of all cold fronts moving in and wind gusts to 40mph. The technique was a no brainer. Find the windy side of the lake and run burn the rattleshad down the shoreline. Both Smallmouth and Largemouth were hammering the 36g Rattleshad. It was awesome.

Also pictured is Ken Schumacher of www.smalliefishing.com.

Jamie reports:
Ok..so I struck out on friday. Notice how I'm not in those pictures above. In the 30 minutes to fish, I went exploring a couple hundred yards of new water and did too fast of a run and gun. Then the storms got close...add a little lightmning..and we were out of there, with a whinning Mike in tow " But I was catching fish...waaaaaaaa!"
Then the cold weather came. Temps dropped 30 degrees overnight. The winds were howling! All day long lakes and ponds were being whipped into water that looked more like YooHoo. White caps were in my 2.5 acre Lago Casa.
And ya know who didn't care at all?
The fish.
Ya see...at this time they are thinking about exactly 2 things. 1)food. 2)Sex. (kinda like most of us.). So they stayed shallow. They stayed active. They didn't care about lightning, rain, storms, drops of 30 degrees, howling winds. They actually used all of it to their advantage and instead of picking off shad that were going IN to the channele...they started picking off shad coming OUT of the channel due to the coldfront. The bass were still perfectly happy in 1-2' of muddy, ripped up water on the lake shoreline or in the now muddied ditches.
The key baits? The Savage Gear Rattle Shad and the Lewis Rattle Trap and the Lucky Craft Pointer..all burned in as fast as you can reel it. Right thru the muddy water. They have no problem going after the sound and hitting the lure. Trust me on that.
On another site I got into quite the little squabble with a fellow angler about WHERE we fish. As you know Mike and I along with our crew fish everywhere. If we fish it, you read it here. From the Mississippi to Chicago to Ontario to Florida to The Arctic Circle. Lately Mike and i have been hitting lakes, ponds and ditches. No rivers yet for us. We're leaving that job to Jade for now.
So... where do we catch HUGE smallies?
How about spots like this.

Ripped up muddied lakeshore

Or these spots?

Muddied 1-2' deep roadside ditches that hook up to lakes,ponds and rivers. packed with shad, baitfish and..oh..HUGE smallies and largemouth.

The end result?

So basically I just took the "classic" smallie spots of rocky pristine streams and threw them in the crapper. I also took the whole "fish dont bite after a massive cold front" and threw THAT in the crapper too. Oh..and I also took "big,bright,slower baits in muddy water" and threw THAT in the crapper.
Anybody got anything else they want disproved this week?
Listen..sometimes the fish don't read the same books that you do. You never know til you get out there and try, even when the weather turns to crap and every sign says "the fish aren't biting." .....wanna bet?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ok...this is just too easy.

" is there no one on this planet to even challenge me?!"
-General Zod in "Superman"-

I mean, really..c'mon. 1 cast? That's all I need now?

I know..I know..I'm gonna pay for my arrogance at some point and be stricken down by the fish gods and forced to endure a skunking of biblical proportions.
But until then...all i have to say is this. "Don't hate the playa'. Hate the game."

*largemouth bass caught in 1' of water next to an under-road drain in a 10' wide ditch that leads to a lake. And you thought YOUR spot was good?*

Camera: Canon a-95. Auto setting. Full 5.1 megapixel set on superfine.

Tripod: Joby Gorillapod

Gear: 7' medium/light IM8 Gander Mountain Pro Guide Series rod. Pflueger Trion 30 series reel. 8lb Fireline Crystal line. Lewis Rattle Trap in Red Crawfish pattern.

Car that got me in and out of there in 5 minutes: 2006 Mazda 6 V6 Atenza featuring K&M air intake.

Our fishing reports: Priceless.

This just in. Go here sunday night at 7pm: www.lastcastguideservice.com
You may just hear yours truly on the radio.
Click the "listen live" button when you get there.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Membership has it's privileges.

Q: Ya want to know the best part about living ON one of the Customfish lakes??
A: Even when I'm home sick with the flu, I can still walk 70 feet outside the back door, catch this, and go back to bed.

Again. Savage Gear rattle Shad. 2 casts. Caught 4 more in the next 5 minutes and like I said...went back to bed.
Contact Savage Gear to get yours today. Email Stuart Green at Stuart.Green@svendsen-sport.com. Please tell them we sent you.

There ya go. We just gave you the key to the Emerald City. We suggest you use it.

And in other membership news:
Captain jade Miller checks in again with an instant report from his lunch hour on the Mississippi River.

He reports "Can't keep them off of this thing. Gone thru two of the little ones
already. Head tore open on both."
He's using THIS in the 'smolt' color.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

4/18-4/20/08. Our peers hate us.

