BassWestUSA - May/June 2009, Page 65

EnticE a strikE with a forward gliding Low action! light, little or no wind

When I’m lucky enough to encounter these conditions I love to throw a small Cola walking bait. My preference is for a Lucky Craft Black-Red Gunfish 95. It’s a Flake walking stick that’ll also spit and hiss as it’s pulled back to the boat. Again, I always start with the front of the Green Pumpkin Candy dock. Only after I’ve covered that area do I Bright sun, slight wind to the sides. This bait offers move a full Pumpkin Pepper Under this weather pattern I like to I use Green a Series 1 American Rodsmiths thick body profile that attracts bass throw a Lucky Craft shad finished Slen- 7-foot rod, Team Series with a Browning looking for a 112. healthy meal and once bite der Pointer I stay well away from the they Midas 6.4:1 reel and 12-pound-test Vicious June Bug the dock salt and the live a bait scent make couple of long injection casts with keeps monofilament line. I walk and pop this bait this jerkbait to on. the front of the dock. I then all the way back. I never – not ever, not for them hanging Pumpkin Pepper work the sides of the dock the same way. any reason – stop it. This bait is designed The If Jackall Lures Cover Craw is great for they’re under my dock they’ll come out to evoke reaction bites. Stop it and you’ll punching through vegetation or until other heavy after it immediately. (Switch lure sizes stop the bite. Watermelon Candy you but find works the one that best. gliding No two around Those are the most common situations cover just works as well bodies of water are the same and no two you’ll encounter after the spawn. Regard- in open water. Watermelon Pepper groups of bass respond the same.) less of the prevailing weather and water My presentation is very fast. I use a conditions, however, or what lure you se- jerk-jerk-pause retrieve. My jerks are swift lect, there are a few other things you need and hard – I use my rod tip to move the bait to keep in mind. a foot or two at a time – and my pauses are Post-spawn bass are pack oriented. short. One or two seconds is about right. They will school – mostly by size – under With this presentation I can thoroughly fish a dock with five or six casts. I use Vicious 10-pound-test monofila- ment line for this application; otherwise my tackle is the same as what I use for my spinnerbaits. Lighter line helps my bait get down where the fish can see it. Besides, the fish are usually coming out from under the dock, towards me so I’m not worried about controlling them or keeping them out of trouble.

nament Force Double Willow-Leaf Spin- nerbait. I first target the front of the dock, retrieving my bait just outside the float. I then work the sides of the dock. I wind it back as fast as possible, waking it just un- der the water’s surface. (If the wind is really high I’ll go to a 3/4-ounce model, but only if absolutely necessary.) This is fast fishing. I throw my spin- nerbait with an American Rodsmiths Mag Strike rod, a Browning Midas 6.4:1 reel and 20-pound-test Vicious monofilament line.

point on the Tru-Tungsten jig will drive the point home. If you jerk too hard you’ll tear it out of his or her mouth.

these docks in great numbers. When you catch one you’ll likely catch others. And, after you’ve caught three or four from a dock let it set for a while. When you return you’ll almost always catch a couple more. You don’t have to let it sit for long, an hour or so should be suf- ficient. And, no matter which bait you select always keep it moving at this time of year. This is not a slow style of fishing; you aren’t trying to entice a bite. You’re trying to elicit a quick, competitive feeding response from a pack of hungry predators. And, don’t for- get that this isn’t bottom oriented fishing. Whatever you do don’t let your bait drop down near the bottom. Finally, don’t waste time on docks that don’t produce. Some docks are loaded with bass at this time of year, but some aren’t. Two seemingly identical docks, in similar locations, will give you very different fish- ing results. We humans don’t always know why, and we don’t need to know why. All we need to know is where the fish are hold- ing. Don’t believe all the trash you hear about the post-spawn funk. It doesn’t exist. Target the right docks with the right baits and you’ll reap the rewards. BW

Dirty, stained water

If I’m fishing water that’s too dark for a jerkbait I’ll switch to a jig. I like to swim the Tru-Tungsten 1/2-ounce model in black and blue under most conditions. I almost always use a matching Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail Grub for a trailer. (If there’s a shad spawn underway I’ll switch to a white jig and trailer to mimic the baitfish.) I throw my jigs with a Series 2 Ameri- can Rodsmiths 7-foot rod, Team Series (one that matches my bait, my fish and the lake conditions) along with a Browning Midas 6.4:1 reel spooled with Vicious 50-pound- test braid line. I want my jig to keep mov- ing with a quick and tight underwater pop, pop, pop throughout the strike zone. This tackle allows me to do that. Be careful with your hookset, though. It’s best to simply lean into it like you would with a crankbait. The braid and the sharp

May/June 2009