My buddy, Chad Johnson, sight fishing carp on a fly rod. Notice the egg pattern looks a whole lot like a piece of corn. Arkansas is an excellent place to fish, year round.


Fly fisherman make it a point to educate themselves on how to tie bugs and streamers that ‘match the hatch’ but as the younger crew of fly fisherman come of age, they are showing it’s not all about barbless size 20 single hooks. Big fish eat big baits and you better be prepared if you want to land them. Streamer fishing, White River, Arkansas


Chad Johnson, brown trout, ‘hopper dropper’. Come get you some.


Dinosaurs are fun to catch, especially with fly rods, you don’t even need hooks.


I’m fishing for a 30+ pound brown trout that eats stocked rainbow trout. Keep it Soft Stupid (KISS)


Kids Fishing Derby, big fish winner. Kid was stoked, and Dad was too. The “Friends of the Hatchery”, Corp of Engineers, and a host of other puts on a kids fishing derby every year at the Norfork River/Dry Run Creek confluence adjacent to the Norfork National Fish Hatchery. Free event for the kids and just fun to help out and volunteer.


“Light Trout” is so 2005. Get with it, Pink Bass is the shizzle.


Canoes, wet wading, and swimbait fishing. Me gusta.






The Grass Minnow has proven itself to me in the grass.  Shallow grass lakes of the South East.  As I spend more time in the Arkansas Ozarks, I am broadening my application of the Grass Minnow.   The warm and cold water creeks and rivers that feed the Ozarks are full of smallmouth and largemouth, and trout.   So, it’s not the heavy grass fishing, but it is more a finesse approach, but still a real swimbait approach.  I’m fishing the Grass Minnow much like I currently fish the 3″ Big Hammer.  Yes, a spinning rod.   Wet wading, aloha colored swimming trunks, oversized sunglasses, big hat and Buff covering my face, walking or floating a few miles of river here and there.   Getting some exercise and just trying to do it all. The Shimano Cumara 7’2″ Rod + 15 pound Power Pro Braid + 3 feet of Yamamoto Sugoi 10# floro are working really well for me which is crazy to have a bait that fishes well on 50 # braid and GLoomis 964 BBR (Okeechobee style) and now I’m fishing it on a spinning rod.  The Huddleston Vortex continues!    The Grass Minnow is just an extremely real looking and swimming bait, and I’m realizing cannot be pigeon holed into being just a grass bait by any stretch.

How many zillions of minnows are there in our lakes and rivers?  Little narrow looking fishes with forked tails. Fish tend to bite the Grass Minnow. With the right equipment and hookset, you’ll land your bites.

The Grass Minnow is a pretty sophisticated little candy morsel of a swimbait.  The bait is flat sided, has a unique swallow tailed vortex tail, yet the belly and shoulders are full and bulbous, so the bait has the classic Huddleston water displacement and push that we’ve gotten hooked on with his 8″ Trout.   Sometimes people discuss what is the definition of a swimbait, and where you draw lines, etc.  Sophistication trumps size in this case.  The Huddleston Deluxe Grass Minnow is a swimbait you need to learn.  I now have a heavy grass assault (ie, Okeechobee), sparse grass assault (ie, Champlain) and river fish (Ozark) application for this bait.   You have to be good to really understand, fully leverage, and fish this bait properly.  It’s fairly easy to swim, yet if you want to slow down, pause, dead stick and finesse fish with it, it does that too very well.  In shallow rivers, I’m finding it an alternative to the little tube where you can sorta hop/drag/swim it, and skip it under trees and into shade pockets which tends to be where fishes live in shallow low water Arkansas.

The Grass Minnow fishes well on the drop and can be dragged/hopped, like the 3″ Big Hammer, except its  ROF 5 vs ROF 30 respectively (approx). The Grass Minnow is very neutral buoyant and falls nice and slow and graceful. It has a hollow midsection, used as part of the weedless design, that also gives the bait an internal bladder. The bait falls and orients nose down and just drags nicely over hard bottom. It’s not just an excellent grass bait.

So, here’s the hookset with a spinning rod:   Tighten up your drag, so line doesn’t come off when you set the hook.  Point your rod tip at the fish when you get a bite and reel down until you feel tension of the fish at the reel and once you make really good contact with the reel>line>fish, put the rod into the mix and lift up hard with the rod and drive the hook home and maintain a good strong constant pressure as you move the fish and rod a few feet to really pin the fish.  Reel hard and heavy get maximum pressure as you swing the rod to set.   I could probably get away with a slightly heavier spinning rod than I’m using, perhaps the MH vs. the M model.  I am surprised how well it is fishing for me and hooking fish.  I am pretty converting a bunch of my stuff over to braid + leader setups, it just works great for me and my style of fishing.    This is another instance where braid provides something that couldn’t be done with mono or floro (fish a weedless Huddleston bait on a spinning rod, and still be able to hook fish).

