Our Living Room 2 Lake video series is all about creating a full Lucky Tackle Box experience – we don’t want to throw random lures in your tackle box and hope for the best. Instead, we teach you the best ways to use them so you can catch more fish!
In our latest video, Chief Fishing Officer Travis Moran unboxes January’s Bass XL box and explains how, when, and why to use everything that’s inside:
January Bass XL Products:
- Gambler Lures – Ace Stickbait
- Matrix Shad – Matrix Hog
- Raw Outdoor – Lipless Crank
- Mustad – Wide Gap 3/0 Hooks and Beads
- Mustad – Wacky Rig Kit
- Live Target – Frog Popper
- Dobyns – D-Blade Beast
- Mustad – Tungsten bullet Weight Pack
- Mono 12lbs Test Line – Lucky Xtras!
- Red Jig Skirt Material – Lucky Xtras!
This box was jam-packed with $45.42 worth of great stuff, and Travis dives into how to best use everything in January’s Living Room 2 Lake video. Here are the top three takeaways:
January’s Theme: Back To The Basics
a. It’s January, so unfortunately for many, that means we’re not in prime fishing weather. That’s okay! Now is the perfect time to refine your basic fishing skills and tactics so that when the weather and water finally warms up, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running. This month’s box is packed full of tried and true baits that you’ll need in your tackle box come spring to catch fish in any body of water. When you’re out on the water, you’ll be able to fish the different water columns – top, mid, or bottom, depending on where bass are feeding – and these baits will give you the flexibility to optimize your techniques no matter the conditions.
It’s The Little Things That Count
a. Since the waters aren’t teeming with active, aggressive fish in the middle of winter, you’ve got to be a little more savvy with your techniques in order to get a lethargic fish to bite. We’ve included some baits and tools in this box that, when rigged correctly, are going to attract fish that might not otherwise be interested. The Mustad Wacky Rig Kit paired with the Tungsten Weight Pack will be your secret weapon, especially when you’re fishing from the shore and only able to reach a limited area. The subtle differences in the movement and rigging of these baits are what will really make a difference when fishing in restricted conditions. Tungsten weights are more expensive than lead weights for a reason – they are denser, which makes their movements more sensitive and they provide you with the ability to really feel out the bottom much better. When paired with a quality rod and line, tungsten weights are sure to enhance your fishing game!
Versatility Is Key When Fishing In Winter
a. We included an array of different baits intentionally – we want you to be able to fish in all kinds of conditions and waterways in order to perfect your execution. When fishing season rolls back around, you’ll be steps ahead of everyone else! The Dobyns D-Blade Beast is a great spinnerbait to get to know – in fact, Dobyns claims it’s the #1 spinnerbait on the market. It can be used in mid to bottom depths, which is perfect for fish that keep a low profile during winter months. Spinnerbaits like the D-Blade Beast are great for bouncing off tree limbs and other terrain down on the ground really effectively. Paired with our Lucky Xtra 12-pound monofilament line, this hard bait is an excellent weapon to have at your disposal when fishing in cold waters. We’re including Lucky Xtras features in all of our XL and Tournament boxes from now on – these extra pieces of gear will create a fuller, more complete fishing experience with every box! Another versatile bait to get to know is the lipless crankbait – a personal favorite of Travis’! The Raw Outdoor Lipless Crank has a nice wobble and rattle, which creates vibrations to draw in curious fish in both murky and clear waters.
Thanks for those great tips, Travis! Watch the full “Living Room 2 Lake” video or read the whole video transcription below.
Tight lines, anglers – we hope this information is helpful, and we’ll see you back here next month to teach you all about February’s box!
“Living Room 2 Lake” January Video Transcription:
What's up, Lucky Tackle Box family. Travis Moran here, coming at you from another random person's living room that I rented on Airbnb because I'm back down here in the desert, filming for this video. I couldn't be more excited for what I'm about to show you guys. So for one perfect stranger's living room to yours, this is another episode of Living Room 2 Lake, where we're going to break down the baits that came in this month's Lucky Tackle Box. Guys, I couldn't be more excited about starting 2020 out with a bang. We've been making a lot of improvements to this box to really get the whole educational platform up and going. And I think you guys are really going to like this. I know that a lot of boxes just throw baits in there and tell you it's on a great discount. But we want to get more of a full experience to you guys out of this box.
