LJ Fishing Update by My Bait Shop Pro-Angler Larry Patterson
Now that Christmas has come and gone, all my New Years resolutions have been broken, the ground hog didn't see it's shadow and the Bass Master Classic being only a month away can only mean one thing, The lakes are thawing and the big bass will be moving into their pre-spawn areas.
My Bait Shop lures have arrived, Rods and Reels are clean, new line on and I'm ready to hit the water and those Bass won't stand a chance this year (only if that were true).
Being a die hard worm and jig fisherman, it's been hard for me to break away from my comfort zone from these types of lures. The worm and jig have been my go to bread and butter lures for years. I've always had confidence in their fish catching abilities. But in order to be more competitive in weighing bass in at every tournament I've had to learn how to utilize a new style of fishing and that is the crankbaits, jerk baits and top water plugs. I've come to realize over the past few years just how versatile these lures can be. This year I once again plan to learn how to improve my presentations with crankbaits, jerk baits,and top water plugs.
My Brother whom I think is one of the best jig fisherman I know gave me a little insight on how to become a more effective crankbait and top water fisherman over the past few years.. He would always say anyone can take a jig or crankbait out of a box and just throw it and reel it back to the boat but to be good as in any sport, you have to practice - practice and practice fishing with each individual lure until you get comfortable using them. You have to know what each lure will do under certain conditions and presentations and with top water plugs never set the hook until you feel the weight of the fish.
Here are few different ways to change your lure presentation:
1) Line size and line type will make the lure run higher or lower in the water
2) Bending the eye of the lure slightly will make the lure run to the right or left which works great around boat docks
3) Changing out the hooks to a bigger size will get the bait to change it's wobble just a little
4) Holding the rod tip down will get a few more inches in depth
5) Always try to bump or bounce off any type of structure (trees or rocks) to get that re-action strike.
6) Never reel at one constant speed, speed up slow down, burn the lure with hesitation stops until you find what presentation the fish want.
7) Experiment with different colors
I met an elderly gentleman down at Table Rock a few years back and he told me to always pay heed to 3 rules when throwing a crankbait.
1) If you see a fish splash don't hesitate throw your lure to the splash and you just might get a hook set.
2) Never pass up a lone tree in a cove.
3) If you can't get your lure to the depth you want keep adding adhesive weights
I practice the first two but I'm not sure about # 3, I've never tried it.
Remember those old lures gathering dust in your Dad's or Grandpa's tackle box still catch fish as well today as when they were new. Plus if you have a favorite old lure and you lose it, I'm sure Keith can probably help you find another one.
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