Brad Gunn is an outstanding Wisconsin fisherman. I picked his brain about some of his favorite places to fish. We also talk about the tackle he uses when fishing himself as well as with his kids. Keep reading for some great fishing info…
Clearly you love Favorite rods. What do you love about their rods overall?
That is a great question Chris. First and foremost thank you for taking the time to interview me. I really appreciate it.
Favorite has become my #1 choice for multiple reasons. The first being versatility. In the past, I’ve bounced around a lot on rod companies. I remember at one point my rod collection was a collaboration of nearly every rod maker on the planet.
Certain brands made great jerkbait rods, but lacked the heavier action muscle rods needed to pull the bigger fish out of the slop. Other rods I found were really strong, but lacked sensitivity. It seemed as if I had a golf bag with 14 different brands of clubs. The specific actions and fast tips of the Favorite line make them extremely versatile. I have a 7’4″ medium heavy White Bird that I have fished deep cranks with and frogged in the same day by simply changing reels.
Secondly, the comfort of these rods are unmatched on the market today. I loved the Gen 1 Abu Garcia Veritas blanks, but after 10 hours of fishing, my hand would literally be bleeding. These rods are literally the lightest on the market. Their summit line literally is. This leads to less fatigue and more time casting. Thirdly is price. I’m in love with the White Bird series in there select line. These rods retail at $49.99 and fish like they are $200. There are no corners cut. Their guides are even top notch. Best value in bass fishing today.
If I only allowed you 3 rods from your Favorite collection to fish in 2018, which rods are you picking?
That’s tough because I am usually pretty technique specific, but like I said the versatility of these rods would make that easier. I’d start with the 7’2″ White Bird drop shot special. In a tournament setting, the bass don’t always come easy. Sometimes you need to whip out the chicken stick. In a pinch I fish alot of senkos. It’s the one technique I can usually get bass to fire on even during periods of inactivity. For this reason, and it’s ability to handle small cranks and jerkbaits I would choose this rod.
The second would be the afformentioned 7’4″ med heavy White Bird. This thing is a work horse. This thing is the Swiss army knife of the White Bird series. I have flipped, pitched, cranked, spinnerbaited, buzzbaited, Carolina rigged, jigged, square billed and deep cranked with this one. I boated more 3 pound plus bass on this rod last summer than the rest of my rods combined. I’m buying 4 more for the upcoming spring.
Last but not least the 7’4 heavy Favorite Sick Stick. This guy is a tow truck. I caught a 5 pound largemouth and smallmouth on this guy last year. They are the real deal. I frog and football jig with it. In the $100 category this rod should be a national player. Light as a feather, fishes like a warrior with sensitivity to boot!
You clearly enjoy having your kids fishing with you. Which of the Favorite rods would you recommend for someone buying a rod for a child let’s say under 10 who is just starting in bass fishing?
Fishing with my kids is usually the highlight of my summer. A great versatile rod for a beginning angler would be the 6’6″ medium Heavy White Bird. Kids can be rough on rods. And at ugly stick type pricing with matched toughness, this would be my choice. From bluegills to bass a good all around stick.
At a medium heavy, if they do happen to hook into a larger fish at least they would have enough backbone to have a chance at landing it. And having a fast tip, they can still launch a Thill and worm to the moon. I’d pair it with the American classic close faced Zebco 33. I still have mine from when I was a kid. Also a good stepping stone in the action used for roll casting a baitcaster.
What are you 3 favorite home State largemouth waters to fish?
I can only name 2 of 3 because I’m sworn to secrecy. We’ll call lake #1 Lake X. Lake X is a lake that has produced 3 to 6 pound plus Largemouth for me in 8 years. This is not part of the Great Lakes. These are not goby feed mutants. These are natural Wisconsin giants. My best friend John Tobalsky would divorce me if I let the cat out of the bag.
Number 2 is Wappogassett in Amery, Wisconsin. This lake is a fish factory. You can spend all day hooking 13 inch largemouth…and occasionally you will find one of its 4 pounders. Wappogassett is also a great muskie fishery. We usually top ten here tournament fishing so it’s got sentimental value in that respect too.
