Hoping to get a new order directly from manufacturing company.
Please let me know which lures you like!!!!!
Hoping to get a new order directly from manufacturing company.
Please let me know which lures you like!!!!!
This is the time of year when I get a very serious case of cabin fever. All I can think about is fishing for, and catching, bass.
When the water temperature is in the 30s and 40s, catching bass can present a unique challenge, but the bass will still bite during the winter time and nothing warms you up more quickly than a big bass on the line.
This finesse rig is effective on bass year around, but is especially effective on cold water bass. The shaky head consists of a small lead head hook with a small finesse worm attached to it. Fish it on rocky banks, slowly, with small bounces and shakes moving along the bottom.
When the bait is still, the worm will stand on end, with the tail moving with the current. To change it up a bit, you can put a baby brush hog or other small creature bait in place of the finesse worm.
Many times in the winter, bass will suspend over deeper water, relating to schools of baitfish. When this happens, a grub is a highly effective method to catch fish. Put a 3-5” grub on a lead head, cast it out and let it sink to the depth the fish are in and then slowly reel it back.
When I say slowly, I mean SLOWLY. Bass are very lethargic this time of year and looking for an easy meal, they aren’t going to chase a bait very far.
Fins n TalesSmall finesse jigs and hair jigs are best when bass are a little bit shallower on steep rocky banks. Hop them along the bottom, mimicking a crawfish or small blue gill. The hair jig is just like any other bass jig, except rather than a silicone or rubber skirt, it has hair on it.
It would be considered by most to be an “old- school” technique, but it is very effective for sluggish winter bass. Finesse jigs are slightly smaller than other bass jigs and usually have a “spider-style” skirt.
Bass BlasterThe storm wiggle wart is a staple for highland lakes in the late winter/ early spring. My highest tournament finish ever came on a storm wiggle wart when the water temperature was 38°-42° F.
This bait is great on steeper banks that have chunk rock or boulders. The only thing to be sure of is that you are bouncing the bait off of rocks.
Cliff Pace used a football jig to win the Bassmaster’s Classic in February of 2013. This bait is similar to the finesse jig, but is better for deeper water, as it is heavier and will sink faster to the bottom.
The football jig gets its name because the head of the jig is football-shaped. As with baits mentioned earlier, this bait is slowly hopped and crawled along rocky bottom areas, mimicking a crawfish.
The suspending jerk bait is likely the king of cold weather baits. It is a long slender bait that when retrieved at the correct depth will “suspend” in the water, rather than sinking to the bottom or floating to the top. The bait is great for suspending fish, although it does have a bit of a learning curve.
Cast it out and give it four to five cranks of your reel to get it down to the correct depth. After this, it is fished with a jerk and pause retrieve. Fish it slowly, some guys claim to twitch it and then stop and eat a sandwich before they twitch it again. Experiment with your retrieve until you figure out what the fish are liking on a given day.
Spinner Rigs work great catching largemouth bass. Walleye anglers will usually catch some largemouth bass while trolling spinner rigs for walleye. If you tip a spinner rig with a live nightcrawler or minnow, you can definitely catch some largemouth bass. Some anglers will tip these spinner rigs with curly tail worms, grubs or swimbaits. These presentations work well for largemouth bass even though most bass anglers do not even consider this a presentation for bass.
Dead sticking is a do-nothing technique where you don’t move your bait. Some anglers think of wacky worms as a dead sticking technique, but it really isn’t because the bait is moving through the water column as you are sitting there doing nothing. This is a technique that works very well with a variety of baits such as soft plastics, some hard baits and flies. When using topwater lures, give your lure a couple twitches and then just pause it for 20 to 30 seconds. This would be a dead sticking technique. Use a jig and soft plastic bait and just hold it over the side of the boat over deeper water for smallmouth bass. This is another dead sticking technique that works. When using topwater lures and hard jerkbaits, you can use a twitch and pause technique and pause the bait for much longer when the bite is finicky. This will usually result in some of the bigger bass of your day if you are patient enough to fish this way.
When using soft plastics, the worms, creature baits and lizards are best if they are loaded with scent or float just off the bottom. With largemouth bass, you can get a lot of quality bites by working your bait along a productive area and then just killing the bait (stopping it). Just wait there and see what happens. Most anglers don’t have the patience to fish this way, but once you get bit by a 4, 5, 6 or even 7 pound largemouth bass or bigger, you may try this technique a little more often.
The reason why dead sticking works well is that there are good amounts of bass that aren’t in an aggressive mood and if they get a chance to look at the bait for a while and it looks like something they would eat, there’s a good chance they will eat it. At times, anglers are pulling their baits out of the strike zone way too quickly so they miss a lot of fish. Dead sticking will pick up many of those inactive fish, but the problem is that you’re not going to cover much water, which may result in less fish overall on the day. Pick your spots and times for dead sticking and it can be a nice way to catch a few more big largemouth bass.
