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Fisherman’s Handbook – Series 2

Host Wade Middleton is back, teaming up with a host of pro Bass anglers including his good buddies Jeff Reynolds and Clark Wendlandt. They've got loads of tips and advice on how to improve your Bass fishing. They cover everything from rod and reel selection, fishing in windy conditions, what soft rubber lures to use and how to set them up through to the best tactics for fishing boat docks and setting up your boat electronics. You can see that these guys know what they are talking about, as in every episode there is a big bag of Bass caught.

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In this the first episode of a new series, host Wade Middleton has made his way over into East Texas, to head out on to the Sam Rayburn Reservoir in search of pre-spawn Bass. It's early Spring, the weather is cold and wet and he only gets an hour or so out on the water, but explains that these low pressure conditions can often be the best for Bass fishing and shows how to make the most of them. First up he stresses how important it is to have good waterproof gear to keep yourself warm and dry. Use your electronics, by finding water just a couple of degrees warmer you will find active hungry fish and by choosing the right bait will have success, here he's using a Spro Aruku Shad to great effect. The next day, the weather has completely changed, clear blue skies, bright sunshine and higher pressure, so he switches tactics. To provoke what he assumes will be more lethargic fish he likes to use a suspending jerkbait, just throw it out, twitch it down and leave it in the strike zone and waiting for them to hit it. He also talks you through rod, reel and line selection to use with these and although this isn't his favourite form of Bass fishing, it certainly works in conditions like these. The Sam Rayburn Reservoir is one of the best Bass fishing lakes in the USA and Wade certainly makes the most of it, as always his tips and advice are well put and easy to follow. To watch Sam Rayburn Reservoir now, just login or join
Host Wade Middleton believes that fishing for Bass on or near dams is always a great idea. Whether the dam in question is a small earthworks on a pond or a huge concrete structure on a big reservoir, you will always find plenty of fish holding up next to it. As with any new water the first thing to do is check it out, use your electronics at assess the drop off, look for any signs of baitfish, see what sort of vegetation there is on or near the bank. Quite often dam walls will be made of piles of rocks and the edge of these and other riff-raff areas can be very productive. Wade and some of his fellow Bass professionals offer up great advice on what types of lure work best in these conditions and what rods, reels and line to use with them. They also talk about how to make the most of the currents and winds that can are usually be quite unique to the larger man made structures. To watch Bass Fishing Near Dams now, just login or join
Host Wade Middleton and his team of pro anglers have plenty of advice to offer when it comes to Targeting Bass on Boat Docks. Most good fishing lakes around the States will have any number of boat docks that come in all shapes and sizes, from the small fixed jetties in shallow water to the large floating marinas but they all have one thing in common, they are great places to find Bass. But when you are presented with so much choice how do you decide which one to fish? The general consensus is to look for something that's a bit different, one that's on its own or sticks out into the lake a bit further than the rest or has strange features such as cables or poles attached to it. Wade is out on a breezy, overcast day so decides to fish aggressively with a jerkbait. Clark Wendlandt likes using a skipping jig as he can cast it right up underneath the dock to where the larger fish are holding up. They're both catching big Bass proving that the theory works. To watch Targeting Bass on Boat Docks now, just login or join
In this episode host Wade Middleton and some of his pro bass angler friends demonstrate how important it is to correctly position your boat for successful Bass fishing. All too often they see 'good' anglers come unstuck when they lose control of their boat as they start to cast. Being too close to a target can result in over-casting with the inevitable snags and hook ups. Allowing the boat to turn means you're constantly having to change your position on the boat, or moving away from the target zone makes it much harder to reach the fish. There is general consensus that a Power-Pole is the most important piece of equipment, when it comes to slow, controlled manoeuvring in shallow water and there are plenty of tips here on how to make the most of it. In deeper water the boat electronics become invaluable, so Wade and the team take time to demonstrate how best to set these up. To watch Position Your Boat for Bass now, just login or join
This episode of the Fisherman's Handbook is split into two sections. In the first part Wade Middleton heads to Minnesota to join Steve Pennaz for a session ice fishing on one of its many frozen lakes. What's got him most excited is that it gives him the chance to play with his Garmin PanOptix. Once they've drilled a hole in the ice he's able to drop his sensor and see on his screen, all the fish activity going on below him. Steve's hoping they will find some decent Pike and Bass, but the first bite Wade gets is a lovely little Sunfish. The PanOptix also allows you to scan the surrounding water for fish and Steve has great fun when he finds school of Crappies. In the second part we take a close look at boat electronics and see how a Garmin PanOptix can be set up, optimising the LiveVu Forward functionality. To watch Ice Fishing and Boat Electronics now, just login or join
Host Wade Middleton takes a look at some of the new developments in Boat Electronics that are making huge differences to his ability to catch fish. First up is the Garmin Panoptix Livescope which with its HD resolution screen presents with amazing clarity an image of what is under the front of the boat. It's now possible to see the shape and size of the fish as they swim below, it almost makes it too easy. He also takes a look at the advancements in mapping, in particular the new colour depth shading, that makes it very easy to navigate over the same depth, once you have found fish. Wade also shows how using both of these in tandem can make it much easier to find holes in submerged grass. The poor Bass don't stand a chance. To watch Boat Electronics Explained now, just login or join
