Sunday Night Bass Fishing Conference Call.. Be There Or Be NOWHERE!

Our Sunday night conference call is quickly approaching with Justin from Custom Pepper Baits.

Sunday Night 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

If you want the inside information from the Bassmasters Classic we got it… but you gotta be on the call to get it! If you want Pepper Jigs … we got that to.

I talked to Justin for 45 min last week about the Classic and his trip to Gary Yammamoto’s ranch in Texas. 56Yes, Gary Yammamoto… maker of the world famous senkos. After talking to Justin I was very interested in having him on a conference call so that all of my bass fishing peeps could hear what was on the down low. If you are not on this call you will regret it for the rest of your life… or at least for the next fishing season.

Here is the information to join the call. See you on the call. Space is limited.. no charge to participate.


Call in Information:
first call in at
Conference Dial-in Number: (218) 339-2500

Participant Access Code: 441005#


Grand River BFL Win Conference Call

John Torsch wins First BFL on Grand River.

Last week I won my first BFL Bass Tournament on the Grand River at River Side Park in Grand Haven Michigan. This was the first BFL I have ever fished and the first time that I fished the Grand River all year.

I had about one hour of practice on the River and caught 2 bass on a pepper custom spinner bait. One, was a big one about 4 pounds. I thought that there would be a pretty good spinner bait bite beca

John Torsch wins first BFL on Grand River

use the conditions were about the same as my practice and my co angler said that he had a pretty good spinner bait bite the last few days on the river in a few spots.

When the tournament actually started we fished the first two hours in the river around shallow grass, wood and mud flats and never had a bite on a spinner bait. The water on the Grand River was at an all time low so many of the shallow water spots that I would stop and throw a frog at on the main river were completely out of the water. After getting no bites on a spinner bait we went to Spring Lake. My first Bass was 4 –13 and came off a small stand of lily pads between boat docks. The stand of pads was all by itself and when I cast my yellow black bird frog to it and gave it a twitch the big Bass slammed it. The fish hit it hit so hard I thought it was a dog fish! When I reeled it back to the boat it fought hard and felt so heavy that I told my co angler that it is probably a dog fish. When we got it in and it wasn’t I was shocked. When you get a fish in the boat over 4 the first thing you think is wow I have an opportunity to do well and I really need to take advantage of it.

My second fish came on a zoom cotton candy trick worm on a 1/8 ounce tungsten weight with 10 fluorocarbon line on a spinning reel. The fish bit on a main lake dock at around 11:30and when it hit I felt a few taps that were quick just like a small bass does. When I set the hook I expected to pull out a tiny Bass. But when I set the hook the bass was actually a decent size fish. The fish flashed a side profile in the first few seconds I was pulling it out from under the dock and it was actually 3 ½ pounds! It is a very exciting feeling when you are fishing a worm and you set the hook on a bass expecting it to be a little baby and it is actually a good fish.

After that we fished docks and sea walls most of the day. The next set of docks we fished were docks heading to the backs coves that looked good but produced no fish. From there we went back out to the main lake and fished docks with my trusty 3/8 pepper jig in a gilley color. Within the first few minutes I had a three pounder in the boat from the end of the dock. 15 minutes later and a few docks down I pulled a keeper on a pepper jig from farther behind a dock casting the jig way past the dock and working it back slowly.

The fish hit when I turned around to look back at my co angler. After that we fished some more docks and then ran to the middle of the lake and pulled up on a dock on a windy point. The wind was blowing across the dock and when we first pulled up to it I spun the nose of the boat into the wind with the trolling motor and let my co angler get the first couple flips to the dock with his jig. He was using a brown jig very similar to what I had on as far as skirt style and weight. After I turned the boat around I pitched my pepper jig in right by where he was fishing and caught my last keeper Bass… a fat 15 inch bass. At the weigh in I had 14-13 total, a 4-13 big bass and I missed Big Bass by ounce!

The best thing was that second place was Marc Snyder from Saint Johns. Marc is a big name guy in Michigan and I watched him on TV this spring come very very close to winning an overall championship down in Arkansas. He was leading by 6 pounds the last day and ended up fourth overall for the championship. Third place was Don Watts, another big named guy in Michigan. Don has won three national championships in the NBAA… one on one championship where first place is either a new boat or new quad. Don has also won several other tournaments where the first prize was a new boat or some other nifty prize like that. While there were only 62 boats there, I would have liked to see more people there for a FLW BFL. There is no doubt whatsoever that the very best fisherman in Michigan was there and I still took first place.

