Hollowell Signs on to Host New WFN Show - the Bass Dr.

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Todd recently announced his signing on to host a new hit fishing show on the World Fishing Network (WFN) called the Bass Dr.  Stay tuned for updates on the journey that lies ahead....

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Umbrella Rigs

The Castaic umbrella rigs allow fisherman to catch more bass.  When bass school offshore, they often form in groups of hundreds of fish. 

Being the opportunistic predators they are, bass will attack schools of minnows and the Castaic umbrella rig looks just like a school of minnows.

Cast the rig, count it down to the correct depth and hang on!  It's very common to catch multiple bass on one cast. Even 5 bass have been captured on one cast!

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Visit CastaicSwimbait.com for more information.

On the Tournament Trail

tt150x100.pngRiding off the momentum of 2013, I'm looking forward to taking it to the next level in 2014. With a full tournament schedule on the horizon, I'm keeping my skills sharp and eyes on the prize. You can follow me on tour by checking out my Tournament Trail page with my complete schedule with results as they come in. Check back often and hope to see you on the water.
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Choosing the Right Jerkbait

Posted by todd on March 12, 2014

If you’re reading this tip, chances are you are a student of the sport and know that “matching the hatch” is one of the most important factors in selecting the right lure and the right color to catch more fish.  Some lures, like buzzbaits, are reaction baits that trigger fish to strike out of reaction without letting the fish actually get a good look at the bait.  In these situations, color is much less important.  Fishing with a suspending jerkbait is one of the times that color is of the utmost importance, because you are letting the fish stare at your lure without moving.  This tip will help you with choosing the right jerkbait color to “match the hatch” and hopefully catch more fish this spring.

First, wherever you are fishing you want to take into consideration the primary forage that the bass feed on.  If you are fishing around the Great Lakes or in the northeastern U.S., perch are a favorite meal for bass in certain times of the year.  Make sure you carry perch colors in your tackle box if that’s the case.  If you are fishing in Florida, the golden shiner is prevalent, so colors like gold/black can be very effective.  For most of us, threadfin and gizzard shad are the predominant forage in fisheries – so shad patterns make up the bulk of the color selections in my tackle box.  I use the Reaction Strike XRM jerkbait line because it gives me all of the color choices and sizes I need to “match the hatch” across the country.

I like to carry two different types of shad patterns.  One is more of an opaque pattern or one that you cannot see through, colors such as shell white, ayu, and sexy shad.  The other is a translucent pattern, one that is much more subtle and allows some light to pass through.  This includes colors such as spring blue, ghost minnow, and ghost pro blue.  I favor the opaque colors in stained water, or on dark, cloudy days.  I favor the translucent colors in clear water, or bright sunny days.  Remember to always experiment with color and know that the best color choice may actually change throughout the day as conditions change.  The fish must see your bait, but not get too good a look at it to realize that it’s not real.

 


Fighting for Inches: The Mental Game & Okeechobee

Posted by admin on February 21, 2014

Our first FLW Tour event from Lake Okeechobee is now in the books, and the season is under way.  When I received my text from FLW with the results from day one showing me in 142nd place, it was obvious that it wasn’t exactly the way I had envisioned my season starting off. I lost one big fish early that morning that would have put me in the top 25. 

After finishing 117th at Okeechobee in 2013 and having missed qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup by only 14 points, I realized that one more fish last year would have made all the difference.  Suddenly, I was facing the fact that Okeechobee may sting me again in 2014. The mental game of fishing plays a tremendous role in why some anglers succeed consistently. There’s not a worse feeling than having to return messages, calls, and e-mails to family, friends, and supporters after a bad day or a bad event.  The feeling that you have let them down and disappointed them sometimes even embarrasses yourself. So what thoughts go through your head when this happens? How do you bounce back? Can you bounce back? Will you bounce back?

A few months ago, my brother and fellow FLW Tour Pro, Troy Hollowell, shared with me a speech from Al Pacino in the movie “Any Given Sunday” that talked about football being a game of inches. That really hit home with me, and I’ve been able to relate that speech to fishing and to life as a whole. Every day, we are faced with challenges and adversity. And in this sport of professional bass fishing, the competition is fierce and the margin for error is razor-thin. It’s the toughest game I’ve ever played – mentally speaking. One missed bite, one broken line, one wrong decision – they can all be the difference between getting paid and going home with nothing. So you have to be ready for opportunities, and you have to trust that those opportunities will come to you. 

