Archive

Category Archives for "Bass"

Best Spinnerbaits for Bass

Best Spinnerbaits

​Spinnerbaits are one of the most reliable lures to have in your tackle box.

They can produce big bass all year round and in most types of water conditions and temperatures.

The best spinnerbaits for bass tend to give out a solid vibration and have a lot of life in their rubber skirt.

Bass are a predatory fish and use their lateral line to sense vibration in the water.

It is the blade on a spinnerbait lure that produces the vibration and using different blades in different scenario's is what will give the best results.

There are generally three types of blades that you will find on a spinnerbait: ​

  • Colorado Blade - round deep blade that is designed for maximum vibration through the water.
  • Willow Blade - long narrow blade that gives off a lot of flash but less vibration that either an ​Indiana or a Colorado.
  • Indiana Blade - hybrid between a willow and a Colorado blade which gives a combination of both flash and vibration.

​Blades can be either polished/hammered/patterned metal of bronze, gold and silver or painted with a pattern.

Regardless of the style their purpose is to give off a flash and vibration to draw in bass from a distance.

The type of blade will also affect how fast it can run in the water.

Bigger blades like the Colorado cause a lot of drag in the water and will tend to run slower than a willow leaf blade which spin much faster.

​What is a Spinnerbait ?

​A spinnerbait is a lure that comprises of a wire bent at ninety degrees with a jig head and a skirt on one end and a freely spinning blade on the other.

They have a variety of different blade configurations and styles of blades and also variations in the type of rubber skirt.

Trailer hooks are often employed to increase hook up rates as bass can strike them short of the hook due to the long skirt.

They also come in a variety of weights and as with any lure the heavier spinner baits will run deeper than the lighter ones.

The majority of spinnerbaits for bass will be in the 3/8's to 1/2 an ounce range.

​Best ​Spinnerbaits

The ​Booyah Pond Magics are somewhat smaller than the average spinnerbaits but they do produce big bass!

They are particularly effective when working smaller waters along the edge of structures or weeds or on larger waters that have a lot of heavy weed beds.

​With one main willow blade and a smaller Colorado blade you get the best of both world lots of flash and big vibrations.

The wire frame has an open loop design so bet to tie in directly rather than use a snap link.

They weigh 3/16 of an ounce so despite being small in size you can still get a decent casting distance.

Specifications:

  • ​Tandem blades
  • Premium 2/0 Mustad hook
  • 12 colors to choose from
  • 60 strand ultra-fine silicon skirt

​Big spinnerbaits catch big bass and the Booyah Super Shad is one heck of a performer.

Boasting no less than four high quality willow blades these lures are all about the flash.

​The four blades aim to imitate a small shad school and create quite a lot of drag as they spin through the water.

Best fished in either clear or slightly stained waters especially when bass are gorging themselves on shad.

Weighing 3/8 of an ounce you can run these fairly deep.

​Six colors available and all of which are fairly light in color with all gold or silver blades or a combo of both.

Specifications:

  • ​4 blade shad imitator
  • Size 4/0 Mustad hook
  • 3/8 ounce weight

The ​Mini-King from Strike King is another small or mini sized spinnerbait that weighs in at 1/8 of an ounce making them suitable for smaller species and lighter tackle.

One of the best spinnerbaits for small-mouth bass especially in low light situations.

​Strike King describe these as having a Tennessee blade in reality it is a Colorado blade with a hammered diamond finish.

That blade gives off a lot of vibration and is extremely effective at both dawn and dusk when flash is less important and bass are hunting by vibration.

The jig head has a big bright eye and is finished in diamond dust for extra sparkle.

Specifications:

  • ​​Size 2/0 hook
  • High quality ball bearing swivels
  • Closed loop design
  • 12 color combos available

The ​Strike King Finesse is designed and tested by legendary Pro Kevin VanDam.

Available in two different blade configurations and a variety of color combinations.

​The two blade combos are a double Willow blade and a Colorado/Willow combo with the Willow being the main larger blade and the Colorado being the secondary.

The Colorado/Willow combo weighs in at 3/8 of and ounce and the double Willow at 1/2 an ounce.

​Both models have an extended tail and a high quality skirt. With an extended tail you should always run a trailer hook as bass may come up short when biting and routinely miss the hook.

Specifications:

  • ​Two blade combos available
  • High quality hardware
  • Open loop design
  • Trailer tail for added movement

The Nichols Pulsator features a patented 3D metal flake tapered blade which give a massive amount of vibration even from traditional willow like blades.

​The range is huge with 5 different sizes and no less than 70 different color options available.

The high quality skirt combined with the metal flake finish of the blades makes them a premium end spinnerbait.

These have a mush shorter arm than most regular spinnerbaits for bass so if you are worried about short strikes and missed bites they will have a higher hook up rate.

Specifications:

  • ​70 color options
  • 5 sizes
  • Hand painted blades

​Spinnerbaits for Bass

​When fishing a spinnerbait for bass always remember that the flash and vibration are the most important things to get right.

The speed of your retrieval can have a big impact on how the blade spins.

​An popular spinnerbait setup would be a baitcasting combo and fluorocarbon fishing line.

A reel with a high gear ratio can be an advantage especially if you are looking to cover a lot of open water when casting.

