Team Livingston Tip Sheet: Follow Hank Cherry’s
keys to wintertime jerkbait success
If you live anywhere in the country (except where the lakes are all frozen over), wintertime is one of the best times of year to target suspended fish. People seem to forget that fish still feed a lot in the winter, they just don’t feed as often. They really don’t have to: the bait is all grouped up this time of year, the shad kill is going on, and that turns fish into really opportunistic feeders.
For that reason, this time of year is a great time to throw a jerkbait like the JerkMaster 121 with Electronic Baitfish Sounds MultiTouch Technology™.
FIND THE BAIT, YOU’LL FIND FISH
Finding the bait is the key to locating fish in the winter, and the easiest way to do that is to look for birds diving and flying around. If you find an area where birds are actually diving and picking up the bait, you know you’re in the right spot. You’ll find fish on windy points a lot this time of year, but if you don’t have an array of electronics, you can just locate an area where birds are active and cast around until you’re able to fine-tune the location of the bait.
This is where EBS MultiTouch™ will be a big help, because the JerkMaster 121’s sound technology dramatically expands the “range” of the bait when you’re looking for fish. And fish just hit the EBS baits SO much harder, it’s amazing.
One little tip on MultiTouch™: Even though you’re fishing over shad balls in the winter, I frequently switch up the sounds from EBS™ Shad (the actual sounds of a panicked/fleeing shad) to EBS™ Craw (which emits the sound of a snapping shellfish). I’ve caught just as many on craw as shad because it’s a different sound that just catches their attention.
WORKING THE JERKMASTER 121
The first thing to do once you’ve located bait is figure out what that bait is relating to, and whether it’s on a 45-degree (point) or on a steeper drop-off. Shad can suspend in 5 feet in a pocket, or they could be in 25 feet on a point, but it’s really important to find the depth where the bait is in the biggest masses.
If you find fish suspended in 6 to 15 feet of water, stay off of them and make long casts toward shore. I tend to play with the retrieve depending on water temperature. I like to work the bait more in short twitches this time of year than stroking the bait, and pause to let it float up a little. That action imitates what the shad are doing underwater. If you’ve ever seen a dying shad, that’s exactly what it does: it floats up a little and then twitches.
The retrieve kinda goes day to day, but it’s generally better to fish slower, albeit a little more erratically.
ADD A LITTLE WEIGHT TO THE BAIT
Sometimes I’ll add weight to the JerkMaster 121, depending on how deep the fish are. The bait comes with No. 4 Daiichi 4X Strong trebles, and trust me, you can just take it out of the pack and sling it and do just fine. I fiddle with all my hooks on all my baits, though, so I’ll run the JerkMaster 121 with thinner-wire No. 4 trebles (which are slightly lighter than the 4X hooks), or I’ll go up in hook size depending on how deep the fish are. You might be surprised at how a tiny little change in the size of the hook will affect the action, and the way you can fish the bait. If I find myself in a situation where fish are deeper – say 15 feet or more – it’s not unusual for me to switch the No. 4s out to No. 3s, depending on how I want the bait to fall.
THE FINAL DETAILS
I throw a medium-action rod and 12- to 15-pound P-Line fluorocarbon, which I prefer over mono because it doesn’t float the bait up, and has virtually zero stretch. I stick with more opaque colors this time of year because they’re more natural-looking for shad in the winter. My personal favorite is Blue Pearl, but you can go with almost anything in white or off white (Pure Bone or Bone Croaker, for example).
ORLANDO, Fla. – In the world of topwater bass baits, there are those that walk and those that pop. There are also those that spit and twitch. But when the Team Livingston bait-engineering team went to the drawing board to create a new breed of topwater baits, they asked themselves “Why not a bait that does ALL of the above?”
The final result: the WALKING BOSS and its double-jointed cousin, the WALKING BOSS PART II with Livingston’s Electronic Baitfish Sound (EBS) MultiTouch™ technology.
“We wanted to produce a topwater bait with attitude, and one that could be worked several different ways,” says Livingston’s creator and lead bait designer Robert Castaneda. “The Walking Boss is a totally unique topwater: it spits, walks, chugs and swims, with the added attraction of EBS MultiTouch technology. It’s a wicked combination.”
The 5-inch WALKING BOSS settles in the water at an 80-degree angle, with a slightly-concave chugger mouth that throws off a sharp spitting action at the start of the retrieve. The elongated body is designed to walk the dog, but as Team Livingston pro Stetson Blaylock points out: “You don’t have to know how to walk the dog, you can just twitch, reel, twitch the WALKING BOSS and get great topwater action.”
