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fish

1-15 | 16-16
 Jun 5, 2009; 09:59AM - the wiggley wiggle
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  ed moses
 Author E-mail:  virginia_rooster@yahoo.com
Tip&Trick Description 1: needed 7'' worm with tail any color
Tip&Trick Description 2: cast lure let it sink all the way to the bottom retrieve with stop and go process with quick short jerks in between reeling make sure to pause often
Tip&Trick Description 3: the fish will inhale the bait on the pause this method is guaranteed to catch bass also works well on other fresh water fish good luck out there
 Nov 22, 2005; 02:53PM - The Bubbles
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  joe webb
 Author E-mail:  phatfarm44001@yahoo.com
Tip&Trick Description 1: when the water is cold and the bass are slow. tie on a tube and break off some peices of alkaselesrs and put them into the bait. and cast and hang on.
 Aug 23, 2005; 08:14PM - Dead Sticking Bass
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  Delaware Tackle
 Author E-mail:  swvbbass@comcast.net
Click here to enlarge Tip&Trick Description 1: When the weather is nasty, be it in the early spring or late fall, many anglers miss out on some of the best bass fishing of the year. When their boats are in the garage, and their gear is stored away, other anglers in the know, cash in on some of the best fishing of the year using some special techniques. One of the most effective ways to catch big bass in colder water, is a technique known as 'Dead-Sticking.' The anglers who can brave the elements and employ these techniques, catch some of the largest bass of the year.

'Dead-Sticking Technique'

The name of the technique tells it all. The technique actually involves more patience than action. Some of the best ways to present a bait using a Dead-Sticking technique are Drop-Shotting, using a suspending jerkbait, and fluttering soft plastics to the bottom. These are great ways to tempt early season and late season bass. You won't catch a ton of bass in really cold water, but you can have a memorable day, and catch some of the larger bass of the year. When the water temperature is in the low to mid forties, shad and herring either die off in the winter, or they are so lethargic, that they are a good target for feeding bass. A lure that suspends at the level of the bass, or just falls slowly to the bottom, or in the case of the drop-shot, just sits still in the middle of the water column, offers a tempting imitation of a dying shad.

'Jerkbaits'

There are many good Jerkbaits on the market today, but for dead-sticking techniques I like certain baits more than others. Smithwick Rogues, Lucky Craft Pointers, and Rapala Husky Jerks, and Strike Pro USA are among my favorites.

They are excellant baits for dead-sticking because they suspend. You can throw them out, reel them down, and play the waiting game. I have done this, and many times, while getting a drink, or grabbing something to eat, the bass have hit the bait. Sometimes it takes as long as a minute, or even two, before a bass will move up to a suspending bait and decide to hit it. I throw the baits way past the target, and jerk it down to where I think the bass are. In some bigger lakes and reservoirs I like to fish any standing timber they have available. I jerk the bait down, and then stop it right by a tree. I then let it sit as long as a minute before moving it again.

Many times the bass will hit while it is sitting still, or when I first start to move it again. This happened to me quite a few times in Greenwood Lake and in Union Lake, in New Jersey. It is an excellent way to catch cold water bass in these and other lakes. I had great success with this method on Table Rock Lake, and Bull Shoals in Missouri, working the standing timber.

It doesn't really matter if it's a tree, or rocks, or next to a dock. The trick is to let the bait sit there for as long as it takes, without moving it all. A lot of anglers are tempted to impart some action to the bait, but this is a mistake. This is the time to wait as long as you can stand it. Nerves of steel are required for this type of fishing.

Another good location to use this technique is over old roadbeds, like in Spruce Run reservoir in New Jersey. I also like to use them along bluff walls, and across long tapering points. When the water starts to warm in the spring, or after a warm spell in the winter, bass will move up from the deeper water and suspend over or near these areas. These are ideal baits to use to entice them into striking. I like to find a long flat point, near a creek channel, where the deep water isn't far from the shallow water. This is where the bass will be, due to the fact that don't have to move very far, which is important this time of year, but especially true in the winter.

When bass are suspending, if you throw a carolina-rigged bait, you are actually fishing under the bass, if you use a crankbait, you're usually fishing too fast. This is why suspending jerkbaits are ideal, because they get right down into the suspended bass and stay in one place. This is even more important in the winter, than the early spring. I make sure I fan cast the entire structure from many different angles. Many times the bass don't hit the bait until it is presented at just the right angle, and you won't know what that is until you make enough casts to start catching fish.

The most strikes occur in about eight to ten feet of water, and suspending baits that go down to about eight feet are the best. You need at least two feet of visibility for dead-sticking baits, and more is preferable. It is very important for them to be able to see it, as you are not moving the bait, and it doesn't make much noise. My best days deadsticking have been on lakes with a good degree of visibility.

'Dead-Sticking Soft Plastics'

Most bass fisherman use Zoom Flukes, Bass Assassins, and other soft plastics, with a twitch, twitch, reel twitch action, like in the warmer months, but using these baits with a dead-sticking technique in the colder water, works wonders. Bass won't come up and hit these baits on or near the surface when it's cold, but they do hit it when it falls slowly to the bottom. It takes so much patience to work these baits right in cold water that most anglers don't have the patience it takes to work them properly. I use the bait on a unweighted 4/0 or 5/0 WG hook, and let it fall slowly to the bottom. The bait only sinks about one foot every three to four seconds, and this is perfect to imitate a dying shad. I have had the best luck with this in the winter, but in the very early spring, it can be effective also. I just cast it out next to the structure, whether it's a dock, or brushpile, or just over some type of structure that the bass are suspending on. I might twitch it a couple of times as it falls, but not too much, just enough to convince a bass that it is crippled or dying. It is a great bait for areas that have a lot of dying shad in the winter.

One of the baits that I have had the most success with last year using these dead-sticking methods, is the Yamamoto 'Senko.' This bait is perfect to use dead-sticking. Although it is nothing more than a thin, straight piece of plastic when it is out of the water, it literally comes alive with just the right action to entice bass in colder water. The new 'Netbaits' have also worked very well this year, as have the 'Bearpaws' 'Lazy Sticks'. It is perfect for letting sink slowly to the bottom, or for drop-shotting. Because of the salt content in these baits, it sinks a little faster than an unsalted lure. These baits are perfect for a lot of different situations, as long as you have to patience to let them sink. You really don't have to do anything to these lures, except let them sink slowly on a slack line. I rig them on a 2/0 or 3/0 Daiichi or X-Point hooks, on fourteen pound test Spiderline Super Mono, or P-Line.The trick is to pay very close attention to the line, sometimes you might feel a bite, but generally you will not. I just move the rod tip a little bit to see if I can feel the weight of the bass. If I can't, I just let it fall slowly to the bottom again. The action really comes when the bait is falling, so you have to lift the rod slowly, and let it fall back again as you work it across the bottom. There is even a new larger Senko for this year that I am looking forward to using. Even the new Cut-Tail worm may work well in these cold water situations, and I am looking forward to trying them out this year.

'Drop-Shotting'

The best technique to come along for cold water or suspending bass is the Drop-Shot technique. Drop-Shotting can tempt bass into striking in the cold water at all times of the year. In the late winter, or very early spring, I just cast it out, let it hit the bottom, and tighten my line up. I use very little action at all. I don't really shake my rod tip or anything, I just let it sit.

The less action the better! I do fish them around some structure also, and generally when I do this I work the bait with a little more action up to the cover, and then just let it sit when I get next to it. It is a very effective method in the winter or spring. I generally use a three to four inch bait on drop-shot rigs, but other baits have worked at different times. The hardest part of fishing in the winter or very early spring isn't the fishing itself, but motivating yourself to get out there and go when the weather is less than desirable.

This is where the patience comes in, as it is very hard to sit still for long periods of time, and work the bait as slowly as is necessary to produce the strikes. Dead-Sticking really works if you remember exactly what it means. I like to use a high modulus graphite rod for the Dead-Sticking techniques, in a 6 1/2 to 7 foot length, with twelve to fourteen pound test line. I use spinning gear on little finesse baits, or a light line baitcaster. I use a baitcast rod, and up to fourteen to seventeen pound test line, in the deeper water, and for larger baits. Try these techniques this year, and your recreational and tournament fishing will improve greatly.

Delaware Tackle www.delawaretackle.com


Click here to enlarge Tip&Trick Description 2: Times when 'Stealth' Crankbaits outperform their noisy cousins!!!!

Seen any new crankbaits that don't feature rattle chambers? They're fast becoming a rarity. Crankbait guru David Fritts believes noisy crankbaits have become so ubiquitous that they sometimes turn off more bass than they actually attract.

Whenever Fritts is on a crank-and-destroy mission, he has rods rigged with noisy and quit crankbaits. Conditions often dictate which type will be more productive, but bass don't always respond in a predictable fashion. He generally fishes noisy crankbaits about two months a year.

That's in February or March, depending on what part of the country I'm fishing,' offered Fritts. 'And again in October or November. Bass are chasing and feeding then, and you want to let them know the bait is there.'

Fritts also catches bass on rattling crankbaits in the summertime when they feed early and late in the day. Muddy water is another situation in which clamorous crankbaits come through for Fritts. The commotion helps bass locate the bait when they can't see it, he explained.

But the well-known North Carolina pro runs silent and runs deep when he encounters tough fishing conditions, which typically include slick water and bright sunlit days that follow cold fronts. In both situations, a quiet crankbait that swims with a tight wiggle is more likely to coax strikes, because it closely mimics a swimming baitfish.