I think we'll just let the pictures tell the stories for this weekend.
Lures used: Savage Gear Rattle Shad, Savage Gear 4-Play, Smack Tackle's Gizz4 shallow diving shad.
Same techniques as I've been writing about all week.
Mike went out Saturday 2pm

Here's Mike with a shad that swiped a Savage Gear bait. Do you want to know what our key to success is right now? Shad. If you find the shad, you've found the predators. Even big smallmouth bass that are normally found relating to rocky areas will gladly find comfort in a muddy,silt bottomed ditch or creek when the shad run up to spawn. Some of the areas we are fishing have just such ditches that are now packed with thousands of shad that make the water look like chocolate milk...and the big predators are right behind them!

Jamie went out to the same lake on Saturday at 6pm.
Started out with a Savage Gear Rattle Shad, fishing it in the same muddy water ditch that Mike had been to earlier in the day. New predatory fish move in and out constantly throughout the day as they get their fill on the thousands of shad in the murky 2' depths of ditches and creeks.

Huge smallmouth bass were having a rodeo feeding festival on schools of shad that had not yet made it into the creeks.
The pattern is simple. Watch the area for bass that drive shad to the surface and explode on them. Then immediately cast a lure to that spot. I'm recommending the Gizz4 by Smack Tackle for this little trick. I made exactly 2 casts with a brand new Gizz4 and it got nailed by a smallie over 20". Followed by another one a few casts later. I lost one more that was about the same size as these guys.

That's gotta be a pretty good lure if it gets hit by a suicidal yellow bass. Keep in mind. that lure is 4" long!

Sunday. Mile high bluebird skies...the kiss of death to anglers. We even had vultures overhead. Kind of an omen. It was a little tougher today, but we still managed to scrape up a couple of nice largemouth on a very short trip. Mine was caught by throwing the Gizz4 in the area where the muddy water met clear water. Remember, when water changes color the fish will use that as an ambush point.
. Mike's behemoth was caught by burning in a Savage Gear 4-Play Herring.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


While watching Charlie Moore's show this morning, I noticed they were fishing a place in Osceola, FL where you can catch a barramundi. How cool is that??

Friday, April 18, 2008

April showers mean big friggin fish!

Here's another ultra fast report straight from the water.
With rain storms approaching from the south it was a good bet that the bass would be "on" somewhere in the north shoreline of our home waters. All these were found in an area about 20' x 20' were they had cornered a bunch of shad against the bank during high winds.
The bait of choice? A Savage Gear Rattle Smolt. It's the bait on the top of the chart.

Now keep in mind that we are honest. So I'll tell you that I beat the water for an hour with nothing to show for it until running into the right spot at the right time. In the final 15 minutes I was able to pull off a few miracles. As you'll see by the last photo, there was a wall of hell coming towards me quickly, and I was solo out there.
Is there a lesson to be learned here? Yes. if you are daring (or not too bright. Whatever) you can cash in pretty good when there's a wall of hell coming. Just make sure to get the hell out of there before hell hits. Because hell hath no fury like...well..like a wall of hell coming at you.

Uh oh! Time to get the hell out of there. Check out that sky.

4-17-08. A little shakey

It was a little slow last night. Myself, Ken Schumacher and Luis Saucedo Jr took 2 hours to do some damage. By most people's standards we did great. But given that we know every rock of the lakes we fish, we were a little disappointed. We're going to go ahead and blame it on the earthquake we had in Illinois this morning. Yeah...that's it. Riiiight.
The baits we threw were Rapala Husky jerks and a Rattle Trap. Luis scored the 2 biggest of the day and a few others along with a couple HUGE greengill sunfish. Ken and I didn't do as well but held our own. I got 7 bass and a couple huge greengills. I don't know Ken's numbers but I'm sure he was right there with me.
Luis is also a bit of a rock & fossil hound as well as being one of the top bass anglers in the area. Included in this post is a picture of one he found while casting.
AND..the bonus picture is from a bass that Ken caught. A very hungry bass. Hungry enough to hit his bait even though it had a 4" bluegill in it's throat.
Photo credits: Ken Schumacher, Jamie Riani, Luis Saucedo.
Please check out Ken's site and consider him if you are wanting to learn the fine art of fly fishing for smallies as well as general fishing for bass in the Chicago are. CLICK HERE

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Yes. Our fishing reports ARE that damn good.

We see on alot of the forum based sites that there is a lack of reports. Personally we see the whole forum based fishing site craze as being past. A few people got burned by handing out exact spots to the entire Planet Earth and everyone went running for the hills.
Our answer to that is to read sites...well...like this one. Call us an "indie" if you will. There's a few of us around using blogs and giving out ten times more info than anyone else on a forum site.
Don't get me wrong. I love the forum based sites for the generalities. But as far as seeing pictures and really getting into what's happening that day or week, that info just isn't there.
So..without further adieu we give you YET ANOTHER updated report.
If you follow the site you know that we put up posts ASAP when we start attacking fish. And today is no exception. This report is being posted ast 1:45pm. The action you're about to see happened at lunchtime. I doubt that you'll find a faster real-time fishing report.
You all know Captain Jade Miller, our customfish corespondent on the Mississippi in NW Illinois. He reports today that the white bass are juuuuust starting in the last few hours. We'll have more info as Jade keeps fishing.

