Larry's Fishing Hole


    - - We had a few new Fishing Products we Field Tested lasts season (2016)
- Great Fish & Seafood Seasoning - Fish Dance - by the Grauer Family Foods..
- LUND Boat with Mercury motors
- Lowrance HOOK 5 & Elite 3X depth finders/fish finder/sonar
- LUND SportTrak Flat Bracket

    - - We have a few new Fishing Products set to Field Test this Year
- 1st season with the LUND Boat with Mercury motors watch for more experiences on throughout the season..
- We have a couple of the latest - New Lowrance HOOK depth finders/fish finder/sonar we will report on soon..
- Lowrance Lake Insight PRO High-Definition Lake Maps V16 Chart Card
- Attwood Shock Absorbing Transom Saver..
      Check back as we hit the water this year..!

- We tested some great products over the years with the results listed below.
If You Wish To See Other Products Tested, Let Us Know
or if you have a new, useful, or unique product you want featured on our site,
Contact us with your product to be considered for our Product Tests sections.


-- Our friend and angler Bill who also does some fishing in Florida has this to say about his latest product review:
"FYI, as a namedropper for reels, If it says Penn on it, regardless of price, it would be a favorite choice. Not so much for the rods though. For the money, you cannot beat an Ugly stick! In March 2015, I bought one of the new Lighting series Jigging rods, 80-120 lb class. Teamed it with a 6000 series Penn Conflict reel with 50 lb braid. It is like a lightweight portable wrecker!!"

-- We have tested and are using American Spirit Pro Bass Rods by American Premier - both casting and spinning rods and they have been Awesome so far.. The balance and sensitivity of these have been outstanding. I am liking the feel of these rods and will continue to use.. Check them out at
We are still using the American Spirit Graphite Crappie Rods - constructed of IM7 graphite for lightweight and sensitivity. The ASC Series we tested had a chartreuse glow tip for seeing those light bites even in low light or at night. We found our 10 foot rod to be great for reaching out to fish those laydowns without spooking fish. It was real sensitive and the extra-long EVA grip made it comfortable to lift in the fish. Check out their catalog at or call (909)590-8680 for a copy.
- We have also been fishing with the American Permier Nite Stick Classic catfish rods for several year and understand why they are the #1 selling catfish rods.. And the Nite Stick Pro is the one to handle those trophy catfish.. Check them out too..

-- I have a Daiwa REGAL-Z model 2500 iA spinning reel that we have used for several years with little problem till a bail spring broke recently. And with that I looked up part at and sent email message to Customer Service to see how I could get replacement part. They replied and sent the part and in fact, sent an additional one for a spare.. AWESOME and shows how well Daiwa supports their products with GOOD Customer Service. With spring easily replaced, I am back to fishing with it and I now have a New casting reel too. This situation went so well and as these reels preform so good, we will continue using Daiwa products..


-- Wow, this new Ultimate Line Winding System from American Premier, has proven to be the perfect accessory. As anglers, we all know that incorrect spooling of a spinning reel will result in line twist that causes loops and poor casting. This amazing new line-winding system eliminates the line twist by rotating the line spool as it fills the spinning reel. It is truly a must have all-in-one tool that works exceptionally on spinning reels as well as casting reels. If you are an angler who uses spinning reels, we urge you to watch their Video on how well and easy it works at: your answer for easily spooling up your reels and avoiding nasty line twist and we highly recommend it..!
No surprise that it won BEST OF SHOW at the ICAST 2012 for best Fishing Accessory!

- The American Spirit CoPolymer Premium fishing lines by American Premier has preformed very weel for us for past couple years.. I like the 8 - 12 pound lines and will continue using.. Watch for more..

-- We had used some Trilene Fluorocarbon line and it is tough but was not that pleased but discovered that it was too heavy for the spinning reel we tested it on. Therefore, we put it to a better test on a casting reel and found to be much better and have also used as leaders and finding it to be Great for that use.

-- Our friend and angler Toby has this to say about his latest product test:
"I want to let your visitors know about the new spiderwire line that is on the market. It is called Ultracast Invisibraid. It is the best line that I have ever bought. It casts so smooth, and the hook set is super. It casts just as good into the wind as it does with no wind. It has very low memory. But the draw back is that I spent 18 dollars on 125 yards of 20 lbs test with 6 lbs diameter. I will never buy another line again."

