Early Spring Bass Feeding on Crawfish!
5:08 PM | Author: Tech Tactical

In early spring, when bass are moving from their winter areas to staging areas and eventually to the shallow flats, few presentations consistently produce better than a crawfish imitating lure. The reason these lures are so effective is the bass's fondness for the freshwater crawfish. Even though bass will eat crawfish through out the year, this predator/prey relationship is strongest in the early spring.

I believe that a bass's early season preference for the crawfish is due to the important nutrients the crawfish provides the pre-spawn bass and during this cold-water period, the crawfish matches the low metabolic activity of the bass making it an ideal forage .

Early spring the crawfish are in the deeper water just of flats. Bass move up from their cold water homes and stage in the same area as the crawfish. As the cold shallow flats warm up both crawfish and bass become more active and move into the shallow water.

It's my opinion that the jig out produces all other crawfish imitating lures during the pre-spawn period, at when it comes to taking trophy bass. Some anglers limit the role of the jig/pig to flippin & pitchin, but I have found that the lure is effective when cast out and slowly dragged over deep structure.

The water temperatures in early spring are lower and so the bass's metabolism has slowed down. And for this reason, I want a bait to fall slowly staying in the strike zone as long as possible. That's why I use the jig/pig. In early spring I find it very important to match the hatch and go with the lightest jig possible. I use a ¼ ounce jig. I use two color combinations - a black/blue jig with a metal flake trailer and a green/pumpkin with a green/pumpkin trailer.

The trailer gives the jig a natural appearance, The pinchers on the trailer move as the jig falls and dragged across the bottom. Also, a scented soft plastic trailer encourages the bass to hold onto the lure longer. The jig/pig combo is hard to beat during the pre-spawn period but when the fish want something a little smaller I go with the next best setup a Carolina rigged worm. This technique is very effective when they are staged on deeper structure and feeding on crawfish. I put on a rattler because it imitates the noise of the crawfish's pinchers, which attract bass. Dragging the lure whether it be a jig/pig combo or a worm across the bottom kickin up a lot of silt imitates a crawfish emerging from its winter home. When a crawfish emerges from hibernation they're covered with mud, when they try to kick the mud off it creates a disturbance, a cloud of dirt along the bottom that draws the attention of the bass.

Spinnerbaits are considered to be one of the better shad imitating lures of all time, however I find a large spinnerbait that is properly dressed and fished also imitates a fleeing crafish. The largest population of crawfish is found on weed beds and timber filled flats at the back of creeks. My go to spinnerbait is a 1 ounce black spinnerbait with a no. 7 or 8 Colorado blade with a black/blue trailer.

Like the slow rolled spinnerbait , a rattlin lipless crankbait worked over shallow flats is an effective way to catch big bass in early spring. I've been using a red lipless crankbait to catch big bass for years. I believe actively feeding bass are on the move flushing crawfish and other forage from the grass-beds and shallows, that's why I think the red Rat-L-Trap crankbait is so effective in grassy areas because it draws a reaction bite and because it thinks it a crawfish fleeing the grassy area.

The key to drawing the reaction bite with this lure is retrieving it so it stays in contact with the grass throughout the retrieve. You want to keep in touch with the grass and when the bait catches or snags on the grass, you want to rip it free. The quick acceleration and pause mimics a craw fish fleeing danger.

The key to catching Big Bass in early spring is choosing a lure that accurately mimics the crawfish.

Tip Via - http://bassfishingbyproberts.blogspot.com/

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Contrary to what many weekend anglers believe, bass pros don't possess supernatural powers for finding and catching fish. Instead, they earn those fat paychecks by correctly analyzing the fishing situations that confront them. This analysis includes determining the type and location of bass cover where they're fishing, then picking the best possible lure and presentation.

Sounds elementary, doesn't it? There's no sixth sense involved -- the pros simply maximize their opportunities for bites by putting the right lure in the right place at the right time.

Choosing the correct bait for the cover you're fishing is at the heart of every successful bass outing. To help you make the right decision, we present our recommendations for the best lures to use when fishing bassin's Big Three: wood, rock and weed cover. We suggest getting three large plastic utility boxes, one for each type of cover mentioned, and loading them with the lures mentioned.

Lures for Wood

Wood cover includes stumps, standing timber, deadfalls and brush. It's great bass habitat, especially when found in classic bass locations including shallow coves and flats, channel edges, points and submerged humps.

Bass generally hold tight to impenetrable wood (stumps, logs, standing timber) for concealment when in a feeding mode, but will move into penetrable wood (root systems, brushpiles, tree limbs) when inactive. A single piece of wood can provide both types of cover -- a submerged tree's trunk is impenetrable, but its root system and branches are penetrable.

When fishing impenetrable wood, your lure must be able to bump or crawl over the cover without hanging up. Design features that enable a lure to do this include large diving lip, streamlined head or body shape, weedguard and a concealed hook point. Therefore the best lures for fishing stumps, logs and standing timber are the following:

* Crankbaits with large diving lips
* Weedless jigs
* Texas-rigged plastic worms and lizards
* Spinnerbaits

Fishing penetrable wood demands a lure with the ability to root out a bass in a very tight, snaggy spot without hanging up. Design features facilitating this include weedguard, streamlined head/body shape and concealed hook point. Lures best suited to brushpiles, limbs and roots include:

* Weedless jigs
* Plastic worms, lizards and craws with a pegged sinker

Presentation tips for wood:

* When fishing tree trunks and stumps, always bump the cover with your lure. This causes it to change speed and direction, giving it the appearance of a fleeing baitfish or crawfish. The strike normally occurs immediately after the bait contacts the wood.
* When fishing a laydown log with a spinnerbait or crankbait, retrieve the lure so it travels the length of the cover instead of cutting across it. This will maximize its contact with the cover.
* Bass often hold at the major forks of submerged trees. Here, a spinnerbait is your best bet -- slow-roll it up to the fork, then stop the retrieve so the lure flutters straight down.
* Avoid overhand casting to roots, brushpiles and tree limbs -- you'll hang up constantly. Pitch or flip the lure into the cover instead.
* Visibility is often poor in thick root wads and brushpiles. Here, use a lure with strong visual contrast, such as a black worm with a chartreuse tail.