Now comes a word from Field Corespondent Jim Jozwiak. Illinois Smallmouth Alliance guru who has recently joined the darkside of largemouth fishing and excelled at the art of trophy hunting.
His tactics in the past couple of days are chronicled here.
Joz says:
Shallow running crankbait, fished medium tempo. Basically no brainer if the fish are shallow and happening.

I know that guys can really catch them using a rattle type bait but I prefer a shallow crank for the following.

1. less chance of hanging up.

2. Ability to stop or slow down when needed. I can throw it in 4 inches of water right against a shoreline and let it sit for a bit before I even start cranking. I can throw it in very shallow bays without hanging up, pause it, start it, etc. which is impossible to do with a rattle trap.

3. Extreme vibration and rattle just like a trap.

And yes, Jim Jozwiak ALWAYS wears a collared shirt while bass fishing.

Savage weather. Savage bass.

We tested out some new Savage Gear stuff yesterday. The weather was TOO extreme for optimum fishing. Winds at 20mph would have been fine. But we had winds pushing 40. Whitecaps everywhere. The water was basically mud in some spots. Basically we think it freaked out the fish to the point where they ran for cover instead of risking riding a wave onto the rocks like a surfer tackling Mavericks.

Rich kinda played the part of "the control" by switching up and using other baits like rattle traps.He only hit fish with an SG bait. Mike and I stuck with the Savage Gear 4-Play (an instant hit) and the Rattle Shad (which is still kickin' ass even when we shoulda been blanked).

I stayed later than Mike and Rich and finally figured out the pattern late in the day. It was the exact opposite of what we had been doing all week. Instead of burning baits the trick was now to hold the rod tip very high and reel in VERY slow so the bass could find the bait in the newly muddied waters. As soon as I changed to a slow retrieve I nailed 4 bass in 4 casts including a monster, plus I missed 2 more on the next few casts. Unfortunately I had to get off the water otherwise I'm sure i could have hit a few more.

Our numbers weren't stellar. But then again with the dozen plus that we got we're pretty happy. We didn't see anyone catching anything except small bluegills.

We are NOT bull****ing you. If something doesnt work we are happy to tell you. if it works we're gonna tell you that too. This stuff WORKS. We have companies (and we'll reveal them too) that WONT give us baits or rods to test because there's a chance that they'll fail and they KNOW we'll write about it.

Stay tuned. Later today we're gonna put up the contact info for you to finally get your hands on this stuff.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Book Review: South Of The Pump House

Hey kids! It's time for the Customfish Book Review segment of our show!

(yes, we read. Smarta##!)

Do you fish? Do you like stories about fishing with strange plot twists, murder and 3 guys in a boat who have no business being out to sea?
The we've got the book for you!
This week I'm recommending Les Claypool's "South of the Pumphouse"

Amazon said: A dark, clever tale of two brothers, a fishing trip, drugs, and murder, this novel skillfully combines classic motifs of epic struggle and intelligent layers of imagery, reminiscent of The Old Man and the Sea, and the raw, tweaked perspective of a Hunter S. Thompson novel.
We agree.
It's a good read....and it'll make you think twice about who you are fishing with.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I said "jerkbait", Jerky!

Look! The fish are biting right now. Why aren't you out there?

The bait of choice today was goig to be the Savage Gear Rattle Shad again. BUT..I'm fresh out. Seems that on the first couple of casts something big had other ideas and really wanted that lure...so it ate half of it. I resorted to using a Lucky Craft Pointer. Same retrieve as I outlined before. Slowly reel it in and twitch twitch twith 2 times per second without pausing.
Total was 7 bass and 2 greengill sunfish in the 1pound range. Not a great evening. We had to hit 3 different areas to scrape that up.
Again, thanks to Ken Schumacher of www.smalliefishing.com for his excellent company as always.

HOLY #%$@!!!!!!! 4-13-08

Mike and i had some very limited time yesterday so we ran over to Lake W. For those who are new to the reports, lake W is a large retention pond that is about 25' deep, 100 acres, and has several storm drain pipes coming into it as well as a crrek. There is always a current to be found as this small lake could technically be classified as a flowage. So when you hear us talk about Lake W, all you need to do is find a retention pond that fits the bill. And they are EVERYWHERE! Just look around your neighborhood.

