BassWestUSA - Spring, 2012, Page 67

deep 9+ ft:

is largely dictated on line size; the lighter the line the more depth can be achieved.

Clausen admits his approach to catching suspending bass rarely consists of targeting the fish that are deeper than 10 feet, rather he adjusts when necessary. “While I’m fishing my standard Vision 110 Jerkbait, I’m constantly watching my graph to make sure I’m at the right depth. The depth the bass are suspended at is largely dictated by the depth of the bait which is always moving,” explains Clausen. Therefore, his ap- proach is really a one-two punch; in many cases utilizing both a mid-depth jerkbait and a deeper jerkbait. Anglers often find fish that are suspended deeper than a jerkbait will reach, but according to Clausen that should only modify your jerkbait approach not completely negate it. “When you locate bait or fish at a certain depth it’s usually a universal indicator of where those fish will be suspending. You’ve got to think of it as a faux lake bottom. The bass aren’t going to go below that depth to feed, but they will travel upward in the water column. It’s important to get your bait as close to that depth as possible because they will always prefer the meal that requires them to exert the least amount of energy, especially in cold water.” Generally speaking, Clausen finds the most productive time to use his deeper jerkbaits is when the water reaches temperatures below 50 degrees. Upon locating sus- pended bass deeper than 10 feet he opts for the Megabass Vision 110+1, a jerkbait designed to reach maximum depths. Clausen also suggests using low diameter line such as eight pound Gamma Fluorocarbon because the bait’s diving depth

Jerkbait Size:

Traditionally manufacturers produced similarly sized jerk- baits that averaged 4” in length. In recent years, anglers have found the need for larger baits that are able to more accurate- ly mimic the larger forage fish such as Perch, Gizzard Shad and Blueback Herring. Clausen predicates his bait size on the forage rather than the size of bass he is targeting, “It’s always important to match the most common forage fish in the water you’re fishing. In blueback lakes the smaller jerkbaits actually get bit less than the larger ones. In order to catch the highest number of quality bass I’ve found the best approach to be matching the largest forage fish available to the bass. Bass are always preying upon the largest meal they can get,” offers Clausen. With that in mind, Clausen turns to the Megabass Vi- sion 110 Magnum, a 5 1/6” bait with the same action as the original Megabass Vision 110, when he believes the fish are keyed in on the larger forage options. A few of his most com- mon scenarios include lakes that contain Blueback Herring or Gizzard Shad because bass key in on those forage options almost exclusively during their entire life span.

Tackle considerations shouldn’t be overlooked. Jerkbaits are widely known to possess one of the lowest hook-up per strike ratios among all baits. In order to increase the chances


Spring 2012