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Entries in Trik Fish (6)


Trik Fish Introduces Fluorocarbon For Flipping, Pitching

Stealth fishing just got stealthier with new Flippin'/Pitchin' Fluorocarbon line by Trik Fish, a company in Clermont, Fla., owned by my good friend Dave Burkhardt.

 Just introduced at the ICAST show in Orlando, the new line is tough enough to fish in the heaviest cover, yet, unlike braid, it "disappears" in the water. That makes it especially effective on bright days, in clear water, or when bass have lockjaw.

"I like to use the 20- or 25-pound test when I have to fish slower and they are looking at the bait longer," said Florida tournament angler Uby Rosell. "Bass are more likely to see the braid than the fluorocarbon."

Additionally, fluorocarbon keeps baits in the strike zone longer. Because it is more dense, it sinks faster than monofilament and copolymers, but not as fast as braid, allowing the bait a slower and more natural fall. That's another plus when the bite is tough.

Also available in 15-pound test, this is the first fluorocarbon packaged specifically for bass anglers who flip and pitch cover. "It's on 150-yard spools so this German-engineered line is perfect for the bass guy with low-profile reels," said Burkhardt.

Rosell added that he uses the 15 for flipping and pitching to grass edges with a smaller bait. "Also, I'm a co-angler," he said. "While the guys up front are using braid, I'm using fluorocarbon to get the bites they miss, especially when the fish are sensitive."

FLW pro Troy Gibson especially likes the 15-pound line. "I really am pleased with the minimum stretch that is delivered by Trik Fish and the super stealth that this line provides," he said.

" I cannot say enough about this line and will not use anything else when the money is on the line."  

Besides minimum stretch, Trik Fish Flippin'/Pitchin' Fluorocarbon doesn't absorb water, meaning it won't lose strength when wet. It is extremely UV resistant. Plus it has great knot strength and is highly abrasion-resistant with virtually no memory.

Finally, braid, no matter its color,  has a distinct visual presence, meaning fish can see it in even the dingiest of waters. On the other hand, Trik Fish Flippin'/Pitchin' Fluorocarbon refracts light nearly the same as water, meaning it disappears. That translates into more takes, especially when the bite is tough.  

"More and more of the pros are rigging with Trik Fish Fippin'/Pitchin' Fluorocarbon to get more bites," said Burkhardt.

(You also can check out Trik Fish on Facebook.)


When You Throw Out That Bait . . . You Just Never Know!

Catching two bass on one cast with a crankbait is rare, but does happen occasionally, especially if bass are schooling and/or in a feeding frenzy. After all, the bait has at least two sets of trebles, increasing the potential for hookups.

On Mexico's Lake El Salto when big fish were in such a frenzy during an all-day rain, I caught a 5-pounder and 7-pounder together on a Magnum Fat Free Shad. And years ago, I wrote an article for Bassmaster Magazine about a tournament anglers who caught his limit--- 5 bass!--- on one cast.

But two bass on a single hook?  The odds for that have to be infinitesimal.

Yet that is just what Jake, a Florida angler, did recently on a pond in central Florida. Using a Yum craw bait rigged Texas style on a 3/0 hook, and using 12-pound Trik Fish line, he hooked a small bass.

He says that he "was playing with him next to the boat in very clear water when I saw the big bass come up from the bottom and nail it.

"I let him take it for like three seconds and then I nailed him!"

Jake estimates that the  bass weighed 7 to 8 pounds.

Was the lunker going after the soft plastic or the smaller bass? My guess is that it wanted the Yum craw.

But who knows? As the success of large swimbaits have shown us, sometimes big bass prefer a mouthful to an appetizer. It might have been trying to eat the smaller fish.

Sadly, that doesn't always turn out so well for either.  With the spines on its dorsal fin providing resistance, the  smaller bass, bluegill, or crappie can get stuck in the mouth/throat of the larger predator,  and both fish die. Also on Lake El Salto, I've seen large, dead bass floating on the surface, with tilapia lodged in their mouths. My partner and I found one before it died, removed the tilapia, and the bass swam away.

Meanwhile, check out what happened to bass pro Greg Hackney while fishing for crappie a couple of years ago.

Incidents like this are why we fish, and why I wrote Why We Fish, including the essay "You Just Never Know." Here's an excerpt:

"Finally, way back during my college years, I was bringing in a small bass that had eaten my topwater. As I reeled it the last couple of feet to shore, a tremendous explosion showered me with water and a fierce yank nearly pulled the rod from my hands. I never saw what ate the little bass and nearly hooked itself on my lure, but that brief moment in time will be forever with me.

"When you throw out that bait . . . you just never know."


Is This Photo Evidence of George Perry's Record Bass?