We threw a few different lures in the half hour we fished. I got 2 average size bass (13-15") on a Rapala Husky jerk (twitch,twitch,twitch...just like i wrote in previous reports). I also got one on a Lucky Craft Pointer (again...twitch twitch.).
BUT..the King Of The Ring was yet again Savage Gear's Rattle Shad!!
We concentrated on an incoming pipe that had water pushing out of it at high speed due to the recent rains. The bass were lined up waiting for anything to move.
Here's a couple shots of the dozen or so fish we caught in 30 minutes.
Now go find some incoming water and fish within 10' of the flow. Trust us...you're gonna score right now! These fish don't really care about the cold front. They know exactly ONE thing now: Feed and get ready to spawn.

The monster largemouth and the monster smallmouth were caught by Mike on back to back consecutive casts! He was using the technique of holding the bait in the current and letting the water do the work.

This is a shot of Mike's monster largemouth being held by me. I'm posting this just to give it a different perspective in relation to size. let me stress that I DID NOT catch it. Mike was king of the hill yesterday. I'm not even gonna bother putting up my shots because they are not impressive next to Mike's.

( We apologize for the use of the camera phone. We had a little mix-up and forgot any one of the 3 cameras we use. Basically we were rushing and totally clowned it! Lesson to us all, eh?)

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

And the Savage Gear train keeps rolling.

In my last report I wrote that on the 2nd cast of a Savage Gear Rattle Shad I got a very respectable largemouth bass.
Remember that?
Ok..well, yesterday was a little slower.
It took 3 casts this time.

The color that I used was Pearl & Orange.
6 fish. 1 hour. Water temp was 57. Ultra clear. Fishing an incoming water source.
Again..it doesn't matter the exact location. Just find some incoming water and I'll almost guarantee that there's fish sitting within feet of it. Burn one of those baits thru and hold on!
Now get out and fish!

A big thanks once again to Ken Schumacher of www.smalliefishing.com for asking me to hit his waters with him. The dynamic duo strikes again!

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New secret weapon #1. Savage Gear.

As you know, we at Customfish always try to stay on top of the big rock candy mountain by getting our hands on new weapons of mass destruction that no one else has yet. And we just got a new weapon. I suggest you hide the children.
Savage Gear is a going to be making their presence known here in the U.S., and based on what we saw in the first 5 minutes of throwing their Rattle Shad we are extremely impressed!
As you'll see by their site, they are huge in Europe. We're guessing they are gonna be huge here as well.
Our first thought was to get our greedy little paws on their bigger baits and run them thru the gauntlet on Great Slave this june while catching a couple thousand monster pike. That's still gonna happen, so stay tuned for that upcoming report. BUT, in the meantime we have decided to run them thru the local gaunlet in search of cold water bass.
I'll sum it up this way:
2 casts. That's all it took. 2 casts til the Rattle Shad got hammered!

Now, that isn't to bad considering we were dealing with a 45 degree outside temperature and high winds. All we had to do was burn the bait in and it got hammered regularly on this short trip.

Mike joined me for a few minutes and quickly landed 3 nice bass and missed a couple more.
At one point Mike's Rattle Shad got hung up. Normally you chalk it up as a loss and keep going. But when you have a HOT bait that's working, you have to go to extremes to keep the mojo going.

How cold is that water, Mike?

Did we try other baits? Yes. We tried the Husky jerk, Rattle Trap, Storm Subwart, a Chatterbait and the Swimmin' Charlie. All of them, as you know, are standard weapons in our boxes. On this trip none of them shined thus proving that our success with the Savage Gear was no fluke. As soon as we tied on the Rattle Shads again we were back on the fish.
Our final numbers for this short-after-work trip were 3 largemouth bass for Mike and 8 for me.

Savage Gear lures will be available soon in local retailers. We suggest you get a few if you want to keep up.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Trip time is coming up soon.

Just going thru some files today and i ran across this one of Buzz Riani on Pipestone lake a couple years ago.

And that made me start thinking about upcoming trips. 52 days til we're on Great Slave near the Arctic Circle and 94 days til we're back up in Ontario where that shot was taken.

In other news: Fishing yesterday sucked. High winds from the east. But I heard that the trout season opener was stellar. most guys hit their limit in 30 minutes.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

It's go time!!!

Ken and I found some water in the low 50's range. Husky jerks, small chatterbaits and senkos whacky rigged or on slider head jigs all worked. Husky jerk style baits reeled in slowly with constant twitches were taking the lion's share and gettin' hammered.
6 lrgmth/1 smlmth (J) 4 lrgmth (K)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

First Customfish muskie of 2008

Ok..so let me get this straight. Jade gets to work at an arsenal, serve his country here and in Iraq, and go fishing on his lunch hour. Oh..and catch some walleyes and the year's first muskie. Do I have that straight?
The guy is blessed. What can I say?

Oh...and if you are a loyal reader during the day, you'll notice that it was caught about an hour ago.
How's THAT for the most up to date fishing report EVER!?