Talking fishing with Kent Brown, Pro Angler and Radio Host
of "Ultimate Bass"
Part of a 28.08 bag at
the 2007 Stren Series at Clear Lake caught on a frog
Early one March morning, Zander and I were traveling on our way up to Clear Lake
for an extended field testing trip. We started off at our typical dark-o’clock
hour and Zander got zero sleep the night before. As he was nodding off, I turned
on the radio and started surfing the airwaves to find something to keep me awake
for the drive since it was obvious I couldn’t rely on my partner for the next
couple of hours. When the AM tuner hit 1140, I caught wind of some fishing talk.
I thought to myself, “how appropriate” and left the radio tuned into this
station. What was this show? None other than Ultimate Bass hosted by Kent Brown,
a Western Region Pro. Sadly, shortly after I found the station, we hit some
mountainous rods, so I lost it just as soon as I had found it. As fate would
have it, Kent brown sent me a message several weeks later regarding a separate
subject, but one thing led to another, and he agreed to talk with us we could
learn a little more about his show.
Cal: Hi Kent and
thanks for sitting down with us. So as a tournament fisherman first and
foremost, how did you get started doing radio?
K. Brown: I have been a
tournament angler here in the West for 25 years and have always enjoyed working
sport shows and doing seminars as well as writing several articles each year. A
good friend of mine, Sep Hendrickson, has a show here in Sacramento called
“California Sportsman” and I had filled in several times as a host and had done
many segments on bass fishing on his show. Although he is a trout guy, he knew
the potential an all bass fishing show could have and we became partners in
“Ultimate Bass”. The radio thing has just been a natural transition for me and I
look forward to putting the show together each week. Some of the top bass
anglers in the world are also my best friends so they have been very supportive
Cal:Tell us a little about your Ultimate Bass Radio
Show, when did it all start, when is it aired, and how can our readers around
the world tune into your show?
A Folsom toad caught
on a spinnerbait
K. Brown: The first show
aired on October 1st, 2005 and my studio guests were Skeet Reese and
Gary Dobyns as well as Earl Bentz from Triton Boats, my boat sponsor. Ultimate
Bass is on every Saturday Morning at 5 a.m. Pacific Time on Sports 1140 KHTK in
KHTK is a 50,000
watt station so it covers all of Northern California and the show is also
streamed live on a number of websites online and people can even
download these shows to an iPod or iTunes.
Cal: What type of topics do you cover? Do you
concentrate primarily on our Northern California bass waters, or do you have
topics and interviews covering the entire nation?
K. Brown: We have a strong
following here in Northern California but we cover the national events as well
and feature many of the western guys while they are fishing back on the national
tours. We do have a segment each week that is sponsored by the Hook, Line and
Sinker and Russo’s Marina focused on the Delta and Gone Fishing Marine sponsors
a seasonal pro tip each week. I just really try to steer away from the
controversial issues and focus on fishing, results and techniques.
Filming "One More
Cast" at Clear Lake with Shaw Gigsby
Cal: Is the show live each and every Saturday
morning or is it seasonal?
K.Brown: I do the show
live every week and if I am at a show or tournament I just call in and they put
me right on the air and bring the show from wherever I am. I have done shows
from the docks at BASS events, sport shows and even Opryland in Tennessee at the
Triton Dealers meeting. To date I have had a 4:00 am wake up call the past 85
Cal: Who are some of the more interesting characters
you've had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing through your show?
K. Brown: I had a great
time covering the year Jimmy Reese had last year and Jimmy gave us access on so
many occasions including standing on the dock on the final day of the Stren
Series event he won on the Delta. Jimmy was talking to me as he pushed off from
the dock and idled away, that was very cool. I have developed a nice friendship
with Ike and he has been very supportive as well. As I said earlier guys like
Gary Dobyns, Skeet Reese, Gary Klein, Aaron Martens, Byron Velvick and so many
others are my best friends so I never have a shortage of guests.
Cal: What are some of your favorite bassin' waters
here in Northern California, and how often do you get out to fish them?
K. Brown: I get on the
water at least 2 days a week and still fish 10-12 events per year. I live close
to Folsom so I love to fish that lake but Clear Lake is my favorite lake in
California. The fishing is awesome and it is just a beautiful place to spend a
Folsom Lake 10lbr that
had a fetish for Rainbow Trout
Cal: What is your personal best bass and do you
remember how and where you caught it? Was it during a tournament, pre-fishing,
or fun fishing?
