TIP: The Perfect Sight-Fishing Lure?
This Team TTF tips piece comes from field-staffer Capt. Mike Cook. Capt. Cook is based out of the Rockport area and specializes in shallow-water sight-fishing for trout and redfish. You can find Capt. Cook's contact information on our TTF Pro Staff page by clicking here and scrolling down to our Field Staff listing.
I don’t know if the Texas Tackle Factory folks had sight-fishing in mind when they designed the Killer Flats Minnow, but if they didn’t, they still came up with what just might be the perfect sight-fishing soft-plastic. Sight-fishing is primarily done in very shallow, clear water. In this environment the fish are very aware of what is going on around them, and they tend to be a little spooky. The size, action and colors of the KFM make it very effective for these shallow-water applications.
The KFM is noticeably smaller than its Trout and Red Killer brothers. The KFM lands in the water with very little splash or commotion. Unlike some fish in deeper water that may be attracted to a splash, reds and trout in skinny water tend to shy away from such a disturbance. Once in the water, the smaller size makes for a much less invasive, and therefore, more effective presentation.
The subtle action of the KFM’s paddle tail is just right for fooling wary fish. When twitched, the up-and-down motion of the KFM does a great job of mimicking a fleeing shrimp or a baitfish looking to hide in the grass. The straight track of the bait when retrieved also allows the angler a good line to bring the bait directly to the fish.
The wide variety of TTF’s colors allows the angler to cover the entire spectrum in search of the perfect color the fish really want. I almost always start with light colors such as liquid shrimp or salt-n-pepper/chartreuse. My main reason for this is that the lighter colors are easier for me to see. When I can see both the bait and the fish I can do a better job of “coaching” my client that can’t always see the fish as well as I can. If I see that a light color makes the fish shy away I will switch to a little darker shade such as pumpkinseed/chartreuse or strawberry/white. On rare occasions I may have to switch to one of the really dark colors, but on most days the liquid shrimp does the job for me.
One other positive attribute of the KFM, and actually all the TTF baits, is their durability. A few years back I used “BA” brand baits, and for the most part that meant catch a fish and put on another bait. The TTF baits are much tougher and will stand up to multiple bites and catches.
If you enjoy sight-fishing as much as I do, you owe it to yourself to try TTF’s Killer Flats Minnow… it’s quite possibly the perfect sight-fishing bait.
BLOG: Bryant - Pre-Season Prep
I don't know about you, but this cold, nasty, wet, dreary weather has given me a serious case of cabin fever. The days of shorts and flip-flops seem ages away, but sure enough, they'll be here before we know it. I never thought I'd say this, but bring on the 90-degree temps and stifling humidity of August. I'll take that over cold, wet and clammy any day.
It's early February, and redfish tournament season is just around the corner - right at a month away, as a matter of fact. My tournament partner, Trey Russo, and I have already started prepping for tournament season. I've got several of my reels broken down on my work bench, ready to be cleaned and lubed for another tough spring and summer in the salt. I've got a sack full of terminal tackle - split rings, hooks, swivels and snaps - that needs to be added to some worn out topwaters and crankbaits. My spoons and spinnerbaits could use a good polish and shine. And, of course, I'm making sure my tackle bag is well-stocked with plenty of TTF plastics.
Hundreds of tournament anglers go through this same ritual every year. Most fishermen aren't as obsessive as us when it comes to tackle preparation, but when one lost fish could mean the difference between winning ten grand or walking away with nothing but a sunburn, you learn to take this stuff seriously. Dull hooks, old line, slipping reel drags and corroded trailer bearings are just a few of the things that can put a major damper on your tournament day - many of us have learned that the hard way, and that's why we put such an emphasis on preventative maintenance.
When most folks think about tournament fishing, their mind goes straight to catching fish... BIG fish. But catching fish is only one small battle in a much larger war. You've got to make it to and from your fishing spot (which can be much easier said than done). You've got to keep your fish alive. You've got to manage your time in such a way to give yourself maximum fishing hours while still allowing breathing room just in case something goes wrong on the journey back to the weigh-in... and something WILL go wrong at some point.
That's why I love tournament fishing - it's the mental chess match that makes it so fun and challenging. Sure, I love the sensation of watching a redfish absolutely plow my Killer Flats Minnow. I love the fight. I love the sun. I love the salty air and the sound that millions of blades of spartina grass make when they bend in unison with the southeast wind. But most of all, I love the strategy that goes into a successful tournament day - scrutinizing your plan down to minutes and organizing your "milk run" for maximum efficiency.
Is it tournament time yet? I'm counting down the days and looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones on the trail this year.
See ya' on the water,
Jason Bryant/Team TTF