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Backlashes, Broken Rods And a Killer Method Of Catching Spawning Bass

4/6/2014 12:23:36 PM

I have always believed that one can learn more from observation than by actually trying out a dozen or so methods that the angler has not yet mastered. Such is the case with catching spawning bass. There or legions of anglers who will swear that the best method is to locate a bedded bass and pitch a soft plastic into the nest until the bass becomes so mad that it hits the lure. GIVE ME A BREAK! One cannot anymore make a bass mad than a minnow can be made happy. Have you ever seen a bass smile? While my analogies may be somewhat sophomoric I believe you get the point. Now I am ready for the barrage of emails from anglers of reputation, who should know better, swearing that they made that big female mad and thence caught her. Had the angler observed what was going on in and around the nest they would see that the bass did not hit out of frustration or anger but from a set circumstance that the savvy angler can use to his or her advantage.

Now if this piece has got your attention and likely your ire, then let me continue. Bass have a comfort zone around the nest that the will allow intruders to swim around with little chance of action on their part. But anything broaching that zone and entering into it from a certain point will receive a swift and often violent response. Ever wonder why you can cast into seemingly the exact same spot and nothing happens and then the next cast provokes a thunderous strike? This is where the myth of making the bass mad comes into play! The angler did not make the bass mad, but rather the lure entered into that zone into which the bass will not allow anything to enter. Still sounds as double talk doesn't it? Well read on.

By observation one can almost predict when the bedded bass will hit. Watch the bream or minnows and note which direction they face and from which direction they attack the nest. These pesky pan fish or not there to keep the bass company while she spawns and waits for the eggs to hatch. They are there for a free meal. And to that end the little critters will risk injury or death to feed. Observe that some of the little fish will swim near the front to the nesting basses' mouth but not quite in the zone and will not be challenged. However, the ones that come in from behind and attempt a heist will get the full treatment of the guarding bass and will be spun upon and possibly crushed in their jaws before being taken to the edge of the nest and spit out. It is fairly easy to now catch these spawning bass since you see from where the sneak attacks come and simply present your offering from that direction.

There are a myriad number of soft lures that are made in all shapes, sizes and colors and all will catch spawning bass. The question here is, do you want to wander aimlessly around the lake pitching to every light spot you see, or do you want to catch most bass you see on a bed? Many anglers will tell you that on heavily fished lakes{what lake in Texas during the spawning season does not fit here?] there are bass on beds that cannot be caught. I beg to differ and if you will read on, I will tell you why.

If you will humor me and if what I believe is right and you have bought into my "do not enter zone" then I will describe a method to catch these bass. Think of a Carolina Rig with the sinker reversed. Instead of placing it in front of the swivel, tie the running line directly to the swivel and then put the sinker on behind the swivel and on the leader that goes to the lure. What we now have is a heavy sinker and some type lure at the very end of your line. Bet you are thinking, "this can not possibly cause the lure to have any action!" You would be right but you would also be dead wrong. My lure of choice is a floating jerk bait, ideally a gold Rouge. To successfully fish this technique, flip the bait pass the bass towards the tail. Now slowly pull the sinker forward until it sets on the very edge of the comfort zone. The Rouge is now resting against the sinker but when you lower the rod tip, a funny thing happens. The lure will float to the surface with a tantalizing wiggle. By raising the rod tip the Rouge will dive back towards the sinker just in front to the mouth of the bass. At some point the lure will enter the zone at which the bass will not allow anything to enter and will attack the lure.

This set up can also use a soft hollow plastic to take the place of the Rouge where brush or grass will not allow the use of the tandem hooked floater. To get the proper action and to get the hollow body to float back up when the tip or the rod is lowered, simply fill the lures body cavity with some of the floating material used by folks that fish for catfish that come as round pellets and who's purpose is to keep the bait off the bottom. If you happen to be too embarrassed to go to the local tackle dealer and purchase them, just break a piece off that Styrofoam cup and implant it inside the hollow body. That will give the bait the necessary buoyancy to cause it to float upward when the tip is lowered.

Call me crazy but I have used the technique for almost fifty years. Let me hear from you if this works for you. I have a load of other off-beat ways of fishing that I just bet you can't wait to hear about. Most likely to see just how crazy I am but then again, who knows. I sincerely hope I may have helped some of you. Until next time.

Johnny Procell/Cajun Guide

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