A Look at Five Techniques You Should Use in 2018
As we slowly inch closer to spring, bass anglers all across the state are dealing with cabin fever and are counting down the days to their first fishing trip of 2018. As you prepare your gear and look ahead to your fishing trips keep these five bass fishing techniques in mind as they are great ways for you to put more bass in your boat this season!
Flipping Texas-Rig Plastics – Not only does this technique allow an angler to slow down and catch sluggish bass, but it is a rush when you are flipping your bait, feel a tick and rear back on the rod and feel the tug of a big bass. From spring to fall, flipping a Texas-rigged soft plastic bait is a great way to dissect fish holding cover.
A typical setup is a tungsten weight ranging from ¼ to ½ ounce, depending on the density of the cover and depth of water being fished. If you are flipping close to the boat into heavy cover, a straight shank flipping hook is the ideal choice, where as if you’re casting the Texas-rig to cover, an extra wide gap hook shines. For the baits themselves, there is a wide array of plastic bait options on the market, so when it comes to selecting a bait, an angler’s personal choice and confidence comes into play. The main thing to consider is the size and action of the bait. If the fish or density of the cover dictates the need for a bait that is compact, a bait with fewer appendages should be used.
Topwater Plugs – As soon as the water temperatures get above that 60 degree mark and bass are feeding, a topwater plug, such as a walk-the-dog style plug should always be rigged and ready to go. This topwater lure tempts bass with its subtle side-to-side action. As the year progresses and bass are feeding more actively, you can switch to a popper style plug.
Since you are using a bait here with treble hooks, using the proper line will aid in your ability to hook and land bass. For topwaters, some anglers like monofilament as this line floats so it will aid in the action of your bait. Mono also has stretch to it, so when a bass makes a surge to deep water, those hooks won’t pull out from the fish’s mouth. Other anglers like going with braid, or a braid to monofilament leader as you get the best of both worlds.
Topwater Frogs – Once the vegetation of the year has grown up to the water’s surface and has created a canopy for bass to hide under, throwing a floating hollowed bodied topwater frog is a great lure choice. Some areas that this technique shines is over and around lily pads or matted vegetation. Looking for key features in the vegetation is one way to help eliminate water and locate key stretches of frogging vegetation. Fishing in these conditions requires the use of a braided line, typically 60 pound test, which has no stretch and will cut through the vegetation, along with a heavy action rod that has a good backbone so you can haul bass out of the heavy cover and into the boat.
Swim Jigs – What makes swimming a jig so effective is that it is such a versatile lure and that you can fish it in so many ways. A ¼ ounce swim jig is the common size to use, but can be increased if you are targeting bass in a deeper water. Targeting bass along inside weedlines and around boat docks with a swim jig is a great way to cover water and locate an active pod of bass.
What makes a jig a swimming jig? Well the line tie needs to be at an angle that allows it to make its way through the vegetation without getting hung up. This coupled with a sharp hook and soft weed guard allows for easy hooks ups.
Crankbaits –Crankbaits give an angler the ability to target bass from under a foot of water to twenty plus feet of water. The first step to effective crankbaiting is figuring out what you want that crankbait to emulate, a bluegill, crawdad or a shad. Then determine the water depth you’ll be fishing and what cover is present. If you are fishing shallow cover, you’ll want a bait that will bump into the cover and not get hung up, such as square billed crankbait.
Come the summer months, many bass will be locked in on deep water structure and using your electronics will help you locate the key structure spots that you want to fish with your deep diving crankbait. Doing this will help you save time and put you in position to catch more bass.
As you search through and organize your tackle during the winter months, make sure you have these lures in your box and ready to go as they’ll be key lures to rely on this year.
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