Owner Hooks has done something pretty cool with the Flashy Accent Trailer Blade series.   The Flashy Accent is meant to compliment and add flash to any bait.   You can add a flashy blade on a barrel swivel to just about any bait  you can imagine.   I cannot at all claim to have even scratched the surface of what these Flashy Accent’s are capable of.  There are just too many baits and applications.

You have two willow leafs and one Indiana blade to choose from. Way too much still to explore, but pretty neat how well these compliment small baits, and even fish well stand alone.

Senko Upgrade:

Its hard to beat a Senko.  Any accessory that will actually compliment one of the Top 3 fish catchers of recent history, is something to consider.  Keith Poche put a blade in a Senko and put together an awesome 2012 BassMaster Classic as a result. A simple modification to a simple bait to give it a different look and fingerprint.  The Flashy Accent is perfect for job to Poche your Senko.  The Senko is so do nothing, so neutral buoyant, so simple, that adding flash to it and changing its original is always going to have drawbacks, but shoot, it’s going to have advantages at times too.  Around current, where the blade is going to be flopping and turning and churning in the eddies and fast water sections, the Flashy Accent is going to really liven up and enhance what the Senko might do.  I love how the bait helicopters straight down.  Looks like an arrow or missle or something headed straight toward the bottom, but also uses the blade to glide along.  The bait (and this happens when you’re drop shotting too) will rest on the face of the Flashy Accent and use it to plane as it falls sometimes.  The other times it tends to helicopter the blade, blade end first, of the Senko and I really like that look.   I tried to capture that in the video above.   Fishing the 5″ Senko on a #1 Owner Mosquito Hook with criss crossed O-Rings that you put on with a Wacky Tool.

Part One: Cut #1 Paper Clip. Use to pin the Flashy Swimmer, thru the swivel, you can even remove the plastic keeper if you want and save it for using as a hook keeper, the paper clip will hold the swivel metal to metal just fine. Super Glue paper clip into bait with Flashy Swimmer, very carefully, for added insurance.
Part 2: take the horse shoe cut paper clip and shove it down snugly into the end of your Senko. Use your pliers to narrow up and make the horse shoe longer, etc to best secure the Flashy Swimmer into the bait.
Completed Rig. Snug down the horseshoe and go fish. I like the larger of the two willow leafs for the 5″ Senko. The smaller willow leaf Flashy Accent would look great in the 3 & 4″ Senkos.

Head Spins:

The Fish Head Spin is quietly and consistently catching lots of fish in lots of places.  Grass, hard bottom, river, whatever.   Places where the A-Rig is now catching them, which is lots and lots.   The beauty of the Head Spin is adding some bladed flash to a swimming bait.  Now, with the Flashy Accent, you can turn your drop shot baits into mini ‘head spin’ setups.  Especially when you use full bodied drop shot baits.    As well, with the Flashy Accent Senko Rig ala Keith Poche’s 2012 BassMaster Classic performance, you are turning your Senko into a head spin/spinnerbait of sorts.  Notice how the Flashy Accent causes the Senko to fall blade end first, and how the blade turn and spins or helps the bait glide back to the bottom.  The Flashy Accent is helping us blend styles and techniques, and your only limitation is your imagination.   Here I am fishing the 1/2 oz Fish Head Spin with a Little Dipper as a trailer and the larger of the two willow leaf Flashy Accents.

How do you make a Fish Head Spin better? If “Fish Head Spinning” your Senko might make a Senko better, in some cases, how about Alabama Rigging (multi-rigging) your Fish Head Spin?  Where you have a sorta bait ball appeal, the Flashy Swimmer gives another blade and flash to the Fish Head Spin.

