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3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure #14026046 06/09/21 04:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
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Holding The Line Offline OP
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If you are new to this, just go to YouTube and search "MAL Lure" for a tutorial and to help understand what the use of a heavy, in-line spinner fished vertically for white bass, stripers, and hybrid stripers is all about. Tutorial

Here are the results from my efforts, primarily on Lake Belton, for the month of May 2021, doing with my clients exactly as I have described below. Bear in mind, Lake Belton is not a "name brand" lake known for size or numbers of fish, like Tawakoni, Richland Chambers, Cedar Creek, or Texoma are.

[Linked Image]


100% of these fish were released.

Although what follows is best executed with Garmin LiveScope, a combination of a GPS-style trolling motor (to hold you still) and well-tuned 2-D (a.k.a. colored or traditional) sonar can also be used.

OBSERVATIONS:

1. Most white bass/hybrid action tends to take place in the lower third of the water column, nearest bottom, so, instead of viewing the entire water column, I "zoom" in with LiveScope to look at just that portion of the water column where the fish are. This assigns more pixels to any given target (your MAL, a fish, etc.) and makes it easier to find and follow.

2. All things being equal, those fish suspended up off the bottom and moving left to right or right to left tend to be more active than the fish beneath them. If I see moving, suspended fish, I will always reel up to and past them to try and get a response. Note that this does not apply to suspended fish which are immobile.

3. Think of how you must lead a dove while shooting at it with a shotgun -- now, try to do the same with your fishing by timing the rise of your MAL Lure to move just ahead of the tip of fishes' noses as they are moving right to left or left to right on your screen. Sometimes this means really hustling your lure upward more quickly to get it in front of their direction of travel. Sometimes this means delaying your retrieve a few seconds to let fish move in closer.

4. This ties in with #3 - avoid reeling through suspended fish and avoid reeling behind suspended fish after they have passed by. Your chances of catching these fish are far lower than if you "lead" the fish by getting your lure in front of their direction of travel.

5. Stop setting the hook!! I cannot begin to tell you how poorly my clients with a bass fishing background do as compared to rookies without a reflexive hook-set response. If you will simply turn your spinning reel's handle hard and fast one or two times to get the MAL Lure's blade spinning, then taper back the speed to a moderate retrieve and just maintain that cadence until you either catch a fish or reel up beyond the level of the fish, you'll land infinitely more fish. The problem with a hookset is that with a no-slack technique and zero-stretch braid, you feel the fish before the fish really has taken the bait fully in its mouth. If you set the hook hard at this point, you'll feel the fish for all of a second or two before the hook pulls out of the lip skin it caught on. And, you'll also have pulled that lure so far away from pursuing schoolmates that you won't have a good shot at getting them to bite, either.

6. When you begin reeling the MAL upwards off bottom, try to avoid speeding up, slowing down, pausing, or hesitating when you see fish begin to chase your lure. These things all make it that much harder for a fish (with a pea-sized brain) to come up with an angle of pursuit and overtake speed calculation to intercept your bait. If the fish begins chasing, keep right on reeling until it either gets caught, or turns away.

7. When you see suspended fish on LiveScope, be sure to reel 2-3 handle turns past (above) these fish to give them a chance to show you on the LiveScope screen whether they will chase it, or not. Many clients stop right at the level of the fish, which is counter-productive. Again, if the fish begins chasing, keep right on reeling until it either gets caught, or turns away.

LIVESCOPE SETTINGS

1. Most folks do not realize there are four transducer positions the LiveScope transducer can be set in (not including Perspective modes). Those are port side down, port side forward, starboard side down, and starboard side forward. Be sure you use one of the downward modes for working your MAL Lure.

2. If you are fishing in the bow and your buddy is in the transom, yet your lures appear reversed on the screen, you either need to change your transducer from port to starboard (or vice versa) by spinning it 180 degrees, OR use the "FLIPPED: ON" setting to reverse the view on the screen.

3. Here are the settings I use for MAL Lure work:
Gain: 75-83% depending on depth and water turbidity
Color Gain: 76%
Color Scheme: Blue (I know amber and copper are popular, but look at blue for 30 minutes and then decide for yourself)
Bottom Fill: On (this makes the bottom appear in brown so that fish and the MAL, which appear in shades of blue, red, and yellow, will not blend in with the bottom)
Use AHRS: On
Orientation: Down (and make sure your transducer is in one of the two down positions)
TVG: High (this stands for Time Variable Gain)
Noise Reject: Medium
Focus: Auto Fresh




Find MAL Original and MAL Heavies at www.whitebasstools.com

White Bass Tools.com



[Linked Image]

Last edited by Holding The Line; 06/10/21 10:11 AM.

