Hello all, and thank you for visiting my website. My name is Bryon Nolan and I am the maker of the TNT lures that you see offered on this website. I have been making baits since around Jan 2000. When I first started making them it was more of a way to keep from having to buy so many baits, as I found out with this kind of fishing you can lose some baits quite often.
The first slab I ever tied on was a Sooner Slab made by Dee Hines from Cordell, Oklahoma. Dee makes in my eyes one of the finest baits to be found anywhere. He crafts his own molds for his baits and has fished slabs for many, many years. In watching Dee and his friends fish on Lake Altus, Oklahoma I quickly figured out that this is the kind of fishing was what I needed to be doing. I pretty much have tried all different ways to catch fish such as down rigging, live bait, and casting lures till I was blue in the face. Then one day I ran across www.okiefish.com and then I remembered seeing that big boat on the lake that said Sooner Slabs. Well come to find out, Dee's brother Gene took care of the website. After a few emails to Gene and asking numerous questions I then was armed with two Sooner Slabs and a plan of attack for catching some fish. Only problem was I didn't realize that two lures might not be enough when it comes to this kind of fishing. I headed off to Lake Altus,OK on Labor Day 1999 with my brother in hopes off catching a few fish. Started out the day like any other fishing day for me, put on old reliable Rapala Shad Rap and started trolling points and flats looking for the sand bass. Well after about 3 hours of that I realized we were about to strike out. I started telling my brother what I had learned from Gene Hines and that I had a couple slabs we should try. I showed him the baits and he laughed at me, telling me that will not put fish in the boat. I told him he was probably right but I was going to go to this spot that I had seen that Sooner Slab boat fishing and try them out since nothing else was working. Once again he laughed and he was just about ready to head to the house. Well I tied on a 1.5oz Sooner Slab bounced it on the bottom for about 15 seconds and I told my brother I think something is hitting the lure. "Whatever" he said. After catching up with all the slack from the 18 ft hump I was fishing, I realized I did have a fish about a 2lb sand bass. Got the fish in and after around 10 minutes and 5 fish, my brother asked "Do you have any more of those". I about died in laughter but I gave him the only bait I had left. That day changed my whole thinking on fishing. We caught fish till our thumbs were sore, I have no idea how many we caught. But it was the most fun I think I have ever had on a fishing trip. I called Dee Hines the next night and asked him to "get me 10 more baits in the mail ASAP." Thanks so much Dee and Gene, and of course my new found slab friend Van Nabb of the Sooner Slab fishing crew. Van helps out Gene on the website www.okiefish.com and I hope that the website gets cranked back up again. It is a great resource for fishing tips and reports for the Oklahoma lakes.
The winter came that year and I was just dying. I had just found out a new way to fish and we had caught more fish from Sept till November then I could remember catching in any one year total. I told my brother as many lures as we had been losing and how often we liked to fish maybe we should try to make some baits up ourselves. I researched that December on the internet, when I ran across www.sixoldgeezers.com and met Ron Ludwig through email and he gave me the ins and outs of making baits. I thought at that time I was more interested in just making my own. Every time I would have problems Ron would helped me through them. Thanks Ron for all your willingness to help me in every way possible. You are the best. The six old geezers website is a website that I like to check out daily if possible. I don't know if there is a better lake than Lake Texoma.
That winter I made up roughly 500 baits. They sure enough were not really that pretty, but the fish never seemed to mind at all. I realized then that the pretty baits were for the fishermen. Because the fish really didn't care. We had an awesome year in 2000 catching so many fish. I don't know how many thousand fish we caught that year, but I was on the lake 3 or 4 times a week. I was like a kid in a candy store with this whole slab fishing thing. We had figured out how to catch the sand bass in a big way, it was funny how every trip we would try to see how fast we could catch 100 fish. It never took long, I can remember our best trip one July day catching around 400 fish in just a few hours between me and my brother. We hadn't figured out the big fish, then again I still don't think I have figured that out!
In December 2004, I had gotten an airbrush for Christmas and figured out ways to make my baits look pretty good so I told my wife "You know what I think I am gonna see if anyone would like to buy these things, I have some free time to make some baits." Then this past year Jan 2005 I decided after a few years of playing with the lures and quite a bit on research. I decided I would like to market my baits and share my experiences with others. I have found out that this can be quite a bit of work at times, it has even cut into some of my fishing time. However it is still something I enjoy doing, to be honest I enjoy it almost as much as going out fishing. The most rewarding part is the people that I have met since becoming a slab fishermen. There have been so many helpful people that have helped me out along the way, and I appreciate everyone of them more than they will ever know...
In my bait making I have set myself some goals as far as the baits are concerned. I want to make the best slab on the market. Don't know if I can ever achieve that, since the two slab makers that I have learned some things from have some of the best baits you can buy. But I do strive to come up with as good looking of baits as possible, along with a durability that will last the fishermen a good long while. I also try to keep my costs as low as possible, I know that is tough to do with the rising costs of materials today.
If you have never tried my baits, I hope that you will give them a chance sometime. All I ever tell anyone is," I don't think that you will be disappointed." Cause most of the time I usually hear back from the people who give them a try, and then they become one of my new found slab friends.
Fortunately, I have a wife that still supports this new hobby and my love for fishing, without that I know I would not be making these baits to share with all my new found slab friends. Thanks Jen, Love ya+2! Not to leave out the other girl in my life that means the world to me, Jayden. She has already taken a liking to slab fishing. Whenever she was about 18 months old I can remember being at Lake Altus fishing. She kept trying to lift my rod up and shake it really fast, I was trying to teach her that she needed to work the bait a little slower. She kept just jerking my rod around and shaking it. I guess I didn't mind after awhile, as she had just taught her Daddy that he had not yet figured this whole slabbing deal out as the fishing wanted the bait moving faster then I was presenting it to them. Best part is she is yet another new found slab friend!