Before you head out on the water, be sure to review our bass fishing tackle articles. Our Prostaff team will share their years of knowledge and experience using latest and greatest fishing tackle.
The jerkbait is perhaps one of the most underused tools in the average angler’s arsenal. A jerkbait can be far more versatile than it gets credit for. Often mistaken by many as only a cold water lure, they can really shine in warm water too. It’s also a great substitute for a crankbait or spinnerbait when they are not producing.
Trying to make sense out of the many different types of fishing lines can be a bit overwhelming when you are just getting started bass fishing. There’s monofilament, fluorocarbon, copolymer, fused superlines, braided lines, hollow core braided line, etc. It’s enough to make you want to take up golf instead!
Do you know the basics of worm fishing? Well you should... Arguably one of the most productive baits on the planet is the plastic worm. Whether you fish it on a Texas Rig, Carolina Rig, Drop Shot, Florida Rig or on a Split Shot Rig you can almost always catch bass on a plastic worm. The plastic worm is a very simple bait to learn to master and hopefully after reading this article you will feel more comfortable and confident in your ability to produce a limit while using it. Since this is designed to be a basic instructional guide for the plastic worm I am only going to get into basic rigs and techniques.
If you have never thrown an LV Series lure from Lucky Craft then chances are you have missed tons of bass. The LV Series is one of the most productive bait lines on the market.
With its baitfish looking design and extremely loud rattles the LV Series lures can call bass from the depths of any lake. LV which stands for “Lipless Vibrator” is an understatement.
When I first started fishing about six years ago, I would walk into a tackle shop and be overwhelmed by the incredible variety of hooks that were on display. At the time I was fishing mostly with plastic worms and had little knowledge of the basic hooks and how they were used with different lures and presentations.
When early Spring arrives a lot of attention turns to a jig-n-pig combination for bass fish. This has long been a favorite, and rightfully so, as it is a great producer for lunker bass. However, during the last two seasons I’ve found a smaller and slimmer jig combination. The combination, which I found to be very productive, is the black/purple, Gripper Hair Rubber Bass Jig with a 4-inch, black Mann’s Jelly Worm. For added attraction, Kodiak Crawfish Paste is applied to the blackberry scented worm trailer.
When I saw my first spinnerbait, I found myself asking, "what kind of fish would be stupid enough to strike at a lure like this?" It did not take too long for me to find out! The next day I caught a largemouth bass around 2 pounds and was hooked on the concept. Spinnerbaits come in many forms.
If you never tried or have had little success using crankbait to catch bass, walleye or any of the pike family; read on, I may convince you to give it a try...
To begin, let’s focus on bass, the largest member of the sunfish family. During certain times of day, bass like to move into deeper water. There are many reasons why this “transition” from shallow to deep water occurs. One reason is to get away from fishermen who pound the shoreline with a variety of lures that bass see week in and week out!
Gitzits or tube baits, as they are more commonly known, are without doubt the strangest looking lure ever invented. A truly perfect lure that can be used for flipping, pitching, Carolina rigging, Texas rigging and the list goes on. The Gitzit was invented by Bobby Garland and was made available to the public in 1964.
My first introduction to lipless crankbaits, was when I won twenty of them in a raffle on Lake Cayuga in upstate New York.
The following week, I tried in vain to catch fish with this noisy, skinny looking object. What I did catch was wood, weeds and rocks. So the lures remained in the bottom of the tackle bag collecting dust like so many baits that I believed were for catching fishermen, not fish!
The other day while I was putting away tackle, I came across boxes full of lures and baits. They had been used once or twice and retired to "this lure has no purpose" status. I began to wonder how did I come to own these "losers" of the fishing lure world. It didn't take long to realize, I had purchased these items because I had not thought through the reasons for making these purchases.
For those of you who suddenly feel as though you've come under a full-on advertising assault of the senses, regarding whether braided style or monofilament line is the right choice, you need not feel alone. I empathize!
When most anglers hear the words tube jig, they think of some clear, rocky, smallmouth infested lake. Yes this is the perfect bait for those conditions, but a tube jig can be used in any type of cover and conditions, to catch some pretty hefty largemouth bass. The reasons being, is that it is not a common lure for fishing timber or vegetation for largemouths, and the fish are not used to seeing a tube.
As everyone knows that has fished with me, I love jigs!!!! Yes, I think that highly of them, and they have rewarded me with lots of bass over the last 10 years. As bass baits go the jig has replaced the plastic worm as my number one go to bait. Jigs are in a family of lures called jump baits, that is they are baits that are worked up and down in the water column.
Before Jerry Thompson (Jerry Thompson was synonymous with lunker winner; Jerry was a big fish specialist and when he was hot no amount of weight in a morning weigh-in was enough. Jerry was famous for big fish, big tournament weights, and his dips when he spoke at meetings) moved to North Carolina, he had a get rid of excess tackle at a sale at our monthly meeting.
Over the last three years the most consistant bass fish catcher I have used has been the "Wacky Worm," a.k.a. "Jersey rig" or "Wacky Rig". The rig that most people look at and say how can that silly little worm catch anything? Well, once again it does not matter what we as the fisherman think looks good, but rather what Mr. Bass thinks that matters.
We bass angler’s are always looking for new weapons in our ever growing arsenal of tackle. If it is new or different and catches fish, we want one, or two or three…. The tube jig is just such a bait. Although on the market for several years now, tube baits have undergone some changes and are making a big comeback. Denny Brauer, last year’s Bassmaster Classic champion, brought the bait back into the spotlight following his victory using tube baits.
The original tube jigs were 3"-31/2" long. The new tube jigs are 4" plus and are bigger in diameter than before. They come with salt impregnated in them and in a variety of scents to enhance their fish catching ability.
In our ongoing quest to find new and improved ways to catch more bass fish, sometimes the answer is right before our very eyes. So often the most effective means of boating more fish is so simple, we simply overlook it. Chances are it is right in front of you, but you don’t see it. It’s like not being able to see the forest, for the trees, so to speak. What is it? The ole’ reliable Rat-L-Trap. That’s right, the simply looking, easy to use, noisy, baitfish imitating lure we all have in our tackle boxes that we’ve been using for years, a Rat-L-Trap. Rat-L-Traps are the number one selling bait in America.
If a new twist is needed to tempt old "Mr. Bass", then try using a spring type fastening device in a rig. These devices will modify lures, redevelop the Texas rig, and provide a new way to fasten trailers.
Products discussed in this article, to be used for these purposes, will be TTI's BackBreaker, HitchHiker and Copperhead hook, and Gambler's Florida Rig sinker. The BackBreaker and HitchHiker are both fastening springs.