Drop Shotting:

You can drop shot the Flashy Accent Trailer Blade as a stand alone bait.   When your drop shot bait is on the bottom, you can do mini ‘strokes’ and the Flashy Accent fishes like a mini spoon, like guys who stroke spoons off ledges off the Tennessee River.  Pretty cool drop shot refinements and integration of a few techniques into one.  When you add a Flashy Accent Trailer Blade to your drop shot softbait, you give your softbait a look it probably hasn’t had much.  I found the Flashy Accent compliment full bodied shad style drop shot baits like the Yamamoto Shad Shape, Jackall Clone Fry  and Owner Wounded Minnow really well.   If conditions call for a more horizontal and castable drop shot approach, you can sorta slow grind/hop your drop shot to make it a swimbait with this setup.  Swimming your drop shot rig.   It has given me the idea that I really need to lighten up the drop shot weights I’m using, especially in shallow water/current situations where you want your rig to tumble and come over gravel well.   A well matched, l drop shot weight could be used to literally allow you to swim a small drop shot worm, like a fish head spin/drop shot combo, 1.5 -3 feet off the bottom from 0-100 feet.   Anyway, that’s what I saw in the Flashy Accent in its action and fishability with the Wounded Minnow.   I’m fishing the Wounded Minnow on a #2 Mosquito Hook.  You could definitely sorta ‘stroke’ your drop shot too, which is wild.

Drop shot the blade only and ‘stroke’ the blade on slack line with a drop shot setup. Pretty cool action and a new twist on drop shot fishing.
Owner Flashy Accent turns you drop shot into a head spin/swimbait of sorts, if you use a full bodied shad style drop shot bait. This is the Owner Wounded Minnow I’m using to show how the Flashy Accent compliments a drop shot bait.

Alabama Rig:

If you look at the implications of umbrella rigs and what the Alabama Rig did to our fishing, you realize we are foolish to not be using teasers and dummy baits at times give the appearance of a school of bait.   The Flashy Accent provides you a mechanism to ‘A-Rig’ whatever you want, like a hard bait, or any hard bait you can think of.    You basically are only limited by your skills with rigging, but the hardware is now there to add little blades to baits that otherwise had none.

Indiana Blade Owner Flashy Accent on a 3″ Big Hammer, which tells me it can be fished on the Alabama/Umbrella rigs too.  Why not add blades and additional teasers to swimbaits in some cases, especially umbrella rig cases?

The Rig Affect

You can say things about the Flashy Swimmer that put it in the same conversation as the Alabama Rig.  You are creating multiple flashes within one castable lure.  You’re re-arranging the way blades are being strung up and hung…lets see we have inline blades and safety pin framed bladed baits.  Underspins and Head Spins quietly join the party.  Look at what Spencer Shuffield did at the 2012 FLW Tour Table Rock Lake event and the umbrella rig he was throwing in Missouri.   It had 3 teaser blades as part of the setup.  Missouri is a 3 bait only state so to maximize his effectiveness and fish within the rules, here comes this edition.  Flashers and teasers, get your mind out of the gutter, we are talking about catching those suspended fishes that chase balls of baits here. My aloha pal Trevor Lincoln, from down around the junction of El Capitan and San Vicente Lakes (San Diego, CA), makes this bait called the Trip Jig.  I cannot share all the details of everything I know about the Trip Jig that my friends share with me because it’s not mine to share.  However, I can share what I’ve done to the Trip Jig thus far, since I fished around a lot of shallow grass this year in the SouthEast (Okeechobee, Seminole, Guntersville, Santee Cooper), and gone thru a bunch of Grass Minnows in the process:

The Trip Jig with 3 Grass Minnows on Lake Guntersville. The Trip Jig has absolutely no class: short skirt, flashy, teasy sorta bait that can be fished weedless style.

