Many Ways to Skin Those Bass
Largemouth bass are a favorite target of many open water anglers. (Photo by Brad Veenstra)
Twitch baits are one of the many options for catching bass.
It was my first bass fishing trip of the year and I was anxious to see if the fish were still in the shallows. I was only on my third or fourth cast when I felt the telltale tick of a pick-up. A few minutes later, I hoisted a fat 19 incher into the boat. Just like that I was hooked on bass fishing for another season.
I wouldn’t say that I am a bass purist as I enjoy catching walleyes and chasing crappies. However, if I have a fishing day with nothing special in mind, I am going to target largemouth.
My approach to largemouth angling is extremely basic. I am one of those people that will use a variety of presentations. Typically, I will have four or five rods all rigged differently when I am chasing bass.
There is no question that the wacky rigged worm is my early season favorite. It is such a simple system that can be utilized successfully even by the most novice of anglers. However, wacky rigging does not work well in the wind and takes some adaptations for deeper water.
When summer fish are deep, I will use a light weight jighead to help me get the worm down to the depths the bass are at. A weighted wacky is not as effective as the slow dropping worm used in shallow water, but it will catch fish.
Twitch baits are also a deadly presentation when the fish are shallow. Bass will come out of eight to ten feet of water to strike the hapless looking injured minnow. A series of twitches with a long pause seems to get the most attention. Twitch baits will also readily catch walleyes and northern that are hanging in the weeds.
Although I don’t fish a spinnerbait as much as I used to, it is still a very effective lure. It is extremely versatile and can be fished in open water or through weeds and rushes.
I like to use it when bass are scattered. A simple cast and retrieve will get the attention of hungry fish.
The double bladed baits work the best for me. The flash of the willow leaf draws fish in from quite a distance. If the bass are striking short, I will attach a stinger hook to increase my hooking percentage.
Plastic worms fished on a jig or as a Texas rig are a must for serious bass anglers. I use a six inch worm on a jig and a seven when Texas rigging.
A jigworm is more weedless than a person would think especially if you use an eye forward style jig. I like the high percentage of hook-ups when using the jigworm approach. It is definitely my favorite summertime method.
Lipless, rattling crankbaits are one last option that can bring impressive results. Like spinnerbaits, they are very effective when bass are scattered. These baits can be worked quickly and are excellent for covering water.
Bass are cooperative biters that can be found on many different lakes. They are fierce fighters that will strike a real variety of lures.
It is this “variety” concept that has caused me to go with the multifaceted approach. If one lure doesn’t get them, the other one will.
There is more than one way to skin a bass!