Every bass angler has at least a few good strategies. Depending on the surroundings, the conditions, and the time of year, you may need to use a wide variety of lures for consistent success.
Take a look at these five lures for different situations, and try them out the next time you head to the water.
1. DEEP OPEN WATER: CRANKBAITS
If you’re fishing an area with very deep water, it can be tough to locate bass that might be hiding down below. For this reason, keep a few long-billed crankbaits in your tackle box. These lures have the design to swim down to the bass’ depth, and the rattle and motion to trigger a strike. They can be difficult to cast around downed logs and snags, but if you have a deep pool with lots of open water, a full supply of crankbaits should get lots of use.
2. SHALLOW AND WEEDY AREAS: TOP-WATER FROGS
When you move into shallow areas that have lots of vegetation, lilly pads, and weeds, take out a weedless frog and start going to work on the top of the water. Using a gentle tug to make some splashes and a slow retrieve to give the bass plenty of time to look at the lure, you should be able to entice a few strikes from weedy areas. Because of the exciting explosion at the top of the waters, some anglers say that catching a bass on a top-water frog is worth ten any other way.
3. HEAVY STRUCTURE: FLIPPING AND PITCHING
Docks, logs, downed trees, sunken fish cribs, and any other structure call for expert flipping and pitching. These are two different techniques, and they require some specialized equipment, but these styles allows you to accurately place a lure near a structure and let it sink down to the bass’s level. You’ll be dropping your lure right onto the structure, so you’re less likely to snag than if you were swimming something through the area.
4. MOVING WATER: SOFT PLASTIC CRAWFISH
If you live near rivers and streams, you’ve probably noticed small crayfish swimming around the banks. Bass have noticed these animals too, and they have made these crustaceans one of their favorite meals. Smallmouth are especially fond of crayfish, so take a package of soft plastic lures and a few hooks to any bank that holds rocks or riprap. Start bouncing these lures off the structure, letting the current create most of your motion. If there’s a bass in the area, it won’t be long until he’s on the end of your line.
5. NOT CATCHING ANYTHING ALL DAY: SPINNERBAITS
When nothing seems to be working and you’ve lost all patience, take the time to throw around a spinnerbait, just to see what happens. The beauty of these baits is their versatility. You can swim them over low-lying structure, let them drop down to the depths, or use them to buzz along a shoreline. They allow for different speeds and retrieve patterns, so you can mix it up to see what’s working today. While they look nothing like a baitfish, the twirling blade and shimmering skirt can make lethargic bass turn into hungry predators.