Moving Forward:

The Flashy Accent is a very unique accessory and new piece of terminal tackle in my tackle box.  I basically try putting it on a bunch of various baits and see how it swims and looks and fishes.   And of course, I’m fishing the ones I like and collecting footage to share in the future.   The Flashy Accent is just something that literally compliments or adds some flash to just about any bait in your box. I tried to show some basics on ways I have found worthy of exploration to start.  How about taking off hooks on hardbaits and using blades as teasers instead?  You ever notice some Japanese hardbaits come with blades as tails and they basically put blades in places we don’t expect them at times?  The umbrella rig and what we’ve learned about bass willing to chase an entire bait ball better than a single stand alone, especially while suspended.  All related stuff to where and why the Flashy Accent has my attention and is being integrated into my fishing.    Swimbait/bigbait implications?  Don’t know yet. Have some ideas and applications but haven’t validated it enough to say.  Work in progress.   Feel free to join the conversation and post your thoughts/experiences below.  MP


Wacky Rigging.  One of my favorite things to do in a small bait, finesse, tough bite, you just need to catch 5 fish and haven’t had a bite in a while style of fishing is wacky rigging.  Wacky rigging is the canary in the coal mine to me at times.  If you can’t get a bite, wacky rigging, you are very likely not around ’em.    My 2012 FLW Everstart tournament on Santee Cooper, started by picking up my boat in Augusta, GA on the way to lake, with a fresh fiberglass patch from the damage it sustained from Seminole.  So, I only had 5 days to prepare for Santee Cooper, and in case you don’t know, Santee Cooper is 2 lakes, connected by a canal, and it HUGE.  I mean, a man could spend a lifetime learning Santee Cooper, and because it has grass in it, which even the types of grasses are constantly changing (and growing and being sprayed or eaten by introduced grass carp), Santee Cooper is a lake that changes often.  Add to that, South Carolina’s real estate on the Eastern seaboard.   South Carolina, goes from extreme mountain trout eaters  in the West, to the lowland black water swamp, palmetto tree + Spanish moss frog, swim jig, skippin’ jigs, buzzbait, 30 pound sack capable water, to Atlantic Coast beaches that people surf regularly ( I scored fun 1-2 foot peelers at Hilton Head one 4th of July circa 2006, 10 foot single fin, 80+ degree water,  and a lot of hootin’ an’a hollerin’!) in the East. Santee Cooper is big fish fishery and it didn’t disappoint.  Look at the weights from the event, lots of 11-15 pound, 3 fish sacks getting weighed in.  Guys on 4-6 pounders pretty good, just numbers hard to come by.   Santee Cooper is on a healthy cycle and it could be a sleeper for an incredible event if scheduling and weather permit.   I wished I’d had more time to practice and explore things, because a bigbait bait there is inevitable.  I threw Slammers, 3:16 Sunfish, 22nd Century Bluegills, and skipped the 6″ weedless Huddie too.   I didn’t have tons of practice, but my gameplan was mostly around catching 4-6 pounders off cypress trees, but of course trying to just go fish and find big ones coming or going or on beds.   I thought I could win with the wacky rig—if I got the bites and got them in the boat, there are just some awesome moments in tree fishing where you can get on ’em good.  I had good bites going, just not lots of them, and it was the same stuff I had done here 3 years ago when I finished 7th place.  I had the bites to win last time.  This time, I didn’t have the bites to win, but I had a shot at it, and I knew I could compete and perhaps win, just like last time, but this time, things didn’t work out quite so well, but I did jump off a big one that cost me a Top 20 or so.  5-6 pounder eats my Senko on the base of tree with sparse grass around it in about 3 feet of water, and rips line off immediately for 10 feet right under the surface just hot and full dig style and when I went to turn and stop her, she reared up and jumped mouth open wide reverse flip backside roll tail grab fakey and spits the hook.  Fudge. Whatever, I’m sitting in 7th place overall in the the SouthEast Division, and had a great tournament and finished 35th place, just solid, nothing great, but I’ll take it because Santee Cooper is tough as she is awesome at times.   I had 3 fish on Day 1 for almost 12 pounds, so fun day getting 2 bigguns onboard, and one 14.5″ keeper.  Big fish on the spinning gear around trees is just exciting and fun.  I kept working and working, and also had a grass pattern going that never panned out, so I felt like I fished pretty damn hard and smart, just didn’t have the next levels of fish I needed.   Look at how few guys caught limits both days.  See Results Here.  Ken Ellis won the tournament wacky rigging a Trick Worm on deep trees.  So, I was on the right track and had the right gameplan, I just didn’t have the trees and the knowledge of what trees.  Finding deeper trees is a key, sparse grass is key, and areas adjacent or near spawning grounds, where the fish are pulling out of their spawning areas and resting up, feeding up and hanging loose on the natural cover/structures in the lake.