The WALKING BOSS PART II is a jointed cousin of the Walking Boss – same basic body structure and chugger lip – but the action is in a whole different category. In addition to the added vibration of the jointed tail and the extra boost of a feather on the back treble, the PART II also has a subtle lip built into the body, and slightly “blown out” cheeks that provide not only the classic “chug” of a walking bait, but also a pronounced, rhythmic “ploppity plop” commotion that’s been proven for decades to provoke savage surface bites.
“The WALKING BOSS PART II is a really diverse topwater bait, and a night fisherman’s dream,” says Castaneda. “The chug lip and flared cheeks are just classic components of great topwater baits, enhanced by the attraction of real baitfish sounds provided by our EBS Technology. Both it and the WALKING BOSS are just great multi-dimensional baits.”
NEW FOR 2015 - THE TEAM LIVINGSTON LINE: The WALKING BOSS and WALKING BOSS PART II are parts of the all new Team Livingston series of baits that will be introduced this week at ICAST in Orlando. The Team Livingston line combines new, innovative designs, with Livingston’s new EBS MultiTouch™ technology, which allows the angler to “program” the baits with four different sound options. Team Livingston baits are all designed with premium components (stainless steel split rings, advanced rattles, etc.) and all come with Daiichi 4x Strong hooks.
MEDIA CONTACT: Joel Shangle – (425) firstname.lastname@example.org
Livingston Lures’ Howeller DMC Squarebill: The Ultimate “Hunter”
ORLANDO, Fla. – When 2014 Bassmaster Classic champion Randy Howell set to work on a bait that would tighten the action of the wide-wobbling Howeller Dream Master Classic (DMC), the first thing the Team Livingston design team did was tear off the DMC’s bill and engineer the bait with a circuit-board squarebill that would (in theory) radically change the way the bait swam.
Theory became reality the second the final version of HOWELLER DMC SQUAREBILL (SQ) hit the water during Team Livingston on-the-water testing. The original DMC’s wider wobble was immediately replaced with a wicked-tight wobble and a sneaky new side-to-side darting or “hunting” action that almost caused the bait to roll off the production line with a new name.
“The HOWELLER DMC SQ is such a hunter that we almost named it the ‘Howeller Hunter’,” jokes Livingston Lures creator and lead bait designer Robert Castaneda. “When we started to brainstorm new baits, Randy wanted a bait that had a crazy-tight wobble, but in the original Howeller DMC body. Other members of the Team Livingston pro team also agreed that we needed a new squarebill, and the first time we put the HOWELLER DMC SQ in the water, we knew we had it right.”
The HOWELLER DMC SQ starts with the 2 ¼-inch Howeller DMC body, and includes all of the characteristics that make the original the most effective medium-diving crankbait on the market: the same herringbone belly and realistic fish-scale back, and the same gill marks and lateral line “cuts” down the side of the body that amplify the bait’s sound and more effectively reflect natural light.
The DMC SQ’s difference-maker, though, is the thin circuit-board bill, which produces such a dramatically extreme right/left darting action and tight vibration at its 4- to 6-foot diving depth that it’s almost impossible to burn the bait too quickly.
“The HOWELLER DMC SQ has by far the most erratic vibration of any shallow bait I’ve ever thrown,” Howell says. “The circuit-board lip has slightly rounded edges, so it can deflect off of cover, and it’s slightly heavier than the DMC so you can make accurate, long casts. We spent a lot of time putting this bait together to get a unique action, and we nailed it.”
The HOWELLER DMC SQ is slightly unique in the Team Livingston lineup, too: It’s the only bait that operates with Livingston’s innovative Electronic Baitfish Sound, EBS MultiTouch Technology™ and NO additional beads or rattles.
NEW FOR 2015 - THE TEAM LIVINGSTON LINE: The HOWELLER DMC SQUAREBILL is part of the all new Team Livingston series of baits that was introduced at ICAST in Orlando. The Team Livingston line combines new, innovative designs, with Livingston’s new EBS MultiTouch Technology™, which allows the angler to “program” the baits with four different sound options. Team Livingston baits are all designed with premium components (stainless steel split rings, advanced rattles, etc.) and all Howeller baits come with Daiichi 4x Strong Bleeding Bait ® front hooks and 4x Strong black-nickel tail hooks.
MEDIA CONTACT: Joel Shangle – (425) email@example.com
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