Lessons learned….

While the weather was the exact same as the two days before, wind high of 75 and nights 50 with decent wind later in the day the spinner bait bite never happened for us. Don’t get stuck with only one thing on your mind and die on it. My co angler threw the chartreuse spinner bait all day, a lot, and got one keeper under a dock. All of my fish came on somewhat slower moving lures even though it was good conditions for a spinner bait, the bite never happened. Don’t get stuck on one thing.

Don’t give up to soon. My first fish came at 10 oclock. For all of the time I have been Bass fishing I have never caught a real big fish in the morning ever. I don’t know why maybe it is how I fish but every big fish I catch is usually from 10 to 2 in the afternoon. So don’t give up if there is no magic morning bite. Most Bass tournaments are won based on what you do the last half of the day not the first.

Three, it is better to catch 5 good bass then 10 or more keepers that are all two pounds or less. Everyone likes to catch a quick limit in a tournament but really in a single day tournament the size of your fish and getting one or two big bites is more important than getting a quick limit. Don’t worry if you are not getting a lot of fish. It has been my experience usually that either you catch a lot of fish or you catch fewer bigger fish. Most trips where you catch 15 –30 keepers or more of those fish will be in the 2 to 3 ½ pound range with maybe a four mixed in. On the days where I am catching bigger fish from 3 ½ to 5 pounds and multiple 4 pound fish it seems like I might only be getting 5 ,7 , or nine bites in the same time but the quality is much better. Point is if the bite is not super hot sometimes you can still catch the bigger fish.

Don’t get too wrapped up or excited in winning. When I fished my two biggest tournaments this year the everstart in Wisconsin and the BFL I never got excited or nervous. I paid my money several months ahead of time and kind of showed up and did my thing. I actually get more worked up for fishing a little 3 hour tournament near my house. If you stay calm and don’t worry to much you make much better casts, get less backlashes, tangles and missed hook sets and all the pain that goes with being overly aped up.

And the Last Thing I learned

If you are fishing a Tournament and you would like to have a chance at winning you better get a pepper jig and have it tied on all the time.

To get your pepper jig kit click here now.

Trip to Lacrosse Wisconsin for the FLW Everstart

Trip to Lacrosse Wisconsin for the FLW Everstart

Last week I took a trip with two other Anglers (my arch nemesis Matt Walker and Jack Dale) to the Everstart, third stop on the central division at Lacrosse Wisconsin on the Mississippi river pools 7, 8 and 9.

We decided to go there because we new it would be a big frog and jig fishing tournament. I did not do as well as I would have liked but ended up 35 out of 126 boats. Most of my fish came on a Bobby’s perfect frog and a 3/8 ounce pepper jig. We never caught a huge amount of fish but every fish we caught was incredibly muscular and very thick along the back. Most had a beautiful yellow tint on the side and the belly that really made the fish look alive and healthy. Every bass when it would hit would just about rip the rod from you hands. Some bass would erupt all the way from the water and grab and spit the frog before you could even set the hook. Most of the fish you would catch on the Pepper Jig would hit the bait when it first dropped a few feet or when you swam it back to the boat. A lot of fish would hit right under the boat when you swimmed and hopped the jig next to the boat. And a lot of times when they would hit the jig you would think that a 60 pound cat fish had just attacked your jig.

Here are two things I learned at the Mississippi River.

One – Bigger bass will be on the outside of the grass. I found a good dead end channel where there was a heavy milfoil mat that came a few feet out from the bank that was backed by a solid bank with lots of vegetation on it.  The milfoil was about six feet deep on the edge, perfect habitat for big bass. While the heavy milfoil looked like a great place for bass to hide when I would punch back into it with a heavy tungsten weight expecting to catch a fish but would never get a big fish. All the Bigger fish I caught were pitching and swimming the jig to the outside edge.  I think when Bass are active that they are on the outside edge and you probably don’t need to punch way back into the stuff unless there is a really bad weather change. A lot of the time you can just hit the edge.