K. Brown: 12lbs 13oz in
1983 in a West Coast Bass Draw tournament. The fish was the West Coast Bass
Record for 8 years and qualified me for my fist TOC. It was the first bass I
caught in my new boat I bought from Gary Klein and I caught it on a rock pile in
the north end of Clear Lake on a red and black Poe Plug crankbait. I have 8 bass
over 10 pounds.
Cal: Do you have a favorite technique or a
presentation you specialize in and what tackle do you rely on to fish this
K. Brown: I really think I
am pretty versatile and although I can finesse fish and fish deep water pretty
well I have to say topwater fishing is a strength of mine. I like a Zara Spook,
frog and Rico a bunch. I don’t try to recreate the wheel with these techniques.
I do believe that anglers need to practice their accuracy as this plays a very
important role in catching fish with these baits, you have to put them where
other anglers aren’t.
Delta frog fish
choices for topwater can really vary. My favorite rod and reel for a frog is the
Lamiglas 766 flipping stick. This is the standard 7'6" telescopic flipping stick
and it has been my frog rod for several years. I tend to make a great deal of
short casts as well as underhand pitches with the frog and this rod is just a
natural for this application. I spool up a Pflueger Supreme 6:2.1 baitcaster
with 65 pound test Berkley Spiderwire Stealth. I really don't get too wound up
over frog colors and try to stick with either white or black. I do modify my
white frogs with black spots and a chartruese head and chin. I use the spike it
pens to color my frogs. There are several great frogs out there with one of my
favorites being the Rojas SPRO Frog. As long as I can walk the frog in open
water I will fish with it. If it won't walk or float 100% of the time it gets
taken out of the line-up. A Gamakatsu frog hook is a must.
My spook rod is
still a 7' fiberglass casting rod, and one of the rods that has fast become my
favorite is the new Dobyns 705 CB glass casting rod. I still like a glass rod
for my moving reaction baits and baits with treble hooks. My line choice really
varies from 15 pound Berkley Big Game in lakes to 50 pound Spiderwire Stealth
when I am fishing Clear Lake or the Delta for XL Largemouth. I am using the
Pflueger Supreme on this reel as well. I have played with many different hooks
and have finally settled on Gamakatsu 2X Round Bend Trebles in size 2 on the
front and back and size 4 in the middle. You need to change out the split rings
to a heavier version as well. I get a lot of big bites on this type of bait and
the Super Spook is one of the only ones that allow me to fish the larger hooks.
Colors can vary so much but I really like the Threadfin shad and Okie Shad
colors. There are some really cool colors in the saltwater series as well.
The Lobino Rico
is still one of my favorites and has been since Jennifer Duff gave me my first
one in the 80's. It was the first $25 bait in the West and I think there were
days guys would have paid more. I fish this bait on a Lamiglas Topwater Special
with 12 pound Berkley Big Game line. My favorite color is still Threadfin Shad
and I always change the #6 hook on the front of the bait out to a #4 Gamakatsu
Round Bend. The EWG is just too heavy and it effects the action but the round
bend makes no difference on this bait. I would like to tell you guys I came up
with that but my friend, BASS pro John Murray, told me how to quit missing fish
on the Rico several years ago and he will probably kill me for telling all of
After hooksetting the
fish Kent's 8 year old daughter landed this 9lb Folsom Bass all on
Cal: The west has given us some of today's more
popular bass fishing techniques - from finesse presentations like drop shotting
to the ultimate in power fishing with swimbaits. As an active tournament
fisherman in the Western Circuit, what new and exciting techniques are being
talked about right now that have the potential to make it big on the national
scene in a couple of years?
K. Brown: Without a doubt
the next big western technique that will makeit big nationwide will be swimbaits. After the BASS guys made their swing west they left with the
knowledge and the baits to take these across the country and catch some awesome
fish. There are so many big fish lakes where the fish have never seen a swimbait.
This is a trend that we will see for some time.
Cal: Kent, it's been a pleasure. Thank you for
taking the time to talk with us and help our readers learn a little more about
you and your radio show. Is there anything you'd like to say to our readers in
K. Brown: I appreciate the
opportunity to visit with everyone on Tackle Tour and hope that folks outside of
Northern California will catch a few of the archived Ultimate Bass shows online.
If you see me on the water or at show stop by and say hi! Thanks Cal, and I hope
to see everyone on the water!
TackleTour would like
to thank Kent Brown for taking time out from his hectic schedule to sit down and
talk with us. For more information about Kent Brown and his radio show, and for
links to access archived segments, please visit the
Ultimate Bass Site