Fishing with topwater lures is by far the most exciting way to fish for largemouth bass.
Whether you target bass with a frog, torpedo, buzzbait or any other type of topwater lure, the strikes above the surface are just flat out awesome. At times you can catch some largemouth with a topwater lure during cold water conditions, but for the most part, you’re going to be looking for water temperatures above 60 degress and the better bite is almost always during light conditions when fishing with topwater lures. In the late spring, summer and early fall, there is usually a very good topwater bite at night as well on most bodies of water.
Low Light Conditions are Best
There are exceptions, but for the most part, the better topwater bite is almost always during low light conditions. Early morning, evening and the night time are best.
Twitch, Twitch, Pause
If you want to consistently catch largemouth bass with a topwater lure, learn how to twitch the bait a couple of times and then pause the bait. This technique is by far the best technique for consistently catching bass on the surface.
Frogs are Awesome
It’s tough to beat a frog. Learn how to fish with them and you’ll catch a ton of bass.
Different Types of Topwater Lures
Buzzbaits are one of the most exciting topwater lures to use because the explosions can be absolutely incredible. This is a lure that attracts aggressive bass and it works very well during the early morning and evening hours. I like white or chartreuse.
Chuggers – Poppers are very popular among topwater bass anglers. These lures can be retrieved with a quick twitch and stop motion when bass are aggressive. When bass are less aggressive, a stop and go retrieve with longer pauses will get plenty of bites.
Topwater Crawlers can be very productive during daytime hours, but this is one of the best topwater lures for night fishing. Bass can easily follow this lure’s slow and steady retrieve at night. Don’t be surprised if you get some hits right next to shore or the boat.
Propbaits are some of the most exciting topwater lures for bass fishing. You can use a steady wind-in retrieve or a twitch and pause technique. The twitch and pause technique tends to work much better as most bass will hit the lure on the pause.
Topwater Stickbaits provide an exciting walk-the-dog motion along the top of the water. This retrieve mixed in with a pause will draw aggressive bass from far to see what is causing all of the commotion. Bass will attack stickbaits very aggressively. I love silver and black.
Frogs work great for fishing over lily pads or a variety of different weeds. The morning and evenings are great times to fish topwater frogs, but you can go into some heavy cover during the middle of the day and get some bass to come up for these lures.
Mice work great for fishing over lily pads or a variety of different weeds. The morning and evenings are great times to fish topwater mice, but you can go into some heavy cover during the middle of the day and get some bass to come up for these lures.
Shaky Head Jigs
Shaky head jigs are known as great rigs for shaking baits along the bottom, however, you can use this rig to replace the Texas rig or the Florida rig. It’s an unbelievable way to rig a variety of soft plastics.
The wacky rig is so popular. For most anglers, it is their number one rig for catching largemouth bass. You can rig it wacky style weightless, on a finesse jig or on a drop shot rig and they all work great.
Drop Shot Rig
The drop shot rig is not as popular as it should be among largemouth bass anglers. You can use this rig to fish around all types of cover, in shallow water and in deeper water. You can rig so many different soft plastics on this rig.
Florida Rig / Texas Rig
Most anglers think of the Texas rig as the go to rig for using soft plastics, but the Florida rig is actually better. The Florida rig is the same thing with one modification. The weight will actually screw into the bait, which keeps the bait and the weight connected together. However, there are some baits that look great with the bait not connected, so the Texas rig then would be better. You can always peg the weight with the Texas rig too to get the same result as the Florida rig.
They may not be legal everywhere or popular everywhere, but it’s hard to deny them. This rig is probably the best big fish, schooling bait for fishing in deeper water.
The Carolina rig is still one of those awesome rigs that just keeps catching bass. Use it in deeper water and you have a super effective rig. In shallow water, it’s not as good, but still can be productive depending how you want to use it.
The Neko rig is so unique. Many anglers still haven’t heard of it, but it’s an awesome rig. You have to take a look at how it looks under water to appreciate what this rig can do.
Under spins are great for covering water with curly tail grubs, swimming worms, curly tail worms or minnow baits. Retrieve them slow and steady and you’ll catch some bass.
The scrounger jighead is amazing and a lot of anglers still don’t know about it. This jighead turns many baits into amazing swimbaits and you can fish shallow water very effectively with them.
Have you ever noticed whether it be Club Tournaments, Divisional Tournaments, and even the Pro Tournaments, usually you will see a hand full of the same anglers consistently “In-The-Money” most of the time? Then while you’re driving home after fishing some of these tournaments without much success you ask yourself, “What are these anglers doing so different than me?”
There are many different reasons these anglers consistently “Cash-In” or “Place in the money”. I hope I can help you with some insight on what keeps these anglers successful when it comes to tournament fishing.