-- Our test of P-Line FloroClear, the CX Premium was real tough and has a smaller diameter, the 6# we tested had same diameter as our 4# Trilene. This line is also super clear and worked very well on our spinning reels. I have found the FloroClear to be little less flexible for Ice conditions. We have also tested the 8# and 10# and some 25#P-Line and had same good results and continue using.

-- We use Berkley FireLine a fiber MicroDyneema line with ultra-low stretch, for most of our plastic worm fishing. It has greater sensitivity in feeling fish better, awesome hook-setting power, holds up against abrasion and is stronger.
In continued use, we find it a great line for trolling, and maybe not as good for light jigging.
This line is more difficult to knot tightly and firmly, SO USE the PALOMAR KNOT.
This line performs well on spinning reels and may not be right for all anglers, so try it and you'll either dislike it instantly or it may grow on you with use.
-- In the past we tested SENSOR Line by Stern, and found it to hold the coil on a spinning reel in time and had to be replaced. On our baitcasters it was OK, but did not perform as well as expected. SENSOR is tough line and was sensitive, but did have too much memory.


-- FIZARDS is the latest exciting product and more of a bait that we are putting to the test. Using this New revolutionary moldable fish attractant with the fizzing and scent dispersion technology seems to give the angler an unfair advantage in any water, against any species, under any conditions. So far we have been molding it around our jig heads and even tried to just make some look like a waxie and had better success than lures without Fizards.
Visit their site at for more tips, great videos and to get your Fizards. - Check back as we will be doing further testing this year.!

-- Berkley Flicker Shad has proved to be an Awesome and productive trolling bait for us that truly has the action to (as they say) mimic a Walleye´s favorite meal. We had really good success on Walleye/Saugeye trolling them over points as they will run at a depth we could trust. And we found that making a turn, we picked up some Nice Crappie and a couple Bass. You know what that means, we had to try trolling for Crappie too and Oh Yeah, the Crappie found these be their favorite meal too.. They come a wide range of colors and we liked the size 4, 5 & 6 (looking to try the 7 next) and with their Great swimming action and value for money, we would recommend these baits for most any or most all fish that we will continue using and having with us always.

- C.S. Lures Spinnerama a great looking in-line spinner with awesome blades and colors and we have only used a little with success on panfish and some Bass.. They have larger lures that we feel could be great for those bigger fish like Muskie too.. Check back as we may try that..
In addition to jigs, they Custom Paint lures and the few crankbaits we had painted to match our favorite colors have impressed us... Check back for more on these..

-- Our latest Jimbo's Jigs is The Pro-Casta-NATER Jig which too is Hand-tied with calftail hair on a painted lead minnow head with raised holographic eyes makes them look very life-like. The added tinsel flashabou give these a cool tantalizing motion and attractiveness that was irresistible to most to all species of freshwater fish. They come in a variety of colors or let them know if you have a special request they will work with you on any special needs.
Again, we truly love all these and highly recommend you check them out and get some for yourself at
- Here is more of their baits from past:Jimbo’s Jigs may be the best hand-tied hair jigs we have found and even better they are made right here in Illinois.
The Walleye Chaser a HAND-TIED Jigs with Bucktail Hair and Flashabou Attractant Tinsel for the Tail and placed on a Stand-Up Jighead with Raised Holographic Eyes.
And the Crawly Wally are HAND-TIED with the right amount of Marabou Feathers, Hackle and a little Sparkle attractant on a Stand-Up Jighead with Holographic Eyes. These are both Fine Jigs and are Great for Walleye fishing but will work for any bottom feeders
They have a wide variety of multi-color jigs like the Crappie Knocker, the Bass Knocker with or without sparkle tail and the Bass Dazzler with tinsel attractant.
In fact, Jim and Carol´s Hand-tied Calftail Hair jigs seem to breathe in the water and are irresistible to fish.
Here is what Crappie USA Pro fisherman of Illinois say, “we are really impressed with Jimbo's Jigs which were the only things working around cold fronts and tough fishing conditions a couple months ago”. CONGRATS on finishing in 1st place in points for Region 3 and 4th overall in the U.S. for Crappie USA and they believe it is due to using Jimbo’s Jigs.
Save yourself the frustration of poorly tied jigs that will not hold up, get the best by visiting or call 618-452-3536 to take advantage of any current Sales. They say “try our jigs and it will be love at first bite”.