[Linked Image]
Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411
Holding The Line Guide Service
Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com
Stillhouse & Belton
Ask About Trips for Kids


Re: 3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure [Re: Holding The Line] #14026811 06/10/21 04:08 AM
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SALLYSUE Offline
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Way to go Bob !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: 3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure [Re: Holding The Line] #14026840 06/10/21 08:22 AM
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bigcheessee Offline
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A very interesting read! I don't own a live scope...non the less, I usually hear it predominantly used for crappie. Good work!

Re: 3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure [Re: Holding The Line] #14026918 06/10/21 12:08 PM
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Great informative post Bob. Thanks. thumb


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Re: 3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure [Re: Holding The Line] #14028360 06/11/21 11:45 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
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Holding The Line Offline OP
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I just got this great question from an MAL Heavy user, and wanted to share it and my response with you...


QUESTION:

Bob,

I am enjoying catching fish with the MAL heavy. I have two quick questions. First, I prefer using a bait caster reel vs a spinning reel. Most of my reels are 6:8:1 and I sometimes have issues getting the MAL heavy spinning right off the bottom. Do you have a recommended bait caster reel that might be better to use? Second, on occasion, I will have a lot of trouble getting the hook out of the fish because it is deep down its throat. Or one hook point is through the upper snout and hard/time-consuming to remove without damaging the fish. I use curved nose hemostats that help, but since I usually fish alone the time it takes to release some of these fish costs me valuable time, and sometimes the school moves on. Have you ever considered using a barbless treble hook? I don't know the pros and cons of this, but I know it could help in releasing hooked fish quicker.

MY ANSWER:

Sir, great questions.

BAITCASTERS: Concerning baitcasters, I would recommend against using a baitcaster for fishing the MAL for several reasons. As you know, a baitcaster relies on the weight of the lure rotating the spool versus a simply unwrapping line more effortlessly from off of a properly filled spinning reel. If you take any lure, attach it to a baitcasting outfit and to a spinning rod and reel, both properly loaded with the same weight of line, the spinning rod's lure will always reach bottom first. Hence, by choosing a baitcaster, you are handicapping yourself a bit. Regardless, if you choose to you a baitcaster, the following still apply...

One of the things that makes for efficient fishing with the MAL is how quickly you can work it upwards and then get it back down. The MAL Heavy is a bit better for this than the original.

No matter what reel style you use, I would go with as light of line as you are comfortable with, and go with braid versus monofilament (which has greater diameter at any given break strength).

No matter what reel style you use, make sure the spool is filled to capacity. An underfilled reel has a lesser spool diameter than a full spool, thus, it take more effort and time to unfurl the same amount of line versus a properly filled spool

The next thing I key in on here is the word "sometimes" when you say "...I sometimes have issues getting the MAL heavy spinning right off the bottom." When an MAL is working "sometimes", it often means the shaft is slightly bent, which makes it harder to get the blade spinning. Look closely at the shaft and try to "eyeball" it for straightness, and, using both hands, straighten it and see if it does not run more consistently.

Finally, the first 1 or 2 handles turns, regardless of the reel style you are using, is absolutely key. Those turns must be hard and fast to get the blade going before it gets too far from bottom. Failing to accomplish this pretty much guarantees you will not catch any fish which are within 0-3 feet of the bottom. Once the blade is spinning, you can throttle back a bit on the retrieve speed depending on the demeanor of the fish, but, that blade has to get started properly in the first place.

UNHOOKING: As you have correctly stated, a pair of 6", curved-tip hemostats are the best tool for the job when removing an MAL Lure. Concerning barbless hooks, as a fishing guide, barbless hooks are not a realistic option for me because I fish with so many novices and children who do not yet understand how to fight a fish in a way which keeps the constant pressure on a fish necessary to make barbless hooks perform to their full potential. That said, it takes all of 10 seconds to convert a barbed MAL to barbless simply by mashing down the barbs using a pair of needle-nosed pliers. If you are a detail-oriented person Iike I am, you might go the extra step and then smooth things over using a Dremel tool and a fine grinding wheel.

I do not foresee bringing a barbless MAL to the market, as I just do not think the demand would be there.

Finally, several customers have shared how they (either intentionally or unintentionally) removed 1 of the 3 bends of the treble hook and have found that using the 2-pointed hook which resulted has made it easier to remove the hook from white bass, and especially from the small mouths of "dinks" in the 6-8 range.