Grass is where you find it. Weedless baits sometimes fish really well without weeds. Just like some non-weedless baits fish really well in weeds. A softbait without a top hook sticking out, treble hook hanging or sticking out,  or trap rig of any kind.  Just a clean real bait, sans hook.  It looks really good in the water and fishes super clean.
Yes, that is a spinning rod. The Grass Minnow fishes amazingly well with the spinning rod. Braided line gives me the hookset I need, and the floro leader helps me get bit in uber clear skinny water. But boy, they eat it. Weedless swimbaits fish really nicely in all waters, but around current, where your bait can tumble/ deadstick and hop and stroll, that’s where not having a hook or any exposed hardware really pays off and gives ’em a different look, keeps your bait free from muck, and is a much more refined approach, especially in clean water.  Stay tuned, this whole spinning rod swimbait thing is still being tested, but appears to be excellent.


“First Light”

Bobby Vega & Chris Rossbach

Usage Courtesy:  Body Deep Music

Lake PIckwick Triple Trout fishing
Bob Wood and a nice Lake Pickwick smallmouth on the 6" Triple Trout, chartruese shad. Tournament swimbait and small and spotted bass killer

Each Triple Trout has its own unique features, strengths, and intricacies that can be hard to qualify for you.    I work to find harmony and rhythm with my baits.  The 6” Triple Trout is always on on my mind and front deck when I’m targeting smallmouth or spotted bass, especially when tournament fishing is involved.   The 6” Triple Trout catches largemouths, no doubt about it, but it’s size and profile make it a standout with smallmouth in particular, but also spotted beasts.

ozark triple trout fishing
Chad and Banning, my pals in North Arkansas, getting it done with the 6" Triple Trout. The six inch Triple Trout is a good 'starter' bait for guys who aren't conditioned for throwing the bigbaits, yet.

Smallmouth tend to like smaller profile baits, not always, but when in Rome (ie, a place like Champlain or Erie or Pickwick when you are focused on catching a trophy smallmouth)  , throw a 6” Triple Trout, and see what happens.   There has been a lot of 6” Triple Trout trail blazing by the BigBait Possee crew on Arizona’s Lake Havasu and friends of mine like Cameron Smith on the Columbia River on Western smallies.  Smallmouth candy bars, the 6” Triple Trout be.   The 6” Triple Trout has all the goodness of the other larger Triple Trouts, so it has good fluid ‘s’ swim and vibration and thump, but it can be a ‘sportcar’ too.

The SportsCar:

What I’m getting at, is the 6” Triple Trout is a high performance bigbait.  When I talk about the Triple Trout blending with a jerk bait, the 6” Triple Trout is like a Triple Trout blending with a Gunfish or Vixen, meaning a bait you can virtually any way you want and make it look good, and the better you get with the bait, the more control you have. It’s your ability to control the bait that really sets the Triple Trout guys apart from the rest.   The 6” Triple Trout throws Kelly Slater style cutbacks, turns and power.  The bait fishes incredibly fast if that’s what you want. I like to burn it for a split second or quick 2 foot section, then stall it, then burn it again for 2 feet and stall, twitch, jerk, pause and burn.

6 inch triple trout
Sports Car, the 6" Triple Trout coupled with a 400 TE reel is power fishing a swimbait, tournament style. Bone white, a favorite color the world over

The 6” Triple Trout has the tightest ‘s’ swim of the full sized standard Triple Trouts.    The tightness equates to a tighter wavelength and vibration which makes it more a tournament swimbait than a lake or state record breaking swimbait.   The tightness also equates to ability to cut thru the water.   So, when faced with current, the 6” Triple Trout cuts water better than the 7/8/10” versions.  You can control the 6” and just fish it absolutely fast tournament pace and be very effective.  Power fishing a swimbait.

Gear for the 6″ Triple Trout:

Rod: G-Loomis 964
ReelShimano Curado 300  or Shimano Calcutta 300 TE or  Shimano Calcutta 400 TE
LineP-line CXX Xtra Strong, Moss Green, 25 Pound
HooksOwner ST-56 Stinger Treble Hooks,  #2 front and back
Split Rings:  Owner Hyper Wires, #5s front and back

Strengths:  Tournament swimbait.  Smallmouth swimbait. Spotted bass swimbait.  Largemouth swimbait, just not the double digit kind, most likely.   Very fast and aggressive and performance swimbait.  Highly stall-able.  Highly burnable. Sharp bouncing switch & cutbacks.   Power fishing on tournament day is what I think about the 6” Triple trout.  And for hunting trophy smallies and spotted bass, make no mistake this bait gets a lot of 3-6 pound range fish which makes it candy for the trophy spotted or small mouthed basses.

owner treble hooks for triple trout
The ST-56 Owner Stinger Trebles are 3X strong and an excellent choice when you need small size 2 or 4 treble hooks, and are fishing swimbaits where you don't want to bend out hooks with the rods and reels you are fishing.

Ideal conditions:  The cooling water of Fall.  Fish chasing on better than average sized threadfin shad.   Fish who eat yellow perch.  Fish who eat blueback herring.  Fish who eat jerkbaits and topwaters in warm water conditions.  Fishing that involves current and/or moving water.