-- The Charlie Brewer Sliders Co. has been manufacturing finesse Baits since the 1970's. Their newer Crappie soft grubs with a vibro-tail and a Slider jig head really caught our interest. Their secret is in the proven specially designed jig head and hook shaped to allow it to slide over brush and sunken tree-tops for snag free fishing when rigged weedless. I know what you are thinking, "Can you really set a weedless rigged hook on a crappie?" and the answer is YES. During our spring crappie trip to Bull Shoals Lake we field tested these baits with good success, and the best thing was the bigger fish are buried in the brush so you can catch those slabs. Less hang-ups on brush and trees meant more time spent fishing and not tying on jigs, which in turn was a cost savings by not losing tackle. Crappie Guide Bob Largent told us the other advantage of not hooking into the brush is it will cause less disturbance, which means more fish caught at each location.
All the Sliders come in great colors and they have great Bass baits too and we caught Smallmouth on the 4 inch Bass Grubs in watermelon. We recommend you get a brochure and try these great baits. We have also fished these 4 inch Slider Worms with their Slider Head Hooks (snagless) and find we caught more numbers of fish and have now made these a permanent part of our presentation and HIGHLY RECOMMEND them, so visit them on the web at or call Charlie or Linda at 1-800-762-4701 ( tell them Larry & Linda said HI ).


-- In late March 2016, we decided to down size a little and purchased a new LUND Rebel XS Boat with a Mercury 60 4-stoke and Pro Kicker 9.9
This 2016 Lund 1650 Rebel XS SS has fit our needs nicely, fished very well and the Mercury motors performed great & efficiently during 2016.
Check back for more during the 2017 fishing season..

-- The Lowrance depth finder/fish finders have been our preferred Sonar units for past 17 years or so.
Presently with our new boat (2016) we have a couple new Lowrance units, the HOOK 5 & a Elite 3X that we used during 2016
and Santa gave me a new HOOK 7 for the 2017 fishing season..
-Several years ago when we run 2 boats, we had 4 different X series: an X-75 , two X-125 & X-135 X..
All worked Great and were flawless but once GPS maps came in, we upgraded to the LMS-522C and our first color sonar unit..
This Awesome Sonar unit with GPS, Mapping and color definition changed our fishing big time taking away a huge amount of unknown..
We cannot say enough about this unit as we used it for 10 wonderful years without even one down minute during our most busiest years of fishing..
Couple years ago we upgraded our front X-Series depth fishing to the New Elite 5-DSI ; our 1st DownScan Sonar unit.
I will say it took a couple times out to familiarize myself to the DownScan look, but found it to be better look at what the cover was and if it held fish..
Even though we have owned and used others, Lowrance is what we still go with today.
* We were/are extremely pleased and would highly recommend any Lowrance product. Check them out at

-- LUND SportTrak Flat Brackets They allow for attaching a variety of accessories like rod holders, cup holders and even electronics to your LUND without drilling holes in your boat. Heavy-duty SportTrak brackets mount securely along patented SportTrak gunnels so you can position gear just about anywhere. They have proven to be a Super addition and we will test/use more and report on how well they hold up.

-- For almost 11 years we ran our MinnKota Maxxum Pro 80 trolling motor (up till 2015) which has the smooth start at any speed so not to throw you out of the boat when you hit the button. It has the Weedless Wedge prop that get you through weeds effortlessly with no loss of battery power. The indestructible composite shaft is stronger than steel and flexes when we run into stumps and will not rust or corrode. I find the Bowguard 360° breakaway mount will reset itself automatically after impact for super protection of the motor. As mentioned above, we have been in some really rough water and I feel I have good control of the boat even in the choppy water. The only down side is with the long shaft it takes some effort to put in and out of the water, but the good news is that MinnKota now has a Maxxum Pro series with a Heavy-duty gas-charged spring lift-assist reducing your effort by 50%.....   AND we have now upgraded to the Maxxum Pro series and OH YEAH this thing is AWESOME..! There is so little effort now to set it in the water or to lift it out. I would never go back and recommend this for any set-ups over 42 inch.
One other good thing I have found is even after a long day of running the batteries appear to still have plenty of power so these motor does not drain our batteries as other motors have. I have had 5 other trolling motors and strongly feel this MinnKota Maxxum would be my first choice...

