BassWestUSA - March/April, 2011, Page 82

PRO FILE

Corralling Cruisers

WITH PRESTON HENSON

DURING

spring time when sh are look- ing over locations where they will spawn, they start cruising the shallows. This cruising activity may be observable during January or early February along the southern border of the USA but cruis- ing may not occur until March, April or even May along the north- ern border of the United States. Regardless of where or when it occurs, a good technique for this situation, my favorite go to bait for cruisers is a good old-fashioned Senko type bait rigged wacky style. Most of us know what this is but for those new to the game I will go a little more in depth on the term wacky worm. Wacky worm is just taking any style of worm or stickbait and hooking it in the middle of the worm with a smaller hook. That’s all. First let’s start with what out t we will need to have to sh this technique. My favorite rod to use for this is a Powell 703 spin- ning rod. You want a rod with a soft tip but still have plenty of back bone to it. The reel I use is a Johnny Morris BPS spinning reel. I love these reels for their wide spool. The wider spool handles uorocar- bon line so much better than conventional reels. For line I use 8lb uorocarbon and when I am around a lot of heavy cover I will use 10lb test. The hook I have come to favor for this technique is the #2 Gamakatsu G-Lock. The hook up ratio with this hook is unreal and once hooked, sh stay hooked. For stickbait selections, there are quite a variety of companies to choose from. I use a 5 inch Net Bait Stick-O most of the time except for hard-to-get colors like natural shad and baby bass, for those I use the original Yamamoto Senkos. This is a deadly way to catch them when you see them cruising the shallows. My favorite colors to throw in this situation are the natural type colors like your green pumpkins, watermelon and for really clear water, natural shad and baby bass. The rst thing you want to do when you spot a sh cruising is to watch the way he is heading. You want to try and cut him off with your bait. I like to lead them about 10 feet or so. This is when you want to be as quiet as you can with your cast and with the bait entering the water. Too much splash and the sh will be gone. Once your bait hits the

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water make sure you have enough slack line to let the bait free fall. Don’t do a thing. Don’t twitch it, drag it; scratch your nose if you must do something. Then leave it set once it hits the bottom. That sh knows the bait is there and a lot of times will pick it up once it’s on the bottom. Many times though, they will rush over and eat it on the fall. I am constantly watching the sh more than the bait to see her reaction to my presentation. The reason I do this is to see the sh’s mood. If the sh runs away like a dog with its tail tucked, then I know this sh in uncatchable at this time or else I mistakenly made the sh aware of my presence by making too much noise with my cast. If the sh holds its course, I know I have a legitimate chance of catching it. It’s a lot like shing a sh on a bed. Don’t give up on that sh that spooked off. Often, I will return to that area later in the day and give those sh another try. Sometimes just switching your presentation angle can make all the difference. Like I was saying before - always watch the sh as that is the key to catching cruising bass. Oh, and a lot of patience too. Have fun when those big girls start cruising the shallows and remember… they are not all catchable (just like bed sh in that regard). Read the sh, make the right presentation and your odds will go up. Also remember we learn more from the bad days than the good ones. Good Luck out there. BWU

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March/April 2011