The world-record largemouth bass that George Perry caught 81 years ago this month almost certainly wouldn’t qualify today. But back then, all he did was measure it at a Helena, Ga., grocery store and weigh it at the post office before submitting it in a Field & Stream fishing contest. No photo was required.

The 22-pound, 4-ounce fish, meanwhile, provided food for the Perry family.

But in 2006, a photo was found of a man holding a big bass, seemingly in front of the Helena post office. The man is not Perry, but many believe the bass is the one that he caught on June 2, 1932.

Now, a second photo has surfaced, and this one appears to be Perry holding the bass. It was found in a Florida barn, according to a relative of Jack Page, who fished with Perry on the day that he made his record catch.

Is this Perry’s record bass, or just another large fish that he caught? The mouth and head certainly seem gigantic, but the photo was taken at an angle that emphasizes them.

Go to the Outdoor Hub to see what Perry’s biographer, Bill Baab, has to say.

That’s the photo above this article. Remember, the bass was supposed to weigh 22 pounds, 4 ounces. Below are photos of two 13-pound bass. 

I was with Dave Burkhardt, owner of Trik Fish fishing line, when he caught the 13-8 on a crankbait at Mexico's Lake El Salto. It was so fat the it mostly just waddled to the boat, putting up little resistance.

But that's not to say that all double-digit bass don't fight. My first, weighing 12-4, put on a spectacular aerial display, despite my best efforts to keep its head down. 

Dave Burkhardt with a 13-8 largemouth caught at Mexico's Lake El Salto.

Bruce Holt of G.Loomis caught this 13-5 at El Salto.


'Thumbtimes' the Pain Is Worth It

Dave took big-fish honors with this Florida largemouth.

My thumb is scratched, raw, and even bruised. That’s a good thing.

As most bass anglers can tell you, thumb condition is one of the best ways of determining a fisherman’s success on the water.

While anglers are known to stretch the truth a bit, thumbs don’t lie.

When a bass is lipped for landing, its sandpaper teeth can damage flesh, especially if the fish carries some weight. And the more quality fish an angler lands, the more he and his thumb “suffer.”

Thus, my grievous injury from fishing with my friend Dave Burkhardt, owner of Trik Fish/Triple Fish fishing lines, and  guide Ed Grunloh on a chain of lakes near Orlando.

My largest bass was a bit smaller than Dave's catch of the day.

We all caught bass of 5 pounds and better, but I was the luckiest, taking a dozen or more 3- to 5-pounders by making long casts to grass edges with a Bass Pro Shops Swim Stik-O-Worm.

Dave took the day’s biggest bass with a Zoom Super Fluke soft jerkbait, while Ed took good numbers of smaller fish with a hard jerkbait fished in open water.

Sunday, Dave and I are heading down to Lake Okeechobee to fish with Florida legend Sam Griffin, who makes my favorite wooden topwater baits. Many of Sam’s secrets for catching bass on topwaters are revealed in my book, Better Bass Fishing.


Activist Angler Gets Lucky at Lake Okeechobee

Photo by Dave Burkhardt

Notice the grin? That’s an 8-pound, 5-ounce bass that I caught yesterday while fishing Florida’s Lake Okeechobee with my good friends Sam Griffin and Dave Burkhardt.

Sam knows as much about Lake Okeechobee and topwater fishing as anyone. In fact, his topwater secrets are featured in my book Better Bass Fishing, which you can buy here, at Amazon, or from other booksellers.

Sam has spent most of his nearly 75 years on the Big O, first getting out on the water at about age 5 with his father. He worked as a guide for awhile and is most famous for his handcrafted wooden topwater lures, which are among my favorites for bass. He tells me that he might soon offer his baits through a website. If so, I’ll tell you about it and provide a link.

Dave is the owner of Trik Fish fishing line (website under construction) and has been my fishing buddy for years. I call him Senor Suerte (Mr. Lucky) because he’s usually the one who catches the big fish. I was with him when he caught a 13-8 at Mexico’s Lake El Salto.

But I was the lucky one yesterday. I caught the big girl about 10 a.m. on a black/blue soft-body swimbait, dragged through the grass. These baits, which include Skinny Dippers and Die Dappers, have been a staple at Okeechobee for a couple of years.

We also caught a few fish on ½-ounce Rat-L-Traps and one of Sam’s topwater baits, the Lil’ Richard. Sam also took a few on a prototype topwater that he hasn’t yet named.

Bite was tough, Sam explained, because water is on the rise, but main-lake bass haven’t yet followed it into the backwaters.

We also saw plenty of wildlife, including a gator, some manatees, and an Everglades snail kite.

Check out my photos from this trip in the Escape! Gallery.