So you arrive at the lake and you have an idea of what kinds of bait to throw out but you are not entirely sure what colors to use. I’ve ran into that issue plenty of times when I first started. Here are some helpful tips to decide which colors to be pulling out.
The basic rule is to fish bright colored baits in dark murky conditions and natural colors in clear water. The reasoning here is that a bass’ visibility is not as clear and you need something that will stand out. On the other hand, when water is clear and the fish can get an good look at the bait, it’s best to go with softer, more natural colors. For instance, when water clarity is a foot or less, many anglers use spinnerbaits with chartreuse or yellow skirts or crankbaits with a orange belly, chartreuse sides, and dark green back.
In clear water, white or white/blue spinnerbaits are great to us, as are crankbaits in chrome and various natural colors (crawfish, shad, sunfish, etc.). The same principle applies with soft plastics. In murky water, darker colors and two-color worms with bright tails offer added visibility. Examples are black and/or blue baits with chartreuse, red or orange tails.But in clear water, lighter, more clear colors seem to work the best. Common colors here include pumpkin-seed, bitchin craw, green pumpkin and smoke. Also, bits of metal flake molded into these see-through worms provide extra flash and attraction to bass in clear waters. Definitely test and try other colors, but if you are unsure go by these rules and you will be successful in catching these bass. So if you take anything away from this just remember clear=natural and murky=dark colors with bright accents.
Lipless Crankbaits are something the new anglers often try and give up on. A lot of people will try them by fishing them the same way they would throw a mod-depth/squarebill. Fishing with these lipless cranks is more of a finesse technique than just a cast and crank technique. What makes them different is their action. All crankbaits offer some degree of “Wobble”, which in turn, changes the flash that the presentation gives off. Another point is that most other crankbaits float. Lipless crankbaits sink, and they usualyl sink quickly. The sinking aspect of this lure is the key part. Now as far as the technique goes, sure you can just fish it with a straight retrieve but the most productive way to present this lure is with a “Yo-Yo” technique. Simply cast and lift the rod tip up, dip it down, reel in the slack, repeat. When you raise your rod up, its pulling tension on the line and bringing the lure up in the water column. While the lure moves up, its going to shake (and often rattle). This is what will get the fish’s attention. They will approach it with interest and when the lure drops, the fish reacts. I personally like to twitch the rod a lot as I am raising it to give it a more erratic action. Also, don’t be afraid to let the lure hit the bottom or pull it through grass as this can also trigger a strike. You can fish lipless crankbaits and pretty much any speed. They can also be productive at any time of year.
Crankbaits…..let’s see… you have lipless, square-bill, deep-diving, and the list goes on. So when should you be throwing a certain type of crankbait? Well the first thing I like to look for is the terrain that I am fishing in. Here are some of the conditions I look for when I decide to throw them.
When the fish are coming up shallow you should throw lipless crankbaits out there. Which means typically spring or fall is when this technique will thrive. You will want to make sure that you are carrying around a red lipless because they will make the perfect craw imitation that the bass cannot control themselves during those times of the year, but obviously pay attention to what type of forage is at your lake and throw out those imitations as well. The lipless is a great choice to throw into grassy areas; just make sure you are just trickling the top of the grass. Don’t get discouraged if you feel the bait getting hung up, because when you twitch your bait of off the grass it will often trigger a bite from the fish lurking in the area. You can also throw them into deeper waters with more of a “yo-yoing” technique. This will help you catch some of the lethargic bass if they are not chasing during other times of the year.
Well one thing is obvious, you want to cast deep diving crankbaits when you are trying to reach deeper waters. However, that is not the only time you want to throw them out. Put yourself in a scenario where you are not casting too far, but the fish are at the bottom. You want to get to the bottom as fast as possible with a crankbait. This would be the perfect time to throw them. It hits the bottom quickly within little distance. They do not have same versatility as a lipless but can be very effective in certain situations.
Square billed cranks are best used in rocky areas. In other words, they do a great job deflecting off of objects underwater. They also have more of a sporadic action to them versus normal crankbaits. They look like a panicked fish and that will catch the basses attention and it will start chasing your lure. Generally you want to use these baits the most in early spring and in more shallow conditions since most square-bills don’t dive too deep.
Well, those are the three types of crankbaits I like to use during specific circumstances! For other methods and techniques check out the links below! As always, tight lines!
It’s that time of year again! The bass are starting to bed and are up shallow.There are a few things that you will want to focus on while fishing.
Be patient and be quiet
During this time of the year a lot of the fish are starting to commit to their beds. When presenting your lure/bait to them be subtle with your movements. They can see you up there moving and they will be very hesitant to bite, unless you have enough distance and remain quiet. A slight angular adjustment to either side can make a difference, too.
2. Study the area and the fish
When bed fishing it is obviously important to find the bed, but even more important the fishes pattern and movement. Don’t throw your bait on the fish or bed directly, instead throw it past them and bring it up to the bed and watch how the fish reacts. It might take a while for it to commit but give it time for the fish to size out the “threat”.
3. Get out early
When the temperature is lower in the morning the bass will be more active. 60 degrees tends to be when the activity picks up most on southern lakes, but start looking when the water hits 55 degrees.
Throw craws, jigs, lizards. Pretty much throw anything you want. There’s no lure in your box that won’t catch bedding fish, but there are some that will catch them better. Change it up if it isn’t working and find out what pattern works best for you.
5. You can always come back
If you come upon a big female unexpectedly and startle her, mark the location, ease off and revisit the bed later. When you do go back, stop ahead of time and make the longest cast you can, cast beyond the target and drag it slowly into the bed.
Hope this information helps! Happy fishing and tight lines!
These lures (especially the Baitball series) are getting a lot of attention and for good reason. They look like nothing else on the market. Live Target has dedicated themselves to creating life like lures and they have definitely succeeded in that. However, the question that everyone is asking, do they really work? is it worth paying the $16 for each one? As you can see, I have picked up quite a few of their lures. The action on all of them is perfect. The jerkbait suspends really well. My personal favorite is the pumpkin seed lipless (Top right) I fish a lot of lipless cranks these days and I love how loud it is underwater. It sinks like a rock when you fish it with a pause. The only thing that I dont like about these lures is the price tag. Sure they are worth the price but its never fun snagging and losing a lure.