Week 52 – Hot Baits For 2006
As 2005 draws to a close, the tour pros are getting a chance to relax during the holidays and prepare for what promises to be a monumental year in bass fishing history. Lucky Craft pros Joe Thomas and Brent Ehrler will spend Christmas with their families before they hit the road.
For Ehrler, the road swing will commence with a cross-country trip to Florida for the start of the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee. Thomas has a little more time before the Bassmaster Elite Series heads to Lake Amistad in March, but he certainly won't be idle. He'll work five boat shows and a superhuman 14 Bassmaster University events over the next 8 weeks.
Both pros are pumped for the year to begin and they're chomping at the bit to test out some of the newest designs from Lucky Craft.
Crank it Up
Ehrler has a number of new Lucky Craft lures that he's dying to test out on tour. For shallow cranking, he's a fanatic for the new BDS1 and BDS2 square-bills. "They're going to be phenomenal this year," he said. "They probably won't play much of a role on Okeechobee and Beaver, but after that I'll be using them a lot."
He's been to only two of the lakes on the 2006 schedule – Okeechobee and Beaver – but the one that excites him most is Kentucky Lake because he's heard that it's a high-caliber fishery. "I'm also excited about Beaver Lake," he said. "It has the most in common with the lakes close to home in California."
At Beaver, he'll likely employ Lucky Craft's new Fat CB Mini. "It'll be good at Beaver, Kentucky Lake and Lake Murray," he predicted. "I'm really impressed with this crankbait. I've never seen a deep-diving crankbait that wanders and tracks like it. They all wobble, but the good ones like this move 6 inches to one side, then back to center, then 6 inches to the other. No other deep diver does that, except if they're spinning in a loop, and that's not good."
He also eagerly anticipates the release of the Live LVR lipless crankbait. "I haven't used it yet, but I've seen a prototype and I think it'll be great."
Slim is In
Thomas played a role in the development of Lucky Craft's Slender Pointer, and he's prepared to do major damage with it throughout the Elite Series season. "That's the lure I'm most excited about," he said. "It's the best hard jerkbait ever made by any company. They took it one step above the bar this time."
He swears by the Slender Pointer's unique action. "It's not quite as wide a wobble as the regular Pointer," he said. "It's more narrow, more snapping. And it has perfectly neutral buoyancy, so you can 'cat-and-mouse' them when they just follow it. It also throws like a bullet, which is great on a windy day."
He expects that the Slender Pointer will contribute some hefty smallmouths to his creel at the northern tour stops at Champlain and Oneida, but said that it's deadly on largemouths too.
What was the best fishing-related Christmas present they ever received?
Ehrler – "It was a Castaic swimbait. That's the only one I've ever gotten. No, I take that back. I got a spinning rod and reel from my parents when I was 5 years old, or maybe even 4. I had a spincaster before that, but I had seen a spinning rod and thought that was the best."
Thomas – "My wife gave me a pair of fleece, suede-palm fingerless gloves. I always complained that I couldn't find good gloves for fishing. I wore them until they were in tatters, maybe 3 or 4 years, and I've never found another pair like those since then."
> Ehrler recently inked a deal with Roboworm and noted that they have a new injection mold that can do what no other company has attempted – pour three color-injection molded plastics. "Most injections are one or two colors but they can do three. They have four new baits out – two worms and two creatures. Imagine those baits in Aaron's Magic or Margarita Mutilator, or a three-color mix of greens, browns and purples."
>He plans to fly home to California in between FLW Tour events.
>Thomas will once again sport the Outdoor Channel wrap on his Skeeter. "Look for the moose," he said.
>His website is www.joethomasfishing.com.