Bass Tournament fishing is a very competitive sport in a multi-billion dollar industry. More and more anglers every day are joining the ranks of the Tournament competitors. With all these new competitors joining the established ones, the competition seems to be getting tougher and tougher, making it harder to stay on top, or consistently be “In-The-Money”.
I have outlined several tactics you can use to give you the edge over a good portion of the participants. These can stack the cards in your favor when it comes to tournament preparation.
The better that an angler can understand his or her quarry the better or more successful he or she will be at catching it. The most important factors when bass fishing is understanding how a bass reacts to changing conditions and how they use their senses (taste, feel, sight, smell, etc.). There is much to learn about bass, especially when you have to consider water clarity and depth, water temperature and oxygen content, vegetation, seasons, daily conditions, barometric pressure changes, weather fronts, available forage, colors, structure and there’s more!
The first rule of thumb to ALWAYS keep in mind is that bass need three elements to survive:
Understanding these elements and relating them to some of the situations or conditions listed above should help prepare you for the “Pre-Fishing” period of a tournament. This is the start of putting a “Game-Plan” together.
This can be done by first obtaining a map of the waters you will be fishing. By understanding how to read a map and relate it to bass fishing you can just about “Pre-Fish” any body of water before launching the boat. Just by knowing where the structures are (channels, drops, humps, shallows, flats, depth, points, etc) and by understanding how bass relate to the seasons, daily conditions, and water temperatures, you should be able to eliminate large amounts of water. Understanding the long list of factors I outlined previously, you should be able to key on the areas where bass relate.
Another way to get familiarized with the water is to hire guides or charters. Depending on expenses I would recommend hiring at least two different guides or charters on any given body of water. That way you can take the best of the two days to help find areas and patterns. Being a licensed guide as well as a bass angling instructor, I need to let the truth be known that there are very poor and very good guides on just about every body of water that holds large-scale bass tournaments; buyer beware.
Another way to learn the lake is to “fly the water.” Go to a nearby municipal or county airport and find a pilot to fly you over the tournament waters. This doesn’t cost very much (normally), but you’d be amazed of what you can see from the air that you can’t see while sitting on the water.
Probably one of the best ways to learn the color and bait patterns of any given body of water would be to visit as many bait and tackle retailers in the area as possible. Peruse the shelves to see what baits and colors are the best sellers. If you visit several of these retailers you should be able to get a very good idea of what colors and baits to use, based on the average of all these different places combined.
One of the best ways I’ve found some great Honey Holes in the past is just by observing the locals. While you are on the water and see a boat sitting in one spot for a while, just move off in a distance and watch. Remember some of these locals have fished these waters all their life and are not sitting in areas just to eat lunch!
In the morning before you hit the water, try to find the local diner where most of the locals go eat breakfast. Many times I’ve found some great information just by eating at the same place at the same time, and by sitting as close as possible. Many anglers like to brag! Just by sitting and minding my own, you can’t help but over-hear these locals talking between themselves about the 10-pounder they caught off of Truman’s Point using a Spook and so on.
Putting a game plan together for a tournament and sticking to it can make or break most of the anglers in the field. The biggest problem many anglers have is not sticking to a game plan.
Several years ago, I had the great pleasure and company of Shaw Grisby Jr. and his Father (Pops) over at my home for dinner. That evening, I asked Shaw’s father (A truly great and knowledgeable man) why he thought most anglers can’t seem to stay consistent in tournaments, to which he replied, “They always leave the fish!”
To put another way, if you are in an area where there are fish, WHY LEAVE? Give a spot time. The biggest part of pre-fishing is locating fish right? So don’t just give a spot a few minutes then leave. I’ve sat on certain spots for a couple of hours without a bite, then all of a sudden they turn on and I’ve caught limits. I just had to wait them out.
When making your game plan, select an area where you won’t have to run miles and miles to secondary spots. Try to keep at least three or four alternate spots within a few minutes of each other.
As I mentioned before, being a Pro Bass Instructor, I’ve had several students in the past who attended my 3-day Bass Fishing School that just wanted to learn how to “Pre-Fish” a tournament. By teaching them a better understanding of bass behavior and showing them such things as how to put game plans together, different techniques and patterns, color selection, what proper equipment to use, and how to locate bass, these former students are now consistent money winners.
I hope that this article will help you in all your future tournaments and make you a more consistent angler. If you have any questions on any of the material I’ve covered, please don’t hesitate to contact me at the information below. Until next time!
Take Care & God Bless!
“The Bass Coach” Roger Lee Brown
Ten Tournament Tips What does it take to have a successful tournament? It’s more than fishing techniques or strategies. Find out inside.