With most spinnerbait rods having a medium/heavy to heavy power rating and a fast action.

​Spinner baits are tied into your line at the bend in the wire. That bend can either have a closed loop or an open loop depending on the manufacturer.

​The type of loop will have a big influence on how you tie a spinnerbait rig to your main line.

The preferred choice is a closed loop as open loop spinner baits can suffer from having the line run up towards the blade.

This is particularly true if you are using a snap link instead of tying directly to the spinner bait lure.

When using an open loop always tie directly to the loop and do not use a snap clip.

Spinnerbait Blades

​Colorado Blades

The Colorado blade is the biggest and producing the greatest amount of vibration of all three types of blades.

They are an excellent choice when fishing in darker light conditions or in colder water temperatures.

Colder temperatures will generally require you to fish your lures in a low and slow manner.

A bigger blade means more resistance through the water so your spinnerbait will run slower.

​Willow Blades

​Willow blades are often referred to as 'willow leaf' blades due to their long slender appearance.

Because of their shape they will spin at a much higher speed than a Colorado blade.

They are particularly effective in warmer months when bass are a lot more energetic and will chase a lure much more willingly than in colder months.

The flash element of the blade is also more suited to better light conditions.

Indiana Blades

​Indiana blade strike a balance between the bigger Colorado and the more slender Willow-Leaf blade.

The are not the most popular type of blade for a lot of spinnerbait anglers as their main usage is during times when bass will spook easily.

​Spinnerbait Trailer Hooks

If you have used a spinner bait lure enough times you may begin to notice a pattern with them when a bass is interested and decides to bite.

You'll notice that you your hook rate is quite low and that the skirt on the spinner bait is being torn or bitter off in small pieces.

That is because for some reason bass seem to always fall short when striking them.

This is true more often than not when you are using a fast retrieve.

One way to stop this from happening is to use a trailing hook.

A trailer hook is an extra hook that is attached to the normal hook of the spinnerbait.

It basically extends the hook by an extra inch or so and can greatly increase your hook up rate.

  • March 19, 2020
  • Bass

What Size Spinning Reel for Bass?

What Size Spinning Reel for Bass

​Whilst most anglers will run a baitcaster for most of their bass fishing a common question I often hear is "what size spinning reel for bass?"

If your aim is to use lighter rigs and lures then a spinning setup for bass may well be the best option, however there is no best size spinning reel for bass.

You need to match your rod, reel and line to the type and size of lure you are using and where exactly you will be fishing them.

​For example there is no point in using an ultralight setup if you are fishing in and around really thick weed cover as the rod will not have enough backbone to handle hauling a bass out from the weed.

And conversely you will find it very difficult to cast light lures on a bass fishing setup that is to heavy. 

Saying that if you are looking for an all rounder then the best size spinning reel for bass will be a 2500.

​What Size Spinning Reel for Bass?

​1000

A size 1000 spinning reel is what is considered and ultralight spinning reel. These reels are designed to be used with really light line. 

Monofilament in the 2 to 6 lbs range of breaking strain. They need to be paired with an ultralight spinning rod.

This type of setup is usually used when "finesse fishing" i.e. throwing really small and light lures in shallower waters.

They are commonly paired with an ultralight rod that is normally 6'6" or under and has an ultralight power rating with a fast action.

They are commonly used as a trout reel for use in smaller rivers and streams.

2000/2500

The size 2500 is probably the best spinning reel for bass by size as it strikes a decent balance between light weight and still having a decent line capacity and drag system.

They will generally hold monofilament line up to 8 lbs and braid up to 12 lbs which are a good match to most light weight rigs and small lures.

​For a lot of anglers a size 2000 may well be a little too small and they would consider it an ultralight reel.

You can pair a 2500 size spinning reel with a 6'6" to 7' spinning rod with a light/medium power rating with a fast action.

The fast action is a must when using lighter gear as it gives a lot of tip sensitivity which is crucial when using lighter presentations and small single hook bait rigs.

This type of combo is really versatile and can be used with a good amount of lighter bait rigs and lures.

​3000/3500

Once you hit a size 3000 then you get the added benefit of a larger spool.

A larger spool will generally mean less coiling of your line especially monofilament as it can have a pretty high memory depending on the brand.

​You will also get a lot less line twist when the reel has a large spool on it.

If you are targeting large bass near to thick cover then a higher breaking strain line is always a good idea.

Being able to spool your reel with 12 lb line can give you a lot more confidence than using much lighter setups.

  • February 13, 2020
  • Bass

Flipping and Pitching for Bass

Flipping and Pitching

​Flipping and pitching for bass are two of the most fundamental casting techniques to master if you are to truly progress you bass fishing skills.

They are both close quarters ​fishing approaches that allow you to get both a highly accurate cast and a quiet entry for your lure or jig.

​A lot of anglers confuse the two terms and will regularly describe pitching as flipping and vice versa

​You will usually be close in to your intended target so they are best used in and around heavy weed cover or during dirtier water times.

In clear water you will not have the kind of range needed to remain out of site of bass and a spooked bass will rarely strike.

Soft entries are the name of the game as you want to reduce the amount of splash or any other noise/sound that may make fish wary.

Flipping and Pitching

​Flipping involves pulling a length of line off your spool with your free hand and then swinging your lure out front whilst feeding the line through the rod, pitching on the other hand involves a light underhand cast with the spool disengaged.