Although Fritts usually cranks with a medium-speed retrieve, he throws in a few 'change-ups' when he's working quiet crankbaits, one of the things that has always separated Fritts from mere mortal anglers.

'When fishing is really tough, it takes repeated casts to trigger a strike,' said Fritts. 'A lot of times the casting angle comes into play. You have to catch them off-guard. It gets a little tricky.'

It also may be that a silent crankbait sneaks closer to bass before they become aware of its presence. Whereas a bass may sense a noisy crankbait at some distance and have plenty of time to reject it, a silent crankbait suddenly appears in the fish's face and sparks a reflex response. When casting to a group of bass, the first strike often rouses the rest of the school.

'If you can get one of two bass in a school to bite, you can get the rest of them feeding,' added Fritts. 'You can't beat a subtle crankbait for getting things started.'

More tips and articles at www.skguideservice.com




Brett Ware of Ambush Lures with a 8.5 lb Bass and the new Ambush Pro Series cranks and Luresaver Technology

New 'Ambush Pro Series' Cranks with Luresaver Technology

Your chunking your tackle along the bank hoping to get some action on some big bass and get a productive pattern defined. The next thing you know is …..BAM! BAM! BAM! …and now your on the pattern but you’re fish’n thick structure so you look in your tackle box to make sure you have another one in case you loose this one. It turns out that the only one you have of the 'hot’ color is the one on your line. Oh No!!! If I loose it, I’m screwed!

Has that ever happened to you in a tournament situation or when you are out in the middle of BFE fishing your secret fish’n hole. Well it sure happened to me on my recent trip to lake El Salto in Mexico. In case you’re not familiar with lake El Salto, it is about a 2 hour drive northeast of Mazatlan, Mexico, to the Angler’s Inn resort where we stayed. The nearest tackle shop that I could buy another one of the lures was probably around 3000 miles away. Not a good situation to be in but I’ve found myself more and more in this situation with the pressure that many of the fisheries are receiving.

We were down at lake El Salto to field test some new product introductions for the 2004 fishing season. Throughout the days we were field-testing various color patterns of our new 'Ambush Pro Series' cranks that Tim Hughes painted up for us. As usual, the colors that were the hottest and I mean 'HOT', we only had one of each color. With the type structure that the big hogs were hanging in, it was a necessary evil to fish the structure if we wanted to get to those 'Grande' bass. Then I remembered about some titanium snap rings called Luresavers that I was introduced to last summer by one of the top pros that was fishing the Bassmaster Classic. These new Luresavers allow your lure to release from structure when your lure is hung up and I just happened to have a few of them that I had purchased in my tackle box . I’m proud to say that we put the Luresavers on all the hot colors and never lost one crankbait the rest of the trip. The Luresavers were truly amazing and enabled us to land over 100 bass the last day between 3 and 8.5 lbs. Pictured above is the 8.5 lb bass that topped our list and the smile says it all.





In fact we liked the Luresavers so much that we decided to put them on all the new 'Ambush Pro Series' crankbaits that we are introducing for 2004. At Ambush, our goal is to put out the highest quality fishing lures on the market and no top-end crankbait would be the same without the Luresavers on them. If you are heading down to El Salto, I’d recommend you take the 'Orange Craw', 'Green Craw', and 'Pearl Black Back' in the new Tim Hughes looks. The colors truly will produce what you’re after and enable you to fish the structure where the big bass are hanging out. Pictured above is the 8.5 lb bass that topped my list and the smile says it all.



Click here to enlarge Tip&Trick Description 3: Winning Tournament Tactics
By Steve and Kurt vonBrandt
Mar 5, 2005, 23:40



There are certain tactics that give a tournament fisherman an edge over the other competitors, and produce a win. Sometimes just doing a little extra homework and preparation is all it takes. Planning, practice, and confidence are the keys factors that helped us win local, state, club, and regional tournaments consistently while working our way up the ranks of competitive bass fishing. Here are some of the most important things to do to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the challenge.
MENTAL AND PHYSICAL PREPARATION

Before you even can consider embarking on a tournament trail, or even local, and club events, you must be in good physical condition. This involves being able to lift, bend, twist, and move in a variety of positions, without getting injured. Many people think that fishing is a leisurely sport, but in order to be in top shape for winning tournaments, you must prepare ahead of time. We not only eat and sleep properly, but do regular physical workouts, to get in good shape to lift equipment, jump from the front and back of boats, maintain good balance, have quick reflexes, and be able to go long periods of time, without wasting time eating and drinking. Being able to jump down to your knees quickly, and maneuvering many directions efficiently can mean the difference in winning or losing. One lost fish can mean the difference in first place and last place many times. Not only do we work out physically to prepare, but we practice our techniques in the off season as well. In the winter, and all times of the year in between tournaments, we practice our flipping, pitching, and casting techniques. In the colder months we set up boxes, simulate docks to practice pitching and flipping, and cast to targets in the yard. Knowing your equipment like the back of your hand, and being able to quickly execute a maneuver is critical in a tournament. Practicing all techniques constantly is vital in giving you the confidence that you need to win when you get to the tournament. Being able to control your emotions, and relax in the prior days and nights can give you an edge over the more inexperienced anglers. Most tournament pros even at intermediate levels are at the top of their game, and take it very seriously, so a slight edge can mean a great deal. The people who can maintain their composure and confidence, and can stick to their game plans under pressure, are the ones that consistently place in the rankings.

STUDYING THE COMPETITION SITE

Before we even start to prefish the lakes or rivers, we obtain all the information we can in the way of lake maps, topographical maps, baitfish, and lake conditions from a variety of sources. Talking to anglers at the lake and local tackle shops can sometimes reveal some interesting information. By no means, do what they say dictate what our plans will be, but it is another tool to use in planning a strategy for the lake. Knowing the lake age, composition of the bottom, structure, both natural and manmade, along with water quality, fertility, and oxygen levels, all come into play when deciding how to start pre-fishing the lake. Contacting local guides, and having some experience on the body of water all help, although sometimes this isn't always possible.

When we start to prefish the lake before a tournament, we break the lake down into sections. We eliminate the unproductive water for that time of year, and then section it off on maps. We pick the most likely locations where the fish should be holding for the water temperature and lake conditions, and then make a complete run around the lake to view it physically before fishing.

We start by looking for sandbars, points, humps, structure, laydowns, grass beds, etc., all the time watching the shoreline in the area for contours to indicate dropoffs and other structure. After surveying the lake, we then section off several of the best possible locations, and start fishing there. First starting with a search bait, such as a spinnerbait, buzzbait, and a crankbait for active fish. We mark the locations of where the active fish are on the GPS, and move on to the next spot. We never stick more than two fish in an area. Sometimes we fish the baits without any hooks in them, and when they hit you just pull it away from them. Try to find three good sections of the lake with decent fish first, before exploring further for the kicker fish. You can go back to these areas later the next day, and slow down to find the fish that you need to win. Sometimes early in the year bass will stage on a single piece of cover as small as a stick or blade of grass. It doesn't even have to be real structure sometimes, they just hold next to it. Most of the time, the larger bass, five pounds and up, are alone. They occupy the structure in the area by themselves, rarely schooling with fish of the same size.

UNCONVENTIONAL BAITS

Most pros won't reveal what they really catch the larger fish on. Most of the fish in lakes that are highly pressured by recreational and tournament anglers for years and years, become conditioned to certain baits. There are always fish that can be caught on conventional baits such as spinnerbaits, worms, and jerkbaits, but these generally are the fish that don't win tournaments. You can come in with a decent bag of five fish weighing ten to thirteen pounds, but it generally doesn't get you a check except in some local and club tournaments. The larger fish, the fourm five, and six pound bass, and up, are usually caught on baits such as frogs, prop baits, walking baits, and other types of new freak baits. Jigs will always take some of the better fish, but will not always win. Old style topwaters, such as a Devils Horse, Dying flutters, Nip-A-Dee-Dee's, and others, take many large bass. Let me emphasize though, that i like to get a limit in the boat first before pursuing that big 'kicker' fish!

Creek Chubs, Zara Spooks, Jitterbugs, and others, take more quality fish than you can imagine, due to the fact that they are fooled by the baits they just don't see. Of course, there are specific ways to work these baits, that will produce the better fish, even if you are using the same baits as another angler, and that is the trick.

When casting to structure with a topwater bait like this, dead sticking, and casting directly to the target, and not past it, can be critical. Patience and steady nerves are required to do this properly. Deadsticking a bait is an extremely effective way to win a tournament on highly pressured waters such as Table Rock Lake. In colder water, this is extremely important also. You should let a Senko or other bait such as a fluke or 'Sizmic Flugo' fall weightless for a long time by the structure, without giving it any movement at all. Suspending jerk baits worked in this manner also produce the bigger bass in pressured waters. Don't give the bait to much action, and let it sit for a long time in between movements. This is the key.

TIME MANAGEMENT

You must learn how to manage your time properly also, as you have to be thorough with the baits, but know when to switch and when to move. Plan this out in advance and be able to adjust to the water conditions and mood of the fish that day, as things can change rapidly from one day to the next on a body of water, especially when a clod front moves through. Practice at all times of the year, when the weather is bad, and cold, odds are, that many tournament days will be in the rain and wind. You need to know how to catch these fish under adverse conditions, not just fair weather. Plan your trips when the weather is poor. It's the only way the learn what to do. You must get practice in real tournament conditions. Make sure you time your run to the spots, and spend your time wisely there. Make as many casts as you can until the very last minute, and then open it up and get back as quickly as you can. You need to practice driving your boat in bad weather, under rough conditions, at high speeds, if you really want to win.