Bass in wood cover:

Wood cover holds plenty of bass. Choose lures that can bump off standing timber, stumps and brushpiles without constantly hanging up, like jigs spinnerbaits and plastic worms.

Bass in rock cover:

Rock is generally regarded as inferior to both wood and weeds in terms of bass attraction, but bass are drawn to it where other types of cover aren't available. Rock is the prevailing cover in many deep, clear natural lakes and highland reservoirs. Rock cover occurs in the following forms:

Chunk rock, which ranges in size from fist-sized to head-sized. Traps decaying organic matter upon which crawfish feed.

Riprap, large pieces of rock used to shore up the bank near a reservoir dam. Good habitat for crawfish; shad feed on its slimy algae coating.

Boulders, massive rocks most often found in Western reservoirs and Canadian shield lakes. Provide plenty of shade to conceal bass in clear water.

Gravel, common in rivers, shield lakes and reservoirs -- great habitat for crawfish and an ideal spawning surface for smallmouth bass.

Sand -- rock in its smallest form! Porous, so it enables aquatic vegetation to take root. Perfect spawning surface for largemouth bass.

When fishing chunk rocks, boulders, gravel and sand, hangups usually aren't a worry. Instead, the extremely clear water typical of rocky lakes will dictate the type of lure used more than the cover itself. Therefore the lure should a) look extremely natural, with a lifelike baitfish or crawfish profile and color pattern, and b) have an erratic action, which is far more appealing to a bass in clear water than an unvarying, mechanical action. The best lures for rock cover are the following:

* Soft-plastic jerkbaits
* Wood or plastic floater/diver minnows and suspending jerkbaits
* Small leadhead grubs, tube baits and jig/pork combos
* Flashing metal baits (jigging spoons, tailspinners, blade baits)
* Finesse worms fished on small leadheads or split shot rigs
* Small deep-diving crankbaits
* Topwater lures

Presentation tips for rock:

* Use lighter line than you'd use for fishing wood or weeds. Rocky lakes are often gin-clear, necessitating smaller lures and a more discreet presentation. Western bass anglers commonly use 4- and 6-pound mono when fishing rocky cover in deep, clear impoundments.
* On sunny days, choose lures with a realistic reflective baitfish pattern, such as a foil-finish crankbait or a smoke metalflake grub. On overcast days, the same lures in flat, non-reflective color patterns such as bone white or crawdad will be more visible.
* Bass often suspend over large rocks and may respond to a topwater lure or jerkbait retrieved over their heads.
* Retrieving a jig in short, erratic hops around chunk rock, riprap and gravel will mimic a live crawfish.
* A 4-inch finesse worm is one of the deadliest lures for probing rocks. Rig it on a leadhead with hook exposed, drop it straight down onto rockpiles in deep water and shake it gently on the bottom.
* When bass are on deep rocks, try a metal blade bait. Its heavy vibrations and intense flash can draw strikes in water over 50 feet deep.

Lures for Weeds:

crankbaits, jerkbaits

Realistic crankbaits and suspending jerkbaits with a flash finish are excellent choices in rocky lakes.
Aquatic vegetation is arguably the best bass cover of all, but it can be frustrating to fish -- constant hangups and that big glop of grass hanging from your hook can soften your resolve to probe weedy cover. But knowing what lures work best in specific weedy situations and how to fish 'em correctly can connect you with the biggest bass of your fishing career.

weeds aren't created equal. Here are the types most important to bass anglers:

* Surface pads, including lily pads and water hyacinths. These provide maximum overhead cover for bass, and their fragrant blossoms attract insects to crank up the food chain.
* Junk weeds, including hydrilla, milfoil and coontail. These grasses grow in thick mats in sheltered coves and tributaries and provide sensational cover for bass and forage species alike.
* Submerged grasses, such as eelgrass. These crank out plenty of oxygen and provide good cover for bass and baitfish.
* Emergent grasses, including cattails and maidencane. They serve as a bridge from the terrestrial world to the water for insects, frogs, rodents and other small creatures bass feed upon.

Lure-design properties effective in weeds include long, slender profile (for sinking through thick grass), weedguard, concealed hook point, flat shape (for skimming over pads and matted grass), and noisemaking blades or rattles. Lures that showcase these properties include:

* Weedless frogs and rats
* Buzzbaits
* Texas-rigged plastic worms and lizards
* Weedless jigs
* Weedless metal or plastic spoons
* Lipless rattling crankbaits

Presentation tips for weeds:

* Douse your worm or lizard in liquid fish attractant or cooking oil so it'll slide easily through thick weed mats to the bass below.
* Don't use a stop-and-go retrieve when fishing frogs and rats across surface pads. Reeling slowly and steadily will make it easier for bass to locate the lure.
* Use the tail of a plastic worm as a trailer when fishing a weedless spoon. A bright trailer color like chartreuse or red will enable bass to spot the lure in thick grassbeds.
* If a bass strikes your surface retrieve in matted grass or pads, but misses the lure, just keep it moving -- chances are it'll come back for a second try.
* Concentrate on edges where grass meets open water. Bass often locate here to take advantage of prey in both types of habitat.

Choosing Bass Cover by the Season:

Bass cover is often seasonal in nature. Here's what you should be fishing during the four seasons:

WINTER:

1) ROCK -- Clear, rocky lakes are often your best bet in winter where iceover doesn't occur. They stay warmer longer than shallow, weedy or woody lakes and can provide good fishing all winter long. Best bet: Deep rocky points.

2) WOOD -- Provided it's deep enough. Avoid shallow wood cover and look for isolated stumps on deep points and channel drops instead.