Two – Frog fishing is different when you are fishing lots of huge mats. Most of the time when I frog fish, I fish small pieces of individual cover and grass up against sea walls and other less than obvious areas. In the Mississippi it is all mat fishing, miles and miles of mats. This means you might want a few extra rattles in your frog to help the fish find your bait. Once in a while you would see a bass hit the surface of the mat and miss by several feet of your bait. My guess is they were unsure of where the bait was at and just taking a guess. Also the huge mats meant that you had a lot of water to cover. Several people used a seven foot six inch rod to cast farther back into the mat. I use a seven foot rod and can cast a long ways but a seven foot six inch rod can probably rocket a frog another 15 – 20 yards on a good cast. If you fish a lot of huge grass flats a longer rod might be advantageous.  And the last thing is on a river when the water gets hot and low all the best grass will be right next to current. 90 percent of the bass we caught were on the end of grass points where two currents would come together. Almost all the bass would be in the first hundred yards of grass near where the current came together. Most of the time I would catch one or two bass, and then move on to the next spot.

To catch more bass on jigs check out the links below

Pepper jig info kit

pepper jig kit

crouching largemouth hidden pigs

to catch more fish on frogs check out

Advanced frogging

Tony’s MONSTER Bass from Georgia!!

Check out this MONSTER that Tony caught using a Pepper Custom Spinnerbait! What a great testament to a great lure!

“Here is a 9 lb 8 oz that I caught on one of your Pepper Spinner Baits.

This one should have your name on it since you provided me with everything that I needed to catch it.

She had laid out or she would have been heavier. ”

Tony Canington

I gave Tony a call after he sent me this picture and we talked for a while. Tony told me he has only used the Pepper Spinnerbaits he  got from me for all of his spinnerbait fishing. Tony said that he uses 50 lb pound braided line and throws the spinnerbait between sparse pads and reels it back  looking for the big bite. He says it is absolutely necessary to use heavy braid because where he fishes in Georgia you never know when  a truly giant fish, that weighs between 9 and 13 pounds,  will bite.

To catch a MONSTER like this yourself  get the Pepper Custom Spinnerbaits.    Click here for your set!

Good Fishing,

John W. Torsch

Pepper Jigs! Carl Strikes Agian!!

Carl’s First Jig Bass of the Year!!!

Carl Russell just sent me a picture of this big bass he caught fishing Spring Lake this weekend.

He was using  the famous pepper jig, of course… the results?  A  4 pound fish! Not too shabby.

Carl was fishing his favorite  gilley colored Pepper jig around docks and shallow cover. His dad Bob caught some more fish throwing a Senko by Carl’s fish. The fish that they caught on the  pepper jig were bigger. Carl told me  that in around 3 1/2 hours they had about 25 bites.

All the fish came from a single cove on Spring Lake and they never really had to move the boat much at all.

The fish were all Bass beds and there was plenty of open spots… but they didn’t see actual spawning fish.

To start catching lots of fish like like Carl… use  the best best jig in the world… The pepper jig!  Order your own set below.

Click Here to order the pepper jig

Or Click here to order the special pepper jig info kit that teaches you everything you need to know to really whack em on a Pepper jig.

Congrats to DJ…Catching Pigs with a FROG!

Hey John,

Dj here,

This is the pig I won my first tournament of the year on at Killens pond in Delaware.

Water was about 62 today and you won’t believe what I got him on…. A hollow body frog.

Black and red mad by Booyah, the pad crusher. He was 3 ounces off from 5 lbs.

Congrats to DJ on winning his first tournament of the year. What a great way to start off the season.

For more info on Frog Fishing check out my DVD  “Advanced Frogging“.

Good Fishing,

John W. Torsch

Spring Bass Fishing

Spring is Here.. and so are the Big Bass

My friend Jeff who lives up by Blue Lake got a new I – Pilot trolling motor for his boat. We mounted it on the boat and went out fishing. My very First large mouth bass of the year was caught on my favorite 3/8 pepper jig up in the split of a big tree. The bass was around 18 inches and was a very good way to start the year.

For the next couple hours after that Jeff and I caught 10 keepers each plus twice as many small bass on jerk baits. There were several times we had doubles just fishing 14 cm rapalas in a stop and go retrieve patter in blue lakes clear water on weed bed patches and clumps.

