Tag Archives: Bass

RAPALA FLAT RAP LURE

Im pretty excited by the new RAPALA FLAT RAP series of lures. They are available in the same configuration as my favorite ORIGINAL FLOATING RAPALA MINNOW. That would be black and gold with a length of 2.5 inches. Im going to order a few next week. pictures to follow. for now read the manufacturers description below.

Rapala Flat Rap Lures, at first glance, look like any standard Rapala lure. Then you start to notice the difference in the flat sides and triangle lip. Built of balsa with a slow-rising response on retrieve pause, the Flat Rap swims with a hard-flashing modification of the classic Rapala “wounded-minnow” action. The triangle lip enhances the quicker action while deflecting off obstacles in its way. Each Flat Rap is hand-tuned and tank-tested to ensure it embodies the fish-catching action Rapala is known for.

The quick flashing swimming action of the Flat Rap entices instinctual bites from all freshwater gamefish species including Bass, Walleye, Pike, Musky, Trout, Salmon and Panfish.

Additional features of these baits include the following:

  • Flat-Sided For Hard Flashing Action
  • Triangle Shaped Lip Enhances Action
  • Design Allows Long Distance Casts
  • Slow-Rising
  • Balsa Wood Construction
  • VMC Black Nickel Hooks
  • Great For Casting And Trolling

RAPALA FAT RAP LURE
Rapala Fat Rap Lure Options

Sebile Soft Weight System

The Tackle Warehouse is now stocking the  Sebile Soft Weight System. This is the hook and weight system utilized in the Sebile Magic Swimmer Pro. This means you now have spares for the magic swimmer as well as the ability to use the Sebile Soft Weight System on other soft plastic lures.

Sebile Soft Weight System
Sebile Soft Weight System

PALMER LAKE, Colo., July 21, 2010 — The SEBILE Soft Weight System was voted the winner of the Best Accessory / Terminal Tackle award for 2010 at EFTTEX in Valencia, Spain and voted Best Terminal Tackle for 2010 at ICAST in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Soft Weight System comes in 1/0 to 6/0 hook sizes and can be used with many kinds or brands of soft plastics, whether worms, grubs, lizards, frogs, crawdads, swimbaits or soft jerkbaits. Of course they are awesome with SEBILE’s Magic Swimmer Soft, Stick Shadd Hollow and A.T. Worm.

The custom-designed hooks are strong, ultra-sharp, and made to the highest precision Japanese hook standards.

The soft weights feature a Tungsten gum rubber style construction so that they can be easily added, repositioned on the hook shank or removed to make on-the-water adjustments to fishing conditions. The weights are reusable and made of environmentally friendly material.

Adding or removing weights helps with casting on windy versus calm days and the number of weights used affects depth, sink rate and so on.

Don’t neglect to study the effect that adding or removing weights has on the action and movement of a bait as well. For example, using the Magic Swimmer Soft 130 with two soft weights toward the front of the hook shank, you achieve a tighter, faster side-to-side wiggle that ripples down the swimbait’s body from head to tail. This presents a more alert, normal baitfish movement, and is along the lines of how a slow-sinking Magic Swimmer hardbait swims.

Using the Magic Swimmer Soft 130 with four soft weights positioned on the wider part of the shank – so underneath the Magic Swimmer’s belly, you get a wider, rolling action which kicks the tail out further to each side as it swims. This presents a more disoriented, struggling movement of a baitfish in a bit of trouble, hustling along in a more distressed manner than normal. This is somewhat similar to how a fast-sinking Magic Swimmer hardbait hustles.

So adding or removing weights will help you to fine-tune the action and movements of soft lures.

Not only how many but where you position the weights on the hook shank also gives a lure different falling and swimming actions:

  • Weight-forward positioning. Enables the angler to impart some interesting actions and makes the bait a little more responsive to twitches and jerks. Weight-forward also tends to penetrate and drop down through thick grass or brush more easily.
  • Weight-back positioning. Proves invaluable for swimming lures steadily on the retrieve or to maximize the action of a horizontal falling lure.
  • Weight-inside positioning. Tends to produce a dying baitfish effect and is often desirable for dead-drifting or deadsticking a lure.