3) WEEDS -- Always fish 'em if available.

SPRING:

1) WEEDS -- Bass will flock to the first weed growth in shallow lakes. Best bet: Weeds will be thickest in the warmest water, usually in the lake's northwest corner.

2) WOOD -- Stumps and logs 8-10 ft. deep in early spring, then all kinds of wood in shallower water once the surface temp rises.

3) ROCK -- A distant third now.

SUMMER:

1) WEEDS -- Lily pads provide so much shade, the water beneath them may be 5 degrees cooler than elsewhere in the lake, meaning bass in pads will be more active. Milfoil and hydrilla beds will be thick now and will hold plenty of bass. Best bet: Isolated weed patches close to deep water.

2) WOOD -- Fish laydowns on shallow flats in murky lakes; stumps and brushpiles on deep channel structures in clear lakes.

3) ROCK -- Try rockpiles at night in clear highland lakes.

FALL:

1) WEEDS -- The last remaining weeds as the lake cools are a natural bass magnet. Best bet: The deepest weeds will be the last to die. Use a deep-running crankbait to pinpoint their location, then slow down and fish 'em with a weedless jig.

2) WOOD -- Stumpy flats are good now; bass will gorge on shad here prior to moving deep for the winter.

3) ROCK -- Begins to exert more attraction as weeds die off. Try topwaters over rocky ledges and gravel humps.

Tip Via - Knol

Drop Shotting for Bass!
2:02 PM | Author: Tech Tactical




Drop shot fishing

Whatever you call this technique; dropshot, down shot, or under shot, it's effectiveness has been proven countless times by thousands of anglers all over the world. Generally it is considered a finesse technique involving fairly light weights and small plastic baits. When dropshotting first came to the United States most anglers used it as a deep water technique; fishing directly under the boat for lethargic or suspended fish, especially out west where tournament anglers won a lot of money catching tough winter bass in depths of up to 100 feet! Since then more and more people have used the dropshot the same way they would use any other finesse worm technique like split shotting or darter heading; cast it up on the bank and shake it back to the boat, working through structure and along ambush points. The hooks and weights used for dropshotting have become more sophisticated in the last few years and every major rod manufacturer has designed tapers specifically for the technique.

If you can fish a plastic worm, you can dropshot. Buy a pack of dropshot hooks from your favorite manufacturer and some dropshot weights and you're in business, you just have to know the Palomar Knot to rig it correctly. (See attached diagram) Or, you can buy dropshot rigs pre-tied from Gamakatsu, just tie a small barrel swivel to you line and tie on the Gamakatsu rig. Our best selling hooks are size #1 and #2, but sizes range from 2/0 down to #6. Weights range from 1/8 up to 1/2 ounce, but the best selling weights are 3/16 and 1/4 ounce. Line is also a special consideration. This is a light line technique and 4-10 pound test is usually the range with most anglers using 6-8 pound. Fluorocarbon line has also gained in popularity with dropshot anglers and some people use fluorocarbon up to 12 pound test. Most anglers throw the rig on a light spinning rod but baitcasting outfits are being used more frequently, especially in Southern California where dropshotting is a part of just about every bass fisherman's game plan. If line twist becomes a factor after a long day of dropshotting, try tying a small barrel swivel 18 inches or so above the hook.

The baits used for dropshotting are as varied as our imagination can make them, but most anglers choose a 3-5 inch straight tail or curl tail worm or one of the new dropshot minnows. Zoom makes a Tiny Brush Hog for dropshotting and many people opt for one of the Slim Senkos, but the key is to make sure there is plenty of action when you shake it. Generally the bait is 'nose hooked;' the tip of the worm is impaled on the hook and pushed down onto the bend which leaves an open hook, so often the bass hooks itself when they bite. Sometimes wacky rigging is effective, especially with the Senkos. If you're fishing in an area where there is wood on the bottom, try a #1, #2, or #4 wide gap hook and 'Texas-rig' the worm to avoid sticking the hook into the brush. When you are not using an open hook you should opt for slightly heavier line since you have to set the hook with some authority to push the point through the worm and into the fish's jaw.

The length of the 'leader,' or the line that extends below the hook that the weight is attached to, is also important. When fishing rock or mud banks, anywhere from 6 to 18 inches of leader is appropriate, depending on what the fish are doing; suspending or relating to the bottom, eating shad or crawdads. If you are fishing in a lake with lots of grass and weeds or other bottom clutter, make the leader long enough so the worm is above the weeds so the bass can see it. Chances are most bass have not seen a juicy-looking Green Weenie dancing along above the weeds and it will be irresistible!

Now that you are rigged up and have chosen the perfect worm, it's time to go fishing! Cast the rig anywhere you want to fish some bass-holding structure and let the weight make contact with the bottom. If you fish light worms or jigs, you know the 'feel' of the bottom. If you are not so familiar with those techniques, drop your rod tip from time to time and make sure there is slack in your line, which indicates the weight is resting on the bottom. If the line stays straight it means the weight is still dropping and you should let out enough line to reach bottom. Gently shake the worm and make it dance a few inches off the bottom while the weight stays on the bottom, and you'll get bit.

Dropshotting is also very effective on deep, suspended fish. If you've located a school of bass suspended on deep structure, position the boat over or near them and drop the bait right on top of them. Shake the worm keeping the weight on the bottom with some long pauses and work the area carefully, especially in the cold months and your patience may be rewarded with a livewell full of quality bass no one else can catch. This is the time that a long leader may be in order, try to make it long enough to put the worm at the level the fish are holding; 3, 4, 5, feet or more is sometimes necessary.

Often the take is virtually undetectable and you may just notice a little more weight on the line. In that case set the hook. In this game, swings don't count against you. Many experienced dropshotters will occasionally lift the rig a few feet just to see if there's a fish on the hook that they didn't feel. Work the bait through the area you think the fish are holding, crank up and repeat. One of the benefits of using the dropshot weights is that if they get hung up and you can't shake them loose, when you pull hard the clip will cut the line and all you need to do is clip on another weight and you're instantly back in the water.

