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Interview with Ontario's Radz Outdoors
In this interview, we discuss Ontario bass and muskie fishing with Kris from Radz Outdoors. Kris has some great fishing videos on YouTube and his Instagram page has some awesome pics.
He discusses a lot in this article including fishing the slop for bass and from shore for muskie. He offers some great advice including his thoughts on braid versus flurocarbon in shallow water for spooky fish. Lots to learn from this interview. So read on...
GFN: You catch some very impressive Ontario largemouth bass. What are your three favorite big bass waters in Ontario and what makes them your favorites?
Thank you but I'm still looking for an Ontario 6 pounder. The lake where I do the majority of my bass fishing is actually the lake I first learned to fish on. Its a fairly big lake close to Kingston but that's all I'll say about "lake x".
My two other favorites would have to be the Rideau River and the small lakes scattered throughout the Ottawa valley. Everyone knows the Rideau, but there's something about those "google map" lakes that gets me. Most people think trout when talking about small remote lakes, but its incredible the potential these lakes have to hold huge bass. My biggest bass this summer came from one of these lakes.
GFN: Based on your videos, you seem to like fishing the slop. What are you favorite baits for catching big bass out of pads and grass?
I've always loved fishing bass in heavy cover. Nothing beats a donkey bursting through the pads to eat on the surface, and for that reason the frog is my number one bait. If could always throw it, I would. But sometimes the bass don't cooperate.
So my other two methods of choice are a Texas rigged senko and a punching setup. Something I've been doing for a while now is fishing a Texas rigged senko like a frog. Skitter and twitch it over the tops of pads and let it flutter down in the holes. Its probably the most efficient bait at covering water surface and subsurface wise.
Lastly is the punching set up. I only just started using this method but I'm quickly falling in love with it. I use a 3/8 ounce bullet weight whenever I can get away with it. In thicker mats and cover I opt for a 3/4 ounce. Its always gonna be a Trokar wide gap flippin hook on the end of my line and as far as plastics anything slim that offers little resistance going through the vegetation. The Berkley Pit Boss is my current favorite.
GFN: What is your favorite line for fishing these areas?
Braid. I actually tried fluorocarbon this summer and didn't mind it, but the fish did. This year we had incredibly low water levels due to lack of rain. This made my shallow slop areas even shallower. So shallow that sometimes we were fishing in 12-15 inches of water, making it almost impossible for a fish to move and not disturb the pads above. What we noticed was on distance casts where you'd cast a frog deep in to pads you would spook a bass somewhere between the frog and you. The reason being was the fluorocarbon made too much noise as it landed on top of the pads in such shallow water. And for that reason braid is still #1.
GFN: A recent video filmed the catching of a nice 5lb bass. During the battle, the bass gets caught up in the pads. That had to produce some heart pounding moments. What are some of your tricks for making sure you are landing the fish you set the hook on in these jungle like areas?
Up and out. Besides the two count before a hook set, don't give it any chance to dig in. Get 'em up, keep the rod high, and crank 'em in.
GFN: Another of your videos has you using a Livetarget Sunfish. Can you describe what you like about the bait and the conditions that you like to use it in?
So the Livetarget Sunfish had a lot of hype behind it prior to its release. With good reason, it was a new idea. But for heavy cover I still prefer a frog. Where the Sunfish really shines is on edges and in the bends, and pockets of the vegetation. That's why you can always find a few in my slop box.
GFN: Your videos are really well done. What equipment do you use to take and produce the videos?
Thank you. I love filming and making videos and in the last year I really took the next step and picked up a couple GoPros. The features they have are incredible and makes it easy to get killer videos and pictures in crystal clear quality. As far as editing goes I use Windows Movie Maker and haven't had any issues with it.
GFN: Are the videos just a hobby or do you have plans to expand what you do with them?
Its another hobby of mine but I have some plans for the future so stay tuned!
GFN: You also post some very impressive shore caught muskie pics on Instagram. What are your favorite Muskie baits when fishing from shore?
In the summer from shore its hard to beat top water. Especially since the weeds are usually overgrown in the shallows. Top raiders, X walks, and the BBZ Rat make my list. In the fall I stick with rubber, my favorite being a 9 Inch Bulldawg in LOTW Perch.
GFN: You have a great photo of what looks to be 3 generations of fishermen with your dad and I assume your grandfather. What life lessons have you learned from them through fishing?
Yes it's my grandfather, father and I. They were the ones who got me into fishing so I have them to thank for that. As far as life lessons go I cant think of many off the top of my head other then always keep toilet paper in the boat. Usually we just go out and fish, leave the world behind kinda thing, which is a life lesson of sorts. Do what you love with good people often!
GFN: Well, those are some great life lessons. Kris is majoring in fish and wildlife studies in college. Judging by this interview, he is going to be very successful. So, thanks Kris for doing the interview and good luck with your semester. To the rest of us, make sure to follow Kris on Instagram and YouTube to see his next great catch and very soon that Ontario 6 pounder.