PRACTICE LANDING BIG FISH

You should try to join a private lake and a club, or make trips to Mexico, Texas, Florida, and wherever else you can experience fighting and landing a lot of larger fish. Confidence is the key to success in this business. You must have the confidence in your ability to land big fish without getting overly excited. This is hard to do, so as much practice as you can get doing this before entering major tournaments is a definite plus! A big part of this game is mental. You must learn how to to maintain a high level of concentration also. Don't pay attention to other things other than your line, the lure, and the fish. Ignore other anglers and spectators that are close by. Keep your focus, and stick to your game plan. Don't try to show off. That comes later at the weigh in with a twenty pound bag! Maintain and use the best quality equipment that you can get. This plays a big part in confidence also. It doesn't always have to be the very highest quality equipment, but you must have confidence in it, and in your own ability to use it properly. Sometimes I go through thirty crankbaits and jerkbaits before I find the best ones. Don't neglect the basics either. Learn how to tie all the proper knots for the baits you are using, and use the highest quality hooks available. I can't stress this enough. Follow these guidelines, and get out and practice as much as you can, and your recreational fishing as well as tournament fishing will improve drastically.

More specialized techniques are available by joining our 'Premium' section at our site at www.skguideservice.com


 Mar 23, 2004; 01:15PM - In depth spinnerbaiting
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  Steven Narup
 Author E-mail:  Steven_Narup@hotmail.com
Click here to enlarge Tip&Trick Description 1: The equipment that Steven Narup
prefers to use is a Pflueger Trion.
Click here to enlarge Tip&Trick Description 2: Gambler Pro Series Spinnerbait

In-depth Spinnerbaiting

By: Steven Narup



When most people are asked, “what is a spinnerbait?” They will more then likely reply with this, “it has a hook with a wire attached to it, with a lead head and a silicone skirt, with either one or two blades.” The majority of the time they will automatically describe the clothes pin spinnerbait. Well in essence, there is much more to that. There is more then just that style of spinnerbait, this is what most people do not understand. Two other spinnerbait types are just as productive when presented in the right situation. These two baits are the tail-spinner and the in-line spinner. These baits are slowly catching on to the clothespin spinnerbait.



There are quite a few styles of spinnerbaits, including tail spinners, in-line spinners, and clothespin style spinnerbaits. Each style has there own time and place. The most widely used of these spinnerbait choices, is the clothes pin style.



Tail spinners can be a great choice when fishing for smallmouth bass and or finicky largemouth due to the bait’s compact size.



In-line Spinners became obsolete for many years by most bass anglers. Until now, they are slowly catching on to both Smallmouth and Largemouth anglers.



In-line spinners are a great bait when the fish are active but they can also be great when presented it other situations. Most people use in-line spinners when the fish are in a negative feeding mood, due to the bait’s smaller more compact size. There is one problem with in-line spinners, which keep the majority of people away from them, the fact that they will give you line twist. To help with this scenario try a high quality stainless steel ball bearing, this will cut back on the line twist. A ball bearing helps prevent line twist like so, when the bait starts to spin and twist in the water column the line will most likely twist without a ball bearing. However, if you have a ball bearing connecting the leader to the main line, when the bait twists the ball bearing spins the line back so that the line will not twist. If by any chance you do have line twist, let out a couple hundred feet of line into the water and turn your trolling motor on, this will get most of the twist out of your line. Another trick is the tie your line to a heavy object and stretch the line out by tightening your drag and pulling the line.





The clothespin style spinnerbait comes in many different combinations including blade size and style and different size heads. There are Steel and Titanium wires. The Titanium version is nearly indestructible, and needs little or no tuning at all. Titanium also lets off quite a bit more vibration then steel. The heads on clothespin spinnerbaits are starting to be produced with different materials as well, such as Lead, and Tungsten. Spinnerbait anglers are slowly starting to make the switch to Tungsten spinnerbaits, due to the fact the head is almost ¾ the size of lead, making the bait work through cover almost effortlessly.





. In general, spinnerbaits are a very versatile lure, which is one main reason why most bass anglers use them. Bass anglers have been using them for many years now and they still produce fish as if they came out yesterday, you just have to know the different ways to fish the bait.



Tail spinners can be great finesse baits and they can be fished shallow or deep, because the body of the bait is lead, with a little blade on the back. The majority of tail spinners come with a single treble hook, making them not as easy as the clothespin style spinnerbait when trying to fish through thick cover. To work the tail-spinner you can just reel the bait back to the boat, but doing this you will reduce the odds of catching more fish, but it does work. Instead, you should give the bait a little action. You can yo-yo the bait by letting the bait fall to the bottom, then pick your rod tip up to about a 10 o’clock position, just keep repeating this procedure unless you are not producing. On the other hand, you can do a combination of things, to give the fish something different to look at. You can yo-yo the bait during part of the cast, then reel, or twitch it back to the boat. One last way to fish this bait would be to vertical jig it, in deep, clear, cold water. This technique will work in different conditions, but works best in deep, clear, cold water. When you vertical jig a tail spinner you cast the bait out a few feet and let the bait fall vertically, on a semi-slack line then you slowly lift your rod tip and shake the bait, let the bait fall and keep repeating this process. I like to use baitcasting gear when fishing tail spinners, but there are times when you need to fish lighter baits and that is when spinning gear comes into play. I mainly fish Pflueger rods and reels. The rods are very nice they come with premium Fuji guides and a Fuji reel seat, making the rod one nice package. I really like the Trion Baitcasting reel because they come with five ball bearings, one roller bearing and a smooth multi-disc main gear applied star drag system, making this a great reel for mostly any type of fishing. The reel is great if you want to fish a lighter line, because you can set your drag and the drag is so smooth that when a fish pools there will not be as much stress on the line itself.





In-line spinners have been around for over fifty years, and they are still going strong, Mepps has been in the in-line spinner business for a while now, and they still sell great. Most anglers do not use in-line spinners while fishing for bass instead they are using bigger in-line spinners fishing for pike or musky. However, I know they are missing a lure that can catch bass like it can pike and musky. I have had great success fishing in-line spinners in creek openings, where the creek empties into the main river, fishing for smallmouth bass. In-line spinners can be worked shallow or deep, they come with or without tails, painted blades or non-painted blades. When you work an in-line spinner, the best possible way to fish these is to reel them in. If you try to jerk the bait, you will lose a lot of action, because in-line spinners are not made for jerking. In-line spinners let off a lot of flash, and maximum flash happens when you just reel it in. When I fish in-line spinners I like to use spinning gear preferably the Pflueger Trion spinning rod in a 6 ½ foot medium action, with a Pflueger Trion spinning reel, because they come in a 6:3:1 gear ratio which will allow you to speed up the bait without getting as tired out. They are very smooth and cast light baits a mile.



Clothespin spinnerbaits are one of your more versatile bait in the spinnerbait family. You can work them quite a few different ways, and give the bait a great action if you desire. When I work a safety pin spinnerbait, I really like to use a Pflueger Trion Baitcasting rod, anywhere from 6-foot medium to a 7-foot medium heavy action. The 6-foot rod will help you when you want to make accurate casts, and the 7-foot rod will help when you want to get distance with your bait. With the Trion rods, they are extra sensitive high modulus graphite, which will give you the ability to feel the blades turn on your bait. I will throw the bait on 15-20 pound test Berkley Trilene XL. When you work a safety pin spinnerbait, you can just reel it in, but again you are going to be missing some fish. When I fish a safety pin style spinnerbait, I sometimes jerk the bait, doing this gives the bait sort of an injured baitfish presentation. You can also let the bait flutter down, then you pick up your rod tip, and repeat, doing this gives the bait a yo-yo type effect. If I am going to be fishing a spinnerbait in cold water, I will look for anything that lets off heat because this will warm up the water just a little bit, fish do feel the difference, and I will fish the bait around that. If the fish are just coming up and nipping at the bait, you may want to add a trailer hook for extra insurance. I will usually throw a spinnerbait with a trailer hook in any tournament situation. If the fish are coming up and hitting that bait and not taking it you can use a soft plastic trailer, I like to use the Gambler Pro Series Spinnerbaits, beacause they come with high quailty blades and ball bearings, making it almost effortless to slow roll them and let them flutter down. To dress the Gambler Pro Series spinnerbait up I prefer the three-inch Bear Claw Grub from Bearpaws Custom Handpoured Baits. I like the Bearpaws grub because it comes with the scent baked right in to the bait, this will give you a definite edge on other anglers, because you will not need to use scent on the exterior of the bait.



Spinnerbaits are a great and versatile lure that have made a lot of many for companies in the fishing industry. The only thing I can say is next time you go out on the water I dare you to tie on a spinnerbait, and I know that you will not regret it.
 Jan 4, 2004; 08:18PM - Power Drop -Shot Tactic
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  Steve S&K Guide Service
 Author E-mail:  svonbrandt@msn.com
Tip&Trick Description 1: We have been using a Power Drop Shot technique that you may have heard of, and it works great in Heavy Cover, and around docks and wood in rivers and lakes. We just rig a heavy weight of 3/8 to 3/4 of an ounce, and then tie on the bait, such as a Yamamoto 'IKA' tube about 10 inches up the line on a 3/0 Gamakatsu hook, and flip and pitch it right in the same way as a jig or other bait. It stays there longer and has more action. Deadly on in-active fish. To view more tips and tactics and chat with other bass anglers from all over North America, stop by and visit us at our Proboards! http://skguides.proboards20.com
 Aug 27, 2003; 04:52PM - 'Crankbait Tactics For Huge Prespawn Bass' by Steve vonBrandt
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  Steve vonBrandt/S&K Guide Service
 Author E-mail:  swvbbass@aol.com
Click here to enlarge Tip&Trick Description 1: Crankbait Tactics for Huge Prespawn Bass
By Steve VonBrandt
One of the most effective ways to catch huge prespawn bass in lakes and rivers are Lipless crankbaits. These baits are especially effective when the water temperature is between 49 and 58 degrees, especially in stained or muddy water in lakes and ponds, but it also works in the rivers also. Some of the techniques outlined below will help you catch bigger bass all over the country in the early spring starting in march, and peaking in April.

