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Jan 23rd, 2013
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FOR ADVANCED SLABBERS: About the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab & How To Use It #14555841 12/05/22 03:36 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
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Holding The Line Offline OP
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The Bladed Hazy Eye Slab combines the winter-time effectiveness of a slab with the proven, fish-attracting feature of a spinning blade.

Hopefully by now you have given the standard Mepps or Mepps MAL Lure a try in the spring, summer, and/or fall and have come away convinced, as I am, that the spinning blade on these lures is a true white bass attractor.

Here's the winter-time problem I recognized with in-line spinners, and the solution I came up with to resolve it:

PROBLEM: I found the Mepps-style spinners generally need to be moved too fast for more lethargic winter-time fish. All cold-blooded creatures slow down as their environment cools, and the white bass is no exception. As I attempted to use the Mepps MAL in the winter of 2020 and 2021, I found that once the water temperature fell to 58-60F, my catch on these lures dropped sharply. White bass tend to hold on or near bottom most of the time, and, by the time you get the blade spinning, you are often out of the narrow winter "strike zone". Additionally, winter fish tend to be deep, and waiting for the Mepps-style lures to sink deep repeatedly is, to me, an inefficient approach.


SOLUTION:
I took a strong-performing, fast-sinking winter bait, the slab, and enhanced it in two ways. First, many years ago, I added a stinger hook. Then, two seasons ago, I added a spinning blade. The addition of the willow-leaf blade, although it is quite small, gives the slab both flash and vibration which it lacked previously. The result of all of this tinkering is what has been my go-to bait for the last two winters. It is called the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab with Stinger Hook and it will account for the vast majority of my clients' fish from late November through around mid-March. I've seen and made other attempts at combining a slab with a spinning blade, but they generally result in a bait with a very large profile, which, I feel is both unnatural and inappropriate for winter-time fishing.


[Linked Image]


CAPTION: From left: The 3/8 oz., 5/8 oz., and 3/4 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs with Stinger Hooks.

FIND THEM HERE: White Bass Tools (.com)


WHY DO YOU SAY 'FOR ADVANCED' SLABBERS? I say this is for advanced slabbers because if you are routinely catching fish on slabs, that means you are routinely finding fish to catch. More novice anglers who are not yet confident in finding fish will not see an increase in their catch until they put in the time and gain the experience to be able to find fish first. That said, if you are already experienced with a slab and you have some baseline expectations about what a slab will do for you, then you will be able to recognize the increase in your catch rate which this lure will produce.

HOW TO WORK IT:


1. Slow-Smoking - Water temperatures 55-62F: When fish are very aggressive (potentially chasing bait all the way to the surface) and are seen throughout the entire water column on sonar, drop the slab to bottom and crank it at least half way up through the water column at a moderate, steady cadence, about 1 handle turn per second. When you feel a bite, resist the urge to set the hook and just keep reeling. The fish will hook themselves. If you are using LiveScope and you see a fish chasing your bait, it is CRUCIAL that you keep right on reeling until the fish overtakes the lure and hooks itself. Do not speed up, slow down, hesitate, stop, or in any other way change the cadence of your retrieve while you are being chased.

2. Easing - Water temperatures 50-58F: When fish are active and are seen on sonar piled up or cruising 1-3 or more feet off bottom, let your slab down to bottom and slowly lift it up (don't reel it up) through the fish with your rod tip using a steady cadence. Go at least 3-4 feet above the fish to give them time to notice it, pursue it, and eat it. Cadence should be ~2 feet/second. If you are using LiveScope and you see a fish chasing your bait, it is CRUCIAL that you keep right on lifting until the fish overtakes the lure and hooks itself. Do not speed up, slow down, hesitate, stop, or in any other way change the cadence of your retrieve while you are being chased. I use 8.0 to 10.0 foot-long rods for this method to allow for long lifting strokes.

3. Snap-jigging - Water temperatures 55F or less: With the slab held still about 4” off bottom, snap your rod tip sharply upwards and immediately return your rod tip to that same starting position. The slab should rise, then freefall (do not lower the slab, let it freefall). When the slab reaches the end of its tether, you’ll feel a thud as it does so. Hold still about 2 seconds and feel for a strike. Set the hook well when the strike takes place. When you unhook the fish, note where the stinger is and where the treble is. You'll see this technique is where that stinger hook really shines. The majority of your fish will have the stinger in their mouth and the treble hook outside the mouth, meaning it was the stinger which initially hooked the fish.