Both techniques do take a little time to master and the best way is to practice, practice, practice.

You can do this in you yard or on your lawn. Set up a few small target or markers on the lawn and then with a lead shot on the end of your line that is similar in weight to you lures start to practice each technique.

Once mastered they will become like second nature and you will wonder how you lived with out them.

Flipping for Bass

Flipping is the shorter of the two casting techniques and in my mind is usually a little more accurate once mastered.

It is particularly effective at making a super soft entry with little or no splash.

It differs from pitching in that the spool is always engaged and line is pulled off of it by your free hand so you will need to set your drag accordingly.

Because of this it has a limited range and depends a little on your height and length of rod.

The best flipping rod to use will be one with a fast action so that you can load up the rod tip allowing it to transfer any power from the swing down to the lure.

You can flip on spinning gear if you are looking for really finesse presentations but the majority will use a baitcasting rod and reel as their flipping setup.

How to Flip for Bass ?

Flipping involves pull line off of your spool in your free hand so that your arm is extended straight out to the side and slightly behind you body.

​With your rod tip raised you should have your lure in line with your reel. 

You then swing the lure outwards away from your body and towards your target.

As you do this you should feed the line through the first eye of the rod allowing the lure to flip forwards.

Never let go of the line completely, instead let it run through your fingers as you move your hand back towards the reel.

​Letting go of the line completely means less over all control. When you control how quickly the line runs through the rod you can fine tune your distance with a lot more accuracy.

​Pitching for Bass

When pitching for bass you definitely have a longer range available than when flipping as you are effectively casting with an underhand cast with the spool free running.

This longer range can be a better bet in clearer waters that require you to maintain a bit more distance from the bass.

How to Pitch for Bass ?

Pitching is just a normal cast but you do so with an underhand swing forward of the lure.

​To start you can hold the lure in your free hand when you are first learning the technique.

Once you are a bit more experienced you can just swing the lure out with the right amount of force and speed but get the basic technique down first.

Release the spool as normal and thumb down on your spool, holding the lure in your free hand(behind the hook otherwise you will get snagged) swing it forwards and use you thumb to control the distance by thumbing the spool.

Pitching is always down with a baitcaster as on spinning gear it is just too awkward.

  • February 10, 2020
  • Bass

Chatterbait vs Spinnerbait

Chatterbait vs Spinnerbait

Chatterbait vs spinnerbait - just how different are these lures in terms of design and fishing applications?

​Most anglers can tell the difference between an chatterbait and a spinnerbait just by looking at them.

Where the biggest confusion lies is where and when is the best way to fish them.

Both are fished on fairly similar tackle and both do create quite a bit of disturbance especially when they are fished right under the water surface.

​If you are not overly familiar with how each lure is constructed then below we describe the exact make up of each lure and how it swims:

  • Chatterbait - A chatterbait is also known as a bladed swim jig and the two terms can be used interchangeably. Chatterbaits have a semi-hexagonal blade that is mounted in front of a swim jig. It has a jig head and a trailing skirt. The blade does not spin a full 360 degrees around the front of the chatterbait. Instead it vibrates back and forth from side to side but never fully spins. It also gives off a very distinctive sound.
  • ​Spinnerbait - A spinnerbait has a bent wire construction at 90 degrees. One on side of the wire there is a jig head and a trailing skirt. One the other side there is a spinning blade or often multiple blades. The blades are free to spin fully around the wire and give off a really solid vibration and flash in the water.

Chatterbait vs Spinnerbait

​The main difference between a chatterbait and a spinnerbait is the types of blades used in their construction and how those blades spin.

On a chatterbait the blade is a hexagonal shape and is mounted on the front of the lure. The blade vibrates from side to side but never fully spins around and around.

Whereas on a spinnerbait the blade is a more traditional type of spinner blade such as a willow or Colorado blade.

The spinnerbait has the blades mounted out to the side of the jig head and skirt compared to a chatterbait that has the blade mounted directly in front of the jig head.

​When to Fish Them

​The best time to choose a chatterbait is when you are working in and around heavy weeds. Chatterbaits really do excel here and you can fish a chatterbait over the tops of weeds by either burning them quickly or using a more stop start technique.

​That vibrating blade can draw bass out from cover and they will smash a chatterbait hard from below.

Spinnerbaits work really well on very windy days or in darker waters.On really windy days some topwater lures can perform poorly but ​fishing a spinnerbait just below the surface and your chances will increase greatly.

The give off a lot of vibration and flash from their spinning blades so any time you need to really attract bass in because of poor light or dark waters then the spinnerbait is one of the better options.

Spinnerbaits are of the few lures that are actually quite productive year round. Although I prefer a chatterbait over a spinnerbait during summer months.

​Tackle Considerations

Both these types of lures can be fished on very similar tackle.

​Light spinning gear is not the best choice of setup here. A good quality baitcasting rod and reel will be the better option.

Line choice will also be pretty similar.

A spinnerbait rod needs a decent backbone so a medium/heavy power rating is usually best and a fast action.

​The same too can be said for when you are choosing a chatterbait setup, most chatterbait rods will have a fast action.

Occasionally you will see one used with a more moderate action, this is done when using very large chatterbaits especially ones with long trailers as you might want to delay the hook-set slightly.