Many anglers prefer the 'reel set' to set the hook rather than the traditional 'rip lips' hookset. The sharp, light wire dropshot hooks will penetrate easily with light pressure and you risk breaking the light line on a heavy fish with a hookset that is too hard. A 'reel set' just means you reel in line as you lift the rod, all in one motion creating a steadily increasing pressure on the point of the hook instead of quick, sharp, line snapping jerks. Now is the time you hope you've invested in good equipment and that it is well maintained. A heavy bass will put up a pretty good fight on the light rig and you'll want the hook to be sharp and rust free and the drag on your reel to pull smoothly and not start up with a jerk. You'll also want your rod to be strong enough to move the fish away from line busting cover, but soft enough to protect the light line from a sudden run, especially at the boat. If all these components are perfect and you can keep your adrenaline under control, you'll be amazed at the quality of fish you can catch on this exciting light line technique.

There are variations on this technique all over the country. One interesting technique is using the dropshot rig in flipping situations when the bass are not relating to the b bottom but suspended in brush or grass. Of course, this variation requires heavier line and bigger hooks, but a bug fat Brush Hog or Sweet Beaver swimming merrily along 2 or 3 feet off the bottom and not just quickly falling past a bass' nose, can sometimes really be a way to get some quality bites.



Bass Fishing Line Selection and Tips!
7:03 PM | Author: Tech Tactical






How often are you fishing a lure and know that you are not throwing it on the right pound test? Too often probably if you are like me, and simply don’t want to strip all of that line off to replace it with smaller or larger line. If you know the line size is not ideal and you fish it anyway your conscious is at war because it knows that optimum utility is not taking place. Each bait has a line size that allows it to perform with the perfect action, whatever that line diameter is for each bait is what you want every time you fish a different bait.

Before I explain how to choose the correct line size for lures remember that you are looking for long term results by amassing a whole lot of “little things” that characterize your style. No one thing that you do or learn or change is going to make you an ultimate fisherman, but by learning one “little thing” at a time and putting them all together you will become an ultimate fisherman. A little bait needs little line to be fished properly. Small crankbaits perform best when fished on tiny line because the line does not hinder the lures action. Line creates resistance in the water like friction, the bigger the line the more resistance it has. A small bait cannot compensate for the resistance and looses action because of it.

A Model 3A Bomber for example can be fished on 17# test and will dive to about 4 or 5 feet and have moderate vibration. On 12# test the same bait will dive about 6-8 feet and have considerably more action. On 8# test the bait will give you everything it has to offer. Depths of 10 feet or more and more action than with any other pound test. The more action a bait has the more noise a bait makes. Noise because of the rattles and also because of the vibration. OK so baits perform better with lighter line but what about cover? Well this is where your common sense comes in. If you are fishing shallow timber flats with stumps everywhere you may not feel comfortable with small line. Beef up in this situation then or you can use the small line and accept the fact that you could loose some fish if one wraps you up.

You have to weigh the risks. If you think that you will get more bites with lighter line because the bait performs best with small line then fish small line and take the risk of loosing fish in the cover. Remember, you have to get the bites before you break any off. Sometimes line selection is the difference between getting bites and not getting bites, especially in high pressured areas. Reaction baits don’t need light line to be effective. Vertically presented baits like jigs and crawworms need big line. The object is to drop the bait straight down onto a bass. Heavy line is not going to have much of an effect on the action of a jig falling straight down. Also the fish can only see the bait if the lure is being dropped right onto it and the fish won’t even see the line.

Of course heavy line is need here because of the close range hookset and the heavy cover this style is used in. Here are some matches that I live by in my tactics. shallow divers 1-3 feet - 8-10# medium divers 3-12 feet - 10# deep divers 12 feet+ - 12#, ultra deep depths can be achieved by using 8# or 10# on big crankbaits spinner baits 1/4 oz - 12# 3/8 and 1/2 oz - 14#-17# 3/4 and 1oz - 17# and up rogues 10# and 12# jigs around heavy timber 20#-25# hydrilla 25# small jigs (1/4oz) 12# - 17# topwaters 12#, around hydrilla 20# carolina rig 17# I hope this helps you in choosing the right line and catch more fish.

Other Great Articles on Bass Fishing Line Selection and Tips:
BassDozer
BassBazzOutdoors
BassEdge
TackleTour
TheBasstard Review

The Silent but Deadly Spinnerbait!
8:46 AM | Author: Tech Tactical

Spinnerbait Basics

If your new to the sport of bass fishing and you asked 50 accomplished anglers what their choice of bait they would have on their arsenal of lures , you would get varying answers, but I would guess that at least 60% would choose a spinnerbait, with myself being among those that chose this bait, a lure that some Pro's have so appropriately nicknamed, the "wheel".

A spinnerbait is undoubtly the easiest of all bass fishing lures for a beginner to fish and produces numerous limits of bass for anglers in tournaments across the nation. The innovation of thespinnerbait has progressed into some spinnerbaits that even have gone as far as to using adjustable weights with high tech titanium wires for greater strengthand increased feel of the blades vibration.

If you were to query the vast amount information offered to anglers nowadays on the internet searching for seasonal type lures to use for bass fishing, spinnerbaits will generally fall into the top two or three for most seasons. This statement holds more true especially in the spring and fall seasons.

With crankbaits and jigs being in that list as well, but that is mostly user preference.
The blades used have progressed as well from their original designs from blades that had to be changed often from oxidation resulting in rusting to now available stainless super high gloss gold plated blades with 3D eyes attached to immitate a more natural looking baitfish as it swims through the water.


