Secret Lures of Kayak Bass Fishing

Kayak Bass Fishing Championship

When Jonathan Abshire pulls into the Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana March 27th, it will be for the “Biggest ANYTHING I’ve ever done,” according to Abshire.  Over 450 other anglers may be able to say the same thing and feel some pre-tournament jitters, but they all have converged on the area with the same goal.  Their goal is to win the 2019 Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship, presented by Torqeedo.  Competition is scheduled for March 28-30, 2019.  The KBF National Championship is the pinnacle of the kayak bass fishing world.  Over $200,000 in cash and prizes are up for grabs in this one of a kind bass fishing tournament.

The Game

The playing field will seem unique to our traditional bass tournament readers since it includes five different bodies of water.  Championship contenders will be fishing not just a single lake, but an entire system of river and lakes. Eligible water will include the Red River and the following five lakes:
• Caddo Lake (in both Texas and Louisiana)
• Black Cypress Bayou
• Cross Lake
• Lake Bistineau
• Wallace Lake

The Player

Jonathan, a member of the Secret Lures Promotional Staff, earned his berth in this premiere kayak bass fishing event with hard work and success throughout West Virginia in what proved to be a great rookie season. To say kayak bass fishing is big in his area would be an understatement.  It is huge!  West Virginia kayak anglers have numerous trails and events to choose from, with four trails operating in his region alone.  Jonathan, in particular, fished the West Virginia Kayak Anglers, the Southern West Virginia Kayak Anglers, the Mountain State Kayak Anglers, and the Summers County Kayak Bass Anglers events throughout the 2018 season and found success.  All his time on the water led to two Top 5 finishes with the WVKA and ultimately a 12th place position in the points…more than enough accomplishments to punch his ticket to the big dance.

When he launches his Bonafide SS127 it will be the first time it has hit the water that far south, but Jonathan isn’t too worried.  According to Jonathan, “I consider myself a bank-oriented fisherman and we’re hitting these lakes at a perfect time for that.  The fish should be around the banks, with some spawning, some coming in to spawn, and some making their way out.  Regardless of what they are doing, they’ll be plenty of fish up shallow to win this event.”

The Secret Lures

He went on to add, “I’ll have a half dozen rods rigged up, with mostly Secret Lures.  I look for the Big Dummy Stupid Tube and HD Stupid Tube Head to be a big player around cypress trees, boat docks, and other shoreline cover.  Bedding bass won’t tolerate that tube around them for long before they just have to pick it up.  If the bite is tough, I can always scale down to the 3.7 Stupid Tube and still be successful.”

When asked about how he’ll target some of the fish in transition, either moving in or moving out, Jonathan said he has a plan for that as well.  “I’ll have a different approach for those situations.  The MVP HD Flippin’ Jig will be my bigger offering on some of those gnarly spots and deeper areas with cover that pre and post spawn bass like to stop on.  If I can’t get bites on the bigger jig, I can mix it up with the MVP Finesse Jig, or even a Tail Shaker shaky head.  I have a lot of confidence in single hook baits that I can work methodically and I feel like one of these three should do the trick.”

One big difference in kayak bass fishing and the big motor fiberglass world is moving around.  Kayak anglers have to give consideration to the time it takes to move from one locale to another and how to make the most of that time.  They can’t just drop into the driver’s seat and head 10 miles up the lake on a whim or a gut feeling.  They have to make the most of their time once committed to an area and it sounded like Secret Lures could help Jonathan with that too.

 “As I move around within my areas, I’ll be covering water with a Chubby frog.  I hope to pick up a bonus fish or two throughout the day on topwater.  Being able to toss that frog a long way and cover more isolated cover and random banks as I move around will also work to my advantage.”  Jonathan went on to add, “I’ll be able to fish the Chubby weedless around vegetation, and I had a local shop produce a buzzbait head that works perfectly with a Chubby on the back in more open water.”

In closing, Jonathan said, “Collectively, I feel like I’ve got a plan from top to bottom, the rest is in the Lord’s hands.  He has blessed me with this opportunity, and he gets the credit.  Now I’m going to go and fish my strengths with proven products I believe in.  It’s gotten me this far, now I just need a few good days on the water down south.”