Wade Middleton takes a trip down memory lane as he fishes the lake that he grew up on at Ardmore Lake Club, Oklahoma. He is joined by childhood buddy Jeff Kriet, the two spent all their spare time here when they were kids, as well as few days skipping school. Its obviously been the venue for many Bass fishing battles and here they lock horns once again. Jeff has gone on to become a highly rated pro-angler competing in the 2019 Bassmaster Classic, so Wade knows he's in for a mighty tussle. At only 232 acres the Ardmore Club Lake is relatively small but holds a good head of Largemouth Bass, so as well as catching plenty of fish the guys have a load of tips for fishing smaller lakes, including a review of the Ranger RT178 boat they are using with its Yamaha F25 engine. The action is only interrupted by the banter and jokes, as the guys try to score points verbally as well with the Bass. To watch Wade and Jeff Go Small now, just login or join
While most Bass anglers will admit to preferring the no nonsense tactics of flipping and spinning, the best ones will have mastered Finesse Tactics on lightweight line and tackle. Clark Wendlandt shows how he ties his dropshotting rig so that he can jiggle a rubber worm 18 inches above the bottom. John Crews matches his hook size to his bait when using smaller rubber lures. Gerald Swindle shows how to tie the Red Phillips knot he uses when he wants to fish a sensitive, lightweight flourocarbon leader on his braided mainline. When conditions get tough this is a go to set up for a lot of the pros and the bait that a lot of them like to use is the Shakey Head. Just throw it out, let it sink to the bottom and then slowly retrieve, allowing it to bounce and hop over the contours. It's the bait that gets a "ton" of bites in all conditions. To watch Finesse Tactics for Bass now, just login or join
If you walk down the aisles of any major tackle shop, you will be overwhelmed by the vast choice of Bass Fishing Rods and Reels on display. Here Wade Middleton and Clark Wendlandt pass on some great tips and advice on how to make sure you end up choosing the equipment that's best suited to your needs. When thinking about buying a rod things to consider are budget, length, strength, loop size, the type of handle and how you want the reel to sit, it's also worth considering whether you need a range of rods to cover different fishing conditions. Baitcaster reels come in a lot of different sizes and set ups. Things to consider here are left or right hand, gear ratios and retrieve speeds, the braking system and range of adjustment on the drag. Spinning reels get discussed too. Generally the more money you've got to spend, the higher the quality of equipment you will get. One of Wade's best tips is to try the feel of a rod and reel combination in the shop before you commit, its got to feel right for you. To watch Bass Fishing Rods and Reels now, just login or join
No two visits to the water are the same, even if you keep fishing the same lake and here Wade tries to unravel the mysteries of what it takes to keep catching Bass. He's out on a large dammed reservoir with old buddy and fellow pro angler Jeff Reynolds, whenever these two are fishing together it's always competitive. Wade is on a poor run of form, not having caught anything over 3lbs on his last ten outings. It's a cold windy day so he decides to bounce a crankbait over the rocks on the wall of the dam. And it works, immediately he's into a run of big Bass. Jeff was convinced he was going to catch them on his trap lure but doesn't have the same luck. How long before he switches to a crankbait too. Wade is delighted that he's chosen the right shape and colour combination for the conditions. Eventually Jeff swallows his pride, switches lures and lo and behold!
Whenever you turn up at a body of water one of the first things you need to assess is where in the water column you are likely to find the Bass. Your electronics can help with this, but so will years of experience. Wade Middleton has just that and here he passes on some tips and advice. He starts off fishing a small pond in late summer where he is expecting to find the Bass on the top, so he uses a floating frog bait and jumps it across the surface. You're quite likely to find a lot of vegetation in a pond, so might need to use a lure that will get you through that. When trying to locate fish at the bottom of a bigger lake he relies heavily on his electronics to spot any potential baitfish as well as the Bass, but also uses the feel of his lure as he pulls it over the contours. He and Jeff Reynolds discuss their favourite bottom lures, Jeff is a big fan of the MVP Football jig because of the way it moves across the lake bed and you can see why here. To watch Bass Fishing from Top to Bottom now, just login or join
Wade Middleton and Jeff Reynolds get together for another friendly battle, this time using soft lures for Largemouth Bass. They are on Choke Canyon Reservoir, Texas in early Spring, the water is very high and the lake has recently flooded, so the guys find themselves cruising through a lot of submerged vegetation. The Bass are pushed up shallow looking to spawn, so the guys are trying to find and fish a distinctive feature such as the bank of the lake or a submerged track. They quickly find a pattern that works, casting a Trick Stick large soft rubber worm. Jeff talks us through a few ways he likes to set this up and get it moving in the water. Later in the year they are out together again fishing close to the dam wall on a larger lake, this time Jeff has success on another large soft rubber lure the Tour Swim Worm, which is designed to swim effortlessly through shallow grass, he shows that by changing the weight, you can control the retrieve speed. To watch Soft Lures for Largemouth Bass now, just login or join
In this episode Wade Middleton and Clark Wendlandt have plenty of tips and advice for Bass Fishing in Windy Conditions. Many anglers will consider a strong wind their enemy, something they will have to battle with if they want to catch fish. But Wade and Clark show how to make the wind your friend. Fish a bank where the wind is behind you, so it helps the cast. Boat positioning will be difficult so go with the wind along the bank rather than trying to head into it. If you get it right, a day out in conditions like this can be very rewarding, as the fish seem less wary and the bites come thick and fast. To watch Bass Fishing in Windy Conditions now, just login or join


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