The Old South. Santee Cooper is near Charleston, a city rich in old America history, and is two lakes, connected by a canal: Lakes Marion&Moultrie, named after American Revolutionary War 1770s era Generals famous for using the swamps and natural terrain to drive the Brits out. And of course, the first shots fired in the Civil War, happened in Charleston at Fort Sumter. My journey from Atlanta to Santee Cooper literally mirrored General Sherman’s notorious “March to the Sea” campaign, that ended with the Confederate surrender of Fort Sumter and terms being served, where the first shots were fired 4 years prior.   I enjoy that kind of stuff, because I really try to understand the various regions and people of this country that are so different than my own home, and their history.   I like South Carolina for the fishing for sure. I used to do great business in nearby Columbus and I know Charleston is really cool and happening and fun, and yet you can get yourself extremely rural and off the grid in a hurry too.   Perhaps I have a soft spot for South Carolina because my personal best 14.60 largemouth came from South Carolina in 2006. But I think it’s just a killer state of mind and of fishing. The extreme Appalachian to Atlantic old timey Southern feel is highlighted with the weather. You want to talk about hot and muggy? We had low 90s and 100% humidity a couple days. Sweltering heat at times for what feels like ‘early in the year’. I believe in the summer time, Santee Cooper might be the hottest place on earth.  You just feel lowland and can sense the warm ocean offsore influencing things. But then again, as the tournament came around, cool, windy, foggy, really windy, really really windy, rain and volatile weather came, making finesse fishing around trees, a bit more challenging!  I wore my bibs all day on Day 1, that cold you get when you’ve been baked by the sun and then things cool down and you’re just cold because you aren’t baking hot.   Finesse fishing, wacky in particular, is best served up under the above weather conditions, because the smooth water allows you to make precise and long distance skips of your bait to the tree.  Wind creates surface waves which put your bait up in the tree and ruins the distance and accuracy thing horribly, but it isn’t game over, you just have to work that much harder to fish the trees properly.   The calmer, the more finesse you can get, for example, throw a Trick Worm vs. a Senko, because it falls and stalls mas bueno, which is the thing about wacky, it is about fall and stall, which becomes neutral or floating mid water column at some point, which means you can keep your bait suspended or ‘floating’ one foot down, one foot off the tree, in the shade spot on base of cypress tree better than just about anything else.       Stall + Fall = 0

I stayed in Eutawville (“Utah-Ville”) at Bells Marina and fished with my good friend Ron and his son, that I’d met here a few years ago when I was here last.   Ron helped me quickly get a feel for the lake and more specifically, the tree bite.    The best trees tend to be deeper 2.5 to 4 feet of water, and have sparse grass around them, or just be on the ‘point’ or generally favorable position to feed from in a stack of trees.  However, it’s sort of like flipping at some level, where you just have to put your head down and make hundreds of perfect presentations time and time again, and eventually you get a bite.  And where you get one bite, you usually get more bites.   Little flurries, I love you so!   I tried to find good areas of trees in practice.  Which I did. I also tried to find a grass bite, which I did with some help from my man Bobby Wood and Ron Buck.  I practiced with them a day and really did some damage on Skinny Dippers and Swim Senkos around lilly pads, gator grass, and mixed stuff.    With the cool weather we had for the tournament, my grass bite died on the vine.  You just knew they were in the grass and biting for someone, but I had trees and grass to balance, and after starting each morning in the grass and coming up empty both days, I decided my grass bite was dead and didn’t try it afternoon of Day 2, just stuck out the trees, which helped because I got my 5th fish with 10 minutes left and helped me get a paycheck.  I caught all 8 of my keepers on the wacky rig and only missed one bite, but it was a big one.  Wacky rigging is a work in progress for me, and I love doing it.  I love super finesse and super big stuff, opposing poles, positives and negatives, north vs south/ east vs west, natural attractions and relationships between the two ends of any spectrum.  I love how it points out things to my bigbait fishing, because I think my success with bigbaits in a national tournament will be somehow directly or indirectly related to a super small bait bite or understanding of fish and fishing.   For example, keeping it simple, just throw a Senko or a Trick Worm, or just throw a Triple Trout or a Huddleston or Slammer, having the right tools narrowed down for your window and using the small baits to either quickly fill a limit or be there as backup to back fill a couple big ones.