  • January 30, 2020
  • Bass

How to Fish a Chatterbait

How to Fish a Chatterbait

Since the original launch of the Zman Chatterbait success of these odd lures spread like wildfire.

They were hailed as a hybrid lure somewhere between a spinnerbait and a swim jig.

​The terms chatterbait and bladed swim jig are used interchangeably.

​When fishing a chatterbait you need to be aware of what type of water it performs best on.

​What is a ChatterBait ?

​A chatterbait is essentially a bladed swim jig. They have a hexagonal blade that vibrates back and forth that is mounted in front of the jig head.

  • ​The blade is not like a regular Colorado or willow blade that you will find on a spinnerbait, instead it is hexagonal in shape.
  • ​The mounting point of the blade is also different, it is attached directly in front of the jig head.
  • ​It does not spin in a full 360 degree rotation either. Instead it vibrates back and forth from side to side.

​​​This motion is why it gives off such a distinctive noise and hence the name 'chatter' bait.

They can be rigged with a trailer, which is usually some kind of soft plastic lure. This adds a little more life into them also helps to hide the hook even further.

​How to Fish a Chatterbait

The best way to fish a chatterbait is in and around heavy weed cover, over gravel beds and over the tops of submerged trees.

Chatterbait fishing is particularly effective when bass make their seasonal moves towards more shallow holding areas.

Slower techniques using various different bass rigs are a lot more effective in colder months. But ripping lures such as bladed swim jigs is rarely attempted.

​1. Weed Cover

​There are generally two types of weed or grass that you need to concern yourself with, heavy and light.

When fishing a chatterbait around heavy weed the best approach is to fish it right over the top of the grass tips.

​Burning a chatterbait at speed really makes that blade sing and will most definitely make bass sit up and pay attention to your lure.

Bass like to stay camouflaged in weed so look for spots in the weed were there is a sign of recent disturbances or a natural clearing.

In lighter grass beds you can fish the chatterbait directly through it and just above it, varying your depth and speed.

They are fairly weedless however the clip in front and the blade can get fouled up so it is good practice to regularly clean them and remove even the slightest build up

When fished through weeds a chatterbait will be superior to a spinnerbait as due to their design a spinnerbait can get fouled up with a lot of weed on it's wire frame.

​2. Gravel Beds

​Smallmouth bass in particular are very fond of hanging out over gravel or shell beds during the summer heat.

In this instance you can work a chatterbait low and slow.

Aim to run your lure along the top of the gravel occasionally touching so that a small bit of sad or light gravel is disturbed.

These types of visual stimulation's can be the difference between a bass striking you lure and just inspecting it.

​Combined with the very distinctive sound that a bladed jig makes bass will tend to chase these lures a lot.

​It is crucial to vary your retrieval rate to make sure that the bait looks as natural as possible.

Another technique for chatterbaits that works well over gravel is yo-yo'ing.

​The yo-yo retrieve involves casting your lure out allowing it to sink until it touches bottom.

Now raise your rod tip and move the lure upwards and towards you, reeling in any slack.

You then let it sink again and continue this pattern until the lure is back near the boat.

Yo-yo'ing works extremely well on sandy or gravel bottoms as there will be less snags to get caught up on and the impact on he bottom can also raise a small cloud of dirt.

​3. Submerged Trees

​Old logs and stumps make a great ambush spot for bass to lay in wait for a tasty snack.

Work a chatterbait over the tops and in and around any branches taking are not to get snagged as you go.

Vary the retrieve as a method to adjust the height you are working at.

If you need to run shallower over a branch raise your rod tip and increase the speed that the lure is moving at. This will help it to rise up over the the branch.

Once clear you can then slow down the chatterbait to allow it to drop a couple of feet.

You can repeat this pattern over and over but only if you can see all the snags.

​Chatterbait Fishing Tips

1. Slow Your Strike

A slower strike and hook-set seems to be the best way to use a chatterbait and really increase you hook up rates.

This is particularly true if you are using a large soft plastic trailer. Give the bass split second or pause to allow them to really engulf the chatterbait in their mouth.

Failure to do this can result in a lot of missed hook sets, you will be literally ripping the lure right out of their mouths if you strike too quickly.

​2. Vary the Retrieve 

Vary the retrieve regardless of how and where you are fishing will make the bladed jig seem far more natural.

Not only that, it will also have a big effect on the noise and the vibration that the chatterbait blade will be giving off through the water.

​3. Slow Roll

Slow rolling works great in colder water temperatures. In open water if you are casting along the side of drop offs or other deep structures you can work the chatterbait right down where the bass will be in the deeper depths.

You'll need to use a fairly large chatterbait for this and stay away from light and smaller sizes.

​Tackle Considerations

Any decent medium/heavy baitcasting setup that you have can work for both a chatterbait or spinnerbait.

A best chatterbait rods tend to have a lot of backbone as you will be fishing them around heavy cover and hauling a bass through thick weed is next to impossible on a light weight spinning setup.

Look for a rod that has a medium/heavy power rating and a fast action. There is an argument for a more moderate action similar to a crankbait style setup as it can slow down your hook-set ever so slightly.

A good chatterbait line choice is either 30 lbs braid or 15 lbs fluorocarbon.