I am a full-time, professional fishing guide, hence my aim while I am on the job is to make clients successful by putting fish in the boat. If there was a more effective bait for this time of year, I would be using it. Rather, it was my lack of satisfaction with what was currently "on the market" that drove me to develop this bait. As the saying goes, "Necessity is the mother of invention."

I urge you to give it a try just once. If you choose only one slab, go with the white, 3/4 oz. Bladed Hazy Eye Slab with Stinger Hook as a nicely weighted, excellent match for imitating threadfin shad.

FIND THEM HERE: White Bass Tools (.com)


SPECIFICATIONS:


All Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs with Stinger Hooks are:

*Made in Texas by hand
*Powder coated for durability (NOT painted)
*Equipped with quality VMC hooks for sharpness and durability (treble and stinger)
*Made with 50 pound test braid for the stinger loop
*Equipped with a quality, VMC Touch-Lok, 25 pound test snap
*Equipped with a quality, stainless steel #3 split ring


3/8 oz. model is 1.25" long (body measurement, not including line tie and hook hanger eyes), has a #6 treble and weighs ~ 13 grams complete w/ all components

5/8 oz. model is 1.375" (1 3/8") long (body measurement, not including line tie and hook hanger eyes), has a #5 treble and weighs ~ 20 grams complete w/ all components

3/4 oz. model is 1.75" long (body measurement, not including line tie and hook hanger eyes), has a #5 treble and weighs ~ 24 grams complete w/ all components


GUIDE'S TIP: Use a 6" pair of curved-tip forceps to remove hooks. DO NOT use needle-nosed pliers as these will tear up both the fish and your bait, potentially damaging the blade.


Feel free to contact me at 254.368.7411 by phone or text, or at Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com




Last edited by Holding The Line; 12/05/22 04:01 PM.

[Linked Image]
Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411
Holding The Line Guide Service
Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com
Stillhouse & Belton
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Re: FOR ADVANCED SLABBERS: About the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab & How To Use It [Re: Holding The Line] #14557158 12/06/22 09:17 PM
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Wow, the response on this was a bit unexpected. I just poured up 96 more slabs to make sure I don't run low. It's funny, despite suggesting the white, 3/4 oz. version might be the best all-around option, most of the orders have been for the white, 5/8 oz. version. Regardless, I appreciate your willingness to give these a try and for your orders!

I want to answer a question a few folks have asked regarding the equipment setup for fishing these slabs. Here it goes, with photos at the end:

Reel: Florida Fishing Products Osprey CE 2500 Ultralight Saltwater Spinning Reel with 5.2:1 gear ratio
Link: FFP Osprey Reel


Rod: 8' Russ Bailey Signature Series Spinning Rod by B 'n' M Poles, Model CWRB82 (2-piece)
Link: 8-foot Rod

Braid: 15 pound test Sufix 832 Advanced Superline in Coastal Camo color (alternating blue and white coloration)
Link: 15 Pound Sufix Braid


Swivel: 25 pound test Invisaswivel tied to main line and leader with improved clinch knots
Link: Invisaswivel Fluorocarbon Swivel


Leader: 25 pound test Sufix Invisaline fluorocarbon leader - cut to 36 inches long
Link: Sufix Fluorocarbon Leader

Terminal Connection: Tactical Anglers Micro Power Clip in 25 pound test secured with Palomar knot connects the leader to the lure
Link: Micro Power Clip

Lures: Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs with Stinger Hook in 3/8 oz., 5/8 oz., and 3/4 oz.
Link: Bladed Hazy Eye Slabs


PHOTOS:

[Linked Image]
Florida Fishing Products Osprey CE 2500 Ultralight Saltwater Spinning Reel



[Linked Image]

8' Russ Bailey Signature Series Spinning Rod by B 'n' M Poles, Model CWRB82 (2-piece)



[Linked Image]

25 pound test Invisaswivel tied to main line and leader with improved clinch knots


[Linked Image]

Tactical Anglers Micro Power Clip in 25 pound test secured with Palomar knot connects the leader to the lure


If ya'll have any other questions, just let me know. Glad to help, and, again, thanks for the orders! --Bob Maindelle




Last edited by Holding The Line; 12/08/22 11:27 PM.

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


Re: FOR ADVANCED SLABBERS: About the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab & How To Use It [Re: Holding The Line] #14558422 12/08/22 03:38 AM
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IGFA World Record Rio Grande Cichlid. Lake Dunlap.

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Sinner's Prayer. God forgive me a sinner. I accept Jesus Christ as my Savior !
Re: FOR ADVANCED SLABBERS: About the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab & How To Use It [Re: Holding The Line] #14558442 12/08/22 03:55 AM
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Nice looking slabs! thumb


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Re: FOR ADVANCED SLABBERS: About the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab & How To Use It [Re: Holding The Line] #14572402 12/22/22 09:27 PM
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Sore arm after 50+ fish using it yesterday!...literally every-time It went into the water FISH ON......Thank you Holding the Line! finally threw in the towel had enough.