'TYPES OF BAITS

There are are variety of lipless crankbaits on the market that catch bass, but in the spring, in most lakes and ponds, in the Northeast, the Rat-L-Trap by bill Lewis Lures, the Rattlin' Rapala, and the Viva Vibe, are some of the best. All lipless crankbaits have a different sound. Some are much louder than others, and will produce when some other quieter baits won't. At other times, the quitter rattling baits will produce more. You just have to experiment with several baits until you find the ones that are producing best in the particular body of water you're fishing in. Sometimes the same baits, in the same size, by the same company, make slightly different sounds, that can be better than the other, Experimentation is the only way to find which bait works the best. Some baits won't run as true at different speeds, and they turn sideways a little more than others, so you just have to watch them in the water, and find the best ones. The hooks should always be changed to a premium hook system such as Gamakatsu or Owner or Eagle Claw Premium. There are many other great hooks, but I prefer these. Most of your lipless crankbaits should be used in a 1/4 to 1/2 ounce size, but recently, bigger bass in the Northeast and in Florida have hit the bigger Slat Water Traps in the 3/4 to 1 ounce sizes.

COLORS OF BAITS

The best colors for the spring, especially if you have a lot of Crawfish in the lake, are red, red/orange, and brownish/orange. Some have spots on them and these are very effective. The standard Chrome, and Chrome with a blue back, and Chrome and Red, have worked especially well for the larger bass. If the water is extremely stained to muddy, we forund that the red, and the chartruese/brown combinations work well in this kind of situation also. If you have a lot of bluegill in the area, and less crawfish or shad, then the blugill/Suncracker patterns work very well. The primary forage in the lakes are the best patterns, unless you know that many anglers are aware of this, and are using these colors also. Then switching to unconventional patterns can fool some of the wary bigger bass.

'TECHNIQUES

Most people just cast the baits out and reel them straight in. While this will always catch some bass, there are more specialized methods that trigger strikes from the bigger bass. Cast the Rat-L-Traps out, and depending on the depth of the water, count them down to the level of the fish before starting the retrieve, and if it is a sandy and/or gravel/rocky type of bottom, let them sink to the bottom, then slowly raise the tip of the rod till you feel the lure vibrating, reeling the slack up a little slowly, then lower the rod tip, and do it again. Many times they will hit as it is on the bottom, and first starts to be lifted up. If these techniques don't work in a few hours, use a slight pumping action of the rod as you reel, keeping contact with the bait. If it hits a rock, weeds, or other structure, hesitate a second, and then rip it off quickly, and reel it in with a steady retrieve. You can also yo-yo the bait similar to a spoon or spinnerbait in deeper water near points and drop-offs, which can be extremely effective in colder water or on inactive fish that are suspended. Most of the time in water below 58 degrees they hit very mushy, like grass or leaves, or even like a stick is on it, but most of the time it is a bass. As they get close to the boat they will see you and make a dash for the trolling motor, and down to deeper water, sometimes even breaking the surface to throw the lure. They bass have to played very carefully as lipless crankbaits come out of the bass's mouth much more easily than you might imagine. Most of the bass will be in the shallower water off the flats, near deeper water, rip-raps, if available, or any place where there is baitfish and or cover near the North shore or bay, close to food sources, near where they are going to spawn.

EQUIPMENT

I like to use sinning gear for the smaller 1/4 ounce baits, and I use baitcast gear for the larger 3/4 to 1 1/2 ounce baits. I usually use a 7 foot spinning rod in med action so as not to pull the bait from their mouths, usually a S- Glass rod, or a G.Loomis Cranking Rod. In the baitcasters, I use a 7 foot, med to Med/Heavy rod, with a high speed reel, but many people prefer a good reel in a 5:0:1 or 5:3:1 gear ration. I always use Spiderline super mono in 10-12 pound test, but 8 pound test is preferred by many. Stren is a also a good line for this. Fan cast the baits in as many directions as possible in the prime areas such as the mouths of the back bays with creeks, where grasses and riprap, are on a harder bottom, and you will start picking up some of these monsters this spring. A good scent on the baits, such a Yum in Crawfish scent, can't hurt either.

Click here to enlarge
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 Aug 12, 2003; 10:50AM - Jiggin' It
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  Steven Narup
 Author E-mail:  sdnbassproaol.com@2catchfish.com
Tip&Trick Description 1: Jigs come in all sorts of shapes, colors, sizes, and even skirt materials. There are a bunch of different ways to fish them as well. However, to be able to catch them when the fishing is tough, you have to be very versatile. In this article, I will go through different ways of fishing jigs and I will begin to get you acquainted with this wonderful lure called a jig, in this little guide called “Jiggin’ It”.



Let me first give you a little bit of “background” about jigs. Jigs come made with many different kinds of materials. Just to name a few hair, tinsel and silicone. However, in this guide we will mostly be talking about silicone jigs. Silicone jigs are much easier too fish. Being that when they get wet, they become waterproof making them easier to slide through thick vegetation. To help aid the jig going through the thick milfoil some people use scent.



Jigs come in many different shapes and size, they even come with different shaped heads for different types of applications. They come made with a flipping, swimming, and even a stand-up type head. They also come in an array of different weight heads.



Jigs even come in countless colors and even different shades. It is best that when you first start out fishing a jig you should stick to basic colors. Some of the basic jig colors would include brown and orange, moss green and even black and blue.



When selecting a jig by its size you want to use as less weight as possible. Using less weight will give the jig a more realistic action and presentation. You also need less weight because bass will normally hit the jig when it is on the fall, and using less weight will help the jig fall slower. While we are talking about fall rate lets talk a little about jig trailers. Plastic trailers work great for cooler water, when the fish are more active. Jigs with pork are a deadly combination when the water temperature drops below 60. When you pick a trailer, you should keep in mind to match the trailer color to the color of the jigs skirt.



Now lets get into how to fish a jig. There are many different ways to fish them. One of the more popular ways to fish them is to do a hop and swim type retrieve. When you do this, you should make a long cast and then let the jig rest on the bottom for a few seconds, and then slowly lift your rod tip and let the jig fall back to the bottom. Then after a few hops you swim the jig a few feet, then begin to hop the jig again. This hop and swim method has produced greatly for many people all throughout the country.



Another way to fish a jig is to just hop the jig on the bottom or even drag it. However, one of the deadliest ways to fish a jig is to swim it close to the bottom or above a weed line. A seven-foot heavy action rod will give the jig enough action to entice big bass, be sure to pick a rod with a soft tip and enough backbone to horse the big boys out of the thick stuff.



The last technique I am going to cover is flipping and pitching. To do this you should flip the jig into weed pockets or into shoreline cover. When you do this, a good choice is a seven and a half foot heavy action rod and thirty-five pound monofilament. The heavy action rod will be stout enough to pull a five pound bass out the roughest spots you can flip your jig into.



This is just a little guide on how to fish a jig. If you experiment with different ways to fish them and you find out which technique the bass wants, you will have a killer day out on the water!




 Aug 5, 2003; 09:39PM - What To Do During Drawdowns
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  Steve vonBrandt/S&K Guide Service
 Author E-mail:  swvbbass@aol.com
Click here to enlarge Tip&Trick Description 1: What to do during Drawdowns
By Steve VonBrandt


One of the biggest obstacles an angler can face is finding, and then catching, fish in Big Lakes or Reservoirs where the water levels fluctuate dramatically, such as in Spruce Run, in New Jersey, in the recent past. Many lakes or Reservoirs, can rise or fall as much as 10 feet. This happened to us at a tournament in Bull Schoals, MO, a few years ago.

There are many factors that cause these fluctuations. Bodies of water that are dammed by hydroelectric plants, have upsurges of power in the extremely hot or cold periods of weather, that cause them to run more turbines and the level of the water drops. Sometimes it is a drought, and even the smaller bodies of water here in the Northeast get drastically low at times. On some lakes, in the East, they lower the water levels for irrigation, to build new launching ramps, to try to control weed growth, and to keep the ice from cracking their docks in the winter. Changing water levels can put even the best angler to the test.

Some other reasons they lower the water levels are due to an effort to try to restore the sportfishing to some lakes or Reservoirs that have suffered a decline, due to poor water quality. This happens a lot when the bottom of the lake, which is usually rock or mud, accumulate to the point of oversaturation along the shoreline, and the vegetation gets too dense. This can be from excess phosphorus, nitrogen, and other things from chemical sewage treatment plants. These drawdowns kills off the excess vegetation. I fished lakes in Florida, Missouri, and right here in Delaware, such as Diamond in Milford, and Hearns in Seaford. Becks Pond also is drawn sometimes, along with other Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland waters.


'What To Do'

If the drawdown happens quickly, the bass, and the minnows they feed on, will head to deeper water. Look for the deepwater points, any offshore humps, creekbeds, stump fields, submerged islands, and docks the go out into deeper water.