  • January 30, 2020
  • Bass

How to Fish a Ned Rig for Bass

how to fish a ned rig

​Ned rigs continue to grow in popularity as more and more anglers realize just how effective they are.

Ned rigs really excel when bass are not keen on chasing larger faster moving lures such as crankbaits and topwater lures.

The produce fish all year long. Big largemouth in deep cover or smallmouth over a gravel bed next to a drop off the Ned rig really does produce.

What you need to make a Ned rig:

  • ​1/16 or 1/8 ounce mushroom style jig head
  • 2.5 inch soft plastic stick bait or worm

​Tackle tends to lighter than your average bass combo so a good Ned rig rod will need to have a light power rating and a fast action for added sensitivity. Ultralights rod are okay but can prove too light when fishing around heavy weeds.

What is a Ned Rig?

A Ned Rig is a soft plastic lure or worm that is threaded onto a mushroom shaped jig head. The jig head is weighted, whereas the material that the lure or worm is buoyant.

Ned rigs are fished mostly on the bottom with very slow movements. As they move the jig head will naturally stay down and the tail will point upwards due to its floating properties.

They are fishing on very light tackle, which is commonly referred to as finesse bass fishing.  

​Who Created the Ned Rig?

​The Ned Rig was created by Ned Kehde who was a strong advocate for finesse bass fishing in the mid west as early as the late 1950's.

During the 1980's Ron Linder introduced Kehde to a small mushroom shaped jig head.

Kehde originally used to cut  Z-Man's 5 inch ZinkerZ worm in half before there were dedicated ned rig baits available.

The thing that made the Z-Man's soft plastic so unique was that it had a natural buoyancy to it. This allowed for the tail of the lure to float upwards whilst the Ned rig hook jig head would sink.

When on the bottom the jig appeared to have it's tail in the air and it's head burrowing into the lake floor making it look like some kind of bottom feeding creature.

​How to Fish a Ned Rig for Bass

​In open water you fish a Ned rig by casting it out and allowing it to sink, the jig head is then slowly twitched along the bottom in a very soft and delicate manner.

There are a number of different retrieval types for the Ned rig but the one above is the most simple to master.

It is actually more difficult than you think as most bass fishermen will become impatient ad will start to twitch it too quickly.

For best results the Ned rig is fished low and slow through the water.

You are not trying to run the jig too quickly. Stubborn bass do not like quick moving lures especially once the water temperatures start to drop.

They can be fished off the bottom, simple cast towards cover and allow them to sink, more often than not bass will hit them as they slowly sink downwards.

Ned rig fishing is all about making a subtle presentation. Try to make as little splash or noise as possible.

​When most bass anglers strike to set the hook they do so with a rather violent jerk of the rod tip. This is not the way to set the hook of a small jig like a Ned rig.

Instead you should lightly lift your rod tip and reel in at the same time. This allows the hook to set without ripping it out of a bass's mouth.

​Tackle Considerations

A finesse Ned rig setup although ideal will normally be too light for bass if you are working around or in deep weed cover.

You still need a rod with a bit of backbone but light enough to be able to use small jigs. Look for a light/medium power rating with a fast action.

You can pair that with either a size 2000 or 3000 spinning reel. Main line can be braid or fluorocarbon as both have very little stretch.

If using braid then you should tie on a fluorocarbon leader.

  • January 27, 2020
  • Bass

How to Tie a Spinnerbait Rig

spinnerbait rig

​Spinnerbaits in the right hands can be one of the most effective lures available particularly in and around deep and heavy cover. 

Lots of anglers complain that they never end up catching much when using spinner baits despite buying a dedicated spinnerbait rod and having a large selection of lures to choose from.

​I see a lot of anglers rigging their spinnerbaits incorrectly which an lead to the blades failing to spin.

But;

Just how exactly do you tie a spinnerbait rig ?

​This will depend on the type of loop that you have on the spinnerbait. Some will come with a closed loop and others with an open tie on loop.

The preference is to always buy a spinnerbait lure that has a closed loop as it can avoid a lot of the problems associated with using open loop tie on points.

​How to Tie a Spinnerbait Rig

​The best way to tie a spinnerbait rig is with an improved clinch knot directly to the eye of the bend. 

​The only time you should use a snap link is when the spinnerbait has a closed 'R' style loop as the tie in point.

If you are using a spinnerbait rig that has an open style loop then using a snap link can run the risk of the snap running freely up towards the blades and stopping them from spinning.

Another reason to not use a snap link or clip when rigging a spinne​r bait is that a lot of spinnerbaits are considered weedless lures.

If you use a snap link then the snap itself can pick up quite a bit of weed especially if you are dragging it through very fine weed beds.

However, if you do want to use a snap link then you need to make sure that the snap will not run up towards the blades, this is a real problem when using an open style loop.

​There are two ways to stop the snap link from moving out of the loop, both approaches effectively do the same thing which is to turn the open loop into a closed loop:

  • Use a small rubber band and loop it around the open side of the loop
  • ​Similar to the rubber band above you can wrap some heavy monofilament behind the snap link to close the loop.

I have also seen knots running up when using an open loop spinnerbait. Tying on a spinner bait with a weak knot can result in the knots running up and down the wire.

One way to avoid this is ti use a small dab of superglue on the knot once it is tied on.

