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Baits to use and when.

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  • Baits to use and when.

    Intro: What baits to use and when.

    When you consider all the choices we have today in baits and presentations it becomes mind boggling. Even the pros will struggle with this from time to time. That being said I will share with you my thought process in how I choose what bait to throw, when to throw it and why. Keep in mind that everyone has a favorite bait or presentation they like and will use it year round; and there is nothing wrong with that.

    For the most part there are four influencing factors that determine what I throw on any given day throughout the year. They are:

    A. How aggressive the bass are feeding on any given day.

    B. Water depth.

    C. The structure and cover I am fishing.


    D. Wind conditions.

    Notice what's missing? Water temps. I have had one fish days when water temps were 75 degrees and 50 fish days when water temps were 40 degrees. So I don't get too wrapped up on water temps. I do consider water temps and yes water temps dictate the metabolism rate of a bass = how often it will feed; but just because the waters cold doesn't always mean I have to fish slow and deep for example. It's my opinion that water temps and weather fronts play a larger role in positioning bass in predicable locations more than anything else; so I use temps more as a guide in where to look for bass throughout the season’s more than any other factor.

    Before we begin we have to talk about the bass themselves. And here is what I know.

    A bass is primarily a sight feeder, it's a dominate predator in most fresh water bodies of water and it's all about energy management. At times it is very territorial, has a short term memory, it isn't always too particular in what it eats and lastly; its sole purpose in life is to stay alive and reproduce.

    So what does this all have to do with what we throw? Bass have been found to eat baby turtles, catfish, eels, lizards, game fish, insects, and at times each other: and here is the point; it's why a bass will eat a jig in 38 degree water temp in the middle of Jan. And why is that? After all; there are no crawfish roaming around at that time of year but the bass ate it anyway. Why? Because the bass doesn't care; it was an easy meal that was put in front of its nose when it was ready to eat. A bass is an opportunist. It all boils down to how hungry / aggressive a bass is on any given day and you will hear me say that a lot. For simplicity sake if they are aggressively feeding a bass will chase down a rattle trap in 38 degree water temp end of story.

    The other issue is most predators fail at hunting 2 out of 3 attempts. And that's where energy management plays a factor. A bass is not going to expend any more energy than it needs too to feed. And like most predators it's going to target the weak and wounded prey before it would an otherwise lively healthy one. It's all about an easy meal. This is a significant factor in how lures should be presented and retrieved.

    Structure and cover plays an important role in dictating lure and presentation choices too. That is pretty much self explanatory. The key here is to get out of your box from time to time. Take the time to try new stuff or work baits differently then how you are accustomed to. Sometimes playing around can lead to new discoveries. That's how the C-Rig, Mojo Rig and drop shot were all discovered just like most other techniques did too.

    There are times when the wind isn't going to allow you to throw a given lure. You will be hard pressed to effectively work a senko in a 15 mph wind: nor throw big spinner baits into the wind either.

    Now all of that being said I will post follow up Threads from time to time and talk about the numerous lure choices we have available to us . Remember this though: there is no such thing as a magic lure. They all have a time and place when one will outshine another. Lures are tools. You can use a screw driver for many different things but it's only good at one thing.

    The Treads are open to everyone and the more input from all of you the better it is for everyone!
    Last edited by just1more; 10-03-2014, 11:31 AM.
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Overall Winner
    2010 VAO Polar Bear Big Striper