Fishing lures, circle hooks, and stranger things: Fine-tune your bass'n angling protocol
Selecting the right lure based on appearance is just part of the bass formula. Its profile, vibration, color, size, speed and running depth are all key ingredients. Those final two elements, speed and depth, really are key.
All gamefish, especially bass, rely on their senses before striking. Bass need to see or hear the bait to identify it before they’ll eat it.
Anglers need to get that combination right and not become frustrated if they don’t nail it on the first, third or tenth try.
Confidence and patience are two key ingredients in catching fish. So look beyond your lure. The right line also is key to finessing fish. My general rule is clear line for clear-water fish. Green for dark water, and in my opinion, stay away from fluorescent lines. With reaction bites, line color is less of factor.
Don’t overestimate the size of your plastics, say a lizard or Texas rig. Many anglers go too heavy a weight because it’s easier to cast, but it sinks too fast, thus spooking the fish.
Consider fishling weightless lures. Yes, it’s tougher to cast, so use a spinning rod and reel.
I’m starting to see more and more of a trend toward spinning rods to get more distance. Use 8-pound-test line and longer rods with more of a medium action tip.
Take extra care to really set that hook, however. If I have a bigger fish on, I’ll set hook, then reset it a couple of times.
Final finesse tip: Use a circle hook for wacky worms. I have had a lot of success with a No. 1/0 circle hook. I bet I get 98 percent hook-ups and no gut-hooked sets. You still need to set the hook, but that little bit of curvature – inherent in its design – gives better hook-sets. I love hooking bass in the upper lip then easily releasing those fish.
Remember catch and release, and enjoy 2013’s great early season fishing tactics into July this year!