Nothing makes me feel better than a good bite on a 8″ Huddleston!  I finally got a day of fishing where the wind was <20MPH and was able to setup and just fish, and I caught a nice one.  A lot of why I decided to come to West Palm Beach is access to Okeechobee. I have a sweet deal going where I store my boat at the lake and have a place to stay on the weekends, so that is just working out beautifully.  I have a lot of bigbait sessions ahead of me I hope.  The water level is 14.7 or something, so it’s falling out pretty quick.  But, I’m looking forward to another couple months of fishing for sure.  It was 85 degrees out there this day.

Hard grass and soft grass and black water.  3-4 feet deep.
Hard grass and soft grass and black water. 3-4 feet deep.

The 8″ Weedless Huddleston is something I’ve been mentally preparing myself for a while. I just haven’t had many sessions with it, where I could commit and throw it the majority of the day.  I really like the way the bait fishes.  The line tie on the nose makes it a ‘superior’ bait?  I don’t know if that makes sense, but I really like the line tie on the nose.  It just swims and fishes and orients right to you.  I am fishing it on straight 80 pound Power Pro Spectra, and Calcutta 400 TE and Loomis 966 BBR.  I just love that setup and with braid, its like, plus one or plus two more better.  I just love braid.   The braid is key for snatching and snapping your bait free in the grass.  If you muck up, a hard pop or jerk will often clear the bait and you fish thru.  At distance, these are things that cannot be done with anything but braid.  Couple that, with my experiences with the Grass Minnow, Weedless Shad and 6″ Weedless Trout, I know that braid is the deal with those baits, so to me, this was a no brainer.

Florida fish have an interesting frame. I didn't weigh this thing. It didn't cross my mind.  Unless they get enormous, I just sorta eye ball them.  I think it was about 7-8 pounds.  But that is what I'm hunting.  I need to figure out how to get 5-7 bites a day on this thing.
Florida fish have an interesting frame. I didn’t weigh this thing. It didn’t cross my mind. Unless they get enormous, I just sorta eye ball them. I think it was about 7-8 pounds. But that is what I’m hunting. I need to figure out how to get 5-7 bites a day on this thing.


Don’t hate because I have that carp/orange trout color on the 8″ Weedless.  Really, I have one.  I really hope Ken and Dennis come up with colors like this, and make them staples in their lineup.  I love the nightstalker color, and I love this color too. I really like the golden shiner color too. I just prefer darker/dark baits that would go good in the Okeechobee water.  The Night Stalker color looks fantastic in the Okeechobee water.  White has never been a good color of moving bait (save a chatterbait or spinnerbait) for me on Okeechobee with swimbaits/swimming worms.    I know other colors of the 8″ Huddleston will work on Okeechobobee too. I’ve caught them on hitch on baby bass, the non-weedless versions.

Halloween Style.
Halloween Style.


I’m landing the bites I’m getting on the 8″ Weedless, and they tend to be >6 pound fish.   They are awesome bites and you’ll have to be patient to see the film. I hope our next DVD might be a bigbait fishing thing in Florida.  Grass fishing.  Haven’t put it all together by a long shot, and if I’ve learned anything at 35, I know better to than to make claims and predictions, especially if they involve fish or women!  You cannot predict the fish.  You just don’t know how things will play out with the filming and footage and flow.  I sure hope I find a balance of work, social life, fishing Okeechobee and surfing around Jupiter and North!  I hope it works out and I make good decisions and have good flow.  We shall see. It has been anything but an easy transition back into corporate life, in a new city I’ve never lived.   But……8″ Huddleston bites do a man right!



Ace of Spades!



Burnt Orange Flavored 8" Weedless Huddleston Trout
Burnt Orange Flavored 8″ Weedless Huddleston Trout


From above, the 8" Weedless Trout in a not so trout kinda color.
From above, the 8″ Weedless Trout in a not so trout kinda color.