Bass are very aggressive feeders and easily chase down and catch most of their favorite foods, with baitfish being one of their favorites. I've heard the statement many times that an angler claimed he was reeling too fast but let tell you, any bass can catch your lure anytime it wants. It was probably more that the bass just wanted a slightly different look or small variation in color at that particular time. They are also territorial and at times strike anything that ventures into their domain. If it moves and they can get it into their large mouth, bass will attempt to eat it.

One angler I fish with fishes a spinnerbait with the ideals that you can not reel to fast and always fishes them on top of the waters surface with a 6:3 to 1:00 ratio reel and turns the reel handle as fast as he can . I will have to admit, I can count on one hand the number of times I have matched his catch ratio when fishing against him using only spinnerbaits.

If you stop to consider the hundreds of lures out on the market today a spinnerbait is one of the most versitile baits offered to anglers . It can be swam through the water like most anglers do and used as a jig or even used as a topwater bait when fish are in a feeding frenzy. One of my personal tricks I use when fishing open waters with a clean smooth bottom is to attach a piece of foam or cork to a light (1/4 oz. or less) spinnerbait and attach it behind a carolina rig. The strikes you get with this rig set-up can almost pull the rod from your hands if not ready when a bass hits your lure. A slight twitch of the rod tip will make the blades vibrate to entice a strike from bass.

What I do is shave the lead away from the head to where it feels almost bouyant with a piece of cork or foam attached and attach it to the leader as I would any other bait. Now, you do have to fish it a bit faster than you normally would to keep from hanging up from the bait falling to the bottom when stopped. This presentation offer bass a totally different look that they probably haven't seen before. I have had a few days when every bass I caught on this rig set-up was over five pounds. It also lets you fish heavily pressured fish that will pull off of structure from various conditions.

Whether you are fishing deep, or just below the surface. Whether you are working weeds, grass, brush, standing timber, stumps, rock piles, boat docks, rip-rap or any other particular type of cover or structure, a spinnerbait is tough to beat. It works in the spring , summer , fall and winter and whether it is clear, muddy, cold or hot.

Now , that being said , every angler knows that there is no "magic" bait that will catch fish all the time, but the fact being that spinnerbaits have produced more full livewells than any other lure. For versatility, flexibility, and capability to be properly presented under every imaginable fishing condition and scenario, the spinnerbait shines above all other lures.

Spinnerbaits offer unlimited combinations of flash, vibration, color, and profiles. Additionally they are quiet, non-threatening baits which act naturally. Properly match the above characteristics to the existing conditions and bass find them quite irresistible.

A few a the basics of spinnerbait fishing that need discussing are the variations of blades offered. Undoubtedly the willow leaf blade is probably the most used because of it's flash . It is the best blade choice for fishing clear water or even stained water. It has the most appealing vibration and flash without spooking a fish. It can also be fished in heavy cover and fished as fast or slow as you want.

Single spinnerbaits (one blade) are the most common and versatile. They can be fished deep, shallow, and with a variety of retrieves (stop-and-go, straight, helicoptered, fluttered, Yo-Yo). Their clean design allows them to be fished in cover with minimum snags or hang-ups. They also produce more vibration than tandem blades (two blades). One drawback to single blades is their tendency to roll to the side when retrieved at a high speed.

Tandem spinnerbaits offer more flash and lift than do single spins. They are excellent choices when a lot of flash or more lift is desired. More importantly they can be worked at higher speeds through shallow cover when the bass are in an active mood and cruising. Tandems are the perfect choice for "buzzing" or "burning" your bait just under the surface to create a bulge or wake. When the bass are active and shallow, tandem blades are hard to beat. On the other hand, they are not a good choice for deep water, slow rolling, or vertical drop presentations.

Remember to stop and think that just like yourself, a bass' metabolism slows down in cold water so when fishing in cold water conditions, generally a slower presentation will work best, no matter the depth you are fishing. When fishing in cold water conditions I will tie on a colorado leaf blade spinnerbait because it produces more vibration and noise than a willow leaf blade. And with rattles attached , a colorado style blade will make rattles louder.

Last but not least is the Indiana Blade type. It is a mix of the willow leaf and colorado leafed blades. They are my choice when fishing warm stained or warm muddy water when the bass are active.

There is also another type of spinnerbait not often mentioned but just as versatile and effective as all the above mentioned and that is the Inline type spinnerbait, but I will discuss them at at later date. When choosing blade sizes you must consider what will happen when a particular sized blade will do to the operation and effectiveness of the spinnerbait. A blade too small and generally won't produce enough vibration. ( although this can work in certain situations when fishing heavily pressured fish to mimic smaller baitfish and not alarm bass in their homes).

I prefer to start with smaller blades in the spring (#2 or #3) and move to larger blades as the season progresses. If the bass are feeding on shad I try to match my blade size to the size of their body. As with all baits, don't be afraid to experiment until the bass tell you what they want. Different conditions call for different sizes, colors, and presentations. One combination I use on large heavily pressured lake near me in the hot weather conditions is 3/4 oz. spinnerbait with a single number 13 Indiana blade attached, I fish it similar to how I fish a jig or other large bait around very heavy cover and in brush piles. By the way, I always use a trailer and trailer hook but I will discuss that later as well.


BLADE COLOR: Blade finishes can be painted, flat metallic, or hammered. Silver, gold, and copper are the most common colors. However, don't overlook the whole new family of painted blades which has invaded the market. Water clarity and light conditions dictate my blade color choice. In clear water I prefer silver. On tandem spins I often use a silver/gold combination. Blades with the new metalflake finishes are also big favorites. Even though they don't emit the same amount of brilliance metallic blades do; they produce a lot of flash which is broken up into numerous tiny flashes - just like a school of baitfish flitting through the water. Try them, they work!

