Friday, January 30, 2015

Catching "Boss Hogg"

What will it take to catch "Boss Hogg" this Bass Season?

It's a question I ponder often when thinking about the coming bass season... even though the season is still far off as I write this. Boss Hogg is what I affectionately call a smallmouth bass that's over 6 pounds... I catch a number of 5 pounders each season but The Boss has eluded me for some time. I found some new water at the end of last season that fished amazing and my confidence is higher than ever that Boss Hogg lives there.

For the past 5 years or so, my personal fishing trips and nearly all of my guide trips for bass have primarily been focussed on fishing topwater poppers... especially Zudbubbler's, and for good reason. Sure, if you're after numbers of bass, a small streamer or crayfish pattern is tough to beat and occasionally gets a dandy one but there is an obvious trend when I fish with my buddies (and I'm sure they won't mind me telling) that the biggest fish of the day nearly always come to poppers. There's just something about that obnoxious frog clumsily swimming through their living room that is too much for the big guys to ignore.

Allow me to digress a moment... as a kid, there was only one TV show that I could NOT miss, I even recorded the episode's with my tape recorder (this was before the VCR)... it was "The Dukes of Hazzard". You might think I was just in love with Daisy Duke, but that was not the case. My affections were much more focussed on the "General Lee"... that Hemi-Orange 69' Charger with confederate flag on the roof and "01" on the doors. It's funny, even now in my mid 40's I have dreams nearly once a week that I am the proud owner of  "The General" and who knows, that day may come.

Anyway, back to fishing. As I was thinking recently about catching Boss Hogg, my mind went to the  TV show and how "Boss Hogg" (the character who played the greedy, unethical commissioner of Hazzard County, and arch enemy of the Dukes) was always trying to get them Duke Boys and that General Lee... he'd do nearly anything to "catch em". You can probably already see where I'm going with this so let me get right to my thought process. What is the obvious thing that's going to get Boss Hogg to explode on the scene and put the hammer down this season? The Duke Boys of course... and they'll be the one's in the General Lee trying to make a fast getaway.

So here's a photo of my latest loud popping obnoxious bass popper. "The General Lee"...  and it's kickin' up dirt trying to get away from The Boss. This may be the only time that I've ever hoped The General doesn't "get away".

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Brack Hill Tackle - Rod #108

I've never been the kind of person that felt the need to make a "bucket list", but if I were, one of the things on the list would be to have a custom split bamboo rod made for me by a skilled rod maker. One of my guide clients who has become more of a friend than a "client" happens to fit that bill.
Lou Burhart owns Brack Hill Tackle and he specializes in heirloom quality bamboo rods... some of the finest I've seen. Lou made me an offer I couldn't refuse last fall so I pulled the trigger and gave him the go ahead. Much to my delight, he began working on it pretty quickly and was posting progress photos on his Facebook page often, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Last night I met with Lou and some other client friends for dinner in Ypsilanti before I was to present a tying clinic for Schultz Outfitters "Barflies" night. Lou presented the finished rod to me before dinner and I briefly unpacked it to admire his artwork, looking forward to getting it home so I could admire it even closer. He even put together a bag of pieces and parts of all stages of its progression... so cool!
Anyway, if I ever get that urge to make a bucket list I can already check this one off. The craftsmanship is unbelievable and I imagine this will be one of the few things that will be passed down to my children and grandchildren for generations to come.
Thank you Lou for making something so special, I promise it will be cherished!

Here are some of the progression photos for your enjoyment.