Okuma Battle Cat Rods Ready for a Fight

Reposted from www.fishing-headquarters.com

By Matt Lynch

An Okuma Battle Cat rod doing work on a big flathead catfish.

If a couple months ago you had asked me about Okuma’s Battle Cat line of cat fishing rods I’d have scratched my head. However recently while discussing the need to update my catfish rod inventory with my good friend and licensed guide, Scott Manning owner of Tennessee River Monsters, brought these rods to my attention.

Being partnered up with Okuma, he recently had the opportunity to check these rods out himself and for someone who spends well over one hundred days on the water putting clients on monster fish, he was very impressed and spoke favorably of them in our talks. After a bit more research on the different models in this line, Scott finally convinced me to purchase some of my own.

Check out the rest of this story here: http://www.fishing-headquarters.com/okumas-battle-cat-rods-are-ready-for-a-fight

Tips For Bagging more Bass in Late Winter/Early Spring

By BASS Pro Jeremy Starks

Late winter/early spring is one of my favorite times to be on the water. This is the best time of the year to catch a giant and knowing a few cold water patterns will make your next trip more successful.

One of my favorite late winter techniques is a jerkbait. The right equipment will make fishing a jerkbait much easier. A lightweight combo will allow you to work the bait properly and without tiring your arm. I start with an Okuma Helios bait casting combo spooled with 10 lb Seaguar Tatsu. I choose the 7′ Helios casting rod in med action paired with a high speed retrieve Helios casting reel. The soft action with a fast tip allows me to cast the bait further and the med action is perfect for treble hooked baits.

Jeremy Starks with a fat early Spring Smallmouth.

As winter winds down the days are getting longer and the water begins to warm. Bass sense that spring is around the corner and begin their annual migration to shallow water. This movement makes locating fish a little easier.

Bass migrate from the main lake into creeks and main lake pockets. Large lay downs that extend over deep water is an excellent place to start looking for migrating females. Start by slowly working the jerkbait in front of the laydown and then along each side. It’s not uncommon to find numerous fish on one tree. Fish will use these locations as a feeding or resting location during their movement and can reload every few hours with a new group of fish.

As the water begins to warm further, fish will continue to move toward the back of creeks. This is a great time work channel banks with a crankbait. Again, the right equipment is paramount. I choose an Okuma Helios spinning reel paired with a 6’10” Okuma C340X spinning rod in light action. I spool the reel with Seaguar Kanzen 10-lb. braid. This combo can’t be beat for getting max distance from a lightweight crankbait.

Zach Meredith hoists a big largie caught on a Savage Gear Finesse Crank.

I start working by channel banks from the main lake toward the back. I like to parallel the bank and make certain to work the deeper water as well. Fish will often suspend 20-40 ft. from shore as they migrate further into the creek.

Working rip rap is another proven pattern this time of year. However, there are some techniques that can increase your chances for success. Looking for small high-percentage sections of rip rap will set you apart from other anglers. Look for sections that receive the most sun, sections that have additional cover (laydowns, wood, docks, vegetation), or just a small isolated section that differs from the surrounding cover. These areas are great places to throw a small crankbait,a shakey head or a finesse jig. I love to throw a 1/4-oz Keitech jig on this type of cover. I throw the little jig on an Okuma Helios 7′ MH casting rod and high speed Helios casting reel.

There is no need to wait for the warm days of late spring and summer. Armed with these techniques you can start the season a little earlier and start catching some fat pre-spawn bass.