Attached Files slab_hazy.jpg
Re: FOR ADVANCED SLABBERS: About the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab & How To Use It [Re: romeroxl1200] #14572582 12/23/22 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by romeroxl1200
Sore arm after 50+ fish using it yesterday!...literally every-time It went into the water FISH ON......Thank you Holding the Line! finally threw in the towel had enough.


Well, I'm glad you had good success with the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab!! Now, if you observe closely after all this severe cold weather drops our water temperatures, you'll see more and more of your fish will be caught by the stinger hook instead of the treble. By late Jan. and all of Feb., my hookup rate is about 70% on the stinger and the rest on the treble.

Stay warm! Merry Christmas!!

--Bob Maindelle


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


Re: FOR ADVANCED SLABBERS: About the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab & How To Use It [Re: Holding The Line] #14573050 12/23/22 02:29 PM
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I usually structure fish all through the winter, finding that some fish will stay on structures in 20 to 30 fow while others are suspended at these depths in 40 to 60 fow. I've had the chance to use Bob's bladed hazy-eyed slab in the past month and found that it works for both structure and suspended fishing. Much of the time they hit it on the fall. If they don't, I reel it up slowly like a Mepps #4 from the bottom or through the fish to get a strike. In my opinion, the added blade and hook on both ends make it much more effective than a regular slab of the same size and color.

Re: FOR ADVANCED SLABBERS: About the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab & How To Use It [Re: Dennis Christian] #14574497 12/24/22 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Dennis Christian
I usually structure fish all through the winter, finding that some fish will stay on structures in 20 to 30 fow while others are suspended at these depths in 40 to 60 fow. I've had the chance to use Bob's bladed hazy-eyed slab in the past month and found that it works for both structure and suspended fishing. Much of the time they hit it on the fall. If they don't, I reel it up slowly like a Mepps #4 from the bottom or through the fish to get a strike. In my opinion, the added blade and hook on both ends make it much more effective than a regular slab of the same size and color.


Dennis,

In your use of the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab, have you experimented with/drawn any conclusions about the upward speed at which you are moving the slab?

I'm finding I need to vary my retrieve speed with fish "mood". When you joined me, we used the rheostat on the thumper to control the thumper's beat, essentially doubling its purpose as a metronome.

Since I thought I recalled your preference was for other than a mechanical thumper, I am very interested in how you make your retrieve speed repeatable.

Thanks! --Bob


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Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411
Holding The Line Guide Service
Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com
Stillhouse & Belton
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Re: FOR ADVANCED SLABBERS: About the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab & How To Use It [Re: Holding The Line] #14575061 12/25/22 03:12 AM
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First, I hold the bladed slab down in the water beside the boat and see how slow I can move it and still make the spinner spin. This would be the slowest I would reel it up through the fish. Then when I get the bladed slab down into the fish, I start with that speed as best I can reproduce it - by feel mostly. If that speed does not produce strikes, I increase speed very slightly and try and a little more and try until I find the speed that triggers the most strikes. If I can see the lure on the screen when it gets into the fish, I stop it and raise it up and down with the rod trying to match the speed on the up-swing at which I get bites reeling it up. After you catch a few fish, you have a feel for how fast to move the lure.

Re: FOR ADVANCED SLABBERS: About the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab & How To Use It [Re: Holding The Line] #14577500 12/27/22 10:54 PM
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Well I guess I wore the Bladed Hazy Eye slab Chartreuse....The treble hook broke a hook off....maybe it couldn't handle another epic day of fishing...It was on the 52nd fish of the day....:(

Re: FOR ADVANCED SLABBERS: About the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab & How To Use It [Re: romeroxl1200] #14577700 12/28/22 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by romeroxl1200
Well I guess I wore the Bladed Hazy Eye slab Chartreuse....The treble hook broke a hook off....maybe it couldn't handle another epic day of fishing...It was on the 52nd fish of the day....:(


One way to get the most out of your treble hooks is to use a 6", curved-tipped pair of forceps to remove your hooks when you are unable to remove the hook using just your fingers. Using needle-nosed pliers will reduce the life of any hook significantly, and is much rougher on the fish you wish to release.


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


Re: FOR ADVANCED SLABBERS: About the Bladed Hazy Eye Slab & How To Use It [Re: Holding The Line] #14577709 12/28/22 03:05 AM
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