Candlewood Lake in May
Justin Perelli on right Mike
Kloss on left
Can a young pup teach an old dog some new tricks?
That’s the question, and the answer is, yes, if the old
dog is willing to listen. When it comes to fishing, age has nothing to do with knowledge,
skill, or experience that only time on the water can teach. Now this brings me to my young
friend and teacher, Justin Perelli. Justin has been a friend of mine for a very
long time, and I have seen him grow from a novice fisherman 20+ years ago to the accomplished tournament
winning angler that he is today. It’s safe for me to say that Justin has
spent more time on the water in the last 20 years honing his skills as a fishermen, than I have
in the last 40 years. Practice days on the water for him start at first light and do not end until
an hour or so after dark, and he puts that kind of time and dedication into the sport before every event,
and then goes fishing just for fun. Last week he stopped at the house for a cup of coffee and to
show me some new baits that he was looking forward to using this season. After
the usual chit chat about family and work, we got down to what we really like talking about…
you guessed it. . . fishing! One thing led to another and the topic of Candlewood
Lake came up. I have had some really good days on the lake and some really bad ones as well, however,
when Justin competes on Candy he is usually at or near the top of the leaderboard, so I just flat
out asked him how he does it and how he has managed to catch so many 6+ pound
bass in the last 10 to 12 years. Some guys would take an opportunity like this
to BS you and send you off on a wild goose chase. Justin simply emptied the plastic bag filled with
new Megabass baits he had brought with him on the table and said, “Here’s your answer.”
This is when school opened and Megabass 101 began. Take a seat my friends
because Professor Perelli is about to school us in the art of jerk baits and
unlocking the secrets of jerk baiting Candlewood Lake. Listen and learn
from one of the best:
time on the water like yours or any other tournament angler is limited, and I have to make every
cast and every minute count. I want to catch as many fish and as many big fish
as I can in the 8 or 9 hours that the event runs. It’s not like fun fishing
where you have as much or as little time to get the job done. When a check is on the
line I use the best… the best rods, the best reels, the best line, and what I consider the best baits made.
. . Megabass lures.
Click here to go to the Megabass website.
Vision 110 +1
have been fishing Megabass Baits since the late 90s. I started off with the X-80
and progressed to the Vision 110, the 110+1 and the Flap Slap. These baits collectively
have been the reason why I have been so successful. There is more pressure on
that lake now than ever before and it fishes smaller than ever. These baits have
proven themselves year after year. When I am the only one catching fish in a crowd or when I
run a section of bank behind another good angler and am still able to catch fish, that says something about
the baits you are throwing. Here are a few of the reasons that separate Megabass
baits from the rest of the pack:
*Attention to detail: They have realistic
eyes, with a custom paint scheme that blends paint to make a realistic and natural finish.
*Quality construction: I continue to catch fish on baits that are
14 to 16 years old.
*Castability: I can cast these baits a long way on bait casting gear and
even into the wind thanks to the multi-way moving balance system.
You can work this bait three or four days in a row and not be in pain (how many other jerk
baits can you say that about?)
*Action: The action from these baits has never been duplicated,
and they are the most erratic baits you will ever throw.
that we know what sets the Megabass brand apart from the rest, it’s time to learn where and
when to use them. The first few weeks after ice out I’ll begin the season
by throwing the Vision 110+1 because the water is still cold and the bass tend to be deep.
The 110+1 has the same great action as the 110, but it goes a few feet deeper, and I can
draw fish up from 35 feet of water with this bait. As the water starts to warm into the mid to upper 40s,
and those deep fish start to move shallower, I throw the Vision 110 almost exclusively.
Should we have a cold front pass through and the fish slide off a little or get tighter to
the cover, then I’ll go back to the 110+1. As the season progresses and
the smallies are all over the bank and you can pick your targets, I’m throwing the shallower
running 110 at any visual cover I can find and everything in between. When I am
running down a long featureless bank I will switch up to cranking the Megabass Flap Slap. The cool thing
with the Flap Slap is that it is a cross between a flat-sided crank bait, but it also doubles as
a jerk bait. So, you can crank it up and strike the cover, pause it, then work
it like a jerk bait for a few feet and then continue cranking. It is a great
search bait to use in practice to help you find productive areas that are holding fish.
I have been fortunate in my fishing career to have caught 50 small mouth over 6 pounds and 4 over
7 pounds, and I’ll bet that more than 75% of them have been caught on the X-80, the Vision 110 and 110+1, and
my changeup bait the, Flap Slap. These baits are not just for the spring and
fall. I catch solid bass on them all year long. You just have
to change your location and the speed with which you work them. What I am most
excited to try this year is the new squarebill S-Crank that should hit the market late this April.
The S-Crank has taken two years to develop, and the square bill is so unique it has been patented.
If I had just one bait to use on Candlewood, and only one, the Megabass Division 110 would
be my lure of choice because it works. Good luck guys . . . now it’s time
to go fishing!
I hope this interview with Justin has answered some questions
about the baits that work on Candlewood and how to use them. Before you know
it we will be on Candy in search of some of those spring time giants.
By the way, you no longer have
to travel or go online to pick up these quality Megabass baits. Frank’s
Tackle & Field in Wanaque is now a Megabass dealer. There is nothing like
being able to go into your local tackle shop to check out what’s new and compare products’ size and
color side by side. So support your local sport shops, and while you’re there don’t
forget to pick up some of these money-winning baits before you hit the lake this year.
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