BassWestUSA - January/February, 2010, Page 13

the bait again for ten to twenty seconds before twitching the Mc- Stick again. The big key is discovering how long to pause the bait, but a good rule of thumb is that the colder the water, the longer the pause should be. Experiment and find what works for you on any given day. Once you find the cadence that creates a response, perform this retrieve all the way back to the boat on each cast.

I’ve been asked why I don’t use stick on weights, and the rea- son to me is cosmetic. SPRO puts amazing finishes on the Mc- Stick; I don’t like to deface them with lead tape when I can place a larger hook or split rings to add the necessary weight.

Speaking of finishes, we developed colors that would catch fish across the country, but there are basic rules that I go by for choosing which one to throw. If there is a little tint to the water, I like one with a little flash, so a Chrome Shad, Clown or Old Glory would be best. If the water is clear, then I go with a translucent color like Spooky Shad or Clear Chartreuse. I have found for smallmouth and spotted bass that Table Rock Shad is a great color, and largemouth seem to really respond to Norman Flake. But, if I could only choose one color, it would be Blue Bandit, that’s been my number one bait across the country. Whichever colors you choose, be prepared to make adjust- ments, as the preference of the fish may change as a day pro- gresses. You may start the day in clear water with Blue Bandit because of the low light, then have to change to Spooky Shad as the sun gets higher in the sky. Or, if a day starts calm, but turns stormy, turning to a Clown or a Chrome Shad may ignite a response; you just have to keep an open mind, and pay attention to the conditions. Once you’ve put the puzzle together, you can experience some dramatic results. Throwing a stickbait has always been one of my favorite ways to catch cold water fish, and it’s even better now with the McStick from SPRO. BW

» Colors

» Be aware of

The McStick was designed to suspend when the angler paused the bait, which as I’ve already pointed out as prime for catching bass in cold water. But, anglers need to pay attention to the air and water temperatures to see how the conditions are affecting the buoyancy of the bait, and make adjustments accordingly. A bait that suspended when air temperatures were 30-de- grees with water temperatures at 45, is going to react differently when the air temperature is 60-degrees the next day. But, condi- tions could change as quickly as each hour, so making adjust- ments is key. I allow the McStick to pause at the side of my boat frequently throughout the day. What I’m looking for is whether the bait suspends, sinks or floats toward the surface. Remember that in the colder water, I want the bait to suspend or slightly sink, so if it floats, I will make one of two adjustments. I can upsize the front hook of the bait to a size four, or I can merely attach a couple of split rings to the eye of the front treble hook. These simple modifications allow for quick, on the water adjust- ments that can make the fishing day more enjoyable.

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January/February 2010