--We have tested and continued using for several years the Minn Kota on-board chargers The MINNKOTA MK220 & MK330 On-board Chargers took all the guesswork out of recharging our boat batteries. No more dragging out chargers, hooking up to one then watching to switch to next battery.
They are fully automatic with Multi-Stage Charging to recharge batteries faster and will safely maintain them while in storage. After a full day of running our trolling motors, I have experienced a full charge in 4 hours. These chargers are so fully automatic it is as they say "set it and forget it" proper charge every time.
We have tried and used several chargers over the years and suggest you Do Not waste your time or risk your batteries with portable or other charges, get a MinnKota on-board.

--(2010) We had been using the Navionics HotMaps Premium Lake Map card for our Lowrance handheld GPS and now for a LMS-522 Sonar/GPS I spent some time with at home and contacted the company with questions and concerns. They were courteous in answering all my concerns, I received great advice and assistance on how to update the software on our GPS. Navionics is a company that has shown me they truly value customer service.
During my review at home of the Lake Map feature, I saved a few way-points for some real interesting structure spots on Kentucky Lake. We started our field test on Kentucky Lake in mid April, we were able to find those submerged points, breaks and humps previously saved. As we drifted over areas in the lake we knew should have features, the Navionics Lake Map showed us deep structure and much more. This Navionics HotMaps Premium Lake Map cards are an effective and valuable tool for anglers to locate those off shore hot spots.
Now that we have spent time using these maps in the real world, we will have it with us at all times on the water. We have recently received Cash Back offers from Navionincs for Trade-Ins and in fact, we are seriously looking at upgrading our GPS system, now that we see the benefits of Lake Maps. Navionics has been the pioneer in electronic charting and navigation for 24 years and we recommend you seriously consider the Navionics HotMaps Lake Maps for your GPS system.
Check back as we will put this product to future use and testing.. Or Read our article on
"Fishing Tool Reviews" for more on this Maps Card.

-- We also testing and now use Scotty Rod Holders with flush deck mounts with the Power Lock open style that have been very resilient and reliable. They were tight to put into mounts at first but are fairly smooth now with the versatility we need and are holding up better than others we have used in past. They have a variety of designs and configurations to fit your needs and we would recommend Scotty Rod Holders for all types of fishing.

Our last boat reviews can be read below in the -- Older Reviews from Past Years -- section
Check back for further details as we continue putting our new boat to the test...


-- We found - Fish Dance - by the Grauer Family Foods to be Great Fish & Seafood Seasoning. And with a fish fry, others also Really Loved it..! We just add Fish Dance to corn meal, shake our fillets in it, drop them into hot oil to fry & Enjoy -- AWESOME..! We will for sure continue to use Fish Dance..
We have also used their - Steak Dance Seasoning on all our grilled meats for a Great taste. We truly recommend you check them out at

-- Here is what DFX SPORTS & FITNESS says in-part About their Gyro Exerciser:
"The DFX Pro Shot Gyro Exerciser or Sports Pro Gyro Exerciser (includes starter cords and an instructional CD) uses resistance force to help improve dexterity, strength, coordination and is an excellent tool to aid in the relief of carpal tunnel, shooters elbow and other repetitive stress injuries.
When applied to fishing, user will get remarkable results to control, accuracy, dexterity and endurance with increased user grip and wrist strength to be able to cast farther."
* With all the time I spend on the computer keeping our website up-to-date, I have noticed some pain and little loss of grip strength in my hands, wrists and forearms; therefore, I was ready to try something new.   The Gyro Exerciser can be a little tricky to get the knack of getting it started, but with more time I got the hang of spinning it up.   On my 1st day, it only took a few minutes for my arms to feel like they are going to give out on me. So with that, be sure to ease into it and build up your use time slowly.   Also, you need to be careful at 1st as you can lose your grip and it can get away from you.   After about 3 weeks of use, and with it being very convenient to take most anywhere, I found myself using it more and did start to notice some improved grip. Check it out at