So you not only get the baits, but you get different tools to actually use them. And then also educational videos like this so you have more confidence in going out in the water and fishing them. So part of educating is putting things into a theme, understanding what's going on out there during different times a year, understanding how to read the water. And so this month for January, a lot of people not out fishing, a lot of people are stuck indoors, cold weather in the snow, and so we thought it's a perfect time to focus on the basics. Back to the basics. That's our theme for this month. Check out the magazine that came in here. My buddy writes this, does a great job. The other thing is we introduced our Lucky Xtras in this box as well. We're going to start throwing other features in this box so that you can have the fuller, more complete experience.
So we're going to be going over the Bass XL box right now, and when selecting baits that are the basics, that are the tried and true baits that you definitely need in your tackle box throughout the year to catch fish anywhere in the country is very difficult. There's a lot of them. So not only do we pick the ones that are the classics, the definite go-to baits, but I also made sure that we had a wide variety. So when you go out on the water, you can fish the different water columns, right. You got to be able to fish that top, mid or bottom, depending on where those bass are feeding, but then also be able to fish the different structure and cover that those fish are going to be relating to or deep inside. So that's where we came up with these baits so that you could have the basic tools to go out in any body of water and catch some more fish.
I'm excited. Hopefully you are as well. So let's dive right into this box. All right, so we're going to do this next part a little bit different than you might be used to following along with on the previous Living Room 2 Lake episodes. But I want you guys to have your baits out and really learn about how these different lures and things come together, and how you can use them out in your local waters like we talked about. So I'm going to do this in two groups. The first group is going to be the soft plastics and all the hooks and weights and things that go with those soft plastics so you can understand how they fit together and then we'll do all the hard baits in the next group. So first off, let's talk about the two soft plastics. First of all, the Gambler Ace, which is a little soft stick bait and then the Matrix Shad creature style bait.
You know, one of the most common body types for creature style baits, a lot of little flanges going on, a lot of little action where the stick bait has nice little subtle action, darting little erratic motion that you can add to it. A lot of cool things you can get with those baits and then a lot of different ways you can rig them to fish different situations. So let's show this. First of all the hooks, we've got the Mustad, this little three out wide gap hooks there, some swivels and some beads in there. And then we have also the Wacky Rig Kit, got that little wacky rig hook, O ring and a little nail weight or a little, they have a screw weight. This is their new little weight that they've got, which I really like. And then some tungsten weights, some bullet weights side, and a 3/16 ounce and a quarter ounce.
We'll talk about tungsten and how that can help you guys out a lot. And then this weird looking red skirt. No, this was not an accident. I had them put this in there because this is going to be a cool little trick I'm going to teach you guys, especially for you guys that are fishing from the shore, fishermen kayaks where you have a limited amount of area you can cover. So you've got to really be able to do things that the other guys in that area aren't doing, make little subtle differences and this'll be a good little trick that I think you guys are going to like. So let's start breaking these different baits down here. First with the Wacky Rig Kit. You see that you've got three items that go with this. The first is the hook. You're basically just going to tie that hook, Palomar knot onto your line, eight to 10 pound on some kind of spinning rod.
These are kind of real finesse tactics that you can do. And you're going to then take that little black O ring and you're going to slide it over the worm or over your little creature bait that Matrix Shad. Now if you just try to slide it on, you're going to end up breaking this bait and stuff. You actually have to take some saliva or something and wet that worm and then slide it up to basically that smooth part, about halfway up that worm. And then you take your hook and you're going to, what I call skin hook it. You're going to come underneath the little ring right there, barely grab it, just a tiny bit of that skin and then come back through there. So it's going to hang down. Then you're going to take your little nail weight or that little screw and you're going to screw it into the flat side of this bait.