It was a very good day of fishing… but frankly every day of spring fishing is very good when you are catching bass on jerkbaits. Most of the early season jerkbait fishing is missed by bass anglers who will not venture outside in the cold weather. This spring has been the warmest March ever in Michigan. For the last ten days you could walk around and it feels like the middle of summer. My point ? With this perfect spring weather you need to be out throwing a jerk bait! You will have days where you catch 30 fish or more… with a good chance of catching one over five pounds.

Here is how you do it!


7 medium heavy moderate action rod 6 to 1 reel and 10 -12 pond line fluorocarbon or mono line

full size suspending jerkbait I prefer a 14 cm rapala husky jerk.


Make as long of a cast as you can in clear water and fish obvious fish holding structures such as points and drop offs… Fish cover such as large weed beds and patches. Divide the lake up into 2 parts, all the water that is less than seven feet deep and all the water that is between 7 and 14 feet deep. When you catch a fish pay attention to what depth the fish was at and look for more cover or structure combinations at the same depth.

Work the bait in a sharp stop and go retrieve pattern. DO NOT REEL THE BAIT STRAIGHT BACK AT A STEADY SPEED! The bait must pause and then snap forward in a series of crisp jumps that makes the bait flash and jump around. After snapping the bait a couple of times let it sit for a second or to and repeat.

Important… if you are doing the technique right you should catch a fish or at least see a fish follow the bait back to the boat. If you make several casts on a good piece of structure and don’t get bit or see a bass, then move on to the next location.

If you have clear water and a jerk bait you are going to catch a lot of bass in the spring! To find out more check out my DVD Slash and Burn Jerkbait fishing and before you know it you will be loading the boat with a HOGBASS!

Good Fishing John Torsch

Fall Fishing Tournament Question

Hey John,

How are you doing? I wanted to ask you for a few fall tips on bait selection and retrieval of the baits. If you could get back to me as soon as you can I would really admire that. I have my last tournament this weekend and it’s a 2 day competition. So your advice would really mean a lot Ito me because I haven’t won a tournament in my club this year and I would really like to try and end it with a bang. So just to give you an idea of the conditions of where I’m fishing:

1. It is the north east river in Maryland, area code 21901, the water is brackish

2. Lots of docks, rock walls, retaining walls, and sunk trees

3. Water is about 66 degrees

4. The forecast here is dropping to the 60s and calling for rain from tomorrow till Friday

Thank you so much,

dj mitchell

DJ… here is what I would probably use to fish a river tournament in mid fall conditions on a tide water.

  • One – Strike king 1.5 KVD Crankbait in the sunfish color.

This has to be one of the most hyped baits of all time but it does work well for all of the different cover types that you will fish on the river you described. Use the bait on a moderate action rod with 14- 20 lb test in either mono or fluorocarbon.  Make sure to make every cast as close to cover as possible and retrieve your bait parallel to the cover.  Make sure the bait is close to hitting or is hitting the cover all the time. When fishing 3 foot of water or less keep your rod tip high to get thru the cover. When fishing 3- 5 foot deep remember to keep the tip down. Try fishing the bait super slow and finessing it most of the time while manipulating the height of the rod tip to make sure the bait is always hitting something. Occasionally try to retrieve the bait as fast as possible to trigger a reaction strike.  Take your time and make sure every cast is parallel to the cover or the bank… this is very important on a river.

  • Two- ¼ ounce buzz bait, silver blade, white skirt or gold blade, black skirt.

This is classic fall bait for big fish. Fish the buzz bait on a medium heavy rod with either 20 lb mono or 50 braid, 50 lb braid is a good choice for fishing sparse lily pads as it gets caught less in the stems.  Make sure the buzzbait you use can be worked very slowly and still stay on the surface. Again 90 percent of the time fish it as a slow as it will possibly run without sinking. 10 percent of the time try to burn the bait super fast to trigger reaction strike. Again all casts must be parallel to cover and the bank. Make sure the bait hits the cover on the retrieve. Make short to medium casts and keep your rod tip up to keep the bait on the surface at slow speeds. When the fish strikes the bait drop the rod… wait ½ second and set the hook. Oh, and yes always use a trailer hook.