Sizes: Soft Weight System 1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0

Sebile Soft Weight System
Sebile Soft Weight System
Sebile Soft Weight System
Sebile Soft Weight System

Cold Water Bass Lures

Cold Water Bass Lures

Bass, as you probably know, are cold-blooded creatures, meaning their body temperature is the same as that of their surroundings. As the water temperature drops, so does their metabolic level. The digestive process is greatly slowed; according to Doug Hannon, ESPN’s Bass Professor, it takes a bass about four hours to digest a meal in 80-degree water, four days in 50-degree water! As the water temperature plummets, the need for frequent feeding diminishes, and bass become less active. But then, if you’ve ever gone strikeless at a bass club tournament on a frigid winter or early spring day, you already knew that!

Bass pros and guides are on the water constantly, and must use creative methods for catching bass when the lake is frigid. Choosing the right lure is a huge part of this equation. If you’ve had trouble scoring strikes when the water temp drops below 50 degrees, study what follows carefully. Some of bass fishing’s top pros and guides are about to heat up your next bass outing.

Suspending Jerkbait

Seasoned bass pros like Larry Nixon swear by these minnow mimics in water as cold as 40 degrees. They work best in clear to moderately stained lakes.

“Suspending jerkbaits, unlike most other bass lures, draw strikes when they’re sitting still,” Nixon told BASS PRO ONLINE. “In fact, that’s when most of your hits will come on this bait — when it’s hanging absolutely motionless in the water column.”

Nixon was the first bass pro to realize the power of suspending jerkbaits for catching early-spring bass. “I used to drill holes in floater/diver minnows like the Rebel Spoonbill, then fill ’em with lead shot to get ’em to suspend, a time-consuming trial-and-error process if ever there was one,” he confessed. “Now most lure companies offer minnow baits weighted at the factory to suspend perfectly. No more drilling and filling — a lure like a Smithwick Suspending Rogue will suspend perfectly right out of the box.”

Suspending jerkbaits match the lethargic mood of cold-water bass, the pro said. “In early spring, bass in clear lakes often suspend off points, flats and other potential spawning areas, waiting for the water to warm before moving shallow. These fish won’t move far to grab a meal, but they’re suckers for a jerkbait fished at their level.” When fishing these baits, remember that less is more, Nixon added. “Most anglers fish ’em way too hard and fast. Cast, reel the lure down to its maximum depth, give one or two quick snaps of the rod tip, then just let it sit motionless — the colder the water, the longer you should pause between jerks.”

Nixon’s bonus tip: “Fish a suspending jerkbait on a long, light-action crankbait rod, one with plenty of give. Many bass will be foul-hooked on this lure, and the hooks may rip out when a stiff-action rod is used. Fairly light line, 10 to 12 pound, will handle a big fish in open water while allowing the lure to get down to its maximum depth.”

Uncle Josh Pork FrogThe jig ‘n pig is the ultimate cold-water big-bass lure according to pro Ron Shuffield.

Jig ‘n Pig

When the lake is cold and stained-to-muddy, nothing works harder to connect you with a lunker bass than a jig ‘n pig. This reliable bass bait has accounted for many monster largemouths in winter and early spring.

Bass pro Ron Shuffield is an admitted jig junkie. “When the water is below 50 degrees, I feel more confident fishing a jig ‘n pig than any other lure,” he testified. “When rigged with a split-tail pork frog, it’s a near-perfect crawfish mimic. The heavy jighead bumps through submerged brushpiles and over logs with ease, and the jig’s rubber skirt and tails of the trailer flare out like the arms and pinchers of a live craw. This is the ultimate cold-water big-bass lure. I caught a 10 1/2-pounder on a jig ‘n pig at an Arkansas lake last January.”

Shuffield targets submerged wood cover lining reservoir creek channels and ditches in the dead of winter. “This pattern holds true everywhere I’ve fished for bass. Just run up a tributary arm and work your way back out following the old creek channel, pitching a jig ‘n pig to every stump, log and stickup you encounter. If you can find an underwater ditch, even better, because these subtle structures receive very little fishing pressure and can hold monster bass.”