Right now, you have created what's called the nail rig. So when you cast this bait out, you let it sink down to the bottom and the weighted part will hit nose down and you're going to shake it on semi slack line, as you slowly bring in that slack and this bait is going to hop along the bottom with that tail up wagging around and it looks like it's something searching around looking for food, a lot of little action to, it really generates strikes. You can do the same thing for your Matrix Shad, this little creature style bait. Once again, stick that little head nail weight right in the head of this thing. Sometimes it's a little more difficult to thread that little O ring up the body right here, but it can be done and now you have a little nail weighted creature bait as well. A little bit more action, little bit more legs and movement going on with that.
Now you're going to notice when, you maybe already noticed, that there is another little ring on this O ring. Now that is for wacky rigging in a different way. This was a wacky rig nail weighted rig. So when we skin hooked, we wanted to make sure that that hook was going upwards towards the tail so that when you are hopping this thing along the bottom, you're pulling up and that weight is pulling it back down as you give it slack so it's hop, hop, hopping. Now if you want to fish it weightless, and we just lost the hook here, take out that weight, keep the O ring where it is, but now instead of skin hooking the worm, you just put that hook through that little hole and now you have wacky rigged, okay.
So that way you toss it around little pilings from a dock or the edges of like toolies and things, this bait will fall down real slowly, and it will fall that real evenly with both sides of these little worm shaking, hence a little subtle shake or shimmy on the way down and the fish love it. A very, very good finesse technique. Now if you're fishing a little deeper water, if you want that bait sinking a little faster but still want that similar action, you can take this nail weight and actually screw it in right into the middle of this worm and screw it all the way down. And now you have a little bit more weight in the middle of this bait, which will cause the warm to fall faster and actually make these little legs kick even more on the way down.
This isn't something you can really do with the creature bait, but once again, that's the other option. So there's two ways to rig this wacky rig and two ways to actually rig this O ring. Make sure you're rigging it the right way when you're trying to use it for different techniques. Like I said, rigging it right in the middle and letting it fall with both legs, that is good for vertical structure. When you nail weight it, you can cast it out and you can work it down points or you can work in along flats and things like that so you can actually make longer casts and work this bait a little bit faster with that where the wacky rig is more for fishing specific targets. Alright, so now let's look into our little wide gap worm hooks here. And when we rig this up, we're going to first take our line and we're going to put one of our tungsten weights here.
Guys, tungsten weights, the reason that tungsten are a lot more expensive than lead, and the reason being is they're a lot more dense, which they transfer feeling through that so you can actually, when this bait or when this hook hits any kind of rocks or ticks against anything down there, it transfers that up your line and you can actually feel out the bottom a whole lot better. That's why I want to make sure these got in the box so you guys can feel the difference between lead and tungsten. I promise you there's a big difference. If you can't feel the difference and it doesn't really matter to you, don't worry about it at this point because you also need to have a semi decent equipment. You need to have a decent rod, you need to have a quality line and things like that.
So if lead's working for you just fine, don't worry about that. But make sure you feel the difference because if you're at that level, it is worth trying these out every once in a while. So line goes on, then you have the option of putting one of those beads on your line. So you put the weight on there, then you put the bead, then you tie a Palomar knot with your hook and you now have a Texas rig or these called brass and glass. You know, this isn't really brass, but this is great for a little bit murkier water. When you've got a little dingier water, a creature bait is great in that dingy water because it's got all the little flanges really it's displacing a lot of water so the fish can key into it, but then when you have that glass bead, when you cast into some toolies around some docks and you shake that bait…
You don't have to be moving it much, just shaking it. It makes a click, click, click, click, click, and that sounds like a little crawdad or some kind of a thing down there and it really draws the bass in, especially when the bites are tough. Having that little bead added on there is a great way to get some more strikes. You just rig that up that Texas rig just like you normally would, that weedless little Texas rig and you are all set to go. You can do the same thing for your stick bait here. You would rig it up just the same way, come back through and you now have it weedless, okay. Now this one, you don't have to rig it with a bullet weight. You can actually just rig it weightless and you could toss it up in the shallows and twitch it, twitch it, and let it pause just like a soft jerkbait.
