There may not be an older or more respected name in the world of crappie fishing than Sam Heaton. For 2013, Heaton is turning over a new leaf with an all-new B’n’M Sam Heaton Super Sensitive rod.
Today, having relocated to Florida’s southeastern coast, Heaton still practices his trade as Field Promotions Manager for Johnson Outdoors, the parent company of such big outdoor names as Minn Kota, Humminbird, Cannon, and Ocean Kayak. Heaton can also boast of being one of the longest standing members of the B’n’M Poles pro-staff team.
Years ago, Heaton sat down and designed one of the bestselling, and best fishing, rods in the B’n’M lineup – The Sam Heaton Super Sensitive. Available in lengths from 7 – 12 feet, there never was and never will be a better rod for casting single jigs or working a jig under a cork. In addition, this rod boasted Cadillac-type features unexpected in a panfish rod. With its Portuguese cork handle, aluminum oxide guides, and IM-6 graphite blank, it seemed impossible to improve on this already spectacular rod.
So the folks at B’n’M didn’t. What we did do was take all of the top of the line features of the Sam Heaton Super Sensitive Rod and work them into our Bottom Seat and Touch System design.
“I really liked the design of the Bottom Seat and Touch System,” said Heaton. “But we also saw some room for improvements. So in discussing a new rod design with the folks at B’n’M, I said “Why not put the same top-of-the-line features in the bottom seat rod.”
In our 2013 catalog, B’n’M will feature our newest, and quite possible greatest, single pole fishing rod we’ve ever offered – The Sam Heaton Super-Sensitive With Bottom Seat and Touch System. The demand for bottom seat models continues to grow every year because the design’s superb balance and lightweight feel. The addition of the cork handle and IM-6 graphite make this take the rod’s sensitivity to a whole new level.
“You can’t do anything with this rod that you couldn’t do with a 10 foot bamboo pole,” said Heaton. “I should know, because back in my youth, we used to jig for crappie with bamboo poles. But I’m not a kid anymore and even the most die-hard of jig pole anglers will really appreciate how light this rod is. That means no more coming back to the dock with a sore shoulder and numb arms from fishing your old rod all day.”
Heaton claims the cooling weather and waters makes this an ideal time to get out on the water and jig for crappie. He advises that fall is a time of transition, with crappie moving from deep waters to those depth changes around break lines on the good structure lakes like Weiss, Kentucky Lake, Truman, MO, and Eufaula in Alabama.
“I’ll fish one of two ways this time of year,” said Heaton. “If I’m looking for fish, which is pretty common with them moving around, I’ll use live bait and fish it 10 – 12 feet deep along break lines. You really want to go slow and fish straight up and down, nosing your bait against the side of the structure.”
“On the other hand, if I’ve fished a spot and know the fish are there, I’ll use a 1/16 oz. jig head and a tube style jig. It’s pretty much the same thing, except I’m not searching for fish and I can catch them faster with the jig than with the live bait.”
For you natural lake anglers, Heaton suggests fishing holes in the grass beds. In his adopted home lake of Okeechobee, Heaton claims he’ll search for stands of cattails, which typically grow in a little deeper water than other grasses like eelgrass and milfoil.
“In this situation, you have to use one rod,” said Heaton. “You lean over and dip that jig down into the holes. Typically the water I’m looking for will only be 4 – 6 foot deep but down here in Florida, 10 feet is as deep as you’ll find anywhere. I rarely fish the jig more than 2 – 3 feet deep, but it’s a lot of probing and lifting, moving the jig over to the next spot and then probing and lifting.”
“If you think about it, the average age of your jig fishermen is getting older, just like me,” said Heaton. “We want a light-weight, quality rod that we can fish all day without fatigue. That was my top priority. I said if I was going to put my name on it, it had to be the best there was on the market.”
“That’s what we’ve got, right here.”