-- The Original Vanilla Bug Spray was specially formulated with children in mind, contains no alcohol or other harsh chemicals and it works great on your pets too as we saw first-hand the protection.
This spray is so fine a mist and gentle to the skin with a fresh vanilla scent and best of all "It repels buffalo gnats, mosquitoes, biting fleas, biting flies and no-see-ums".
Our testing of the Original Vanilla Bug Spray proved how well it protected us from these pests that we truly will not leave home without a bottle of it.
Also, spraying our chairs and picnic table kept flies and other pests from landing and helped keep the biting flies off us while fishing from our boat. The only thing to remember is to simply shake to activate the liquid and apply wherever you wish to be protected.
Do not allow yourself to be attacked by these pest and do not use a cheap imitation knock off but get a bottle or two of this AWESOME locally made Original Vanilla Bug Spray at their store front business "Corner Curio" located at 223 Derby St. Pekin, IL or visit them on the web at to place order or view the list some local businesses that stock The Original Vanilla Bug Spray

-- Hoss´s Hawg Bait has been one of the most fun test products we have had. The Catfish just can´t seem to get enough of the Hoss´s Hawg Bait. We found this bait to hold to the dip worms better than any others we have tried and it is just as they say on the label "The Dip Bait that’s easy on the Nose and second to None!" If you enjoy catching Catfish, we highly recommend you call Russ & Janice at 309-565-3241 for locations near you to find their bait ! or check them on the web at We do know these locations have it : Presley´s Outdoors in Bartonville, Bass Pro Shops and most Farm King Stores.

-- Hamm's Fish Fry Breading Mix really got our attention and taste going at a recent fish fry and we had to get some to try for ourselves. The Original mix has mild flavor that complement the flavor of fish and great for all fish. It is like they say "Taste Home-Made" and does not take over the flavor of the fish. They also have a Cajun mix for those who prefer more spice or kick and we find you can mix these two to get a truly interesting breading. We noticed these mixes fry up crispy (not soggy) and lite making our oil last longer too. We recommend you give Hamm's Fish Fry Breading Mix a try this year, we think these may be the best breading mix around. They are available in 1lb, 2.5lb, 5lb, and 25lb bags and they also have a Venison and Water Fowl Marinade too, so check them out at - These guys are known for frying fish -

--We have used and tested many slip bobbers or floats, with several, our line would cut into the ends causing our line to get snagged, not allowing your bait to reach your intended depth, and worse, enough damage to our line causing us to lose fish through break offs. Others were difficult to cast into wind or would not support much weight and were hard to see not to mention most would just last for a season.
Well, with all these slip floats, we have used and found the Hand Made in USA "Cast Away Bobber" to be the only one we need. Due to its weight the Cast Away Bobber casts further and more accurately, is not affected by winds, last longer and requires no bead at the slip knot (there is one built into top of bobber). Because it has an off center of gravity, the Cast Away Bobber can be cast without any added weights and because of this it is easier for the fish to tip up with very little resistance. The components of this bobber will not wear out over time; the body is bonded to the stem so it is made to last year´s not a fishing season or two. It has a glass bead that will not wear out even if braided line is used, like we see with most of other bobbers. In fact this bobber can be stepped on and will come back to its original shape.
It comes in different sizes and is bright colored to see above water but is black on bottom and is excellent for the shore angler. We really like the Cast Away Bobber and recommend you can get yours at or by calling Jim at 574-259-7794.
- After a few more years we still find the Hand Made in USA "Cast Away Bobber" to be the only one we need. And now they have a New Cast Away Glow Bobber or float that glows in the dark. What a great idea for the after dark or nighttime anglers and we could not wait to use this new glow float. It took just a couple of minutes to activate with a light (we found our small LCD pocket light to work great, the brighter the better) this float will glow for hours at a time without the need for light sticks or batteries.
This is a must have for after dark fishing, and you can read our review below on these awesome Cast Farther, Last Longer bobbers and we recommend you can get one or more..

--The Zoom Dye Markers are Great for adding color to your baits without the mess of liquid dyes. We keep them in our two favorite colors, Chartreuse and Hot Pink. We now only need to purchase twistertails, roadrunners and jigs in White and add color to fit each days fishing conditions. Not to mention saving space. These markers are permanent and even scented to help catch more fish.
Try it, you will like it too..!