Since small baitfish and Crawfish are the main diet of bass almost anywhere, the lure and color choices you make should reflect that. Whether it's lipped or lipless crankbaits, blade baits, crankbaits, jigs, flukes, or Jerkbaits, they should match the forage in the lake or Reservoir. I like to use G. Loomis rods, and Shimano reels, in spinning, and baitcasting models, in 6 1/2 to 7 foot lengths, with 10-14 pound line.


'Develop A Pattern'

The bass are going to be on the move in these low water periods, so you have to be versatile. Vary your retrieves, working the edges of points and humps from shallow to deep. If the banks are gravely, or sloping type banks, then we generally use a jig, and other crawfish type baits. I like to cast to the banks, and stairstep the lure down. This has worked well for me in many New Jersey, and Missouri Reservoirs and Lakes. Keep your eyes open for old duckblinds,and docks that border deep water. They will block the sunlight, and provide good ambush points. After a big drawdown, we take our cameras to the lake and take plenty of pictures. This can really help later, and teach you what certain features look like on the fish locator, since you will have seen it first hand. During the drawdown at Diamond and in Red Mill Pond, we took plenty of photos to compare later.

We found offshore humps in many places, which were a bonanza at many times after the water was raised. Drop shot rigs, with a spider grub, Senko, or small worm, worked on the drop-offs in these areas in productive also. Keep your eyes open for any moving water by points when a fast drawdown occurs. Cast downcurrent and work the deeper running crankbaits from top to bottom. I like to use a Carolina rigged bait during these times, in these areas also. Marking the humps, points, and other visible structures on a GPS is a great idea. Combined with first hand knowledge, photos, a map, and GPS points, you can win a tournament or just increase your weekend fishing fun.
 Aug 5, 2003; 09:32PM - Hot Weather Bass in Delaware
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  Steve vonBrandt
 Author E-mail:  swvbbass@aol.com
Click here to enlarge Tip&Trick Description 1: Hot Weather Bass in Delaware
By Steve VonBrandt
KILLENS

Some of the best ponds during the heat, day or night, have been Millsboro, Killens, and Canal pond. First of the closest ponds to both upper and lower Delaware is Killens in Dover. Killens is located right off rt.13. Turn left onto State Park Road, follow the road around the curve, past the main park entrance, and about a mile and a half down the road is the pond. It has parking for about six to eight trucks with trailers, with an adequate launching ramp. Killens is a state park, and they also rent boats and cabins, but you will find little competition for bass except on the weekends.

Most of Killens is 1-5 feet deep at the shoreline, except in the extreme upper end, where it is just inches deep. The lake has an Island in the center with some wood cover and grass. It drops off to 6 feet quickly on the channel side(main lake), and is about 3 feet on the right side. This is a particularly good area to work in the day with 'Senko's' in 4 and 5 inch sizes in black and watermelon on a 3/0WG hook, with 8 & 10 lb test line. In addition, clacker type buzzbaits produce bass in the three to six pound range many times in this area, even in the bright afternoon sun. A Tournament frog is a good choice for the pads especially in the daytime heat. The action will be slower, but you can connect with some big explosions through the grass and pads at times. A Tournament frog is the best choice of topwater, and a 1/2 ounce in black works best all around. Vary the retrieve, both day and night, sometimes letting the frog sit after hitting the water,! as long as 30 seconds, then use a few quick hops. If this doesn't produce, try working it very fast and pausing only once, on the way back to the boat. This is especially effective in large pads.

Jigs in black and blue take their fair share of nice bass from here also, but you must be extremely accurate and quiet in your presentations or you will not connect. The bass will be in the heaviest of cover, lying in wait for a slow moving, crippled bait to come overhead.

'GO AT NIGHT'

Fishing at night when the water cools to 70-75 degrees, should not frighten you in exploring shallow water right at the drop-offs on the left side of the lake with buzzbaits cast to the main channel edge. Do not be afraid to experiment with some older, forgotten baits, such as a 'Devils Horse', or similar prop baits. They work wonders sometimes in highly pressured lakes.

MILLSBORO POND

Millsboro Pond is in Sussex County, Delaware, in the town of Millsboro off Isabella and Main Street. It has room for only a few boats, and the launching ramp is very shallow, you can get off all right, but getting back on the trailer can be real tricky. Most of the lake is shallow, with lots of grass. It has several Islands, but the bass go to shallow water at night in the upper end. Buzzbaits are best, but Tournament frogs work well also, in the day and night. Several bass have been caught in the 3 to 6 pound range in the past at night, using the Frog and Senko's mostly in the day. Cast the buzzbait wherever possible at night, it is worth removing the grass. Use Senko's by the lower end of the lake in deeper water in the day, and do not forget to let them sit a long time, raise the pole once or twice, and then cast again. Use these techniques and bring plenty of insect repellent, and you will connect with some lunkers, and many other 2 and 3 pounders.

CANAL POND

Canal Pond is located by the railroad bridge in the C&D Canal area. Turn right under St.Georges Bridge and follow the road to the pond. It has beautiful structure, pads, and has a deep shoreline with a deep hole. This was where a few years ago, the 30 pound landlocked Striped bass was caught. There are some real Lunker largemouth's still there also. You will need a small cartop boat to fish it, but it is worth the trouble of getting in. It is about 30 acres of real good dropoffs, and structure, where bass up to 9 pounds have been caught. Please remember to practice Catch, Photo, and Release so we can all enjoy the bass fishing there for a long time to come. SENKO's and 4' straight tailed worms work best throughout the year in watermelon and green. At times spinnerbaits and frogs will work, but this is a plastics lake.






S & K Guide Service
'OVER 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN THE NORTHEAST'LIFE MEMBER B.A.S.S./N.A.F.C.RED MAN/BFL REGIONAL QUALIFIERS1998,99, and 2001 BIG BASS WORLD CHAMPS/DEGAMBLER/BLAZERBASSBAITS/MEPPS/MISTERTWISTER PRO STAFFSwvbbass@aol.com







 Aug 5, 2003; 09:26PM - Lake Musconetcong
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  Steve vonBrandt
 Author E-mail:  swvbbass@aol.com
Click here to enlarge Tip&Trick Description 1: Lake Musconetcong

by Steve Von Brandt

Lake Musconetcong is located in northern New Jersey, between Sussex and Morris counties. It is actually part of Hopetcong State Park, and doesn't receive the notariety of its bigger brother Hopetcong or Greenwood Lake or any of the central Jersey waters. Yet, it is one of the best bass waters in northern New Jersey.












Years ago, this area was just swampland. It was flooded a long time ago to allow coal transporting barges to make their way to New York City along the Morris canal system. Efforts are being made right now, by the Lake Musconetcong Regional Planning Board, to insure that nature does not reclaim the land as a swamp. Their goal is to preserve the lake's recreational capabilities, bass fishing being one of them. They dredge the lake each year and perform weed harvesting. Even so, in the late spring, the weed growth in Musconetcong is very heavy. Thick mats of vegetation grow almost to the surface in most of the lake, and there are large boulders mixed in this, which makes fishing with a bass boat hard to say the least. More than one trolling shaft and outboard prop have been broken here.




You won't see a lot of boaters, anglers, and water skiers here. The lake does not receive the publicity the other lakes do. In fact, even in the spring and summer on weekends, surprisingly few people will be on the water at any one time. The lake is open to the public and has a good launching ramp. It is located right in the town of Netcong. It is a beautiful 329 acre lake loaded with a variety of cover and some real nice bass.

There are reasons for the lack of traffic on Musconetcong. For one, it is pretty shallow. It's average depth is about 4 feet, with the deepest water being only 6 feet. Since the bottom of the lake gets a lot of sunlight, there is tremendous weed growth. In fact, this lake is probably the 'weediest' you'll see in this region.

The shallow water also allows for rapid warming and cooling of the water compared to deeper lakes, so Musconetcong is usually a few weeks ahead of the other lakes in its seasonal warming and cooling. The daily temperature changes are more pronounced.

For the bass, this is an ideal habitat. There is a lot of food and cover to hide in. The bass we catch in Musconetcong are usually about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds on average, and some much bigger have been taken. It is not unusual at all to catch 8-10 bass in the 3 pound range, and one 5 pounds or over on a good day. Last year, we even took a 6 1/4 pounder from here.





LURES AND EQUIPMENT:

You should have plenty of weedless lures at Musconetcong. Tournament frogs, Bass Rats, Top-Props, and weedless spoons, along with Senkos and worms rigged Texas style are a must. There are some open pockets where you can cast some buzzbaits early in the year, but they disappear quickly as the water starts to warm. Most of the time, we rig the plastics without any weight, as the grass is just too thick. It is actually counterproductive because the water is only 4-5 feet deep. We like to use a spinning rod in 6 - 6 1/2 foot lengths in medium actions and a 6-8 pound test Stren line. In the baitcasters, we use a 7', med/hvy action rod, such as a G. Loomis Crankin' Stick and a Shimano Chronarch, spooled with 20-25 pound test Stren or Spiderline.



LOCATIONS:

The best areas to work these lures is the edges of the lily pads, right in with the frogs and rats, and the edges of the thick slop and mats of grass that accumulate on the surface. If you get there early in the year, you can learn where all the boulders and underwater objects are, which will aid your boating and fishing later. It is also worth searching the small drop-offs or depressions, many of which are right in the middle of the heavy grass. These areas will concentrate the fish, and at times we catch several from a small area before moving on.

