Two Top Bass Presentations: Part One, Kalin’s Lunker Grub

I’m primarily a smallmouth bass enthusiast.  I love catching smallies and keeping it simple with my presentations.  I’m going to share with you two tremendous bass presentations.  The first one I began using in 2008, catching thousands of smallies since.  The other one, I began using mid-2017 and can’t wait to get back on the water with it this spring.  I believe, both these presentations could easily be adapted and used for the fish species you chase in Europe

The first extremely productive presentation is swimming a Kalin’s Lunker Grub on a Gopher Tackle mushroom head jig.  I began using this presentation in 2008 and since then have caught most of over 5,000 smallies I’ve caught on lakes with the Kalins, as well as another 5,000 rivers.  Fishing the Kalins is as easy as it gets.  Once properly rigged, you cast as far as you can and retrieve it “slow” and “steady”.

Kalins has a great selection of Lunker Grub colors in the 3”, 4” and 5” versions.  I have not used the 3” version much as I’ve found the 4” version works great in water temperatures as low as the mid to upper 40-degree (Fahrenheit) range.  Once the water warms a little more, the 5” begins working.  Much of my lake fishing is done on the ultra-clear big waters of Lake Michigan and Green Bay in Sturgeon Bay, (Door County) Wisconsin, where I primarily use the 4” version in the Smoke Salt & Pepper color.  For my river fishing with water that’s not as clear, I use the Blue Pearl Salt & Pepper color.  But, this depends on the species you fish and your water clarity.  So, it’s best to experiment.  

After a couple of years of trying different jigs for swimming the Kalins, at the suggestion of someone who had come to my seminars, I began using the Gopher Tackle Big Johns Mushroom Head Jig in the 1/16 oz. and 3/32 oz. size.  These come with a long-shank 2/0 hook, which is perfect for rigging, with the hook point coming out at the end of the body where the tail starts.  The Kalins were designed to swim tail down, but, up or down, they still work great.  It’s important for the hook shank to be threaded down the middle of the Lunker Grub lined up with the seams that runs down the sides.  You will want it to swim without any wobble.  The Big Johns jig has an eyelet that is at a 45% angle, flush to the jig’s head, and the eyelet is also sideways.  These three features make it the perfect jig to swim the Kalin’s, or, any other swimbait you might be using.

I mentioned “long” casts.  This is especially important in clear water where fish are a little skittish.  Spinning gear is best, using small diameter braid or superline like Power Pro 10/2, Nanofil 8 or 10-pound, along with Fireline Crystal 8/3.  I always us a fluorocarbon leader of about 30 to 40 inches in 8 or 10-pound test.  I attach this to the braid/superline with a Uni-to-Uni knot.  For added distance on casts and increased shock absorption while fighting smallies in your boat or kayak, I use 7’6” to 8’ medium-light St. Croix rods in either fast or extra-fast actions.  Sometimes I will use a medium power rod.  My preferred reels are a fast retrieve ratio Shimano 2500, Daiwa 2000, or, 30 series Pflueger/Abu Garcia.  Why the fast retrieve ratio?  In the clear waters I am on, at the point the smallie can see my kayak or boat I’m out of the strike zone, I want to get that lure in fast and make another cast.  When out in one of my Jackson Kayak Krakens, bites will come closer than when in my boat.

As noted earlier, this is as easy a presentation as you’ll find.  First, make that long cast, let the lure sink a little, and then retrieve as slow and steady as you can.  If you tick the bottom speed it up a little.  No matter what the water temperature is I still retrieve at the same slow speed.  At this slow speed, that long, tall, whispy tail undulates to a maximum.  In clear water the fish will see it and also feel it.  As quiet as this presentation is, I’ve had great days with limited visibility when I believe the smallies are feeling that subtle vibration. 

So, give this great presentation a try, you could be very surprised.  Also, if you go to YouTube and search “Bill Schultz Kalin’s Grubs”, you’ll see a short video of me on Green Bay and also the Milwaukee River.  (Sorry, but, not in my kayak.)

Coming soon:  Part Two, Ned Rig With the Z-Man Finesse TRD and TRD TubeZ

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