Jonathan will be launching in Louisiana with the support of Secret Lures, Gunter’s Yak Shack, Batteries Plus, Buffalo Tire and Brakes, and Stoke’s Grocery Store.  All those involved are rooting for his top to bottom Secret Lures plan to pay off for him.  We thought sharing some of his insights on the biggest event in kayak bass fishing could help our readers pick the right Secret Lures for their next kayak bass fishing adventure, no matter how big or small.

For more information on the KBF National Championship, visit

Swim Jig Fishing Secrets

Northern Swim Jig Fishing

By Mike Raber

Swimming a jig has become increasingly popular over the past decade. For good reason, this technique catches big fish.  The swim jig has been responsible for several elite level tournament wins in recent history. Perhaps its effectiveness is due in part to its versatility and adaptability. Anglers have employed swim jigs to catch winning sacks of bass from North to South and coast to coast. When I started fishing a swim jig many years ago, I learned the braid sizzling action of the south doesn’t always translate well to Northern waters. Creating a “system” for Northern swim jig fishing has been paramount to my successes with the technique.  What I’ve learned is it really boils down to two simple facts.

  1. You can’t hook bass that don’t bite
  2. You can’t land bass that don’t stay hooked

Getting Bit

Perhaps the most important yet most simple aspect of any technique in bass fishing is getting bites. The swim jig is great at this as it covers a ton of water and offers more realism than its counterparts. There are additional things you can do to tip the odds in your favor for getting more bites, however. Matching the hatch is very important in clear water swim jig fishing. For swim jigs, matching the hatch boils down to two things, the color, and the trailer.


Jig Colors

I keep my colors very simple, stocking only a few options to imitate bream and a shad pattern or two. My absolute favorite jig for imitating bluegill in the Midwest is the Candy Craw color in the Secret Lures MVP Swim Jig line.

Honestly, this has been the jig I’ve reached for time and time again over the past 5 years and it flat gets bit. Having a jig you can rely on is extremely important but the jig is only half of the puzzle.

Jig Trailers

Swim jig trailers come in many shapes and sizes and I’ve narrowed my selection to keep it simple and effective… catching the theme here?  The trailer should complement the jig in multiple aspects. The size, action, and color of the trailer should be coupled with the jig to create the most attractive package possible. Recognize that you can completely change your presentation simply by changing your trailer. That may sound quite complex, but I have a few favorites that seem to cover nearly all situations.

1 / 4 Ounce Swim Jig

Top trailer choices: Rage Craw / Reaction Innovations Little Dipper

The Rage Craw gets the nod in dirtier water where more water displacement is needed. It also serves well in situations where I’d like to keep the jig up in the water column and moving slowly. The Little Dipper is more versatile and serves well in any visibility 2 feet or more. This trailer helps to get the light jig a little deeper and allows it to move a little faster than the craw without blowing out.

 3/8 Ounce Swim Jig

Top Trailer Choices: Keitech Fat Swing Impact

This one is very popular and predictable and it works! My favorite situation for the 3/8 ounce jig is fishing outside weed lines on our natural lakes. The extra weight allows me to keep the jig in the strike zone longer and fish it at a faster speed.  I pull it out when I feel like one or the other subtle changes in retrieve or depth will make a difference.  That size jig, coupled with a 3.8” Keitech is a heck of a package for clear water green fish.

Keeping Fish Buttoned

If you’re new to the technique or you’re using the wrong equipment, losing fish with a swim jig can be a huge problem. It is important that your rod, reel, and line are all working in unison to put fish in the boat.

Secret Lures MVP Swim Jigs

Rod Suggestions:

Use a rod that has plenty of backbone but also allows you to reel into the fish and load up on the hookset. In my opinion, the best swim jig stick on the planet is the Denali Kovert LT 723WJ. The rod handles both 1/4- and 3/8-ounce jigs very well. People vary some on their rod choice here, but I strongly suggest using something at least 7’ and something in the Medium Heavy range.  Choose a swim jig rod you believe in and build your system around that.


I try to streamline everything as much as possible. For both 1/4 and 3/8 swim jigs I throw 15lb Fluorocarbon about 80% of the time. This allows me to transition from fishing a light jig up dirt shallow to slow rolling a heavier jig on deep grass lines by simply tying on a new jig. The situation where I consistently turn to a lighter line is in very cold water, where I’m looking for every advantage I can find to get a bite.


This is the simplest part of the system. Use the fastest reel you can buy. When a five pounder inhales your jig from behind and runs at you, you’ll thank me.