SKIRT COLOR: Once again there are more colors available than you can imagine. As you may have guessed, water clarity, light conditions, and available forage dictate my choice. When the water is clear I prefer skirts in a clear silverflake, clear green, or clear pepper color. I also like to add a few strands of red, blue, or gold to the above. Solid white is also a good choice. In stained water chartreuse and white or chartreuse and blue are solid picks. Muddy water calls for pure chartreuse or a firetiger pattern. Of course, at night or on dark, heavily overcast days colors like black or purple work well.

TRAILERS: I believe in them and I use them. Why? They add color, wiggle and provide bulk. Under most conditions white or pearl-white are my favorite. Chartreuse adds often needed visibility. A good rule of thumb for trailer colors is to complement your skirt color. Try to avoid dramatically contrasting skirt/trailer combinations.

News Via - Bass fishing tips

Another Great article on Spinnerbaits at Indiana Game and Fish

Bass fishing Lure Color Selection Science!
7:48 AM | Author: Tech Tactical

Chrome

Perhaps the most deceptive lure when viewed in the air is a lure with a chrome finish. When viewed in the boat this lure is reflecting all the light shining on it. And in the boat all shades of light shine on it and it appears white/silver/blue and extremely bright. When viewed from the boat a chrome lure running underwater is reflecting back the sky and appears blue. But when viewed from underneath, it is reflecting back the bottom and has a distinctly different appearance. But its sides are also reflecting at angles some of the sun's rays so it will still tend to sparkle off and on as it moves through the water. And when running through vegetation, the primary color of the lure will be green, but it will be constantly changing colors as the water and objects around it change colors.

Believe it or not, a mirrored lure becomes a camouflaged lure as it runs through cover and structure. In case you haven't noticed it, mirrored lures are often quite effective.

Metal flake and translucent soft-plastic lures.

Will Rogers once said, "It is amazing what you can see if you observe." Here is an observable phenomenon, most of the prey that bass eat are camouflaged.

Why is this? Because camouflaged creatures tend to survive and propagate, while non-camouflaged creatures are quickly eaten up. Because of this phenomena natural selection will cause all the crayfish to be colored the same as the bottom. And translucent soft-plastic lures are constantly changing colors underwater as the color of the light changes that is shining through them. We view this as a very logical explanation of why translucent lures seem to work so well in clear to slightly dingy water. But as the water becomes more and more clouded there is insufficient light to shine through a translucent lure and they start losing their effectiveness (they are too camouflaged!). In dingy and muddy water opaque soft-plastic lures create a distinct silhouette and tend to work better than translucent lures.

Metal flake adds yet another dimension to the appearance of soft-plastic lures. Metal flakes consist of tiny pieces of opaque plastic, some of which have a shiny finish and some do not.
These tiny pieces of plastic are embedded in the plastic at all different angles. As the lure moves in the water the various shiny metal flakes flash momentarily as they reflect light. And if there is more than one color, there will be more than one shade of light that flashes.

This enhances the perception that the lure is a living creature. In sunlight these momentary flashes call attention to the lure and helps the bass see it. When there is no direct sunlight there is no flash and black (pepper) metal flakes tend to work best because they cause the lure to have a more natural "mottled" look.

Fluorescent colors

Before discussing fluorescent lures, we need to discuss fluorescence. Fluorescence is a physical phenomenon whereby a material absorbs one wavelength of light and retransmits another wavelength of light. With fishing lures the color absorbed is ultraviolet and the color emitted is usually orange or chartreuse. This is quite interesting because ultraviolet light penetrates water better than the visible colors.

Therefore fluorescent colors will be brighter at greater depths than will natural colors. And they will tend to stand out much more vividly in clear water. Fluorescent die added to the tail of a soft-plastic lure is extremely effective. And please don't pooh-hoo fluorescent colored crankbaits. For fish can see them much better than normal colored crankbaits.

Using this information in lure selection

Several lure selection rules seem to logically follow from this discussion.

When fishing in shallow and clear water use lure colors that closely mimic the forage of the bass, for the bass are going to see the lure extremely well and in vivid colors.
Alternatively, when fishing in clear water use vivid colors that may cause a reaction strike or tweak a bass's curiosity. White, bubble gum, yellow, pink and merthiolate are colors that are often used to induce reactive strikes.

(I personally fish a merthiolate-colored or Pearl white floating worm a lot.)
Use shades of yellows, greens and olive when fishing in greenish, dingy water.
When fishing soft plastic, use translucent baits in clear water and opaque baits in dingy or muddy water.

When fishing with soft plastics, use brightly colored and reflective metal flake on sunshiny days and use pepper-flaked baits on cloudy days and in low light conditions.
When fishing at night or in deep turbid water, color is of little importance so you might as well use dark (black is best) lures and create the best possible silhouette.

A scientist who has researched the colors fish see is Dr. Loren Hill, Dr. Hill is a biologist. He spent many hours studying fish eyes under a microscope and hundreds of hours experimenting with fish vision in water. Some of his findings are quite interesting. For example, when a human can see less than six-inches in muddy water, a bass can see three to six feet.

In stained water that restricts human vision to less than four feet, a bass can see about sixteen feet. And in clear water a bass is capable of seeing objects 45 feet away.

While Dr. Hill was studying what and how bass see he collected voluminous amounts of data. In particular, he kept meticulous records of the colors bass see under varying light and water conditions. To his surprise there was not a close fit between the physics of light/water interactions and how bass see and respond to colors. His primary meter for making color measurements was a spectrometer. This is a device that separates the colors in the light spectrum and measures the strengths of each wavelength. He kept relating his spectral data with bass reactions. And finally he had enough data to predict which colors bass would see best under a variety of water conditions.

News Via - Bass Fishing Tips


2009 Daiwa Baitcaster Lineup!
5:44 PM | Author: Tech Tactical

Not only the lightest reels of their kind, they’re also the fastest, featuring a blazing 7.1:1 gear ratio which recovers a whopping 29.8 inches of line with each turn of the handle. Yes folks, that is about as light and fast as a bass reel gets. The 5.6 oz Steez 103SHA holds just a bit less line and weighs 1/10th oz less than the 5.7 oz 100SHA model. Otherwise, advanced features and functionality in all regards are impressively identical on the Steez 103SHA and 100SHA. MSRP $479.95.