Ron fishes the jig ‘n pig on a 7-foot heavy-action baitcasting rod or flipping stick with 20 pound mono: “Jig fishing is not an ultralight game; you’ve got to hammer the fish and winch it out of thick cover.”

Shuffield’s bonus tip: “When fishing a jig ‘n pig in a laydown tree, you’ll hang up less often by swimming the lure horizontally through the branches rather than letting it fall vertically through them. Hold your rod at 10 o’clock and reel steadily, speeding up slightly if you feel the jig drag the tree. A swimming jig looks just like a moving crawfish.”

Bass Pro Shops XPS Grub
Christian favors a 4- or 5-inch twist-tail grub rigged on a 1/4-ounce jighead for winter bass.

Grub

“A grub is the deadliest bass lure you’re not fishing!” joked legendary Tennessee bass angler and former Priest Lake guide Jack Christian. “It’ll catch bass both shallow and deep, in clear to murky water, yet for some reason most bass anglers never use it. For cold water, it’s a great choice — compact to match the suppressed appetite of bass, and highly realistic in appearance, like a small shad. I’ve caught largemouths over 9 pounds, smallmouths over 7 on grubs.”

For winter bass, Christian favors a 4- or 5-inch twist-tail grub rigged on a quarter-ounce jighead. He fishes it on a heavy-action 6-foot spinning rod with 8 pound mono. Sloping chunk-rock banks are his favorite targets: “Bass gravitate to banks with a 45-degree slope in winter because here, they can make a significant depth change without swimming a long distance and exerting a lot of energy. Position your boat so you’re facing the bluff, cast the grub shallow, allow it to sink, then raise the rod tip sharply to 11 o’clock to snatch the lure off the rocks. Repeat this until the grub is directly under you. Bass will strike it as it’s falling; if you see the line hop, set the hook.”

Christian’s bonus tip: “Color is extremely important when fishing grubs. Most anglers like chartreuse; I’ve found this color to be much better in spring, when the water is 58 degrees and above, than in winter. In clear lakes, try smoke glitter on sunny says, smoke pepper (black flakes) on cloudy days. If the water is stained, try pumpkin pepper.”

Luck-E-Strike HairJig
Depending on its color and where it’s fished, hair jigs can mimic a crawfish or minnow.

Hair Jig

“The plain ol’ hair jig, a.k.a. bucktail or fly, is my favorite winter/early-spring bass lure in river-run reservoirs,” said Pickwick Lake, Alabama, bass guide Steve Hacker. “It’s extremely compact, and looks like either a crawfish or minnow, depending on its color and where you fish it. It’s a world-class smallmouth lure, but largemouths will eat it as well. Most important, it’s the most basic of all fishing lures, one that’ll catch anything that swims in gin-clear to muddy water. You can even fish it under a bobber for suspending bass.”

Hacker, a smallmouth specialist, targets hard-bottom structures with hair jigs, including  rockpiles, shell mounds, humps and channel breaks. “In water from 48 to 50 degrees, I’ll fish ’em 9 to 14 feet deep, dropping down as deep as 28 feet when the water dips to 40 degrees. I like current and dingy water when fishing hair jigs.”

The guide uses a “drop ‘n pop” retrieve” “Cast the jig to the structure, let it drop to the bottom, then pop the rod tip so it shoots off the bottom. Bass usually take it on the fall.”

Steve fishes 1/4 and 3/8 ounce bucktails most of the time, the latter in deeper water/increased current. “I start with a jig having white as its primary color, since shad are the predominant forage in the Tennessee River system. My second choice is black. Chartreuse is good, too, but gets pecked at a lot by white bass and drum.” He fishes these lures on a stiff 6 1/2-foot spinning rod with 6 to 8 pound mono and a 6-9 medium-heavy baitcaster with 12 to 15 pound line, the latter in heavily-stained water.