This should stop it from moving assuming it has been tied correctly. Always be careful when using super glue to not get any on your fingers.

  • January 19, 2020
  • Bass

Frog Fishing for Bass

frog fishing for bass

​Without question top water frog fishing for bass has to be one of the most exciting forms of freshwater fishing.

Seeing a largemouth bass engulf your frog from below will get any anglers pulse racing.

You can throw them in and around heavy cover, twitch them across open water and put them under low hanging trees and docks all to great effect.

​There are some subtle differences in how you fish a frog lure in each of the scenario's above.

Knowing what size and how to retrieve it can have a massive impact on your strike rates.

Your tackle also needs and upgrade to be able to handle all that weed and other potential snags.

The best frogging rods will have need to have a stout backbone so a heavy power rating is a must.

You'll need a fast to extra fast action so that every move of your rod tip is translated quickly to the frog and it will also set the large single hooks most of these lures have.

Ideally it should be 7 feet or more in length a longer rod gives you better casting performance but also a bit more control as you will be working the lure on the top of weeds and lilies.  

​A main line choice will always be braid. The heavier the better, 50 lb braided line is not uncommon particularly in very heavy vegetation.

Braid slices through weeds much easier than mono or fluoro due to it's thinner diameter.

It also has close to zero stretch which is crucial not only for setting your hook, but translates your rod movement more directly to the frog.

​Frog Fishing for Bass

Frog fishing for bass means getting you frog right up in heavy cover were frogs would naturally be hiding, it is crucial that when you move it across the water that it generates some noise and splash.

A lot of noise and splash will help the bass to see or locate your frog from below.

If you are fishing ​a frog lure in open water then you may need to drop down a size, but in heavy cover sometimes the bigger the better as you can cause a lot more disturbances with the larger one.

​How to Fish a Frog Lure

​Fishing a frog lure involves casting it towards and into cover, the frog is then walked or popped across the top with regular pauses during the retrieve.

More often than not a bass will strike the frog during the pause phase of your retrieve.

This pause can be crucial to your success. Not pausing does not give a bass a chance to have a good look at it and think about striking.

​Pausing however needs to be done properly. Try not to pause for too long in open water.

​For example in a large mat of lilies there can be gaps in between them, make sure to pause here only for the briefest of moments.

​You don't want to give the bass too long to inspect your fake frog as they may decide against it.

The same holds through when fishing in open water.

When you do go to set the hook often a slight pause is best, sometimes up to 2 to 3 seconds.

Pausing for this long can seem counter intuitive but you will be rewarded with a higher hook up rate and that is what is important.

It takes a few milliseconds for a bass to properly engulf a lure like a frog and setting your hook to quickly will result in just ripped it straight out of the bass's mouth without the hook bedding in.

​1. Thick Cover

​For the majority of bass fishermen frog fishing means working their frog across the top of heavy vegetation or cover.

That could mean a variety of different types of cover:

  • Lily pads
  • Heavy weed
  • ​Pond scum

Thick cover frog fishing means making a lot of splash and noise.

Whilst smaller frogs are more suitable to open water when fishing in thick cover use a big frog as it will make more noise and create a lot more splash.

​A lot of anglers will throw a frog at cover and then just mindlessly reel it back towards themselves.

More often than not this type of approach is hurting their success.

Frogs don't swim in straight lines at the same speed all of the time.

​When working this type of water you should be using a weedless lure.

If you are in a boat facing at the bank of the lake then you can cast the lures right up to the waters edge of the bank.

Some anglers will even cast onto the bank and then skip or hop the frog into the water to simulate a frog entering the water from the land.

This would not be possible without a weedless lure!

​Once in the water then vary your retrieve to pop the frog forwards and out to the side by varying the direction of your rod tip.

Allow a slight pause and then continue with the same action varying each pull to make them look a bit more natural and random.

​2. Open Water

Open water is not what most people associate frog fishing with.

But, it can be very effective.

​This is where using a slightly smaller lure will pay dividends. The smaller lure creates less splash and in open water too much splash would look unnatural.

​To help this kind of presentation you can use slightly lighter line. In thick cover strong line that can slice through a lot of weed is essential but in open water not so much.

This is also where a hard body frog will really shine, especially those that have legs that kick when moved through the surface.

You want the appearance of the frog to be as natural as possible so a smaller lure that generate smaller wake as it if fished is best.

If the wind is blowing then after a certain speed it will be creating too much ripple on the surface.

Bass in this scenario are relying on their sight and your lure to create a bit of wake on the water surface.

Too much wind and you won't get nearly as many strikes as in calmer waters.

​3. Along Drop Offs

Identify a drop off on your fish finder or by sight if it is shallow and a clear day and then work the lure along the contours of the drop off.

This approach will work best of their is vegetation on the hallow side of the drop off.

Bass love vegetation as cover and in the right scenario will break that cover to smash a topwater lure like a frog.

This approach can beat out thick cover frog fishing on certain days and I find it usually depends on the light conditions and how much wake the wind is causing on the surface.

Too much wind and it's not that effective.

​4. Around Docks

Fishing for bass in and around docks is nothing new. In fact most kids will either start fishing off of a dock or in a small river.

Fishing with frogs however is not that common place.

Saying that it can be very effective, not sure why but it works.

