Author Archives: Dale Gilbert

Outdoor BrandZ continues to blaze a trail!

Hello Everyone –

Just wanted you to know that 2015 sales were up from 2014. The additional Crappie Kicker and Go Go Minnow products inside the Fle Fly are selling very well. Bowhunter1 was also a great addition to the OB company. We had a great ATA show and expect that brand to really start to contribute in 2016. Nutra Deer will be placed in some very large retail accounts for fall goods in 2016. We will have the best sales year ever for Nutra Deer in 2016! Team Catfish still rocks on and continues to grow! The new 1 Step Cooking Products brand is showing promise with online sales starting to trickle in.

Hold on tight 2016 will be a great year for our small company!

Outdoor BrandZ Logo

Outdoor BrandZ Logo


This report sent in from

My customer J. Jenkins from near the Texas/Oklahoma border fought and landed which is now the official ALL-TACKLE Lake Tawakoni Blue Catfish Record. The fish weighed 87.5lbs and was and absolute incredible fish. Jody did an excellent job fighting the fish. Luckily, the entire fight was caught on HD video and sometime when we slow down and I will get it edited and post in on YouTube. Pretty cool to catch the lake record…even cooler to catch it on video. wink

The fish hit a small shad fillet on a 8/0 Team Catfish Double Action hook. All my rods are rigged w/ 25 and 30lb Electric Lime mono from Team Catfish. I cannot say enough good things about Team Catifish’s products. We fish 7 days a week and their gear has held up extremely well.

As excited as we are about this fish, I just don’t see it standing up very long. I’m hoping some youngster breaks it soon! thumb

The monster fish was released to fight another day. And, it was the original fry put in the lake back in ’89 per TP&W.

Good times & Good fishing.

Lake Tawakoni Lake Record Blue Catfish

Lake Tawakoni Lake Record Blue Catfish


Michael and Teri at Tawakoni Guide Service can put you on the bigguns! Go see them.

Lake Tawakoni Proven World Class Catfish Reservoir

Few anglers probably have ever heard of Lake Tawakoni except for some serious tournament catfish anglers. Of course that all changed last spring when word spread over the internet about a catfish tournament where three teams brought in five fish limits of over 200 pounds. The huge weights didn’t surprise catfish fishing guides Michael and Teri Littlejohn through because they had been putting clients on big catfish for years on Lake Tawakoni.

Teri and Michael Littlejohn

This year the nationally known Cabela’s King Kat tournament trail begins the season on Lake Tawakoni. It’s going to be a slugfest with many of the best catfish anglers in the nation competing. Last year teams were bring in huge limits of five fish including the winning weight of 239.8 pounds setting the new Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail record; in addition to having a 67.84 pound monster blue catfish weighed in for big fish.

Completed in 1960, Iron Bridge Dam impounds the Sabine River just 53 miles east of Dallas, Texas. The impoundment has 36,700 surface acre, 200 miles of shoreline with an average depth of 70 feet deep. It’s under the operation of the Sabine River Authority of Texas.

It’s named after historic Indians tribes that live on the land in the area. Translated Tawakoni means “river bend among red sand hills”.

“Lake Tawakoni is the number one blue catfish reservoir west of the Mississippi. It’s had huge limits of catfish weighed in at tournaments and my clients are amazed at how many big blues we catch,” said Michael Littlejohn.

Whenever possible, Littlejohn uses fresh shad for catfishing for blues on Lake Tawakoni. He likes them to be between 5- to 12-inches long. “I cut off the tail and discard it then cut and scale the rest of a 8-inch shad into three large chunks,” said Littlejohn.

Fresh shad is best, but Littlejohn doesn’t just discard used pieces of cut shad chunks that have lost all of its blood and scent. “I like to put the shad chunks back in a Zip-Lock bag with half a bottle of Team Catfish Dead Red Blood Spray letting the pieces soak and reuse them,” said Littlejohn.

Littlejohn ( uses two different presentations when fishing for catfish. “I fish a Carolina rig a lot on Lake Tawakoni for catching blue catfish. It’s a easy rig to set up. For the main line, I use high visible Team Catfish (  Tug O War with a Team Catfish Sinker Slider that I attach a ( 3-ounce sinker to then a swivel with a 30- to 60-pound Team Catfish Tug O War leader and 8/0 Team Catfish  Double Action Hook,” said Littlejohn.

Michael Littlejohn 1

“I use the Team Catfish Tug O War line because it is abrasion resistant. You need that because the big catfish are always around stumps, standing timber or just chewing on your line every time they bite your bait.”
If Littlejohn isn’t using a Carolina rig, he will have the rods rigged up with Santee Cooper Rigs. “I use the Santee Cooper rig that has a float to keep the bait off the bottom. Normally, I have about 36- to 48-inch leader on my Santee Cooper rig,” said Littlejohn.

Before Littlejohn makes his first cast, he uses his graph to locate them. “I use the SideScan mode to find the catfish. Most of the time big blue catfish will be around the ledges or humps where they can ambush the shad. Once, I locate them I will mark them on the GPS then anchor up the boat so we can make cast to them,” said Littlejohn. Littlejohn noted he usually anchors instead of drifting when fishing Lake Tawakoni.

Although it’s legal to keep a big blue catfish on Lake Tawakoni, Littlejohn practices strictly catch-and-release with any blue catfish over 10 pounds caught in his boat. “Lake Tawakoni is loaded with 14- to 18-inch channel catfish that weigh 2- to 5-pounds if clients want to take home catfish to eat,” said Littlejohn.

For channel catfish, Littlejohn uses light 7’ spinning gear rigged with 50 pound Team Catfish Tug O War braid. He will use a Carolina rig set up with a ½-ounce egg weight and 4/0 treble hook or pinch a ¼-ounce worm weight about 6-inches above a 4/0 treble hook.

“We use Team Catfish Sudden Impact bait that’s enriched with fibers to keep the bait on the hook for fishing channel catfish,” said Littlejohn. He also baits the holes for the channel catfish to keep them around the areas there fishing.

Right now it doesn’t get any better than Lake Tawakoni when it comes to fishing for big blue catfish. Prime time is from Thanksgiving till when the water temperature gets up around 65 degrees and they go to spawning.
Teri Littlejohn 1