Grow your fishing skills and improve your angling effectiveness
For many anglers, it doesn’t get much better than a day on the water in the fall. The leaves change colors, the deer and turkeys begin to move; and the crisp clean air wipes away all memories of the oppressive summer heat. Although fall weather conditions are ideal for fishing, the onset of autumn can sometimes be a little harder on the catching, as fall fish movements can be tough to track.
Falling water temperatures, turnover, and baitfish migrations can shatter reliable summer patterns and cause bass to scatter – a recipe for feast or famine fishing. Fortunately, though, when it comes to the tricky tracking of fall fish movements, a little knowledge goes a long way.
We chatted up some of the best minds in the sport and got the scoop on fall fish movements that will hopefully result in a lot more days feasting this fall.
To find bass in the fall, you only need to have one word in your brain; baitfish. By late summer, they have congregated in massive schools and become the dominant food source for bass in most reservoirs. Because there are more baitfish packed in to tighter areas, there is also a lot more dead water between them. In the fall, if you’re not seeing baitfish flipping on the surface or on your locator, you’re probably going to strike out. As the water temperature drops, the schools of bait move toward the backs of creeks. To find them, try idling secondary points, the last steep drops in creek arms, and bluff walls off the main lake. Once you mark some baitfish, start fishing. Fall fish movements are a top-down approach, as once you find those baitfish you should be right on some predators.
Once you’ve located the bait, the most effective way to catch bass is to use shad imitators like walk-the-dog topwaters, jerkbaits, swimbaits, and crankbaits. The good news – bass around bait are generally aggressive, so you just need to get something in their strike zone and make them react. Don’t be afraid to move your baits really quickly either – there is lots of surface feeding activity in the fall.
If it is a trophy bass you’re hoping to catch during the winter, it is important to learn weather patterns. Timing your fishing trips when there is a break in the cold temperatures can help. Fronts usually bring warm rain as the temperature is rising and the barometric pressure is changing and this can be one of the most productive times to fish. A warm front in conjunction with a barometric change will cause bass to feed as the bait will migrate to the warmest areas usually in the back of creeks, then they will move out to the mouth as the water cools back down following the front. One degree in water temperature can make a huge difference. Fishing with cold water lures like a jig and trailer on the shaded banks just might land that trophy you’re looking for.
During the winter months you may read a lot of articles about jigs and spinnerbaits and how to use them for cold water bass. Both lures do well as the jig and the spinnerbait are similar in design and use similar techniques when fishing them. The difference between the two is the spinner blade and the wire it’s attached to. However, The Punisher Head Spinner is a hybrid innovation between the two and features chip resistant paint job, a Sampo ball bearing swivel to enable the blade to spin easily at any retrieve speed. Backed with a sharp hook, the Head Spinner will hook and hold any bass that bites. The Head Spinner works well when fished over deep cover like brush piles, around standing cover like bridge pilings and standing timber, and along weed edges. You can use the Head Spinner with all of your favorite soft plastics or rig it with a skirt for a unique look. Use the Punisher Head Spinner with any single or double tail grub or the Super Fluke or Super Fluke Jr. as a trailer. In winter, as the water temperature falls into the middle to low 50’s, try pitching these innovative jigs to the wooden cover and work it the same way you would a jig. Allow it to fall while maintaining a tight line as it bounces off the limbs shimmering and fluttering on the way down. Watch for subtle line movement and be ready to set the hook.
In winter as the water temperatures continues to drop and the lake turns, bass feed aggressively. Sensing that winter is close, and their metabolism will slow down bass prepare by feeding heavily on the big baits when the water temperature is in the 50s. This can be a great time to throw a soft plastic swim-bait. Concentrate in the 4- to 10-foot range near docks and remaining grass and broken mats. Under blue skies, a few days into a cold front fish deeper with a weighted swim-bait on the bottom like fishing a jig. Concentrate like a rock-pile or drop off by slowly crawling and hopping the bait across the structure. Baits like these by FishHouse Lures can quickly entice a cold water bite in winter.
A soft plastic worm worked very slowly can be one of the most effective winter bass fishing techniques. By simply allowing the worm to lie motionless on targeted structure or “dead sticking” the worm and then “shaking” the rod tip occasionally can prevail. This technique will often trigger a strike. Using a bait injected with a quality bass attracting such as Attack Pak has with the Juiced Up X10 formula can be rewarding during the cold winter months.
Bass jigs with crawfish trailer worked slowly across bottom structure and cover like rocks and wood can be a good tactic in winter. Cast the jig and allow it to settle a moment before starting your retrieve. Bass often grab the bait from the bottom. However, many strikes occur as the jig is on the fall. Fish the jig slowly, avoiding the temptation to retrieve the jigs quickly. Twitch and hop the bait along slowly, enticing the bass to take the bait.
These are more angler approved and tested methods for a cold water bass bite. Although winter fishing is somewhat limited there are many techniques suited for bass fishing in the cold water