Just like fishing in open water you should aim to use a slightly smaller frog.

Work the frog along the side of the docks and even underneath them if the structure allows.

  • January 19, 2020
  • Bass

6 Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Setups

Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Setups

​As you progress as an angler at some point you will start to out grow your first rod and reel setup and look to purchase some more specialized gear.

​For a lot of fishermen having a few rod and reel setups to hand is more than commonplace.

​Bass tournament anglers on the other hand take it to a whole other level with up to 20 setups on a boat during a pro comp

Different techniques do call for different rod lengths, powers and actions. If you really wanted to you could have a separate rod and reel for every imaginable type of bass lure and rig.

But;

​Not only would that become a pain to store and transport, your credit card would also take a severe beating.

​If you have been fishing for bass for any length of time you may well of heard of the 6 rod bass fishing system.

So what is the 6 Rod and Reel Bass Fishing System ?

The 6 Rod Bass Fishing System is six different rods and reels of varying actions, powers and lengths that can cover most if not all of the most common ways to catch bass.

​Each rod can cover roughly one to three different types of techniques, ​together they should be ​more than adequate for any recreational angler.

​If you were to be limited to only two bass rod setups then the medium power spinning setup and a medium/heavy power baitcasting rod would give the ability to cover a wide range of bass fishing techniques.

​6 Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Setups

​1. Medium/Heavy Casting Rod Fast Action 7'

​This rod is suitable for use with Texas Rigs and as a bass jigging rod. Single hook lures need a fast action as you will need to be setting the hook as quickly as possible.

Jigging also requires a fast action so that you can get as much action through the rod tip and down to the jig to give it some life.

The medium/heavy power is required especially when you are throwing jigs or heavier rigs in and around thick cover.

​2. Medium Power Spinning Rod Setup 6'9"

​When using lighter lures or rigs you are often better off using a bass spinning rod with a medium power rating. Generally below 7' feet in length.

​A good bass spinning reel will be a size 3000 for general work.

This can be used with small plastic swimbait lures, small jerkaits or any other small topwater lures and some of the lighter rigs like a shaky head rig or dropshots rigs.

3. Heavy Power Casting Rod X-Fast Action 7'3"

​If you are throwing frogs, big swimbaits and flipping and pitching in and around heavy cover then a heavy power baitcasting rod is essential.

A fishing frog lures the is a high possibility that you will end up in heavy weed cover and all the best frogging rods need a lot of backbone.

​A heavy power rating is also essential for a good pitching and flipping rods even though you are working close up to cover that extra length can give you a bit more power to steer bass away from thick weeds.

The best swimbaits are usually larger lures so your swimbait rod needs to be able to handle these larger lures and should be paired with a decent swimbait reel in the 300 or 400 size range.

​4. ​Medium Power Casting Rod 7' Moderate Action

​If you are casting any kind of slow moving lure with large treble hooks on them then a more moderate action is a must.

Fast action rods are suitable for single hook lures or rigs as you need to set that hook quickly.

With large trebles it is best to delay that strike for a few milliseconds as often if you strike too quickly you can end foul hooking a bass somewhere on the head.

A more moderate action means a softer hook set which is ideal for larger crankbaits or jerkbaits.

​5. Medium/Heavy Casting Rod Moderate/ Fast 7'

This type of setup is suitable for larger single hook lures such as spinnerbaits and swim jigs.

​The best rods for spinnerbaits will ​have a medium/heavy power rating as they are lures that create a lot of drag through the water and you need a bit of backbone when using these types of bass lures.  

​6. Medium Power Casting Rod X-Fast 6'9"

When using a lure that requires a lot of added action by twitching the rod tip such as a jerkbait then you will get the best results with a rod with an extra fast action.

That means a lot of sensitivity through the tip and the slightest twitch of the rod should be transmitted quickly through your line to your lure.

Top water lures also need such and action if using a topwater frog in and around heavy cover  however you should be using a rod with a heavy power rating as it will have a lot more backbone.

  • January 16, 2020
  • Bass

Best Swimbaits for Bass

Best Swimbaits for Bass

​Throwing swimbaits for bass has become somewhat of an obsession for some bass anglers.

The lure of the that trophy lunker has proven just too much for some and they will happily trade lower success rates for larger fish.

​Although there are plenty of smaller sized swimbaits available, for the majority once you mention a swimbait they imagine large, lifelike lures with either a jointed body or a large paddle tail.

​Personally I like to use smaller swimbaits just as much as I would a crankbait or worm but when targeting really big bass size really does matter.

​There are three broad categories of swimbaits to choose from:

  • Hard Body
  • Soft Body
  • Paddle Tails

Each has there own specific characteristics but there is also a lot of cross over between the different kinds for example you can paddle tailed swimbaits with soft bodies and some can have their hooks on top or on the bottom or be multi-jointed.  

A lot of the soft body swimbaits for bass will also require the addition of an added specialized weighted hook or a jig head before you can fish them.

Most hard-bodied swimbaits however will come with everything included and can have several attachment points for your line so they can be fished in different styles.

Smaller soft boby swim baits can aslo be used as trailers on spinnerbaits.

​Best Swimbaits for Bass


The​ Shadalicious swimbait from Strike King has a huge following due to it's exceptional swimming action.

It is a hollow bodied paddle tail swimbait available in a large range of colors and ​3 or 4 sizes.