This bait will dart all over the place so you let it sink back down, twitch, twitch, it’ll dart up there, sink back down, or you can add the bullet weights and the glass and fish it just like you would this little creature bait. Once again, all these setups are weedless, so you're able to throw this around grass, really pull it through brush piles and things like that so you can really get down to where those fish are hanging out deep down in that structure. Lastly is this little swivel that's in here. As you always need more swivels, so you can add this into your box, but the reason I put it in this month's box is a little feature and I actually only need half that swivel.
So you take some pliers and you actually can pull that swivel. You can unhook that and get that little swivel out and what you do is before you rig up your Texas rig stick bait here, you slide the swivel onto your line so it's free swing on the line, and then you tie your hook on. Then you rig up half your bait onto the top of the hook and you stick the other side of the swivel, thread the other side of the swivel down onto the hook, and then up to the head there, the eye. Rig the rest of the worm weedless and this swivel is actually going to help hold that bait on there. So you're going to prolong the life of your lure. You're not going to lose as many of them. They're not going to slide down and get worn out as easily. This is a cool little trick. You know, if you're catching a lot of fish on this, you unfortunately go through a lot of them, this is a way that you're not going to tear through them as fast. I learned this from Roland Martin.
I thought this was an excellent trick that he taught and I wanted to share it with you guys, but make sure, you know. This is not my own trick. I learned this from Roland Martin, one of the legends himself. So we've got some different ways to rig this. We've got some different areas that we can throw these things in. But then that's where the skirt material now can come into play. What you can do is just pull one of these little strands out and you can have some fun with it. This is like an Etsy episode or whatever all those little women craft shows are. Your wife will love this, that you're doing this. So you take one of the hooks and you can push it through and I'm just going to show you, the skirts actually just for putting through these different soft plastics. So what I do is then I will kind of latch that skirt around right below the barb. So when I pull through the barb will actually catch that skirt and yank it back into the worm and I can keep pulling it.
And then what I will do is I will cut that skirt, and I'll cut it even shorter. So now that I've got little flanges hanging out and you can decorate these things and add little features how you want, but the idea is that you're giving just a little bit more movement. You're giving a little bit more for that fish to come in and take a look at. And when you're fishing heavily pressured water, if you're just fishing a small area that you know a lot of people have fish, doing little things like this can really improve your chances. They can get you another fish or two while you're out there. And I put red in because this time of year as we go into spring, fish really love the color red. So if you can toss a little red whiskers to your different baits, it can give you that much more of an advantage to catching some more fish.
So just two different baits right here, but a few different hooks and really a lot of different styles or a lot of different variations that you can make with this to really fish the conditions that you're going to go out and fish, whether you're out at your local pond, whether you're fishing from the kayak, whatever it is, you're going to be able to use one of these different rigs to actually go catch some fish out there. So that's it for the soft plastics and the hooks. Now let's jump in to the hard baits. All right, so for the hard baits, we've got the Live Target Frog Popper. This is obviously to cover the top water column right here. Then we've got Raw Outdoor Lipless Crank, that is perfect for fishing that mid depth to bottom depth. You know, I like to bounce these off the bottom. We'll talk about that in a little bit.
And then lastly, we've got the Dobyns D-Blade Beast. Dobyns claims this is the #1 spinnerbait on the market. It's got great quality components. I really like this blade. Very excited for you guys to get to fish this as well. And this can fish that mid to bottom depths as well. What I really like about spinnerbaits is you can bounce it off tree limbs and different cover down on the ground, really comes through all that stuff very effectively. And then lastly, one of our Lucky Xtras, we put in 12 pound monofilament line so that you guys can fish all these hard baits with this line, giving you guys, if you noticed, there's a theme that you guys get more in your box this month, more to actually go. You don't have to go by the tackle shop to pick up some weights and hooks before you can actually use the new baits. We've given you the tools to be able to get your box, get in your car and go out that local waterway and catch more fish, right.