Daiwa's commemorative 50th anniversary model is the fastest bass reel ever made.

To commemorate the Daiwa company’s 50th anniversary, Daiwa is offering a Special Edition Hyper-Speed TD Zillion reel with 7.3:1 retrieve – the world’s fastest low-profile baitcaster. Capable of cranking in an amazing 32 inches of line with a single turn of the handle. These unique gleaming red reels – each engraved and serial numbered – have an MSRP of $299.95.

Daiwa has also introduced a new TD Zillion baitcaster model TDZLN100PA with a low 4.9:1 ratio for crankbaits. Nicknamed the 'crazy cranker.' it takes in 22 inches per turn. "If you're planning to fish a lot of crankbaits, particularly the deep-diving kind, then a low-ratio reel like this is important.," advises Yamane. MSRP of $269.95.


As with all new Daiwa reels mentioned above, the Megaforce Plus 100TSH has a swept-in handle bar, which moves the grip paddles closer to the centerline of the rod for less wobble, a better feel and maximum winding leverage. This is a great Daiwa reel feature, and many other of the high-end features found on higher-priced Daiwa reels are also features on the new Megaforce Plus 100TSH which has 11 ball bearings and a 7.1:1 ultra high speed retrieve.

What the Megaforce Plus also has is Daiwa's Twitchin’ Bar. "This neat feature has proven very popular for Daiwa," says Bryan. What it is, it's a little level that takes in up to seven inches of slack line or imparts a subtle twitching action to a jig or worm or whatever bait you're using - with a simple push of the thumb. Best of all, the Twitchin' bar is a lot of fun to use, convenient, and it works! All this at an affordable MSRP of $99.95.

Daiwa Corporation

News Via - BassDozer

Secrets of The Lipless Crankbait-Rattle Trap!
8:04 PM | Author: Tech Tactical

One of the best benefits with fishing the lipless crankbait is the ability to cover water and find fish. Once you find the fish you may end up actually catching them on another bait but there are few lures which can truly cover all different types of water and depths to consistently find and catch bass. The rattle trap is always tied on one of my rods especially if fishing a new lake or if I have not been on the water for some time.

I like to use a medium action rod about 6′ to 6 1/2′ long. There has been a lot of discussion on the reel gear ratio and line pick up when fishing a lipless crankbait. The general consensus seems to be “use a high retrieve reel” when fishing a rattletrap. I completely disagree. I prefer a basic gear retrieve of under 6:1, you’ll see why in a moment. Line size really depends on where you are fishing. If you are fishing around cover and the possibility exists that a big fish can get into it, use a heavy line. If in clear open water downsize your line. Use your best judgement. Unlike other crankbaits you have much more control of the depth a lipless crankbait runs without worrying about line size. I usually use 10 to 14 lb test which seems to cover about any situation I encounter.

Color

When I started fishing a rattle trap there were a handful of basic colors to choose from so it was pretty easy to figure out. My basic color was chrome with a blue or black back. These combinations seemed to imitate most bait fish pretty well and are still my favorite colors. There are now more colors out there than we could ever choose from. Keep it basic see what kind of bait fish your lake holds and try to match as close as possible. Again the chrome with a blue, black or green back will work in most situations. Mixing it up within reason never hurts. I will say that in low light or muddy water conditions I will use a darker color bait. I have had success with “Smokey Joe”, Chartreuse and even red, yes red in certain conditions. Keep it simple, play around with a few colors and see what works best for you.

Back to the retrieve and reel gear ratio. For general fishing with a rattletrap I prefer a common medium retrieve reel. One of the main ways to find fish is covering a lot of water and varying the depth of the waters you are fishing. When using a basic medium retrieve reel you are able to adjust the depth of the bait with your retrieve. If you are fishing shallow, speed up the retrieve if fishing deep slow down the retrieve. If you want more depth let the bait sink 1 foot per second then start your retrieve. The objective right now is finding fish.

Now for the real secrets of fishing a Lipless Crankbait:

If you watch any of your friends fish with a lipless crank bait you will notice they cast the lure, reel it in and their done. At times this may be work; however if you want to catch more fish on a lipless crankbait follow these tips and you will be an expert in no time.

Fishing Schooling Bass

One of the best advantages of fishing a rattle trap is the ability to catch schooling fish. Again match the color with the bait fish. I typically use a 1/2 oz rattle trap for this situation. The 1/2 oz gives me the ability to cast a longer distance in the event the school moves or another school starts crashing bait further away. The majority of schooling fish you see on top feeding are smaller more aggressive bass. The larger fish are typically deeper waiting for the injured prey to feed on. With this in mind after you have caught a few of the smaller fish on top its time to catch the bigger fish under the main school. Make your typical cast but slow your retrieve. Very slow if the depth allows. Once you bait gets into the school vary your retrieve. Keep a slow steady retrieve then pull your rod to speed up your bait just a bit then stop, let your bait drop for a brief second then start a slow retrieve again. Keep varying your retrieve while keeping your bait deeper, beneath the smaller schoolies. Try different retrieves, the main thing to remember is your are trying to trigger a reflex strike from a deeper fish looking for injured prey. Once you have caught several bass from a school they will start to notice something is not quite right about the fact that every time one of their buddies eats your bait they disappear. It’s time to change your bait. Most fisherman will change the size or color of the crank bait. I prefer to completely change the manufacturer of the bait. All rattle traps have basically the same sound. If you change to a different manufacturer such as a” Cotton Cordel” or “Strike King” you have actually changed the sound of the bait which is much more successful then simply changing the color or size.