Slide slippin' around some eel grass
Slide slippin’ around some eel grass


This color isn’t generally available yet.  Ken sent me one, and since I’m fishing Okeechobee, I have been throwing this color.  Thought I’d show the 8″ Huddleston Deluxe Weedless Trout in action around some outside grass on Okeechobee.     I have no insights into when Ken will have more 8″ weedless baits for sale, and what color schemes he will go forward with.  I am just thankful to have gotten a few of them, and hope to show you some fish catches with them.  MP

weedless trout on okeechobee
Watermelon Red 6" Weedless Trout and an Okeechobee 'trout eater'

I’m shocked this bait hasn’t won a major tournament for me or someone else yet.  This is a tournament swimbait if there ever was one.  Grass fishing is just one of the major opportunities for this bait.  The 6” Weedless Trout is a full bodied swimbait, but at only six inches long (weighs approx 1.75 ounces) this is a swimbait that gets the tournament style 3-5 pounders to bite, but has the potential for big bites.

To understand the 6” Weedless Trout, you need to first understand that the 6” Weedless Trout utilizes the patented Huddleston Vortex Tail.  This tail design has proven itself as a fish catcher, matching the swim signature of a trout or other bait fish.   The bait has a single molded in hook, with a collapsable air pocket chamber than encompasses the hook, making it weedless, but also enabling the bait to hook any fish that bites it.

weedless trout
Top View, 6" Weedless Trout, hook completely hidden, yet the collapsable air chamber makes for high hookup ratios and plays into our theories on Ken's Vortex.
weedless trout hook
With a little pressure and braided line, you'll get this hook to expose itself and pull nice fish from grass, wood and anywhere tight to structure or cover

Just like with any kind of frog fishing, we highly recommend you skip florocarbon and just go to straight braid and go to work.  Braided line provides line buoyancy characteristics and zero stretch that make it a lethal combination when combined with the 6” Weedless Trout.   The key to the hook set is using a slower action parabolic rod and letting the fish load up on the bait and then apply a forceful but not overly aggressive pressure set and constant wind to hook the fish.   You need to keep a high rod tip during your retrieve, and once bit, drop your rod tip, let the fish eat the bait a second, then sweep hard and reel and keep the fish coming to you.    Hookup ratios aren’t 100%, but with braided line we’re getting 8 or 9 out of 10 bites in the boat.

guntersville grass
Find yourself some shallow grass, decent water clarity, and just use a steady retrieve, nothing too fast or slow.

Dock Skipping: If you watch Southern Trout Eaters, we cover dock skipping with the 6” Weedless Trout. I can skip a 6” Weedless Trout under and around docks better than I can a senko.  This bait is a dock skippers dream.   You can put a full bodied swimbait in places the fish have never seen a swimming bait.  Lethal at times, when the fish are positioned way up under docks.  Again, braid recommended for ease of line management and for getting big fish out from under docks.

dock skipping swimbaits
We showed dock skipping the 6" Weedless Trout in Southern Trout Eaters. Braided line, Curado 300 and Shimano 815XFA (sadly no longer available).


Bait: 6 Inch Weedless Trout  (the ROF 12 is what we recommend for most applications)
Rod:  G-Loomis 965 BBR
Reel: Shimano Curado 300
Line:  65 or 80# Power Pro or P-Line Spectrex Braid

Strengths:  The 6” Weedless Trout puts a bait where only baits like swim jigs and skinny dippers can usually play.  The size of the 6” Weedless Trout makes it a standout, and will get bigger bites.   There are very few bigbaits that are weedless (the 3:16 Mission Fish being the other), so when you are throwing the 6” Weedless Trout, you are likely showing them something of size that they haven’t seen before.  The six inch size makes it a really good choice for tournament swimbait fishing, and will catch 2-5 pounders.

lake eufaula swimbait fishing
Lake Eufaula, FLW Eastern Series, shallow dirty water tournament swimbait fishing with the 6" Weedless Trout, ROF12, Junebug.

Ideal Conditions:  Shallow grass, lilly pads, lilly stems, dollar pads, reeds, hydrilla, milfoil, or whatever shallow hard grasses are excellent places to throw the 6” Weedless Trout.  The bait is extremely weedless and can be fished virtually anywhere without hanging up, yet able to hook a fish.   Wood is an excellent application of the 6” Weedless Trout too, where you need to make a lot of contact with the wood to draw a strike. You can fish through a laydown tree and purposely make a lot of contact with the trunk and branches, and get some big bites from trees that usually only see flipped baits, square bills, spinnerbaits and the traditional assortment of lures.   Docks too are an excellent application of the bait.  When you get some practice and the hang of it, you will find the 6” Weedless Trout one of the best dock skipping baits around, that has the potential to hook a giant.