So let's first talk about topwater baits. Guys, topwater baits are so important. As the weather starts really warming up from basically right now when this video comes out, you know through the end of the summer, the water's just going to be getting warmer and warmer and these fish are going to really start oaring themselves and really moving shallow. And so when they're doing that, they're really starting to feed more up, looking up, looking shallow, and when you have shallow little running baits or if you have topwater stuff, the bass love that and will really start hitting more top waters. Now a popping bait like this is one of the most versatile topwater baits there is because you can pop it, pop it, and then it'll splash water with this little cupped head, but then you can pause it. So you get the fish's attention.
It looks like something's kind of struggling on the surface. Then you let it sit just like with fish jerkbaits, you give it the jerk, jerk, pause. That's how this popper is. You give it that pause, that's when they'll hit it. You can also try to give it little quick twitches that'll make that bait walk and kind of pop at the same time, look like something's screwing along the surface. They'll hit that as well. I liked the lighter underbelly. Most bait fish, most little critters all have a lighter underbelly and that's what this bait has as well, real nice finish. Nice paint job to it. I liked the feather hooks and everything. You're going to catch fish with this. This is going to be one of your all-stars throughout the year in your tackle box.
Next up is the lipless crankbait. Guys, if you know me, if you watch one of my videos, lipless crankbaits are my favorite bait in the entire world to throw because of how versatile they are. You can cover so much of the water column. Now that's where you're going to keep hearing me talk about the water columns, guys. When you're out fishing, you want to figure out where the fish are actually feeding. They don't have to be in that water column, but where the fish are actually feeding. Sometimes they're deep looking up, wanting to feed up at the top. Sometimes they're waiting to feed down. So you've got to know which way they're looking to feed and that's why you got to have a wide variety of lures to offer them something until you figure out what they want.
So the lipless crankbait, you can just cast this out with the slow retrieve. It's going to have a nice little wobble. It's going to rattle, it's going to draw in fish in clear water and in murky water because you could hear a lot of noise. It has a little vibration that they can really hone into. But where you can actually add some other features into it is by adding different retrieves. You can let this bait sink all the way to the bottom and rip it off the bottom, let it sink. Rip it off the bottom, let it sink, and you'd be amazed. You got to watch your line where you let it sink because that's when they're going to hit it. Pow, your line will jump, and you got a fish on there. The other thing is you can go over grass. If you've got, let's say about four feet of water and you've got grass growing up about a foot off the bottom, you can let this bait slow down until it's ticking down right on the top of that grass.
So as it's coming across the grass and catching up, you can just give a little twitch with that rod as you're reeling. Once you feel it load up, you yank it and it'll pull free of that grass. This is one of the most effective ways to get fish to strike. They love when that bait pops out and they will hammer it. You'll be reeling and reeling and reeling, you'll pull and then wham, you'll feel that fish hit because it is just instantaneous. They love when that thing pops out. I don't know if you guys watched the show that I do that I announce for, the FLW live show, which is for the FLW Pro Circuit. Right now, there is a great lipless fight going on throughout most of the lakes and you see that as a tool that they love, finding that grass, ripping that lipless crankbait out of there and they get some ferocious and giant bass doing that.
Lastly is the spinnerbait. Guys, a spinnerbait is so versatile as well. You're going to see, I'm saying that for all these lures and that was the point of this back to the basics box, was to have versatile lures that you could fish throughout the year and throughout the country to have success. I know I can take this box anywhere and catch fish right now or in the middle of summer. It doesn't matter. Maybe not in Minnesota or some of these northern states that have two feet of ice. I get it, bear with me guys, but when there are bass to be caught, this is what you guys can do it with, with one of these baits. The spinnerbait, it mimics bait fish. You've got these little blades that throw off the flash and you've got this little skirt down here that kind of gives the fish something to key in on. And it can be very effective and what's so great about it is it mimics the bait fish these bass are looking for.