-- We have tested and continue using Magic Worm Bedding from Magic Products, INC. This worm bedding is made of organic materials making it fairly clean and odorless while being real absorbent and easy to work with. This bedding remains loose and moist to keep worms healthier, longer living and they keep a natural rich dark color. After a few months when it gets black just replace with fresh and use the old for plotting soil. We find Magic Worm Bedding to be a real time and money saver for us. We just pick up a few after a rain and dump in our un-used worms each outing and we always have good worms on hand at all times. We recommend you look into keeping your own worms in Magic Worm Bedding and check their site at


    - - Older Reviews from Past Years - -

--We had also put a MinnKota VANTAGE 80 transom mount motor to the test and used it for trolling and more.. The power Up & Down worked smoothly with the push-button controls not to mention the quiet & smoothness of the motor with more than enough power. It has also run for hours trolling and not run our batteries down that much. The best part is the ease of the 4:1 articulated steering, just move the Tiller handle (which Tilts and Extends) only 45 degrees will change the lower unit a full 180..
-During a walleye tournament in late November 07, we trolled crankbaits much of the tournament we did not use our kicker motor but used only this MinnKota VANTAGE 80 . It performed as we wanted and took us to within the finally hour before showing a drain on the batteries..
We truly enjoyed using this New MinnKota VANTAGE 80 trolling motor..
Check back as we will feature more New MinnKota products....--

-- Our Minn Kota Edge bow-mount trolling motors has proved to offer plenty of power, the reliability and quality we expect from any Minn Kota trolling motor today. We needed a smaller, lighter foot-control model to run on 12-volts yet able to handle rough conditions and we find the Edge is definitely as they say "a high-performance, highly durable trolling motor at a great value..!" This past month fishing in shallow areas has presented many underwater obstacles that the Edge motor, composite shaft and Weedless Wedge prop seemed almost indestructible and stepped up to all challenges. The Edge model is offered in 40-, 45-, 55- and 70-pound thrust levels and shaft lengths include 36, 45, 50 and 52 inches along with even a Hand Control model too. Minn Kota is the world’s leading manufacturer of bow- and transom-mount trolling motors, and carries a complete line of battery chargers and marine accessories that are manufactured and marketed by Johnson Outdoors Inc.
* We were extremely impressed and would highly recommend this or any Minn Kota product. Check them out at

--With our shift more towards multi-species fishing, we were real excited to see in 2005 TRITON Boats build a Big Water Deep-V All-Welded Aluminum Boat. We ordered a DV 186 DC-F Mag as soon as they became available and after 10+ years we remained very impressed with the exceptional riding comfort and the fishability of this boat. It performed better than I had expected not to mention how fast it gets up on the water with a 150HP (with a kicker motor hanging on it too) even though it is rated for a 200HP. Our model has a full windshield and we soon will order the optional top to give us the maximum protection from the elements. We fished a walleye tournaments in November on miserable days with wind, rough water and some rain and even little snow but this boat was awesome. They have a large baitwell and a huge 50 inch aerated livewell, center rod locker for even the 8 footers and lots of other storage. These Triton DV - Mag Series are an absolute ultimate tournament boat. However, they changed this line some -

--With the above boat, we went total 4-stroke and total Yamaha, the in-line F150hp and for the kicker motor the T8hp High Trust. Both are so super quiet and real fuel efficient. The F150 seemed sluggish as we broke it in after coming from a 2-stroke, but once we had about 8 hours on it we could feel an increase in acceleration. It performs so well I find it hard to believe how much longer it will run on a tank of fuel and I mean only fuel with No Oil.. The first thing I noticed is a click of the key and it is running just like starting your car. The hole shot is plenty to get our 18 1/2 foot boat on plane in about 3-4 seconds with so little vibration or noise and so smooth it is a pleasure to run. I have changed the oil, found all parts to be convenient and it has a freshwater flush device for more convenience.
The T8hp kicker motor has electric start, power trim & tilt and again is so quiet, smooth, fuel efficient and clean burning which was not the case with our past 2-stoke kicker that would all but smoke us off the water when trolling. This motor seems the deliver more power than other 9hp motor we have used but the high trust prop seems to not be as powerful in reverse. This motor will run at idle and troll all day long with no trouble and I like how all the controls are at your finger tip.
-Both these motors provide outstanding performance, are so dependable and will have a long trouble-free life.

