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This past winter you’ve organized your tackle, spooled
reels with fresh line, cleaned the boat twice, and spent countless
hours reviewing lake maps and navigation charts. All of this has been
done in meticulous preparation for the upcoming tournament season.
What else can you do to get ready? Not much really. If you are like
me, you have also spent a considerable amount of time flipping the
pages of Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas catalogs, drooling over the
hundreds of pictures of lures. I especially enjoy this part of my
winter ritual, not because I am preparing to win the lottery, rather I
am looking at the lures for new techniques, similarities and
differences, and unique presentations to incorporate into upcoming
tournaments. One tactic that I discovered and now specifically employ
for springtime bass is a “vertical” presentation with
“horizontal” baits. This technique is commonly used by bass
anglers during pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn conditions, whether it
is intentional, or by mere coincidence.
My favorite lures for the spring period include Jerkbaits and
Stickbaits. The Rapala Husky Jerk, Gambler Super Stud and the Gambler Ace / Yamamoto
Senko are tried and true lures. In general, they all employ the
characteristics of an elongated profile and a suspending or
slow-falling action. The profile is important to simulating the
bass’ forage while a suspending / falling action elicits a natural
interest in the bait being offered. Carefully pinpoint or forcefully
rip these baits in front of even the most wary bass and you’ll be
amazed at the effectiveness.
Before the spawn, anglers can expect a bass’ reaction to these lures to be out of hunger or reaction. Keeping the bait in front of the bass is essential for a feeding strike, whereas fast-moving, stop-and-go baits create a reaction strike. Pay attention to the type of forage the bass may be targeting this time of year. Is it panfish, shad, or terrestrial (land-based)? Often, the best indicator for this is simply your fishing location.
During the spawn, a more subtle presentation is required. At
this time of year, expect the majority of the fish to either be
cruising flats or located on a bed. In either case, a “horizontal”
lure is deadly. When pitched onto a bed, I believe that stickbaits and
other lures of a similar profile fall slowly, and in essence, disturb
a greater area within the nest territory. Granted, traditional
“nose-down” presentations such as a jig or Texas-rigged plastic
worm have their place. However, anglers should carefully evaluate the
bass’ personality before selecting the most effective presentation;
a horizontal lure may trigger an uncooperative fish into biting.
I encourage you to experiment with this technique on your
own. You’ll be amazed at the results that can be obtained by taking
a few of your confidence lures that you typically pitch or flip, and
presenting them with a “horizontal” look.
For more information on the information contained in the
article above, feel free to contact Paul Strege at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To order many of the lures described above, visit the Gambler-Bang