BassWestUSA - May/June 2009, Page 66

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roll ‘em Up

On The Follow Up

BRETT ERHLER

is by far my favorite time of year to fish. The bottom line right now is fishing the spawn. The fish will most likely be in three stages of their cycle all at once; pre spawn, spawn, and post spawn. For me, this means moving fast. This isn’t the time to sit on a point with a worm and wait for an active fish to find you. This is the time to actively seek out fish. I typically do this with five rods. The line up of baits I utilize includes a Redemption Spinnerbait, a BDS 3 or Marty 2.2, a Slender Pointer 112, a Gunfish 115, all from lucky Craft, and a back up spin- ning rod with the new Tru-Tungsten Flea Flicker wacky jig head. If it’s calm I use the shallow crank and jerkbait. If it’s cloudy and or

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windy I like the Redemption Spinnerbait. If the fish are further along in their cycle and more so on the post spawn phase, I’ll use the Gunfish. I’ll concentrate most of my time in coves, creeks and bays. The common de- nominator in all the areas will be shallow water. I will typically drop the trolling motor on the main lake point and fish the entire bay until I get to the next main lake point. I’m going to look for the fish that are pulling up and roaming the bank, guarding beds, or just coming off the beds and actively feed- ing before they head back out deep. The re- action baits allow me to cover a lot of water and find the active fish. The key right now is seeing what’s happening with your bait and watching to see how the fish react. A good pair of polar- ized sunglasses is a must when doing this. I like Oakley’s new fishing specific Shallow Blue lens. It’s designed for M I n d a L u r e s ’ L aT e s T s O f T P L a s T I c B a I T sight fishing. The lighter color lens is x Completely new design to better for shallow the fishing industry that water. They allow produces a graceful eel- me to see the fish type swimming motion. when they follow x Bait produces more water my reaction bait. displacement and flash to Seeing the fish is trigger more strikes. extremely impor- x Can be fished both parallel tant because this and perpendicular to time of year they water surface, depending on how it’s rigged. chase the reaction baits like crazy. x Currently available in Sometimes 4”, 7” and 10”versions. 12 hot colors! hooking the fish is actually a bonus. 866-649-2941 The follow up is www.MindaLures.com where you catch Info@mindalures.com them. The fish will P.O. Box 1246, either be roaming Kennedale, TX 76060 or guarding. The roaming fish will continue swim- ming down the bank and the guard- ing fish will swim

Spear WormS

right back to either the bed or the fry they are protecting. In either case, the fish are catchable. This is where the Tru-Tungsten Flea Flicker comes to use. The guarding fish are the easy one’s. They will go right back to their post which gives me a target to con- centrate on. The roaming fish can be tricky and are the harder fish to catch. These fish have to be followed and led with a long cast. Don’t cast right on top of the fish, this will often spook them and loose any chance of catching them. I like to make a long cast ahead of them like a football pass to a wide receiver. You have to lead them. This eliminates spooking the fish by splashing it over their head. It also allows the bait a little time to sink down a little deeper in the water column. I want the bait to be close to the bot- tom or at the eye level of the fish as it’s pass- ing through. Keep after them because they followed the reaction for a reason, they want to eat or they are protecting something. At the FLW Tour event last year, at Lake Norman in North Carolina, I followed a roam- ing fish for 200 yards down a bank before it bit. I made anywhere from 75 to 100 casts at this fish before it decided it wanted my bait. When it finally made that decision, it was like it had never seen the bait. It went crazy and charged it like a bull. I won’t even attempt to try and interpret what happened or why 200 yards and 100 casts later it went ballistic. However, it told me that, with persistence, the roaming fish are catchable. It was a 4- pound fish and moved me up several places in the standings. The key was the slow fall- ing follow up bait. I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to use the prototype Flea Flicker and see how beneficial it is. It should be hitting the market anytime now. I like the 1/8oz this time of year because I want slow falling bait. I will use either 8 or 10lb test Sunline Fluorocarbon and a little Berkley Fat Dover worm and wacky rig it with the new tungsten jig head. Remember, cover a lot of water and actively find the aggressive fish. The bait and switch is very effective when searching for fish in the spring. The combination of the fast and slow will make your next outing more successful. BW

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May/June 2009