On day two, I made a commitment to fight for every inch I could. With about 90 minutes of fishing time left, I had a stout 8-pound limit and was facing another poor finish on Okeechobee. I had scrambled around trying to make the right adjustment, and it finally happened at 2 p.m. that day. I moved to an area where I had caught some keepers in practice but hadn’t visited on tournament day. And on my first cast I landed a 7-pound fish on a River Rat Tackle Swim Jig that changed the course of the day. I caught two more key fish in the next 30 minutes and made a move to 77th place overall, sneaking away with a check and some valuable points. I packed up the Red Gold Tomatoes truck and boat and headed to practice for the next event at Lake Hartwell – it’s what we do.

Sometimes, some of the smallest victories are the most important – and recognizing those victories can unlock the key to allowing more victories into your life. Life is indeed a game of inches, and so is fishing.  So as I reflect on the first event, I know that I fought for those inches. I believe that at the end of the season those inches will make the difference in qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup. 

Don’t underestimate the power of the mental game of fishing and of life. It can make all the difference in the world.


To Tweet or Not to Tweet: That is the Question

Posted by todd on January 27, 2014

We’re just a few anxious weeks away from the Walmart FLW Tour season opener on Lake Okeechobee. Thanks to a new and innovative rule change from FLW, there is one question that seems to be on a lot of minds. It has nothing to do with the umbrella rig, or the new 30-day restricted access period, or even some of the Elite Series anglers crossing over to fish the FLW Tour this year. But rather, the question that many are asking is: How will FLW’s new social media rule impact the 2014 season?

If you have not been made aware yet, FLW implemented a new, never-seen before rule that now allows the use of cell phones “for pros to post social media updates.” Up until this point in time, pros have only been able to use cell phones to communicate with lockmasters on certain river systems where locking is allowed or in emergency situations, such as an equipment failure. FLW has taken an aggressive step forward in trying to bring the sport closer to the fans by implementing this new rule. Now, it’s up to the anglers to turn this into a positive rule change. Anglers can now access Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites while the tournament is going on. So I’m anxious to see how it plays out this season. Are you?

Unlike many sports that are televised where fans can watch the game unfold, there is no possible way to logistically film 180 anglers during the course of a tournament day. One of the most popular online features from FLW over the past few years has been the “On the Water Updates,” which has included Twitter updates as well. These updates have kept fans informed on how anglers are doing as the tournament day progresses, and arguably has brought the fans closer to the tournament without actually being there. However, there is a finite number of FLW reporters to do the updates and they can only reach a select few anglers that are in the area of the lake that they are covering. There is a constant challenge in trying to bring the fans to the sport, as fishing is a uniquely and predominantly a participant sport – one where people enjoy fishing more than they do watching someone else fish. I think FLW is on the right track with allowing social media updates for people to follow their favorite angler and get updates throughout the day. And it’s these types of progressive-thinking ideas that will continue to drive the sport’s future and expand its reach to its fans.

There are a lot of FLW Tour anglers who have a loyal following of fans and that have a strong social media presence. Guys like Tom Redington, Wesley Strader, and Travis Fox all have a strong online following and are from different regions of the country – and there is no doubt that their fans will appreciate getting updates from them during tournament days. The pros who embrace the new rule stand to gain new fans from this platform that FLW has created.  Does that mean that pros who don’t embrace social media will lose out on something? Not necessarily. But it’s hard to argue the power of social media for those that use and understand it. 

Now, the real question is: How will anglers use this new rule change to bring updates to their fans? Will there be any negative repercussions from the rule? Will anyone abuse the rule and how so? These are questions that have been on my mind the last few weeks, and I certainly don’t have the answers. In fact, I’m not even sure how I’m going to use this new rule change during the course of my day. I’ve tried to take time to learn Facebook and Twitter over the past few years and have become somewhat efficient with it. However, I’m on the fence on how much time I will actually spend using it during an eight-hour tournament day – after all, each minute spent updating a social media status is a minute that could be used to make a few casts. I’m guessing you can count on one to two updates from me during the course of the day. But I’ll be interested to see how much others send updates. Will you see my top secret bait of choice? Probably not. Will I give away my location for where I’m fishing and catching fish? Probably not. Will this take away from people watching the weigh-ins on FLW Live? Probably not. 

I think this will be a good change and one that helps fans connect with anglers during a tournament – but only time will tell. What do you think about it?

 


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