-- Markey's Lure Company has some unique lures all of quality components and hand painted. We are testing the Bellydancer, a small spinnerbait with bottom spinner. It has produced some Crappie and small Bass but we during our limited use last year. We have put this to use more this year and really enjoy fishing this Bellydancer. With the spinner blade suspended below bait, it has great flash and vibration while keeping lure upright and not interfering with the trailer. We like the shape of the lead head and the collar for holding the trailer. We have had great results fishing this lure (see pics below) and you may wish to consider a couple for your tackle box too. One other thing we have done was try different trailers with good success and one was a Charlie Brewer Slider Double Action Grub..
We also have one of their Backlash Buster tools that is also great to de-paint those jig hook eyes..

-- The Berkley Blade Dancer is their new weedless Power Bait that is a real versatile lure. The hook runs upwards behind a spoon shaped contoured weighted blade with a scented 3-D eyed soft plastic Power Bait Tail body. Some also have a shirt (or you could add your own) and we have found and tried them in size from 1/4 oz to 3/8 and 3 of the 12 or more colors. I have seen it stated "There is no wrong way to fish it" and I really believe this is close to true. The bait has a tremendous amount of action no matter what it or you are is doing. If you cast out and let fall it has a wobble flutter, swim it and the blade gives it wobble while the tail has swimming action. You can drop it and it will swim and even jig this bait or just walk it on top or along any depth. Our best results were by casting out and giving couple of seconds to fall, reel up slowly (and as you reel the bait will work upwards due to the blade or spoon facing upwards) and pause letting fall back down some, reel up, pause and keep repeating this. If you reel fast it will stay high in the water for working over shallow weeds. I feel this bait could make a great vertical presentation and maybe even for ice fishing and make a great addition to your tackle as they catch fish.

-- AEROBAIT Aerated Minnow Buckets from Magic Products is a self-contained insulated minnow bucket helped prolong the life and liveliness of our minnows for two weeks with only a loss of four minnows. We kept it running around the clock and the “D” cell battery lasted about 4-days at a time. This aerated minnow bucket was a Big money saver not to mention providing better fishing, and we just completed our second full year and still using this bucket, check them out on the web at

-- The Reel Keel is a unique and only Hand-crafted lure with an embedded keel we have seen. Since it is buoyant and floats it can easily be fished as a topwater bait and we liked the action it has with a pop of the rod tip. Our big surprise was how well it could be trolled and tracked fairly well, mayber due to the stabilization of the Keel. We only tested this bait for a short time with little success but will say it can be cast a long distance.. Check back as we will be putting the Reel Keel through the test and in the meantime,
- Our field teat team member David C. says " My initial impression of the Reel Keel is favorable and it drew some strikes. With the depth limitations, I see it being a good spring\fall bait. We will see as I hope to do more with this next year. "
**   Since our testing in 2014, Reel Keel has sold out to a Canada company, KIKO Fishing Inc..?

-- TAKE ONE Minnow Trap (was by Pangrcic Products when tested) that eliminated us sticking our hands in the water and trying to catch a minnow or using a net to scoop up several minnows when we only need one. The “Take One” not only cut down time getting bait but reduced the number of dead minnows because of abuse, but it gave us ONE minnow most every time. A great tool for every fisherman.

-- We tested the Guide Series Pro Select Graphite Rod from Gander Mountain that is constructed of IM8 Graphite and has New Concept Fuji Guides making for a real sensitive and very smooth casting rod. The Med-Light and Medium are great rods and we would recommend you see the guys in the Fishing Dept. for their help in selecting the right rod for your fishing.

-- Frogg Toggs Outerwear that are Guaranteed Waterproof, Breathable and at a fair price. We have tested different suits and are pleased with them - They are great light weight outerwear and we have replaced all other rainwear in our boat and vehicles.