Fishing over Grass

Another huge benefit of fishing a lipless crankbait is fishing the bait over submerged grass. Fish the bait as close to the top of the submerged grass as possible. The best way to trigger a strike is to actually “tick” the top of the grass with your bait. While this can get frustrating and take some practice it will generate strikes. Once your bait touches the grass its time to “rip” the bait out of the grass. Again continue varying retrieves until you find what works best. Remember what works today may not work tomorrow.

Fishing Deep

The rattle trap has the ability of catching bass in almost all depths of water. I have found the best way to fish deeper is to fish the bait on almost slack line. This is the tricky part. As I mentioned earlier most people will simply cast the bait out and reel it in with a “tight” line and high speed reel. I have had much more success fishing the bait slower with a slack line. What I do is keep the rod tip at about 12:00 and actually retrieve the bait with a slight “bow” in my line. I’m not sure why but it just works. I will continue to vary my retrieve while still keeping the bait down deeper with a slower retrieve. You will catch larger fish.

The rattle trap or lipless crank bait is truly one of the most versatile lures in your tackle box. Whether your fishing the bait shallow, deep, around cover or in the middle of the lake in a school of bass it simply catches and finds fish. Remember the main point is to imitate injured bait fish. Have confidence in the bait, vary your retrieve and you’ll be guaranteed to catch more bass.

News Via - Bass Fishing Resource

5 pound bass everyone says they're catching!
6:08 PM | Author: Tech Tactical

By Brian Waldman

All fishermen are liars, except for you and me, and I'm not so sure about you (LOL). That is the quote on a small cedar plaque I have had for nearly 30 years. And while 'liars' is kind of a strong term, there is certainly this widely believed perception about anglers that they love to stretch the truth just a bit. Typically this happens in the retelling of a story and usually either pertains to the number of fish caught (because no one likes to admit they caught only one or two fish - or worse..none) or especially the size of the fish caught. We're all guilty of this, I'm certain at one point or another in our angling lives.

Ask a serious bass fisherman what he caught and without hesitation, an "eyeballed" fish grows. Suddenly the world is filled with guys who catch 4, 5 and 6 pounders. I don't know what it is about the 5 pound mark, but suffice it to say that any bass close to that mark will at some point exceed it in a future retelling. This is especially true with tourney anglers. They're always catching limits in practice and they always manage a 5 pound bass or two along the way. As a tourney angler myself over the past 20 years, I can't even begin to imagine all the tourneys that were won before they even started based on the practice reports (LOL). Everybody is killing them except you! But as I always like to say, the scales don't lie and the truth always comes out at weigh-in time.

Fortunately, many states have adopted a tournament reporting feature into their fishery departments. This is seen as a low cost way to capture lots of data on the general trends in bass populations in these states. Overall the data is fairly reliable, especially over time or as number of reports increase.

I'm not sure which state actually started the reporting trend, but many have caught on and they all seem to use a very similar and standardized format. You can view the most recent reports (2005) for Kansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Mississippi with a simple Google search online. Many of these reports go back nearly 20 years for a given state and show some interesting trends. Of course, the part I am most interested in is the statistics concerning 5 pound bass.

I'll save you the gore of searching for and looking over all the numbers, but I have compiled all the data I could from these state reports concerning the hours to catch a 5 pound bass. One of the surprising things that came out of looking at all that data was how similar the time frames and numbers were from state to state. So after compiling reports from 6 states totaling over 18,000 tournaments and comprised of over 4 million angler-hours on the water, the average time it takes to catch a 5 pound bass works out to be 495.9 hours per fish. If you look at just the best lake in any given state for a year that has at least 5 reports for itself, and average these across states and years (again, striking similarity between states) you arrive at a best average of 165.5 angler-hours to catch a 5 pound bass.

Keeping in mind that all this data is compiled by bass tournament anglers and organizations, the target group most likely to have the best catch results for bass as compared to non-tournament or casual anglers, and you begin to realize that all those 5 pound bass everyone says they're catching probably isn't quite the truth.

So you now have the basis for comparison sake in your fishing adventures. Your best bet to crack that 5 pound barrier is to fish lightly pressured or private waters, intimately learn a particular public body of water, or focus on primarily "big bass" tactics and baits.

News Via - Big Indiana Bass

FLW Fantasy Fishing Gives Away 1 Million!
5:32 PM | Author: Tech Tactical

How to play FLW Outdoors Fantasy Fishing

1) Sign up for your free account
Sign up now for your free account on FantasyFishing.com and you're halfway home to winning some of the greatest prizes ever offered in fantasy sports.
With $10 million cash on the line, you surely don't want to go it alone. The Player's Advantage is the easiest way to gain the edge on the competition. It has all the stats, maps, expert analysis and tournament breakdowns to help you make the best picks possible.
3) Create and edit your team
Analyze the tournament roster and select and rank 10 anglers to fill out your team. Points are based on where anglers finish in each tournament.
4) Create or join a league
Join friends and family in a league all your own. Post league stories and images, talk smack on your league message board, and see who's the smartest fishing fanatic among the group. It's always more fun when you beat friends and family.


Prizes Listed Here and a chance to win 1,000,000 Million Dollars!

You will be required to field a 10 angler team for the 7 tournament FLW Tour schedule. There are 8 opportunities to win prizes, because in addition to the 7 tournaments they give away some awesome prizes for the top 43 fantasy players at the end of the season.

Do you have to know anything about FLW Professional Bass Fisherman to have a shot at a prize? While knowledge of the anglers certainly helps, many of the winners last year knew next to nothing about FLW Professional Bass Fishermen. I think you can elect to have a 10 angler roster picked for you but I think it is more fun if you do it yourself. For $10 you can sign up for a service called Players Advantage that makes picking a team much easier. I use Players Advantage and recommend it because the prizes you can win are so significant.

The 1st tournament of the year is Feb. 12th at Lake Guntersville, so don’t delay and sign up now.

News Via - http://fishersofmenclub.org/home/

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Early Spring prespawn 53 degree water Bass Video!
9:05 PM | Author: Tech Tactical