Here’s the deal with Wacky Rigging:

Rod: Shimano Cumara 7’2″ Medium Heavy (CUS72MH)

Reel:   Shimano Stradic 1000 or CI4 Stradic 1000 (small spooled reels handle 10-15 pound braid really well, that line has super small diameter and although I like big spooled spinning reels, smaller spooled small spinning reels are good too. You can throw small and light baits really well, and manage you line nicely.  It all matches up, where you don’t have super thin line on a big spool.

Line:  15# Power Pro connected to a 2.5 foot leader of  10# Yamamoto Sugoi Florocarbon

Hook:  Owner Mosquito Hook, #1 or 1/0, get the 50 packs, because you use these things a lot and you do break off at times because of the exposed nose hook, trust me, this is a good investment.  Use bigger hook size in the wind

Bait:  Yamamoto Senko 5″  Or Zoom Trick Worm (watermelon seed, green pumpkin red, black neon, black blue, or junebug)

Rigging:  Wacky O Tool and O-Rings:  I put an O-Ring around my senko and slide the hook under the ring and just fish away.  Sometimes I criss cross two rings and put the hook under the X, but I a really like the way this one fishes and rigs, it’s not perfect, but I haven’t found one that is!

Braided line + floro leader, Owner Mosquito Hook, O-Ring. I will use 2 O-Rings and criss cross them and put the hook under the X at times, but then again, I will just slip the hook under a single ring and just go fishing. I catch a lot of fish on this rig, and slight variations of it anytime I’m around shallow grass, wood, and rock. Trick worms and Senkos are blue chip baits, make sure you own plenty in various colors black to green. Get a feel for skipping, floating, dragging and stalling side rigged baits. Bait control.

Here is the deal with the Grass Bite:

Swimming Baits:  Skinny Dippers or Swim Senkos or Gambler Big EZ  (black blue, watermelon/green pumpkins)

Frogs/Terrestrials Spro  BronzeEye Frogs or Poppin Frog or Paycheck Transporter Frog or Picasso Shad Walker  (natural colors/black)

Line: 65 or 50# Power Pro

HooksOwner  Twistlock Open Gap (Swim Senko, 5/0 or 6/0 for Skinny Dipper), Owner Weighted Beast Hook (Big EZ, 6/0 w/ 1/4 oz weight)

Some really good fish were caught in the grass. You just had to have grass with bait or just fish in it.  The grass was like the trees, lots to choose from, but most does/do not hold fish and even if they do, you have to be good to catch them, especially for 2 days in a row.  Things change quickly on Santee Cooper.

Santee Cooper Wacky Rigging a Senko
I was getting 1 or 2 fish in the 4-6 pound class a day fishing the trees slowly and thoroughly with wacky rigs. Scattered grass, access to deep water, shade all helped the cause. I figured I might be able to squeak out 15 or 20 pounds a day on the right days. I almost pulled it off, but not quite. No regrets, looking forward to getting back there sometime and getting back to work.  “Fine thanks……………………you?”