Reminiscing on Bass Fishing Techniques

 

By Glenn Walker

 

As we enter the off-season of open water fishing here in the Midwest, many anglers have thoughts of longer days filled with the warm sun against their skin and a big old bucketmouth tugging on their line. After taking a look back at this past season of bass fishing and looking ahead, I made a list of my six favorite ways to catch bass.

 

Flipping Jigs/Plastics

Not only does this technique allow an angler to slow down and catch sluggish bass, but it is such a rush when you are flipping your bait into and around shallow cover, feeling a tick and rearing back on the rod and feeling the tug of a big bass.

 

From spring to fall, flipping a Texas-rigged soft plastic bait or jig is a great way to dissect fish-holding cover and give you the opportunity to catch some big bass.

 

When I lock into a specific pattern for fishing shallow-water cover and make multiple casts to my target, Iíll drop my Minn Kota Talon so I donít have to worry about moving into or away from my target. 

This allows me to keep my mind on fishing and not worry about boat control. My go-to flipping rig is a 5/16-ounce Lazer Sharp tungsten weight above a 4/0 Trokar TK130 flipping hook, tied to 20-pound Seaguar TATSU. This rig will allow for rigging of multiple styles of plastics baits and allows me to make precisions flips with my 7í6Ē Wright & McGill Honey Comb Series Heavy Cover rod. This rod also helps me get a solid hook-set and get a bass out of the heavy cover before they can bury themselves in it.

 

Fishing Top-Water Plugs

As soon as the water temperatures begin to creep above that 60 degree mark and bass are feeding, Iíll always have a top-water plug, such as a Zara Spook tied on to one of my rods. This top-water lure tempts bass from the depths and from far away with its subtle side-to-side action. As the year progresses and bass are feeding more actively, Iíll use a popper-style plug. It is important to swap out the stock trebles on your top-water plugs with the super sharp Trokar treble hooks. I especially like the extra-wide gap ones as they increase the hooking percentage of short striking fish.

 

Throwing Top-Water Frogs

Once the vegetation of the year has grown up to the waterís surface and has created a canopy for bass to hide under, youíll find me throwing a Snag Proof top-water frog. Some areas where Iíll use this technique are over and around lily pads or matted vegetation. Looking for key features in the vegetation is one way to help eliminate water and locate key stretches of frogging vegetation. Fishing in these conditions requires the use of a braided line that has no stretch and will cut through the vegetation, Iíll spool up with the new Seaguar Kanzen in 60-pound-test.

 

Swimming Jigs

A swimming jigóa lure that was crafted by anglers fishing the Mississippióhas generated interest by anglers across the nation, and likewise this lure is a phenomenal lure for lakes as well. What makes swimming a jig so effective is that it is such a versatile lure and you can fish it in so many ways. Iíll use a 1/4-ounce RC Tackle Swim Jig when fishing inside weedlines and around boat docks and match the hatch to bluegill that bass are feeding on in the shallows.

What makes a jig a swimming jig? Well the line tie needs to be at an angle that allows it to make its way through the vegetation without getting hung up. This coupled with a sharp hook and soft weed guard allows for easy hooks-ups. The skirts on the RC Tackle Swim Jig have a high quality skirt from Skirts Plus, that when brought through the water gives it a great action.

 

Fishing Crankbaits

Crankbaits give an angler the ability to target bass from under a foot of water to 20 plus feet of water. The first step to effective crankbaiting is to figure out what you want that crankbait to emulateóa bluegill, crawdad or a shad. Then determine the water depth youíll be fishing and what cover is present. If you are fishing shallow cover, youíll want a bait that will bump into the cover and not get hung up, such as square-billed crankbait.

Come the summer months, many bass will be locked in on their deepwater structure, and using your Humminbird Side Imaging unit with a LakeMaster mapping chip will help you locate the key structure spots that you want to fish with your deep-diving crankbait. Doing this will help you save time and put you in the position to catch more bass.

 

Drop-Shotting

Fishing deep-water structure, whether it is a rock pile or weedline, is a great way to catch a lot of bass, both largemouth and smallmouth during the summer months. One of the most effective ways to target these fish is to finesse them into biting with a drop-shot. Fishing a drop-shot is easy to rig and very simple to fish.

The bassís level of activity will dictate how much action you give your baitósometimes just deadsticking it works, while other times youíll need to shake it a few times. The two key items I rely on when drop-shotting are a high-quality hook, such as the Trokar Drop Shot hook and a good rod that has a soft tip, but a strong backbone, allowing for solid hook-sets. The Wright & McGill Tessera Series Drop Shot rod has performed flawlessly for me over these last few seasons.

Glenn has been fishing tournaments for 10 years, spreading his passion and knowledge of the sport via articles and videos. He keeps busy fishing events across Minnesota and on the Mississippi River. Glenn's sponsors include: Humminbird, Jeff Belzer Chevrolet, LakeMaster, Mercury Marine, Minn Kota, Onyx, Plano, Rayjus, RC Tackle, Seaguar, Snag Proof, The Rod Glove, Trokar and Wright & McGill. For more information check out glennwalkerfishing.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/glennwalkerfishing.