Hacker’s bonus tip: “You can fish a hair jig with or without a pork trailer. In slack water, a trailer adds a little more bulk to the bait so it falls slower. In current, I leave the trailer off so the lure slices through moving water more efficiently.”

XPS Lazer Blade Bait
McClintock uses a 1/2-ounce blade when he graphs bass or baitfish down to 30 feet and 3/4-ounce blade when fish are deeper.

Blade Bait

Like grubs, relatively few bass anglers fish blade baits. These thin slabs of metal drop into the strike zone like a rock, deliver vibrations frantic enough to jar your fillings loose, and flash like a strobe light to attract bass from their canyon-deep lairs in clear, cold lakes. They’re highly versatile — you can fish ’em like a drop bait, jig ’em vertically or reel ’em straight in like a crankbait.

Dale Hollow Lake, Tenn. guide Fred McClintock, a recent inductee into the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, relies on blade baits to catch largemouths, smallmouths and spotted bass on the harshest winter days. “These are my bread-and-butter winter bass baits,” he said.  “I use a 1/2-ounce blade when I see bass or baitfish down to 30 feet on my graph; a 3/4-ounce when fish are deeper.”

Fred’s favorite way to fish a blade is by stairstepping it down rock ledges. “In highland reservoirs, bass hold on these short outcroppings in winter, often 50 feet or deeper. Position your boat in deep water, cast the blade to the bank, and let it fall with a slight bow in your line — this is accomplished by slowly lowering your rod while the lure drops. When it hits bottom, stroke the rod upward; the blade will jump off the bottom, vibrating and flashing like a fleeing shad. Let it drop to the next ledge, again while lowering the rod slowly. If you feel a tap or see the line hop, a bass has inhaled the blade, so set the hook.” The guide uses a 7-foot medium-action baitcasting rod and 10 to 14 pound mono for blade bait fishing.

McClintock’s bonus tip: “Before reeling in a blade bait, always jig it up and down a few times when it’s directly under the boat. Bass, sometimes an entire school of them, may follow the blade in without striking, and this erratic presentation often triggers a reaction strike.”

Bass Pro Shops Strata Spoon
Spoons mimic injured or frightened minnows, and bass usually suck them in as they’re falling.

Jigging Spoon

Another versatile metal lure, the jigging spoon is best fished vertically in deep, cold water. Tennessee guide Jim Duckworth uses it for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass in water as cold as 36 degrees. “It’s my lure of last resort in midwinter,” Duckworth told BASSIN’. ” Last February I used it successfully at Center Hill, Dale Hollow and Priest lakes when it was so cold, I broke ice while launching my boat. I’ve caught spotted bass nearly 100 feet deep on spoons — it’s the all-time depth champion among bass lures.”

Duckworth’s favorite venue for deep spoonin’ is a “hollow,” a narrow tributary with a deep channel. “Hollows are V-shaped creek arms found on highland reservoirs,” he explained. “Bass move into the middle of them to suspend when the water drops into the mid to low 40s, usually close to a big school of baitfish.”

Jim idles his boat down the middle of a tributary, stopping when he spots a big ball of suspended shad on his graph. He then lowers the spoon straight down by pulling line off his reel, counting the distance until the lure is dangling at or just above the level of the bait. “Work the spoon up and down with short pops of the rod tip, varying the number and intensity of the pops until you determine what the bass want,” he explaines. “The spoon mimics an injured or frightened minnow; bass usually suck it in as it’s falling.” He fishes spoons weighing 3/8 to 1 ounce, depending on the depth of the bass, using a 6-foot medium-heavy spinning rod with 10-pound brained line. “Braided line is a must for spoonin’; it lets you feel light strikes at extreme depths and doesn’t get kinky like mono in super-cold water.”

Smallest Bass of the Season

Inspired by a thread over a ctfishtalk.com I thought it would be funny to post the smallest bass I caught in 2010. In all honesty I don’t believe it was the smallest but rather the smallest bass we managed to get a picture of.

Small Bass
Lunker Wannabe

This wannabe lunker bass was caught a Lake Wintergreen early September 2010