Have you ever wanted to take a peek into the tackle boxes of the Team Livingston pros to see what their “old reliable” baits are? With the fall transition now in full swing, we did exactly that: we zeroed in on Randy Howell and Byron Velvick and made them show us a couple of their tried-and-true Livingston Pro Series baits for fall:
Randy Howell’s Pro Ripper
-Of all the baits in the Pro Series, I think the PRO RIPPER fits the fall shallow-flats fishing the best. It’s a perfect “situational” type of bait in that it’s a very buoyant bait for a slow-sinking lipless crankbait. You can throw it in the shallow flats in 1 to 4 feet of water and fish it anywhere you need it to be in that depth range. You have to reel most lipless cranks really fast to keep them from digging in the mud, but the shape of the Pro Ripper’s nose and the pull point on the eyelet make it a really good shallow-flats bait.
-The Pro Ripper is just a good reaction bait in general. I’ll keep a Blue Back Chrome Shad right next to my HOWELLER DMC and WALKING BOSS most days in the fall, or switch to a Chartreuse Sunrise Shad or Melon Shad if it gets muddy.”
Byron Velvick’s Dive Master 14
-The DIVE MASTER 14 is a major confidence bait for me, and a really good choice for fishing pockets in the fall. I know I can throw that bait with the EBS Original™ sound technology and get fish where everybody else is struggling to get fish to bite because that’s exactly what I did at the Lake Seminole Elite Series tournament in 2014. I had other Elite anglers asking me for DM 14s, I was catching them so good.
-Lake Seminole was a spring tournament in a fishery with a lot of wood, but I’d apply the same basic principles with the DM 14 in the fall. Throw it in the back of pockets up to 10, 12, 14 feet deep and let the EBS technology work. The bait has a good, fish-catching action. You want that bait to ‘roll’ over wood or isolated structure if you can find it, but if there’s no structure, you’ll want to keep the DM 14 in occasional contact with the bottom. That little ‘shad deflection’ is a key.
-When I say “Fish the backs of pockets”, I mean it: don’t even start fishing until you’re halfway back into a creek or pocket.
-Shad patterns like Bluetreuse Shad and XXX Shad are the best choices to imitate shad, brighter colors like Copperhead and Sunrise Chartreuse Shad if the water is stained.