Sharing a Passion for Fun and Big Bass : BIG BASS DREAMS
TT: Describe for us, the condition in your minds eye of weather, wind direction, structure, depth, water clarity, etc.. that come together to where you know, if you throw your bait "right there" you're gonna get bit, or does it ever come together like that for you?
O.Ngy: In the film, you'll notice we are fishing in all kinds of different weather conditions. Bluebird skies with zero wind to sustained 35mph winds in the rain. I've got big fish to go in just about every weather condition, but storm fronts definitely seem to more productive for numbers of bites.
Water clarity is always a factor, but not as important as some people think. I've got big swimbait fish to eat in 30+ foot visibility and in 2 inches of visibility. These predators are tuned into their environment and have no problem tracking down a big prey item.
There are times when the conditions and way spots do actually all come together but frankly I believe that's just a matter of spending time on the water and being at the right place at the right time.
TT: The average sized big bait these days is still about eight inches in length, and roughly four to five ounces in weight. There is certainly a trend to move much bigger, but guys getting started still reach for and consider eight inches "big". Brands and model numbers aside, what are the characteristics you look for in a rod, reel, and line to chuck the average sized big bait?
O.Ngy: Well, size of bait aside, it still depends on the type of bait we're talking about before I can talk about my preferences. For example, with hard bodied, treble hook baits, like the Triple Trout, I like a bit of give on the rod to keep fish pinned on the treble hooks much like you would fishing a jerkbait, topwater or crankbait. You don't need the fast taper to drive the hooks home on a hard bait. I also prefer a low profile reel with a higher gear ratio as I'm usually fishing these baits fast.
Soft Baits however demand a fast taper rod in order to get a good hookset. If you've seen any of the video shorts on Instagram, Facebook or in Volume 1, you'll notice I like to hit them pretty hard on the hookset when fishing a soft bait. Slow and methodical is how most of these soft baits excel so a round reel with a lower 5:1 gear ratio shines.
TT: Now, getting brand specific, what are your current top three combos and what size baits do you throw on them?
O.Ngy: Okuma supports me heavily, and I'm lucky to be able to help them with product testing. My 3 main setups consist of the following:
1) Okuma c3 7'11" Heavy Swimbait Rod matched with a Komodo 364 - Hard baits from 8-10 inches.
2) Okuma c3 7'11" X-Heavy Swimbait Rod matched with a Isis 400 - Soft Baits from 8-10 inches.
3) Okuma EvX Musky 8'6" XXH machted with a Citrix 350- for the big boys 11-15 inches and over 10 ounces in weight.
TT: How much time do you spend customizing your own baits versus fishing them out of the package? Or do you fish any baits straight out of their package?
O.Ngy: I used to try and customize many of my baits to maintain an edge on the competition. Watching my buddy Ryan Crandell grab a Huddleston that was discolored from oil and grease stains from his first beater bass boat and bang big ones opened my eyes. Now I fish just about every bait out of the package, minus an occasional custom sharpie dot pattern or hardware (hooks and split rings) swap. These baitmakers know what they're doing and designed these baits to be thrown out of the box.
TT: Oliver, thanks for taking the time to sit down and talk with us about your Dream and share a little bit of your mindset when you're out on the water pursuing big fish. In closing, is there anything you'd like to say to our TackleTour audience and maybe give a little inspiration to those still on the fence with regards to tossing and winding big baits?
O.Ngy: As cheesy as it sounds guys...NEVER SETTLE. Remember this is a mental game more than anything. If you settle to fishing for bites rather than the fish of a lifetime you are cheating yourself from opportunities to catch some amazing fish and live some incredible experiences. My mindset on aiming high and dreaming big is what has brought this project this far in such a short amount of time. Nothing good comes easy, and that's what makes the successes in this trophy bass fishing that much more special. Thank you guys for supporting the project, thank you guys at TackleTour for doing what you guys do to contribute to the passion we all love.