Two areas that are really good are the edges of one small island, and the length of the tow path used by the old barge system. If you picture a line drawn from the public ramp to the far side, passing through a point about midway between the island and the right hand shore, you'll have a good idea of where it is.



Some other good baits to try in Musconetcong are soft plastic jerk baits like a Zoom, or Fin_S-Shad, or Sluggos and Bass Assassins. All in all, Musconetcong is a good time lake for all. Hopefully, it will be there for many years to come. Practice catch, photo, and release and you can assure the future of fishing and Lake Musconetcong for everyone.




Steve Vonbrandt
S&K Guide Service / Life member B.A.S.S./N.A.F.C./B.B.R.C./ 1998 B.B.W.C.DE

 Aug 5, 2003; 09:20PM - LAKE GASTON
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  Steve vonBrandt/S&K Guide Service
 Author E-mail:  swvbbass@aol.com
Click here to enlarge Tip&Trick Description 1: Lake Gaston'



Lake Gaston is located in both Virginia and North Carolina. It is a large lake of 20,300 acres. Many professional and amateur tournaments are held here each year, so it receives a good deal of fishing pressure. This is where we competed in the Regional Finals for the Red Man Tournament Trail in 2000. The main species of fish in the lake are largemouth bass, striped bass, and black crappie. Other species include some walleye, chain pickerel, white perch, bluegill, and catfish. The main forage base is composed of alewife, gizzard shad, threadfin shad, and herring.



Lake Gaston has relatively stable water levels, and high quality water. There is a good population of largemouth bass, with many large fish available. Most of the bass we catch at Gaston run around 15 inches and about 1 1/2 pounds. We have caught numerous 5 and 6 pounders and some larger fish were caught in the finals. In fact, some of these fish were 8 or 9 pounds. The lake record is 14 pounds 2 ounces, so there are plenty of big bass left in Lake Gaston. Gaston's striped bass fishery depends mainly on stocking. Many striped bass are caught each year that weigh 3 to 8 pounds, but plenty of 20 pounders are taken each year. The walleyes are doing good at Gaston also and many trophy fish of 8, 9 , & 10 pounds are caught.













The striped bass make a spawning run each year up to the Roanoke river in April and May. Lake Gaston has a variety of structure also, such as submerged bridges, stumps, submerged roads, and lots of grass in the summer. Most of the water flowing into Lake Gaston comes from the Roanoke river. The visibility in the lake usually ranges from 4-8 feet, although heavy rains can make it muddy. There is a thermocline in Gaston in the summer at about 20-25 feet. In the summer, oxygen levels are low are far down as Great Creek. The bottom is sand and gravel with some flats covered in silt, and clay hillsides. The shoreline is mostly wooded, with some high slopes. North Carolina Power and Virginia Power owns the entire 350 mile shoreline. There are lots of docks, rip rapped banks, and brushpiles. there are really a lot weeds, including elodea, milfoil, and hydrilla. This is especially true in the creek arms and coves, with the deep weedline at about 10 feet. They do treat the grass and also have added some grass carps.






The best locations for largemouth bass in the spring (March & April), are the northside creeks, especially Pea Hill and Lizard. They normally turn on first as soon as the water temperature reaches about 50 degrees. The next places that turn on is the southside arms, especially Lees and Poe. We like to fish these areas around the boathouses, rip rap, and laydowns with a chrome / blue rattlin Rapala and a Colorado spinnerbait. We stick to the structure that is in the 5-10 foot deep water. Bass here start to spawn around April 15th, and last till around June. The other areas that can be real productive are Pea Hill and Six-Pound Creeks. Sometimes we use floating worms, and wacky-rig them for some hot action. Another method that works good in these areas is soft plastic jerkbaits. During the tournament, and at other times also, we really caught most of the better fish on these baits. Fin-S-Shads were our top producers. Lake Gaston is known for a good topwater bite. You can really get into some decent bass in these areas on buzzbaits and poppers also. Even Zara Spooks produce well at times.

Later in the year, about June, the largemouth like to relate to classic bottom structure like humps, points, and stream channels, or even large beds of hydrilla. These hydrilla beds produce large bass as well as numbers until about September. We usually probe the deep weedline with a Texas-rigged worm or Yamamoto grub. The 'SENKO's' also produce well here. Usually in the mornings and at dark, we twitch jerkbaits over the top of the hydrilla, or even throw buzzbaits.

If you like to fish structure, then the main lake points at creek mouths like Pretty Creek are good. Another good spot that has bass on humps and drop offs is Hubquarter and Lyons Creeks. The 15-20 foot deep area are best, as that is where most of the baitfish are. Carolina rigged lizards are a good choice, as are for worms, 'SENKO's' and grubs. At times, we catch good fish here on deeper crankbaits as well. The water starts to cool off a lot in October and November, and the bass start moving back to the 5-10 foot deep water. The best areas at this time are Jimmie's, Lizard, and Six-Pound Creeks. We use a 3/8 to 1/2 ounce jig at this time, with a black/blue or brown/orange 'Uncle Josh Pork trailer'.






We like to carry several spinning rods for the lighter lures, in different lengths, from 6-61/2 feet, with a medium action, in a good graphite rod such as a G Loomis. We like Shimano reels, spooled with a 8-10 pound Stren. For baitcasters, we carry a variety of rods, in 6 1/2 to 7 foot lengths, in a medium/hvy action, and a crankbait rod, in 7 foot. We use Lew's and G Loomis rods, and Shimano Chronarch reels on most outfits, with 17-20 pound test Stren.



Steve Vonbrandt
S&K Guide Service / Life member B.A.S.S./N.A.F.C./B.B.R.C./ 1998 B.B.W.C.DE






 Aug 5, 2003; 09:10PM - Greenwood Lake
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  Steve vonBrandt
 Author E-mail:  swvbbass@aol.com
Click here to enlarge Tip&Trick Description 1: 'Greenwood Lake'

Location

Greenwood Lake is located in both New Jersey and New York. There are several launching ramps throughout the lake located in both states. The ramps are well maintained, and can accommodate both large and small boats. In the southern end of the lake, at South Shore Marina, there are a couple ramps, and there are others, all the way to the upper end at Olde Point Marina in New York. Many of the marinas are full service, with restroom facilities, gas, picnic areas, and lodging. When you get about half way up the lake, at Happy Landing Marina, that is where the New York portion starts, in the Sterling Forest area. This is one of New Jersey's larger lakes at 1,920 acres, and it has a maximum depth of 57 feet at full pool.


Lake Profile

Greenwood Lake is a natural lake, located mostly in the state of New York. Belcher Creek is the main tributary.



In the winter, drawdowns lower the water in Greenwood about 2 to 5 feet. The water is Eutropic, with frequent algae blooms in the summer. Visibility is from about 3-6 feet, but sometimes it becomes cloudy after it rains, especially near the shore. In the summer there is a thermocline at about 20 feet. Most of the original lakebed, and the South flat, have muck and silt, but the rest of the lake has a hard bottom, that is mostly boulders and rocks, and the rest is sand and gravel. There are a lot of submerged points and humps throughout the lake. The lake has steep hills, and small wetlands are in the South and north ends. Most of the shoreline is privately owned, and has a lot of houses and marinas.


Species Available


The main species are largemouth bass, Muskies, and smallmouth bass. There are other species also, such as Chain Pickerel, Yellow Perch, Bluegills, and Walleye. There are also good populations of catfish. There is a lot of pressure at Greenwood, but catch and release fishing allows Greenwood to maintain a good population of Largemouth bass. It is rated among New Jersey top 3 Largemouth bass waters. Most of the bass average around 15 inches, but we have caught seven pounders on occasion. Smallmouth fishing is getting better, but the largemouth bass still outnumber them. Sometimes smallmouths in the 4 to 5 pound range are caught, and some nice Chain Pickerel are caught also. We generally use suspending jerk-baits, such as a Rapala, or a Rogue, in shad patterns, for the largemouth and Chain Pickerel early in the year. Muskies have been stocked also, and in early 1991, the state started stocking Tiger Muskies also. I don't generally fish for them myself, but friends and other anglers tell me that they are doing well. Greenwood is loaded with panfish, especially white perch, and they catch a lot in the 1-2 pound range. The main forage base is alewife, and panfish, along with Golden Shiners, and various minnows.


