Earlier this year Conrad and I headed out to Orlando, Florida to attend our first ICAST event. We wanted to see it for ourselves and try to establish some good relationships that could help with our guided fishing trips. Aside from the fishing trips, it was a great opportunity to develop these relationships that will also help with prizes for our tournament anglers fishing the Cactus Cup Team Trail. We had a few brands that were on our list of who we wanted to talk to. Conrad had mentioned he really wanted to check out Queen Tackle. Brandon Koon fished with KJ Queen at Bethel University and he had mentioned that the Live Sonar Jig Heads were something you have to check out. We stopped by the Queen Tackle booth and spoke with KJ and his Dad, Jeff for quite awhile. After a long conversation, we knew this was a brand we wanted to work with. For those that aren’t familiar with Queen Tackle, we will dive more into this awesome Father and Son venture and KJ’s road to the big leagues.
Bethel to the Elites
KJ Queen has a long string of top performances in his career. After winning the High School National Championship, he went to Bethel University on a fishing scholarship. At Bethel, he qualified for 5 BASS and 5 FLW College National Championships. In his senior year he and Dax Ewart were crowned the Bassmaster top collegiate team of the year. In his first year of the Bassmaster Opens he punched his ticket to become an Elite Series Bassmaster Pro. He has qualified for the prestigious Bassmaster Classic in both of his first two years, which is incredible. KJ grew up fishing with his Dad and Grandfather and understands what it takes to win.
Queen Tackle – The Beginning
KJ and his father, started Queen Tackle in 2018 with their moto being “Best Fishing”. They started by selling tungsten jigs. Using their knowledge and experience they set out to develop and offer products that were the best lures so that the fisherman would have their best day of bass fishing. A lot goes into every lure they have developed. They started with tungsten to get the density that offers most sensitivity in the smallest profile. The hook type and size is then selected for the type of jig being built while each hook is nickel plated for rust resistance. The weed guards are selected based on elasticity and number of strands to ensure minimal snagging with maximum fish hook ups. A keeper is then built onto the jig to ensure that the trailer is securely held in place. Each jig is wire tied with a fine silicone skirt based on custom colors for various fishing conditions. The last step is to scent each skirt with a secret coffee scent. That scent has proven to be key at producing a few extra bites that makes the difference in winning. The Queen’s know that the combination of all these design parameters is what makes the difference in a good day and the best day on the water.
Other products have been added over time, ensuring the highest quality for catching fish. They designed a tungsten Shakey head with a built in rattle called the Hammer shake. The slight rattle in the head mimics a crawfish and has proven deadly, especially on bedding fish. They designed a blade that can quickly fit on any jig to turn it into a vibrating jig. The blade has also been used successfully used on underspin’s and weighted hooks to create unique lures for heavily pressure fish. The shape and design of the blade allows high and low range of retrieval speeds while impacting a life-like swimming action that no other blade had produced.
Live Sonar Tungsten Jigheads
Recently they added a ball head jig called the Live Sonar Jig head. The head is tungsten and is almost half the size of lead. Created for finesse fishing with swimbaits whether casting or vertical fishing. It is also great for slipping inside a tube, especially when a heavier weight is desired for deeper water or fishing in current. The heavy weighted tubes also can be used in a yo-yo presentation to trigger bass schooled on ledges.
The Tungsten Difference
Most of the lures offered by Queen Tackle are made of tungsten. Most fishermen that have used tungsten weights have learned that the high density offers size and sensitivity advantages over lead. However, the Queen’s understand that there are other less obvious advantages. One big advantage is that the dense head will click when it comes in contact with a hard surface like rock, concrete, or even sand. That clicking mimics a crawfish, one of the delicacies that bass love to eat. The Queens have spent years of watching bass react to a bait in the clear waters of North Carolina reservoirs. They know that tungsten is superior to lead in triggering the bass to bite.
As the use of forward facing sonar continues to grow, the advantage of tungsten lures on forward facing sonar is being revealed. The tungsten improves the feedback and is much clearer on the display. Think about how lead is used to absorb waves when you get an x-ray. The lead will absorb the forward facing sonar waves, but the density of tungsten will reflect the waves allowing improvement in seeing the lure on the display. KJ has reported using the Live Sonar Jighead to target bass that are over 80 feet away from the boat. Being able to see that jig head at 100 feet and watch how the bass react is a huge advantage. As forward facing sonar continues to grow in popularity the secret of the tungsten tackle is quickly leaking out.
It is becoming clear that KJ Queen is a force to be dealt with on the tournament trail. As he continues to develop new an improved lures, his success in both the tournaments and in the tackle business is sure to grow. Tournament competition continues to grow and each angler must look to put every advantage in his arsenal to be successful. The use of tungsten is part of a growing arsenal of some of the best fishermen in the world. We are excited to be partnered with Queen Tackle and introduce them to our fishing guide clients and all of our tournament angles. If you would like to save some money on your purchase at Queen Tackle use code FISHIN48 to save some money at check out.