But it also, you can work it down in the areas these fish are hanging out and you can bang it off little tree limbs. You can slow roll it along the rocks and it's going to have that nice little flash, that skirt's going to be making a little flare ups and stuff and really drawing those strikes. You can also add a little trailer to the hook here, so whether that's a little small swim bait or it's just some little white legs or something like that, kicking out to give it a little bit more action, to give those fish a little bit more to key in on. Like I said, Dobyns claims this is the best spinnerbait on the market. It's got stainless steel blades. It's got a little soft plastic little hook keeper right here. It's made with a Mustad hook. It's got hand laid skirts. It is a great bait. I've had fun throwing it. I think you guys are as well.
And once again, these three baits can all be thrown on this 12-pound mono. I tried to grab something that really could be ideal for all these. I would throw most of these on a bait casting reel, aside from this popping frog, you could throw this on either a bait casting or a spinning rod. I know that a lot of you guys like using predominantly spinning rods, so I try to make sure there's always some things for you guys to be thrown in that. But this is 75 yards of 12-pound monofilament. Now some of you guys are going to go, "Travis, I have way more capacity on my reels than just 75 yards." So I'm going to teach you guys. I'm going to tell you a little trick right now and then I'll make a video about it in a later date so you can really understand it.
But you guys, when you're fighting bass and stuff, they're not pulling out a lot of line. You don't need to have a ton of line on your reel, but you need to use the max capacity on your reel to be effective, which you’re like, "Travis, I think you just said two opposite things or I just lost you completely." But I'll explain a little more right now. On all my reels, I have probably about 60% of the reel just filled up with random crummy line. And then I have a piece of tape over that and that's where I actually will put on the line that I'm using. So for this little 75 yards, I'll just spool this. I'll take off whatever I have on right now on the top layer of my reel and I'll spool this on top of it.
So I never even go to that little backing line that's down in the bottom of my reel. So this is so I don't use as much line up. There's a lot of little ways to save line. Line gets very expensive. And so these are the ways that this isn't just a cheap way to do it. This is how everyone that fishes a lot does it. They do not spool up their reel completely with just quality line. Put crummy line, put cheap line in the bottom and then put the line you're going to be using on top, just enough how much you're going to be using for long casts and enough to, if you break off a couple of times, you're not going to have to put on all new line. So anyway, I will make a full video on that in the future, but that's the Bass XL box for January, back to the basics theme.
Now the next thing is the tournament box. I had us do something completely different for the tournament box. Previously, we would just add more lures, more different baits into the box for a bigger box, then we called it the tournament box, but because we're really trying to focus on education, I want you guys to learn the baits that we're putting in there. There's a reason I put these baits together, put them in a box and I want you guys to be able to have success off that. So instead of just putting more random baits in the tournament box this month, we doubled up. So we gave different colors of the baits that were already in the box because truly if you're trying to learn different techniques, once you learn how to throw something, you also want to have different options, different colors of that bait so that if all of a sudden the water's a little dingier that day or you're in a different area of the lake where the water's dingier, you can switch colors up to see if that's going to get the fish biting a little bit more.
The other thing is that we will be throwing in if there's different sizes, we may not just throw in another color, we might throw a different size so you can play with downsizing and things. That's going to be a better way for you guys to understand and really learn these new techniques more effectively than us just throwing more random baits in there. So I do want to hear your feedback on that. That was something that I really pushed on Lucky Tackle Box. I thought that was the way this has to be done to really make this a complete educational platform. So please let me know your guys' thoughts. And then for all you guys, all the Lucky Tackle Box subscribers, I want to hear what you guys think of the January back to the basics box. Since I came back to Lucky Tackle Box, this has been the month that we've really been working on.
So this could be a big step in the direction that we're trying to take this company. And I hope this is just the first of many big steps that we're going to take and I hope that you like it. I hope that this helps you guys catch more fish. I definitely want to hear about it in the comments. Make sure you guys let me know about your fishing adventures, what you liked the most about this month's box. If you like the new Lucky Xtras features, whatever it is, I want to hear about it in the comments. I make sure to read all those and respond as well. Anyway, guys, I'm Travis Moran with Lucky Tackle Box, you've just watched another episode of Living Room 2 Lake and I will catch you out on the water.