Best Times and Locations


The best times for Largemouth bass is in the spring, starting in April, or when the water reaches about 50 degrees. As soon as the water reaches about 53-55 degrees, the bass move to the shallows. The bays and coves are loaded with stumps and weeds, and they turn on first. We have had good luck in the past fishing the two channels at Greenwood Lake Village, and west of Fox Island. We start working the cover in these areas with lipless crankbaits, usually in shad patterns. The bass usually start spawning in early May, and it lasts until the middle of June. Floating Rapalas, soft Jerk-baits, and Senkos work the best. Although we have taken them on lizards and tubes also.
The bass in Greenwood like weed beds, but avoid the ones that have been treated, as they don't produce well. We stay on the outside edges in about 10-12 feet of water, and the areas around Storms Island and north of Fox Island,
are the best. Another good location is the shallow beds west of Fox Island, and north of Chapel Island. We use a lot of topwater baits here in the summer, and have had the best results with Zara Spooks, Nip-A-Dee-Dees, and Terminator buzzbaits, at dawn and dusk. During the day, we like to use Senkos, or 4' worms, and cast them to the edges of the grass, and in pockets. Docks and piers hold bass all day long. Try skipping a Senko or worm as far back under the docks into the shaded areas as possible. The farther back the better.
If you are after smallmouth bass, concentrate on the deeper, rockier, New York portions of the lake. Smallmouth bass seem to like the combinations of weeds and rocks, especially on points. The 10-12 foot depths, on the drop-offs, where there is a gravel bottom work the best. We have caught some nice smallmouths at night also, by casting small topwater baits, such as Pop-R's. Early in the mornings, you will do well with a 1/2 ounce Rat-L-Trap in about 2-6 feet of water, where there is a gravel bottom.
You can get a lot of good information about Greenwood from the local tackle stores, and some have maps with GPS locations. Remember to practice Catch, Photo, and Release, and there will be great fishing in Greenwood for many years to come

Steve Vonbrandt
S&K Guide Service / Life member B.A.S.S./N.A.F.C./B.B.R.C./ 1998 B.B.W.C.DE






 Aug 5, 2003; 08:53PM - 'A DAY ON THE LAKE With Kurt vonbrandt'
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  Steve vonBrandt/S&K Guide Service
 Author E-mail:  swvbbass@aol.com
Click here to enlarge Tip&Trick Description 1: A Day On The Lake with Kurt vonBrandt
By Steve VonBrandt
I know many of you have seen a column in Basssmaster magazine where they challenge a 'Pro,' to go to an unknown lake and they chronicle each hour with what the Pro was casting, where they were casting, and why, and see what they can do, and end up with each day. Most of the lakes they have them fish, are always bigger than anything in Delaware, and most of Maryland. They are better than our lakes to begin with, once you have progressed to the level of fishing where you can always catch some fish, wherever you go, no matter how notoriously bad of a lake it is; and many times catching & landing, some quite large fish from places where most people never even see bass over 3 pounds, and when they do, they think they are five. I am or course referring to here in the Northeast, such as Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

So I challenged Kurt vonBrandt, of S&K Guide Service, to a day on a lake we will call 'Lake G,' in New Castle County, DE. This is a public lake that is within reach of Wilmington, and Dover, in about 45 minutes. It has a shallow, muddy, muck bottom, with most of the pads so high and thick, you can't reasonably fish them. Add to that, it is the color of chocolate milk, and had a water temperature of 62-66 degrees throughout the day that we were there. There is no deeper spot in the lake than 4 feet, in the main body, and the rest is all 1 1/2 to 2 feet deep, Everywhere that is, except for the shore, which is 5-12 inches! A front is getting ready to move through, and it rained the day and night before we arrived, for several hours. Kurt vonBrandt has a Spinnerbait, Buzzbait, 2 different makes and colors of tube baits, a Senko, and a crankbait rigged on 7 foot 'G.Loomis'and 'St.Croix' rods, with 'Shimano' and 'Daiwa'reels, spooled with 14-30 pound test line by 'Berkley 'and' Spiderline'. He has 2 spinning rods rigged with a 3 inch MisterTwister Grub on 12 pound test, and a 4' 'Centipede' in watermelon on the other.

'THE TAKE OFF'

6:45 am.-We arrive at the lake, with no boats there. We launch and start fishing.
7:15 am.- I decide that in a shallow muddy lake, with that water temperature, and the angle of the sun this time of year, and being that all the other fish were fairly active and large in the rivers, I put on a buzzbait, as I felt that would be a good search bait for me in the back, doing most of the observing and filming.
7:28 am. -Kurt vonBrandt is using a Terminator Spinnerbait in 3/8 ounce, double willow blades, with a Golden Shiner Skirt,: a bass swirls at the bait in 8 inches of water, but misses, Kurt immediately throws a Gary Yamamoto 'IKA' tube, right where it swirled at the buzzbait. He does this several times, but it doesn't strike. He said,' I know there's bass in this area now. so I have to figure out what they are doing right?' He then moved the boat into shallow water about 20 feet ahead, being extremely quiet with the trolling motor. He said, 'I need to see if they are on beds, or are making beds, or traveling together, and if there are any baitfish fry in the area' I questioned him further, while throwing the buzzbait and a spinnerbait in the pads. I said 64 or 65 degrees is traditionally thought of as an almost perfect temperature to catch some prespawn bass on spinnerbaits, Buzzbaits, walking baits,( Jerkbaits, if it was clear enough), Flukes, jigs, in wood/pad combinations; that should be deadly on these bass out here in the deeper pads on the edges near the channel, and in the mouths of little bays and inlets.

He said 'I think you are right normally, but because this is so shallow all over, and always muddy, and the same depth, and I think that because of this, the bass need to spawn sooner, because of the lack of places to do this successfully later, as the pads grow up so high above the surface, and are so dense, that it is almost impossible for the sun, or anything to reach them, in this 1-2 foot jungle. I think after generations of spawning here unsuccessfully many times, that they (meaning the guarding males, and the larger females), ' have been programed to just go on beds earlier than some other lakes, or even most rivers, but I think they are in closer to the shores, in whatever bottom is the hardest, and has the best water conditions, whether it is on the North shore or not.' I was skeptical, but we went in anyway, me switching back and forth between the buzzbait, Fluke, and spinnerbait as we went in through the pads. He moved into within 20 feet of shore, and was throwing a 5 inch 'Senko,' and a 'IKA' Tube, and a Spinnerbait.
8:10 am.-Kurt vonBrandt lands a 1 1/2 pound bass on the spinnerbait, he says 'It's a male' guarding or even feeding on what has hatched'.
8:15 am.- I hook a 2 pound bass in the pads on a buzzbait, the water temperature is 66.
8:30 am.-Another bass in the shallow shore mixed with pads and wood swirls at the buzzbait, but doesn't get it. It is too thick to use a trailer hook.
8:45 am. -Kurt vonBrandt lands a small bass on a Senko. He says 'They're in this area.' If I could see their beds, this would be easier.'
9:05 am.-Kurt vonBrandt lands a bass on a 'Sala Tube' back in 8 inches of water. It is 14 inches long. He says' Another male, I know these females are close, but all the area is the same. I think the bigger fish will be in the best areas, on the shore with sun most of the day, and some kind of wood mixing with pads and grasses.' He sees a Carp about 15 pounds, jump out of the water in front of the boat, he says 'Sometimes the carp are with those bass!'
10:25 am.- I catch a 2 pound bass on the buzzbait in real shallow wood,.
10:32 am.- Kurt vonBrandt throws a Rat, then a Tournament frog, in some unconventional ways, and Says 'I just had to prove to myself that they weren't out here in the pads'. He throws a spinnerbait in the area for a few minutes.
10:46 am.-Kurt vonBrandt sets the hook, and lands a 3 pound bass from the shallow wood on a 'IKA' Tube in smoke. He says 'I saw that move, I know they're in there on beds, or even finished!'

I said 'Do you really think that all the bass are in that shallow water, and some of them are already on and even off the beds?' He said, I have seen times when the bigger bass were on beds as soon as the water temperatures got to a steady temperature of 60-65 degrees, with the sun at the proper angle.'
11:45 am.- we work the outside edges of the channel on the way to some of the other shallow wood in the lower half of the lake. Kurt vonBrandt throws a spinnerbait, and a 'Sala' Tube into the pads. I throw a Chartreuse Mann's Baby 1-minus, no takers.
12:05 pm.-My arms are starting to hurt from repetitious casting, but I bear down, and keep fan casting the area. Kurt vonBrandt flips a tube into a tree in 6 inches of water, a catches another 1 1/2 pounder. He fishes the area hard for the females, but no takers.
1:06 pm.- The wind starts blowing harder, and it starts to drizzle a little; Kurt vonBrandt sets the hook on a 2 pounder, and says' That female's in here somewhere'.
1:28 pm..- We work the edges of the road, and dam with spinnerbaits, 'Senko's', and 'Sala' Tubes'. Kurt vonBrandt sets the hook on another 1 1/2 pound bass. What's that? he says, 5 fish at about 11 or 12 pounds? I say 'Somewhere in there.' He says, that's not good enough, I need a kicker fish now.'
1:55 pm.- I keep alternating between a fluke, crankbait, and buzzbait, but no takers.
2:00 pm.- Kurt vonBrandt says' I wouldn't have much time left now if this were a tournament, I need a bigger female.' He moves the boat into position of a large laydown, one of the few in the lake, and makes 10 or 15 casts down each limb of the tree. He says,' this is the spot, you just have to present it to them at different angles, and speeds, and keep bumping the logs.'
2:05 pm.-Kurt vonBrandt says' OH YES!', and as I turn, he says 'Get the Net,' I see the bass, and it is at least 5 pounds. He fights it through the pads with a 7 foot Medium-Heavy action St.Croix rod with 25 pound test Berkley Iron Silk. I net the bass, and bring it into the boat.
2:07 pm. -We take several still photos and video shots, after weighing and measuring it. It was 22 1/4 inches long, and weighed 6.4 lbs. It was a female, and appeared to have laid the eggs. The belly was still big though, so without damaging the fish, we forewent further inspection and released it. He said 'There's the kicker.' Now I would be going in with what, say 5 fish at 15 or 16 pounds?'
2:15 pm.- Kurt works an identical piece of cover a few yards up and lands another nice bass of about 2 pounds.
2:45 pm.- He says' If I had figured that out a little sooner, we could have upped the total by a few more, maybe some bigger females earlier.'
3:00 pm.- We leave for the office to S&K Guide Service, and get ready for a client in the morning.

Kurt is a great guide, and will be moving up through the ranks of bass fishing soon enough. When he was 18 years old, he had already won minor club tournaments, and the Delaware State Sportfishing Tournament, many times, and was reading and learning about bass, the other 150 or so days a year he wasn't fishing.