AS the name suggest they make a killer shad imitator for both small and large bass.

​You'll need to rig these on a either a jig head or a weighted hook to get some decent casting distances as like most soft body swim baits they are pretty light without the addition of some kind of weighted hook.


​Spro BBZ1's are some of the most lifelike lures you can buy. No self respecting swimbait fisherman would be caught without a Spro, Huddleston or a River2Sea in their tackle box.

​You can rig these straight on to your line as they have a enough in built weight for casting. I tend to favor low and slow as the style of fishing for when using these.

Just be aware that those large treble hooks can snag easily on weed and other underwater obstructions so either fish them deep along a drop off or high as a topwater lure when targeting bass around weed beds.


​Another Strike King swimbait lure the Rage Swimmer has a ribbed body that gives off a lot of vibration even at slow speeds.

​These are a great choice if you are targeting small to medium size bass and I always keep a couple to hand.

​They are very versatile and can be used on a variety of different bass rigs like a plain swimbait, drop shot or you can even jig them when targeting bass close up.

They can even be used as a spinnerbait trailer when targeting bass in heavy cover. 

You'll need to rig them yourself with some added weight.


​The Fat Swing Impact is pretty similar to the Rage Swimmer above but is available in a large range of sizes some as big as almost 8 inches in length.

​They have a two tone color design with the top portion of the lure having a bit of sparkle. A really great shad type lure they can destroy bass in the right conditions.

​These are rigged straight through the body for better swim action on either a weighted hook or large jig head.


​One of the all time classic jointed swim baits the River2Sea S-Waver has a killer swim action that is perfectly tuned to mimic small bait fish.

​The 168 refers to the length in millimeters so that's roughly 6-3/4 inches in length from tail to tip.

Targeting large lunkers means using giant swimbaits for bass in the 6 to 8 inch range and River2Sea are one of the most established players on the scene.

​For best results fish them slowly just below the water surface. The resulting wake from the S like swimming pattern will draw in big bass from far and wide.

Although they have a hard jointed body the tail is actually made from hard wearing PVC so you can considered them a hybrid lure.


​Huddleston are known for pouring some of the most life like swim bait patterns ever. They pride themselves on making super realistic hand painted patterns particularly when imitating small trout.

​They come pre-rigged with a top hook so can be worked over the top of snags and weed beds with a lot more confidence that bottom hooked swim baits.

These are sinking swimbait lures and you can use a slow count to guage how deep it has sunk after casting. Holding your rod tip up will help them to run shallow and they can often be smashed from below by hungry bass.


​When bass are on the shad they can ignore just about anything else you throw at them.

Similar top hook design to the Huddleston above but much smaller lures with a built in lead head on the hook.

​They also have bio-salt impregnated tails and a holographic foil finish for added attraction.

You can run these slowly in deeper waters for early season bass or over the top of weed beds in the summer as the water temperatures start to rise and bass head for shallower waters.

​One of the most realistic swimbait fishing lures you can buy the Savage Gear 3D is a paddle tail lures that maintains it's swimming action even as it falls down through the water.

​I like to fish these at several different depths on the same cast as when you pause and allow them to sink the tail continues to paddle, you can get hit by bass as you start to reel in again and they start to swim up slightly.

The internal jig head is weighted so you can control the exact swimming depth easily once you are accustomed to how quick they sink.

​Available in three colors and both a sinking and slow sinking model so you can tailor your exact lure to how you want to fish it.


​One of the most life like jointed swimbaits lures you will ever see the hard bodied Jackall Gantarel is a cut above the rest.

A fairly heavy lure so not one for use on light tackle big you be thankful as big bass love to smash these lures.

The swim action is one of the best you will ever see and the super realistic patterns are of the highest quality.

​One of the most expensive swimbaits to buy these lures are for the serious fisherman only.

​Both trebles come dressed in natural feathers and also come with a tail tip eye so you can run a stringer hook at the back.


​Swimbaits for Bass

​Throwing swimbaits for bass has become many anglers go to technique for targeting trophy fish.

The only real draw back is that when using these larger bass lures you have to realize that you will get less strikes.

A lot of small bass will quite simply ignore them and to greatly improve your chances you need to be laser targeted with where you fish them.

Big bass tend to be well distributed across any stretch of water and due to their size a certain lake or pond can only support so many of them.

​Swimbait Tactics

Low and slow is generally the name of the game when using these lures for bass and it can take a few casts to fine tune the lure when it comes to how fast you should fish it.

​The time of year will have a huge impact on how you fish a swimbait and it will generally dictate what depth you should be fishing at.

Look to work them in and around drop offs when looking to fish them in deeper waters earlier on in the season as bigger bass will tend to stay away from the shallows until the water temperatures begin to slowly rise during summer.

​Once summer hits and bass move towards shallower waters and vegetation such as weed beds and lilies then you can start to target them in the top few feet of the water column.

​Tackle Considerations

The size and weight of the lure you are using will have a big impact on the type of swimbait rod that you should be using.

Normally look to use a fast action rod with a medium to heavy power rating and length wise from seven feet all the way up to nine feet when using really big swimbaits. Swimbait reels are normally baitcasters and the bigger the better without it unbalancing your rod.

  • January 13, 2020
  • Bass