  • Three- Fluke white or green pumpkin

Fish the fluke on a 5/0 heavy wire hook on 14 –20 lb fluorocarbon medium heavy 7 foot rod with a fast tip. Throw the bait out next to cover in likely ambush spots twitch it and kill it. It gets a reaction strike but still is a subtle enough to be finesse bait. Also it is a good option to fish as both a moving bait to cover shallow water and as a drop bait or bottom bait to trigger strikes on the fall.

  • Four- 3/8 pepper jig-  gilley color with paca craw trailer

Fish the Pepper jig on 20lb fluorocarbon and a seven and a half flipping stick.  Make your first pitch to wood right to the very center of the tree where the biggest couple of limbs come together this is where the biggest bass will be at most of the time. Also pitch the pepper jig to all of the other pieces of cover you know hold fish. Make sure your jig always falls on slack line give it a couple of hops and then pitch it to the next target.

  • Five – Red eye shad ½ red color.

This bait will catch some big bass out of grass and would be my go to bait if the weather gets crappy. In order to really score big with this bait you need an overcast sky, a good amount of wind and some vegetation. When you have all three of these elements then be sure to try rattle bait. Again you have to have all three at the same time… overcast and wind blowing into the weeds. If this occurs it will be a big rattle trap bite if not don’t even throw it, go for something else instead.

Keys to success

  • Concentrate most of your time in 1 –5 feet of water
  • Try to find bait fish activity
  • Fish should be pulling out of dying shallow vegetation. If fishing weed try to fish the deeper outside edges in 3- 5 foot of water, however still hit ultra shallow targets in two foot of water if the targets are on wood rock or docks.
  • Use a loop type pitch cast with all of you baits including your crankbait in order to get the bait as close to cover as you can at all time. Every cast you make needs to be close to cover or parallel to shore. This is the most important key to doing well in a river tournament.
  • Position your boat and all your casts to put your bait moving parallel to the cover or shore all of the time. Keeping the bait in the strike zone especially with the crankbait and buzz bait is the most important thing I can tell you.
  • Remember falling tide is the best. If you find a definite pattern with certain bait and a certain cover type during falling tide move quickly and try to repeat the pattern in as many spots as possible.

Here is the biggest thing.  I can tell you what might work… but every day the set of conditions is very different. I think the baits I said will work well, but the most important thing is that any bait that you use is one that you know how to use and have caught a lot of fish on in the past. The one thing you never want to do in a tournament is use a bait that you do not have a lot off confidence and experience in catching Bass with. If you have never caught a lot of bass on shallow cranks and buzz baits it is going to be pretty hard to master it in one fishing tournament. So the most important thing is to use baits you have confidence in and works for you.

A great way to get some more tips and advice on bass fishing and fishing tournaments is to listen to my audio seminars. They contain a lot of good information and are very helpful. Normally I do not release my audio’s but for a few short weeks I am allowing you to purchase my 13 best downloadable seminars.  They are now available at the link listed below.

Click Here for the audio seminars

Good Fishing…. and let me know how you do this weekend.

John W. Torsch

Custom Pepper Spinnerbait

Check out the Hog that I caught this past weekend on the New Custom Spinnerbait.

This guy could not resist the giant 5/o Gamakatsu hook and the Superior skirts.

For more information about these Custom Spinner baits Click Here or give me a call at 269-213-4334.

Good Fishing,

John W. Torsch

Smallmouth Bass Conference Call replay

Bass Fishing Replay

Sunday night was our first conference call of the fall season with Jeff Little. If you were on the call please email me the phone number that you used to call in for the call and the address you want your free jig to be mailed to.

Thank you everyone for leaving a question for the call. For some reason my website was not displaying them immediately because of the spam filter for the comments. I am still not quite sure why it did that but we will get it fixed for the next call.

If you missed the call here right here where you can listen to it and download it from the website.

River Smallmouth Seminar with Jeff Little

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Also for the rest of September, if anyone orders Jeff’s new fall fishing for river smallmouth at this link he will give you a free set of lures. When you check out simply put in the comments box “Hog Bass” and he will include a tackle pack with birds and draggin heads. (If you don’t know what birds and draggin heads are then listen to the replay). Also, when you order send me the email receipt and I will send you in the mail a free Pepper Custom Spinnerbait worth 8 dollars for free.

To order Jeff’s new DVD click here