J.B. Webb — Lil' lures are catching big fish

Herald Democrat

I’ve always read and heard to catch big bass use big lures. Now at times I do go to a big lure — usually after it gets really cold.

If I’m going to fish a Jig, I’ll pick up a Booyah Black and Blue 1/2 oz. Jig and put a real Uncle Josh 11A Black and Blue pork rind on it; I like the real Pork Trailer in winter because they move better and the pork feels more real. Some plastics tend to stiffen a little in the cold water. Downside is a jar of Uncle Josh Pork Baits has gotten pricey as more people are eating fried pork skins.

I got a tour of the Uncle Josh organization while I was in Wisconsin some years back. I met with the manager after the tour. They were coming out with a new pork for smallmouth they hadn’t released and I was honored to be asked what I thought. I’ve been a very lucky guy over the years as I have had, and still have, some great friends and supporters in the fishing world. I’ve had the pleasure of going through their factories, shipping, operation, paint room and test tanks.

I even got to see Pradco’s version of the Skunk Works, where many lures die before one makes its way out. I’ve seen the test tank which has mics in it and depth lines on the tank. You would be amazed how much noise those lures with no rattles still give off.

When I was working an Oklahoma City Tackle Show for TLC Tackle in Gainesville, a good place to shop for a fishing Christmas present, I had taken some of the lures I had modified and was showing them in a big aquarium. My pro staff manager at that time and a friend came by to see us. When they left, they took one with them. After they tweaked and molded it with the weight on the inside about a year later, they come out with it gave it a name and it’s still in the YUM line.

As I get older and watch the upcoming fishermen look for lure sponsors, it’s a tough world to dig in. If I could give you two tips, they would be to not talk about how good a fisherman you are if interviewed and they want someone who can relate to large crowds and likes to talk and can promote. The second would be tell or ask them what you could do for them before asking them what they can do for you.

I have a friend in Springfield who runs Blakemore Lures for her boss when it was in Branson. She said they got lots of applications and those that bragged on themselves went in file 13. If you do get a pro staff spot, work your behind off for them. If you don’t, look over your shoulder and you will see a line more than ready to take your place. I was lucky enough back many years ago to get many of my sponsors after a talk and handshake. I was always available to do something for them if needed then and still will now. My biggest sponsor and friends who work there took pity on my age and aching feet after a three-day tackle show on concrete and moved me into their media section.

I’ve been with the Pradco Brand for over 20 years. Another I have been with for many years is Blakemore Lures. I also once had motor guide, Garmin and BG Marine Wake Runner lubricants. Looking back over the years I’m amazed by how many different magazines I have written for. I was one of four people who did a lake map on Texoma. I found a CD a friend made for me of all my TV Shows which I had thought I lost.

As this year winds down, I just want them and you my friends and readers to know how much I appreciate having you. I promise I’ll try to keep you laughing as a new year is approaching.

Last week on Monday I went fishing and stayed out longer than usual. I made my milk run and at the first stop I caught three and missed two; one I snagged was a smallmouth in the five-plus pound range and the other were chunky spotted bass.

All my fish came on a Blakemore Casey Runner with a YUM 3.5 Pulse Swim Bait. My second and third stops were zeros. Tuesday no fishing because of a doctor’s appointment. Wednesday I got a hold of Charlie and we went fishing.

It was a clear, sunny day and after a chilly start it got good. First stop I caught four but he would only let me count two because I didn’t touch them. He caught a fish and as he was getting the hook out, I had caught another one and led it up right to where Charlie was letting his fish go.

He was bent over looking at the water when mine jumped right in his face. He got excited and thought the fish he had just let go was trying to get his lure again. After I quit laughing and told him what was going on, he went back to fishing. We moved to the second stop and I caught a smallmouth. We moved to the third and caught five more bass.

All of our fish came on Blakemore Casey Runners and YUM 3.5 Pulse Swim baits.

Thursday, I went fishing again I only went to one place and I caught two toads. I had an audience as two men were fishing off a walkway and saw me get them both in the boat.

Friday, I went fishing again. Living at the lake what would you expect me to do besides fish? It was cloudy, cool and misty and I didn’t get but one bite.

Saturday, I went fishing but none of my stops paid off until I got back in. After loading my boat, I pulled up in front of the Fish Market and went in. I was planning on catching some crappie. Picking up the rod I keep there and getting a nibble for the 1/8 oz Blakemore Road runner jig and a small plastic bait, my first drop saw my line moving off I never felt the bite.

Setting the hook, I lifted an eight-inch black bass out of the water. Letting it go, I fished my way to the last slip. It has a big tree in it and as I came across it, I got a tic and then held on as something big was on the other end.

With six-pound line I let the rod and reel do the heavy lifting and tired whatever it was out. As I got it to the top, I saw a big mouth. Lipping the bass, it barely had the Road Runner Hook in its lip. I got another selfie of a big fish but still haven’t figured out how to get me and it in the same picture.

A friend who owns the market has a hand-held scale down there and the big Bass went 4.3 pounds, not bad for six-pound line in a brush-filled stall.

Looking to join a bass club for 2021? Little Dixie Bass Club in Durant starts their new year next month. You can email Mark Bisson if you have questions at Markbisson616@yahoo.com.

Their top 10 points leaders for 2020: Jon Clouse, 64; Ed Larking, 63; Larry Wills, 45; Durward Cook, 40; Lee Hammill, 38; Jerry Tonubbee, 38; Jack Mills, 36; Kevin Bell, 34; Jerry Brown, 34; 9 Brad Russell, 34; James Wallace, 32; Ron Giesler, 32.