BassWestUSA - March/April, 2011, Page 74

We prefer to make a 35-foot cast that is virtually perpendicular to the boat. If an an- gler’s cast lands too far ahead or behind the boat, the subtleness of the no-feel retrieve gets impaired. And on a windy outing, it is often best to shorten the cast to less than 35 feet. We execute the swim-and-glide retrieve by holding the rod at the two o’clock position, but if the wind creates a bow in our lines, we drop the rod to the ve o’clock position. As soon as the lure hits the water, we begin shaking the rod as the jig combo falls towards the bottom. We begin the retrieve by slowly turning the reel handle when the jig combo is a foot from the bottom, and we try to keep the jig combo slowly swimming a foot above the bottom. The glide component comes in when we stopped turning the reel handle and allow the jig combo to pendulum towards the bottom, and then we commence the swim when the jig combo is six inches off the bottom. On steep shorelines that have erratic or irregular features, it is sometimes dif- cult to keep the jig combo swimming a foot off the bottom; therefore, we have to test its depth by allowing the jig com- bo to glide to the bottom before we commence the swimming motif. The hop-and-bounce retrieve is achieved by dropping the rod to the ve o’clock position after the cast and holding it there dur- ing the retrieve. After the cast, we shake the rod as the jig combo falls to the bottom. Once it bounces on the bottom, we hop it off the bottom by moderately rotating the reel handle twice and then

pause. As it falls back to the bottom during the pause, we shake the rod. We continue this reel-pause-and-shake motif for the dura- tion of the retrieve. The drag-and-dead-stick presentation is normally performed by the angler in the back of the boat. He casts the jig combo to- wards the shoreline and allows it to fall to the bottom as he shakes his rod. His rod is held at the three- to four o’clock position, and he merely drags the jig combo slowly across the bottom as the boat moves along the shoreline. The angler often drags the jig combo until it is behind the boat. As he drags it, he occasionally shakes his rod, and periodically he takes some line off his reel, creating several feet of slack line, which allows the jig combo to lie dead still on the bottom for ve seconds. This is our deepest presenta- tion; at times it plummets into 12 feet of water or deeper. The straight swim is primarily executed with a single-tailed grub, but in 2010 the grub for some unknown reason was rarely effective. So we often employed the straight swim with the Finesse WormZ and the ShadwormZ, and it worked well. It is a long-cast tactic, and some casts reach 60 feet – especially when the wind is at our backs. We retrieve it at a variety of depths and speeds, depending on the disposition and position of the bass. It is par- ticularly effective when bass are piscivorous and foraging on wind- blown shorelines, inhabiting the top portions of massive patches of submerged vegetation, or pursuing suspended bait sh across ats. Sometimes the retrieve is occasionally enhanced with some shakes and subtle pauses, but we primarily swim without execut- ing any shakes and holding the rods, depending on the nature of the wind, from about the two to ve o’clock position Since the 1950s, Chuck Woods and his successors have ex- hibited that these Midwest nesse tactics will allure largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass galore in all kinds of lakes, reser- voirs, creeks and rivers. Thus, in the years to come, if recreational anglers will utilize these tools from the Potomac River to California Delta, from Lake Amistad to the Lake of the Woods, they will catch more bass than they have ever dreamed about catching, and they will tangle with a signi cant number of lunkers to boot. BWU

NOTE: I am indebted to Dwight Keefer of Phoenix, Arizona, for consulting with Ray Fincke of Overland Park., Kansas, and Drew Reese of Rantoul, Kansas, and compiling all of the facts about Chuck Woods’ prowess.



March/April 2011