In 1999, we fished over 200 days a year, and guided a little, and started entering more team and local tournaments. Kurt caught on quickly, and won the 1999 Big Bass World Championship, placed 3rd and 5th in several other tournaments, and also won the largest bass that year for Delaware. In 2000, we concentrated more on refining his techniques in public and private lakes, and rivers, such as the Potomac River in Maryland, the Elk, Northeast, and Bohemia, and the Nanticoke river in Delaware. We also took a few trips to the Withlocoochee and the St.johns River in Florida, with some other trips to Stick Marsh, and some other famous, and not so famous Florida Lakes and Ponds.

He was able to figure out what to do quickly, and learned all I could teach him by 2000. He then entered the 'RED MAN TOURNAMENTS,' now the 'Walmart Bass Fishing League,' and finished 3rd for the entire year, besides winning at the 'Potomac Super Tournament' and taking Big Bass honors with a 5 pound largemouth! He then qualified in the finals at 'Lake Gaston.', and went on to win the 2001 Big Bass World Championship/DE, and competed in the finals at 'Table Rock Lake' in Missouri.

He also won the Delaware State Sportfishing Tournament again, and has caught, and guided to over 500 bass in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York, in the last 5 years, that were over 5 pounds, and gained first acceptance into the 'Everstart' events.

He has been guiding again this year, while fishing some BFL Events, and some Team Tournaments, and still managed to find enough time to take care of the house, plan a wedding, and get married.

Look out for Kurt vonBrandt as I start to guide more and more, and he takes over the tournament end. Expect to see him having a prominent role in bass fishing in the years to come. I have caught my fair share of bass over the last 35 years, some just ounces off the State Record in several species, from Delaware to California. I have fished with some guys that were pretty darn good, but Kurt vonBrandt is a fishing machine!!., He also has a natural ability to read the fish and the water conditions, and he never stops. Look out, there's a new kid on the block!




 Aug 5, 2003; 08:48PM - LOCAL HANGOUTS
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  Steve vonBrandt
 Author E-mail:  Swvbbass@aol.com
Click here to enlarge Tip&Trick Description 1: Local Hangouts
By Steve VonBrandt
All experienced anglers know that on specific bodies of water, there are always certain spots that produce the best bass year after year. When you have fished your best spot, and it is unproductive, do you move to another spot, or stay there hoping for the bass that you know are there to start hitting?

In my 35 years of experience, I have found that you should leave a reliable spot only after you have tried your best, with a variety of time proven baits. This has been proven to me over and over, on a variety of Lakes and Rivers in the country. More times than I can remember, we came right in behind another angler and caught bass right out of the area that they just worked with only one bait, and moved on.

The top places to catch bass on almost any lake in the country are Docks, Sloping Gravel/Sand Points, Shoreline Drop-offs, and Dense Cover near deep water.

The dense cover such as hyacinth, milfoil, Hydrilla, different varieties of pads, reeds and other grasses, are one of the best areas to big bass. The drop-offs with rocky, sandy, and/or gravel points running into deeper water, with some other structure mixed in at the ends of the points, seems best, and of course boat docks and piers. Never overlook the docks and piers. We have had many a slow day on the Sassafras and Nanticoke, only to switch lures and presentations, in the marinas and boat docks, and catch that one kicker fish or sometimes the biggest bass of the day.

If you check most any pro bass fisherman's outfits, you will usually see these 5 lures tied on, (provided you can get a look at them). They will be a buzzbait, a crankbait, a spinnerbait, a Carolina and/or Drop-Shot rig, and a Jig. There will be many other rods, and other lures ready to use but, these are the mainstay of baits for most any situation in the country. The following strategies should help you thoroughly cover the water from top to bottom.

DROP-OFF SHORES / GRAVEL POINTS: I always look at the way the land around the lake goes into the water. That land usually continues out into the water the same way. Move to within about 25-35 feet from shore, and cast directly to the area with a buzzbait, cutting the water like a piece of pie, over and over, at different speeds and angles. Next, cast the spinnerbait against the shore and work the area at different depths and speeds. Then do the same thing with the crankbait. I use a deep diver for this so it can get down quickly and bounce off rocks, sand, stumps, on the bottom, or mid-depth. I then cast the same area with a Carolina rig, with a French Fry worm, a cut-tail worm, or a Senko. I change boat positions often to work this and the other baits at many angles to the drop-off shore. I stair-step the jig down any rock ledges, and crawl/hop it down the edge of the point where it meets deeper water. I use a smaller Terminator jig for this. On the Gravel/Sandy points, I do the same thing as when I'm Drop-off shores. The color of the water should dictate what color baits to use. If the water is muddy, use louder baits, in black,black/red, Black/Brown combinations; if the water is clear, I pick more natural colors for the baits, and a less noisy model.

DENSE COVER: This is my favorite type of cover to work. First I cast a buzzbait wherever possible, working it in and out of cover at varies angles and retrieves. When the water is really calm, I throw a real small buzzbait that works very slowly on the surface. I have clear skirts, pearl skirts, and other subtle natural colors that I can easily switch. I then throw the spinnerbait, working it in and out of the pockets in the pads, making it turn quickly, then flutter down, and even bulge the surface. I work it a variety of ways until the bass dictate what they want to me. When in the River I make sure I bump into every limb of the tree with the bait at every angle before going to the next bait. If they don't hit a Fat bodied crankbait around the edges, or dead sticked in the open pockets, then I switch to a Tournament Frog, or Rat, and work this in a variety of conventional and unconventional ways. If this is a good area, and I don't get any hits with these baits, then I would throw the Carolina rig and the jig around the edges of the cover, and right into any pockets in the cover.

DOCKS: These areas always produced for us on sunny days, whether it was in the river or a lake, especially in the summer and early fall. You should approach the docks quietly, and start to work them from farther away with each lure type. Only when they don't hit these other baits first, should you then move in with the jig and Senko, and flip each piling on the dock, then skip the Senko under the dock as far as possible. There are many more tactics you could try if you aren't getting any takers from your best spots, but these are the basics that you should practice every time you go to get into the habit of doing these things. It will become second nature, and you will notice the results in your local or club tournament wins, or your recreational fishing alike.

 Aug 5, 2003; 11:53AM - Muddy Water Baits
 Category:  Freshwater Bass Fishing Tips
 Author Name:  Steve vonBrandt/S&K Guide Service
 Author E-mail:  swvbbass@aol.com
Tip&Trick Description 1: Muddy Water Baits
By Steve VonBrandt
Nothing ruins the occasional fishing trip more than driving a long distance to your favorite spot, only to find out it’s been raining for the last few weeks and the water is the color of Chocolate milk! Many years ago, I was like most weekend anglers, and would immediately try to find another lake or river that might be a little more clear, or just turn around and go home. But I found over the last 20 years, that it isn’t necessary to give up so quickly on muddy water.

There are many times when a creek arm, or a certain portion of the lake or river isn’t as muddy, or there is a transition zone where it goes from muddy to stained, which can be a good area, but, even if there is no clearer water, there are many things you can do. Most gamefish react the same way to muddy water, they go shallow and they move closer to structure. This could mean a lot of different types of structure, such as brushpiles, laydowns, rocks, stump fields, pads on shallow flats, anything! When the bas are holding tight to cover, because of low visibility, the lure presentations sometimes need to be precise, such as when flipping a log or tree roots with a jig. Bellow are the 6 basic choices you should have rigged for fishing muddy waters.

Plastic Worms: I know this sounds like a strange choice, but a lot of times when bass are holding real tight to cover, a larger, bulkier worm, with some rattle inserted, possibly with a paddle tail, worked real close in the cover, can work well. I used a black or a black/red combination in muddy water. I also use the new Big 7 inch Senko that is out now, and drop it right into heavier cover. I have been using the new Cut-Tail worm for this also.

Vibrating Rattlers: These baits such as the Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap, Cotton Bordell, Diamond Shad, or the Rattlin’ Rapalas, are excellent choices for probing different depths of muddy water, and where muddy changes to stained. The noise and vibrations of these baits, along with a realistic shad shape, make these great baits and stained to muddy water.

Crankbaits: I use a lot of the real fat bodied crankbaits in muddy water. I choose different baits with a wide wobble, and sometimes rattles. I usually stay with darker colors with red in muddy water. These colors with a wide wobble, are easier for bass to find.

Spinnerbaits: The bass will be using their lateral line more in the muddy water, so a spinnerbait with a heavy pulse such as a Terminator night bait, with a black skirt, and Colorado blade, is a perfect choice. You could even add rattles to this bait, which I have had success with in the muddy rivers and lakes in the Northeast. I always use a single Colorado blade on the spinner baits in muddy water, but in stained, or warmer stained water, I do go to an Oklahoma Blade sometimes with good results.

Topwaters: These are my favorite baits to use in muddy water. There are so many baits that shallow, muddy water bass will hit! The buzzbait worked slowly around cover will draw tremendous strikes. The walking type baits, such as a Zara Spook, and Fenwick walking baits, Jitterbugs, Crazy Crawlers, and a variety of other topwaters, including poppers with rattles, are excellent and exciting choices for muddy water bass. The bass will all be in water that is 1-4 feet deep, eliminating a lot of the water, making them easier to catch!

Jigs: Jigs in Brown/Black or Blue/Black with a Zoom or uncle Josh trailer, with some rattles, are an excellent choice to flip into laydowns, and shallow stump fields, and of course on docks. Make repeated casts to give them a good look and provoke them.

If you stick with these baits and methods the next time you run into muddy water, you will never be afraid to see it again. It will become a friend, as it has become to me.

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