Number 3 is Red Cedar in Mikana, Wisconsin. This lake is one of two lakes I know in our area, that you could realistically catch a 5 pound largemouth and smallmouth in the same day. Heck, you could add an 8 pound walleye to that too…on the same lake. A healthy, clean water fishery that allows you to fish how you like to fish. The lake fishes big for the size of the body of water. My personal best smallmouth was caught here and another frequent top 10 body of water.
On these bodies of water, what are your favorite methods for catching largemouth?
I’m a top water junkie. I like hammering the slop in the morning with a frog and transitioning into flipping the shoreline in the afternoon. The last couple years I’ve really enjoyed fishing jerkbaits in the spring though. And I’ll never be upset about a deep water jig bite!
What are your 3 favorite home State smallmouth bass waters to fish?
Lake X again by far is number 1…LOL.
For just smallies, I’d have to put the Mississippi River way up there as number 2. I’ve managed to have some pretty good days. All thanks to “borrowing” my buddy Tucker’s techniques. He’s a river rat, but just doesn’t know it.
Number 3 would be Red Cedar again. Size and quantity are both there.
On these bodies of water, what are your favorite methods for catching smallmouth?
I love this question. For those who haven’t fished smallmouth, it’s not all drop shots in 30 feet of water. Most of the year, these are NOT finesse fish. They are mean. They fight like a bus. They’ll hit topwater in 20 feet of water. And the deeper the water with topwater, the harder they hit it.
I’m a sucker for topwater, I am, but for my money, a football head jig in green pumpkin, with a zoom money craw matching on a deeper rock or gravel point, is a great way to grab some nice bronzebacks.
Again going back to fishing with kids, which of these either largemouth or smallmouth bass fisheries would you recommend for helping kids learn to fish? And can you reveal where Goose Poop Beach is?
LOL…Goose Poop Beach is a local beach in Menominie called Wakanda Beach. It’s so thick with pea soup blue green algae that it is 200% unswimable. There is so much goose droppings scattered around the picnic area and beach it’s like fishing in a pig farm. But…for 2 weeks in early June, it’s my personal playground for hooking quality largemouth from shore. Just no shoes in the house afterwards.
My advice for getting kids into fishing is to bring them in areas that have other things to do as well. No child has the focus of KVD and never will. Fish from shore with them. Throw out some river rigs and bottom bouncers. Let em play and yell when there is a fish on. Do this for a while and the natural progression of wanting to cast and reel will take care of itself. Start them on panfish. Action is the key! Hard to get bored when you are hooking fish!
I saw that you made a topwater lure out of a shovel handle. Tell us about that. What inspired the idea?
Ah yes….the butt plug. Horrible name I know. I got bored one winter, and carved it out of a shovel handle. It very much mimics the now popular rat swimbaits. To my surprise, it swam like it was tank tuned. Dove about 1 foot. I painted it like a hairy shad/rat. I put a floating Berkley gulp worm on as as a tail and hooked a 20 inch pike with it on my 3rd cast. I was also able to hook a 4 pound smallmouth on it, and a 33 inch pike on it later in the fall. It’s retired now. Too much sentimental value. Really cool experience.
Beyond Favorite Rods, who are your other sponsors?
My other sponsorships are Ardent Reels and WOO! Tungsten. These opportunities both came along later in the season last year. I’m in the process right now of loading up my arsenal with both brands. When given the opportunity by sponsors to use and promote their products, I always strive to do so in the most professional and respectful of manners. I have used both of these brands in the past, but wouldn’t be doing them a service upon evaluation without getting a full season fully stocked with the best equipment they each have to offer under my belt.
This has been a blast! If anyone has any questions or just likes to talk fishing, I’m on National Pro Staff under my name Brad Gunn. And on Instagram as @favorite.gunnshow. And remember, use my code AT20 on the Favorite website to receive 20% all orders all year long after registering a free account! Also, National Pro Staff now has a huge tackle shop you can use my code GUNN25 to save 25% on all purchases!
Thank you Brad. I look forward to following and seeing all of your success on the water.
Read More from another Favorite Rods Pro Staff: Spring Bass Fishing Conesus Lake with Brandon Brown