-- One of the Best Jigging Spoons we have ever used, it is the FLE-FLY Minnow Slab from FLE-FLY Mfg. Inc. It has the best flash and is made of a material that allows you to put some bend in it to get the Best Wobble. We had Great success for Walleye and Huge White Bass out of deep water from 20 - 40 foot. I had a day when fishing a 1oz Chartreuse Fle-Fly on points in 14-16 foot water right next to someone using a jig and minnow and the Fle-Fly out fished the jig/minnow 5-1 walleye.. They have a Great color selection, various sizes from 1/2 oz to 2 oz and Fle-Fly has a great crappie-walleye jig selection too. If you want to catch cool weather fish, or fish in negative moods, nothing does it like vertical spoons and the FLE-FLY Minnow Slab is the best we have used and you may be able to call toll free, 1-800-598-1100 to find them.

-- The GERBER Fisherman Tool has been great, with the one handed opening pliers. The needle-nose pliers are a true fisherman´s tool as are the Fiskers scissors. The pliers have a cutter that would even cut fishing line, but when I cut a hook out of a fish´s mouth, they got a small nick which I was surprised..? However, they are handy with all the other tools such as a saw, hook sharpener, serrated blade, opener and two screen drivers all work well and have a locking feature.

--Our past testing (2003) of the SE Sport 300 Hydrofoil from Sport Marine Technologies, Inc. really impressed us with how it assists in getting our boat on plane much quicker, even with the added weight of a kicker motor. In addition, we noted the boat stayed on plane at low speeds; it seemed to smooth it out and improved handling. We contacted the company with what we thought was a loose bolt problem, they were impressively quick to respond and send replacements and gave good advice. As it turns out we had not tightened the bolts enough which must compress a rubber washer and needs to come through the locking nut. Not only are we pleased with support and help this company gave, but this is only product they manufacture, which I find is a plus since they concentrate all their effects into making the SE Sport Hydrofoil the best product possible. We have been reluctant to try one of these, but now see the benefit and recommend this product for your boat. Find them in outdoor stores or on the web at:

-- Since I had an original Mitchell 300 Reel for about 30 years, we made a test of the New Mitchell 300X Reel. It is not the reel the old one was but it is lighter and somewhat smoother. This one has some play in it and the handle does not stay tight. The cast seems better and smoother but the bail it tight to close with the turn of the handle. All in all, it seems to handle the work OK, but I am still an Old Mitchell Reel guy.

-- The Sportsman's Connection Lake Maps has two books of Illinois Lakes (Northern and Southern). We find ourselves just looking for lakes we have not been to. The books list info on each lake such as location, size any regulations, stocking reports and bait shops in area. The layout of the lake is shown with depths and known structures in lake. We find these very helpful and one of the most useful booklets we have. You will find them on the web at where they have other states.

-- Our test of the "Hydro Glow Fishing Light" (4' model) back in July of 2001 (and we still use it today) we found the fish to be real attracted to the green glow. We had minnows within 10 minutes, then some shad and larger fish right after, including Walleye. It effectively brought fish to the surface and was best at the outer edges of the light or fishing deeper under the light. We would recommend catching some of the native bait fish to use as bait. The green glow of the light did not attract bugs to us and we could see most of our tackle. This worked better during the summer nights, and was FUN. The light has a long cord, is all self-contained, floats great and has a case for storage and travel. Go to for more info on this light.

-- We still use Blakemore REEL & LINE Magic that we spray on the line and spools. Well, this stuff really works Great by improving my cast and may have quieted my reel and spraying the rod guides seem to keep casts smooth.

-- We are still using the HOLDZIT products, the Holdzit Tool Saver, and the Holdzit Comfort Grip.
Linda has enjoyed years of comfort from the Holdzit Comfort Grip on one of her Spinning Rod.
You can check out their products or order from the WebSite :

-- Our testing of the Kick'nBass Fish attractant produced some nice catches. This spray is made of 100% oils, no water or filler and it stays with your bait the longest of any we have tried. We sprayed it on all plastics, jigs, spinners and crankbait with good success. The Garlic scent worked best for us during our Bass Tournaments.
Walleye Pro John Phillips tells us the Kick'nWalleye proved to work very good in his tournaments. We have used and talked to others who have tried these products and really like them, so we recommend you give them a try. Check out the KicknBass WebSite:


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