Thank you very much for using the MAL. I'm going to remove your name, etc. and post a sanitized version of this on the main forum. I'm sure if you are struggling with these things, then other folks are, too. Hopefully, this will help them.

Take care!


[Linked Image]
Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411
Holding The Line Guide Service
Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com
Stillhouse & Belton
Ask About Trips for Kids


Re: 3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure [Re: Holding The Line] #14028519 06/11/21 02:39 PM
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You are gifted, Bob, and generous with your knowledge. Thanks. thumb

Re: 3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure [Re: Holding The Line] #14028667 06/11/21 04:43 PM
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Thanks Bob for sharing your knowledge! You're the Eddie Van Halen of white bass fishing! I and my white bass are loving your lures. Hopefully get a live scope one day soon.


Clay


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Re: 3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure [Re: Holding The Line] #14028791 06/11/21 06:54 PM
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banker-always fishing Online Content
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Neat thread! thumb


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Re: 3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure [Re: Holding The Line] #14033417 06/16/21 02:40 AM
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Bob,

Thanks as always for all the helpful info. I really don't seem to have a problem getting the MAL heavy down quickly with the Baitcaster reel. However, I will try filling the spool and I also want to test out a higher gear ratio reel to see if I get better consistently on a quicker spin off the bottom. As well as confirming the shaft on the lure is straight. Great tip ( no pun intended ) on making the treble hook barbless. I plan on modifying one lure and see if that helps the unhooking process.

David

Re: 3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure [Re: Holding The Line] #14033477 06/16/21 03:30 AM
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What is the plastic piece on the hook shaft designed for?


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Re: 3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure [Re: Holding The Line] #14033564 06/16/21 10:15 AM
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White bass will aggressively chase the shiny silver blade and generate a blade hit with no hook up, The plastic sleeve gives the fish a new target that helps insure that the hook is in the mouth when the strike occurs,

Re: 3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure [Re: Holding The Line] #14050558 07/02/21 09:58 PM
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I just ordered, number 434. I'm looking forward to trying them out.

Re: 3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure [Re: Holding The Line] #14050575 07/02/21 10:16 PM
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I have been pinching down the barbs of my sand bass slabs and lures for years. If I loose a sand bass occasionally because of this, I easily make up for it by quicker release and additional fishing time. When I first got married over 20 years ago, my wife was loosing a lot of lead slabs. One day I was tying on yet another slab when I spotted an old, well-used, white slab with only 2 hooks instead of 3 on it's treble hook. I tied it on her fishing pole and she proceeded to catch just as many fish, and she used that lure (which she named "Hurbie") for several years before finally hanging up and loosing it. At that time, "Hurbie" probably had less than 50% of the white paint remaining.

Re: 3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure [Re: Double Row] #14050667 07/02/21 11:56 PM
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Yep I love cutting one of the treble hooks off and making it a double hook. I have people go with me and say "Clay, this lure is broken and missing a barb". Then I put them on fish and they go "Oh, I get it now".......Seems to be more efficient, save time, less injury to fish and overall more catches because you are spending more time fishing rather than trying to remove three hooks in all corners of the fish's mouth at times.


Clay


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Re: 3,449 Fish for May 2021 - MAL Lure [Re: Holding The Line] #14052116 07/04/21 05:03 PM
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Bob, I wanted to share a few updates:

Issue - Getting the MAL Heavy to start spinning right off the bottom every time.
Results: After making my way to Bass Pro and using up my rewards cash and my Father's Day gift card, I got a new "on-sale" Johnny Morris baitcaster reel/rod combo. I got a high gear ratio of 8:3:1 with a 7-foot medium-light rod. I like the feel of this type of rod and I wanted to experience the effects of a higher gear ratio for using the MAL Heavy off the bottom on the retrieve. After making sure my line was always tight off the bottom, lure shaft straight, and a full spool, the results were 100 % consistent!!! I had EVERY retrieve off the bottom spin with the quick two turns of the reel.

Issue - Unhooking fish quicker without harming them to get my line back in the water:
Results: I took your recommendation of smashing down the barbs on the treble hook. I didn't have the heart to cut off one of the hooks because I value these lures and I didn't want to screw one up. Using my hemostats it was definitely easier to release fish quicker having a barbless hook. And I can't really prove it, but I don't think I lost any fish vs if the treble hook had barbs.

Thanks again for all your helpful insight and for helping me enjoy my fishing time out on the water!!!!

David

Last edited by FishingFever2424; 07/04/21 05:04 PM.
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