 What Makes a Good Swim Jig?

The three things I look for in a swim jig are realism, balance, and efficiency. I’ve used dozens of different jigs and while many of them work, I have settled on the Secret Lures MVP Swim Jig for a couple of reasons.


Realism – A swim jig must look like the baitfish it imitates. The water is usually clear when a swim jig bite is on and fish will often trail your jig before deciding to eat it. For this reason, I look for every advantage I can get.  I like a jig to have realistic eyes and a lively skirt. The trailer should do the bulk of the drawing in but when that fish gets close, it can easily be the details that make the difference.

Balance – Balance comes more from the head design of the bait. Make sure the head of the jig allows it to keel upright in the water and track true at all speeds. Nothing will hang up quicker or look more unnatural than a jig swimming sideways.

Efficiency – Efficiency is all about the business end, the hook. The Secret Lures MVP Swim Jigs are one of the few that I’ve found to actually tailor the hook to the head size.  That may seem like a small detail, but it is key.

A 1/4-ounce jig should sport a hook with light enough wire to not overpower the bait but should also be able to lean on a kicker and not straighten it out. A 3/8-ounce jig should do the same, but you want a stronger/heavier hook to compensate for the extra weight in the head.

Their 1/2-ounce version is actually built with a saltwater grade heavy duty hook, but I personally don’t have a lot of experience with that one…YET.  With that said, all you have to do is hold one in your hand.  It screams HEAVY DUTY and is just begging for braided line and big bass!

Each of these things is something I learned to be important over time with this technique. Put these pieces together and you have one heck of a swim jig.  Give them a try this spring and I think they’ll quickly become one of your Secret Lures.  

Keep it Simple

In summary, swim jigging truly is pretty simple if you start with a good product. You cast it out, you wind it in, it gets bites. If you take this system and make it your own, I’m sure your northern swim jig fishing will improve. Find a rod that works for your style. Find the line that you trust when your tournament is on it. Experiment with jigs and trailers until you find what you like but if you’re looking for a great place to start, look no further than the MVP Swim Jig.

If you are in my neck of the woods, Northern Indiana, stop in and see Reid and the folks at The Angler in Hudson, IN.  He turned me onto these baits several years ago and he keeps a great selection of the jigs and trailers mentioned here.   Make your swim jig fishing less complicated this year. Get bites, make them count, and tell us all about it when it works.

Jeff Reynolds Joins the Secret Lures Team

Secret Lures and Jeff Reynolds Team up on Product Development

Tell City, IN (February 25, 2019) – Secret Lures has announced that it has added Costa FLW Series, and former Bassmaster Elite Series Angler, Jeff Reynolds to their product development and professional team.  Jeff will be assisting in the expansion and promotion of the entire line up of Secret Lures.  He has proven throughout his career that he knows what it takes to entice big bass from the deep haunts they call home and Secret Lures looks forward to incorporating his knowledge into the product line going forward.

Jeff Reynolds showing off a recent catch on the Secret Lures Ledge Shaker

According to Danny Blandford, President of Secret Lures, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jeff on several occasions and I’ve learned a great deal about deep structure fishing and tackle design from his expertise.  When we purchased Secret Lures, Jeff received some of the first samples of the existing product line.  I wanted his unfiltered opinion on what we had on day one and what we needed going forward.  If it wasn’t good, or it could be better, I knew Jeff would let us know.”

And So it Begins

For the last several months Jeff has been dragging MVP Football Jigs, The Ledge Shaker, and several other Secret Lures products around Lake Texoma and elsewhere with great success.  His input will prove valuable for the brand’s existing projects and new products going forward.  Blandford went on to add, “In a short amount of time with the products in hand, Jeff has already provided valuable feedback as an angler, as well as great content for our upcoming commercials and videos for our line of jigs and terminal tackle.”

Jeff added, “I’m excited to work with Secret Lures going forward.  I think they are already making some of the best tackle folks haven’t heard about.  That, coupled with the horsepower being put behind the brand, gets me fired up for what is ahead.  As we get the word out and continue to expand their lineup, it’ll end up in everyone’s tackle boxes.  The Ledge Shaker and the MVP Football Jig have already proven to be winners for me out deep.  I can’t wait to head shallow with some of the other products.”

One of several recent MVP Football Jig Fish

More information regarding Secret Lures, including a complete line up of their products, can be found at   You can also find them on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube.