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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bass Fishing Knots

Learn to tie and apply these fishing knots to your Bass Fishing

Here's another very Important tip . The most important link between you and the big bass that bites your lure or hook is the knot. Most beginners have a misconception that you need to know how to tie a lot of complicated fishing knots. Not true.
I use 2 basic knots for 99% of my fishing applications no matter what species I'm targeting. These two fishing knots will work great regardless of whether you're using light line, heavy line, live bait or lures.

How to tie the Palomar Knot

The Palomar is the strongest as well as the most simple to tie knot that you can use. Tests prove that the palomar knot will hold beyond the strength of the line its self. The only drawback to palomar knot is the fact that it's almost impossible tie it when using a a bait or method that calls for a long leader.

See this Video for the palomar

The second knot you should learn is the improved clinch knot. I use this knot when I can't use the palomar.

How to Tie the Improved Clinch Knot

See This Video The video is for fly fishing but the knot is the same.


Learn tie these two fishing knots. your fishing will become much simpler and you'll land more big bass.


Until Next Time

Fishhound

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Ultimate Bass Fishing Tip

The Most Important Bass Fishing Tip That You Will Ever Get.

So far I have discussed several lures such as the
senko and how to use them. Today I’m going to give everyone what I believe is the one most important tip that beginners or any other bass fisherman should learn and practice above and beyond all others.

In my 35 years of bass fishing and guiding, there is one mistake that I see almost every beginner make. This mistake is so prevalent that I even see experienced fishermen make it. I have even seen bass fishermen spend years and years building their whole fishing attitude and fishing style around this mistake and due to their failure to realize their mistake they never reach their potential as a bass fisherman.

It’s very understandable why this mistake is so prevalent in the sport. It’s actually very heavily promoted by the tackle, and boat companies and the pros who they sponsor in the industry.
Today’s bass fishermen are basically programmed or brainwashed by ads and commercials to believe that they can become a better bass fisherman by spending money on products. I see the results of this almost every day. People who think they can spend their way to being a great fisherman.


First of all let me make it clear that I’m not against anyone marketing products or anyone buying the products. There’s tons of great bass fishing products on the market and good equipment and the skills to use that equipment are essential tools for a good bass fisherman. However, the tools do not make the mechanic.


Let me explain with an example. If someone calls himself a mechanic, has $40,000 worth of mechanics tools but no experience or knowledge of cars, how good of a mechanic is he? See my point?

Well my true point here is, to be a good bass fisherman you should not make equipment your priority. A couple decent rod & reels a good selection of lures and a decent dependable boat if the water you fish demands a boat, is all you really need!

Don’t focus your approach to bass fishing on equipment.. Focus your approach on learning everything you can about your query THE BASS. This is the most important bass fishing tip that you’ll ever get.. If you know where he lives at any given time of year and what he’s eating, then you’ll know exactly what lure to use and where to use it. Get the point? While your buddy in his $30,000 bass boat is out rummaging through his $5000 tackle boxes full of lures and casting at every thing all over the lake, you’ll be catching fish!


Spend that time that you’ve been spending druweling over the Bass Pro Shop or Cabelas catalog reading books on bass or better yet, out on the water. Before I go, Here is one good source for learning the habits of bass. Its an ebook on the habits of bass
. Take this bass fishing tip to heart and I promise you’ll be a better fisherman.


Until next time


Fishhound

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Yamamoto Senko

Senko For Bass



The Senko is a plain plastic worm looking lure; but in fact is a soft plastic jerkbait and is anything but plain. This thing is a fish catching machine. Like the crankbait, when rigged and used correctly it’s a killer lure in and around shallow water cover and structure.

The senko is a Gary Yamamoto lure. And in my opinion, it’s the best thing Gary Yamamoto ever put on the market. It comes in most any color that you could desire.
Senkos are made of the same type plastic silicone material as most all plastic worms; however much more dense. This gives it much more weight; allowing it to cast better and sink faster when fished weightless as it was originally designed to be fished.

How to rig the senko

This bait is most effective when used as a jerkbait. Basically you should rig the senko the same as a carolina rig; however without the weight and with a shorter leader.

You’ll need a senko, a 3/0 or 4/0 worm hook (preferably an offset shank worm hook) a barrel swivel and a 12 to 16 inch piece of line for the leader. The purpose of using the barrel swivel and leader with this lure is to reduce line twist caused by the eratic action of the bait.

First tie the barrel swivel to your line. Then tie your leader to the opposite end of the barrel swivel and tie on your hook. Now insert the hook point into the head of the senko about 1/4 inch and bring the hook point out the side of the bait. Then pull the lure up onto the offset shank and rotate the hook so that the point is facing the body of the senko. Insert the hook point completely through the body of the bait then pull it back in just enough to keep the hook point unexposed. Now your ready to go

Senko fishing

The senko is designed to be fished as a jerk bait; however can be used for deep water applications as well. It works great on a carolina rig with a weight, but is most often fished wieghtless and in shallow cover. Fish the senko just as you would any other jerkbait but be aware that this type bait has an obvious distinct advantage over hard plastic or wood baits with multiple treble hooks when it come to fishing heavy cover. Cast it to the cover and work it back with a short twitching motion pausing between each twitch to let the bait sink.


The twitch and pause of this bait is what makes it so deadly for bass fishing. the action perfectly imiatates injured or dying prey. This triggers the bass predatory instinct to strike.


If the fish aren't coming up to get the bait don't be afraid to let the bait sink deep into the cover. Many times I have made several cast to a piece of cover without a strike. And then cast the senko into the cover and let it sink completely to the bottom and come out with a nice fish.

Fishing the senko is a very visual presentation in clear water. If you see a fish strike the bait wait until the bait is no longer visible in the fishes mouth to set the hook.
This bait can be a killer. So anytime fish are shallow don’t forget to try a senko


Until next time

Fishhound

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Crankbait Basics

Crankbaits for Bass Fishing

The crankbait or crankbait lure, is one of the many tools used in bass fishing for catching bass off of structure. As with plastic worms which I discussed in the last post and most all bass lures, these baits come in many different styles, shapes, colors and designs for many different applications. I’ll go over each basic type here and do my best to help you understand there characteristics and the fishing situation that each is suited for.

Diving Crank Bait

The diving baits have a lip or bill fitted to the front of the lure which causes the bait to dive. The depth to which the bait will dive is controlled by the length of the lip. The longer the lip, the deeper the bait will dive. The shape and width of the lip and the lure determines the action or wobble. Some have a short or tight wobble. Others have a wide wobble action.

Deep Diving Crankbait - 8 to 20 ft depth

Medium Diving Crankbait - 4 to 8 ft depth

Shallow Diving Crankbait - 1 to 4 ft depth

Diving lures are typically used to catch fish on structure or cover located at a particular depth. For example, if bass are holding on stumps or some other cover or structure in 10 ft of water, a deep diving bait would be a good choice.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that because the crank baits package indicates that it runs down to a particular depth that it’s going to run exactly that depth. There are many variables that dictate exactly how deep your bait will dive. One is line size. Using larger or smaller diameter line can vary the depth to which your lure will dive. Smaller line can get you more depth. Larger line can keep your bait up.

Your retrieve can also control the depth to which the bait will dive. To get the maximum depth slow the retrieve to get the lure to run shallower speed up the retrieve.

Crankbait Techniques

As with any other lure, it’s always good to experiment with your crankbait presentation until you determine what’s working in your particular fishing situation. However, typically you can trigger more strikes with a crankbait by getting the bait to act erratic. I like to make the bait bounce off of the cover, dig the bottom or bump into things. I want to feel the bait making contact with something at all times.

Another effective crankbait presentation is the old "stop and go" retrieve. Crank the bait down and stop it. Let it suspend for a few seconds and repeat. Or crank it down until you feel the bait hit something and stop. This is DEADLY the bass can’t stand it.

Lipless Crankbait

The lipless crankbait is the most versatile of all crankbaits. It can be fished in virtually any depth and with any presentation. There are floating lipless crankbaits available. However typically Unlike the lip baits, this lure sinks. You can vary the depth at which it runs by speeding up, or slowing your retrieve.

This bait is great for fishing situations which the diving lures are not favorable. For example fishing over or in grass or weeds, or in deeper water than a diving bait will reach. However it can also be used on the same type situations as the diving baits.

The disadvantage of the lipless lure is that you may not be able to work it as slow as a diving bait. So if the fish are favoring a slow moving lure, the diving bait may be a better choice.

One lipless crankbait presentation that has worked well for me in deeper water fishing situations, is to cast the bait out, let it sink to the bottom and use the rod tip to jerk the bait up off the bottom about 12 inches and then let it fall back on a tight line. The fish will usually strike as the bait is falling.

Crankbait rod

A question I get very! often. What’s the best crankbait rod. The best rod for fishing crankbaits is not going to be the same as you need for fishing finesse baits such as plastic worms and jigs. You don’t need the same stiff action and sensitivity.. For this application I prefer a much softer and much less sensitive action.
Many pro’s including myself opt for fiberglass rods for fishing crankbaits. The fiberglass fishing rod typically has a softer action and is much more suited for fishing lures that are fitted with multiple treble hooks and basically create their own action.

The exceptions to this however, for me personally, is the lipless crankbait, jerkbaits and topwater lures which require the angler to create the action of the bait. For these I prefer the stiffer action graphite rods.

So what’s the best crankbait rod? Do you need to spend a lot of money? No, you can buy a Shakespear ugly stik for around $30.00 It’s a great crankbait rod.

Crankbait Tips

I hope I have given you a good overview of crankbait fishing. I'm going to end this post with a couple tips.

Get yourself a good lure retriever. Good crankbaits, are slightly more expensive than some bass lures and if you are using them correctly you will get snagged. A good lure retriever will pay for it’s self in no time.

Keep your hooks rust free. Spray a little WD40 on them a couple times each year. WD 40 is also a good fish attractant ( NO Im not kidding)

Use clear plastic boxes to store your baits and separate them into different categories. This will save you from wasting precious fishing time rummaging through your tackle box looking for the right crankbait

Until next time

Fishhound

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Plastic Worms


How to use plastic worms for bass fishing

Last I talked about some lures for pre spawn fishing. One being Plastic worms. Worms catch more bass each year than any other lure. There’s lots of good reasons why they catch so many bass; but the number one reason is, bass love them!
A few other reasons they catch lots of bass are, they're one of the most versatile baits available, they’re simple to use, they come in many different sizes and shapes, and you can get them in every color of the rainbow.


The most common way to use this lure is rigged on a "Texas rig" this rig consists of a hook a "bullet weight" and the worm.


Texas rig fishing

Bullet weights come in all sizes. From 1/16oz up to 2oz. A good medium that will normally work well in any texas rig situation is 3/8oz. Plastic worm hooks also come in a variety of types sizes. I suggest you start with a 3/0 or 4/0.


To do a texas rig, you will need to first thread the line through the bullet sinker small end first. Then tie on your hook. That’s it.. all that’s left is to thread the plastic worm on to the hook and you’re ready to fish. To thread the worm on, first insert the hook point into the end of the worm about 1/4 inch. Then push the hook point out the side and pull the worm head up onto the eye of the hook. Now rotate the hook so that the point is facing the body of the plastic worm. Then push the hook point into the worm leaving the point just inside the worm enough to keep it from being exposed. This keeps you worm rig weedless and prevents snagging on cover.
See video
How to tie a texas rig for a visual example.


This is how your rig should look



How to fish with the texas rigged worm

The design of the texas rigged plastic worm is perfect for fishing heavy cover where bass hide. It can be fished directly in thick brush weeds or any other heavy cover easily without snagging.
There’s countless methods used to fish this rig. The standard method however, is to cast, flip, or pitch the bait into the cover, let it sink to the bottom and use the rod tip to slowly work the worm through the cover as you keep slack out of the line with the reel.


The strike will normally feel like a light tap on the bait. When you feel the tap lower the rod tip, reel up the slack in the line and set the hook by swiftly jerking the rod tip upward.

The Carolina Rig

The carolina rig is used with the same baits as the texas rig however is more suited for fishing structure as apposed to heavy cover.


How to carolina rig a plastic worm

To tie the carolina rig, you’ll need a bullet weight, a worm hook, a barrel swivel and a small glass or plastic bead. The bead which will be placed between the bullet weight and the barrel swivel serves 2 purposes. It keeps the weight which is normally much heavier than that used with the texas rig from beating against the knot on the barrel swivel. The other purpose it serves is as an attraction for the fish by creating a clicking sound when the weight which slides freely on the line hits the bead. This sound is similar to the clicking sounds made by crawfish and can ad a great attraction aspect to the presentation.


As I mentioned above, a much heavier weight is typically used with this rig than with the texas rig. Generally a ½ to 3/4oz. The purpose of the heavier weight is also an attraction. As the heavy weight is dragged along the bottom, it kicks up silt and simulates a crawfish or other crustation scurrying along the bottom. The whole rig when presented correctly simulates a small predator (your plastic worm) chasing a small crawfish or other small prey along the bottom.
First thread the bullet weight onto the line small end first. Then thread on the bead, and tie on the barrel swivel.
Next you will need to tie on a leader. Typically the leader is just a separate length of the same line as on your reel. A good practice however is to use a slightly smaller test line for your leader. This may help as if you get snagged many times you will just break off the leader and bait saving your weight and barrel swivel.


Leader length

The length of the leader can vary. As a general rule I never use shorter 18 to 24 inches of leader in clear water. However always be willing to experiment with your leader length until you find what works best.

Now tie one end of your leader to the opposite end of your barrel swivel, tie on your hook to the end of your leader, thread on the plastic worm the same as with the texas rig and you’re ready to catch bass.

Should look like this



How to fish the carolina rig

The design of this rig is not feasible for catching bass in heavy brush or thick matted cover as is the teaxs rig. The carolina rig works very well in sparse weeds or on structure such as humps or points with stumps or scattered rocks.


Cast the rig out, let it sink to the bottom, then slowly raise the rod tip from the 3:00 clock position to the 11:00 clock position then lower the rod back to the 3:00 clock position as you reel up the slack line. Repeat this action slowly dragging the bait along the bottom.


Because of the heavier weight, the strike is sometimes more difficult to detect. I like to keep a finger on the line just in front of the reel as I work the bait. This helps me better detect the tap tap of a strike. When a strike is detected reel up the slack and jerk with a side sweeping motion to set the hook.


Choosing the right rod for plastic worm fishing

It’s critical that you have the right rod for fishing plastic worms. The two most important factors in choosing a good rod for this application are a stiff action and sensitivity. The stiffness of the rod is needed to help insure a good hook set and maximizes the sensitivity which allows you to better detect strikes. A stiff action rod helps to compensate for line stretch and the fact that your hook point is inside the plastic worm and must penetrate the worm when you set the hook. I suggest a medium heavy to heavy action 6 to 7 ft graphite rod. It’s a common myth that you have to spend a lot of money for a decent rod. The fact is, you can buy a rod that will work just fine for around $30.00

A good way to test the sensitivity of a rod is to ask someone to help you, with one hand on the rods handle place the rod tip on their throat and ask them to speak. If you can feel the vibration of the person speaking through the rod, it has good sensitvity.

The right reel


The reel is not so important as the rod for fishing plastic worms. Any good medium to heavy reel will work just fine as long as it holds at least 50 yards of 10 to 20lb test line and has a good drag system. Spinning reel, bait caster or spin cast are all good choices.


One of the most attractive aspects of the plastic worm as a bass fishing lure is its versatility. It can be rigged and fished many different ways for most any fishing situation. Next time I’ll discuss some of the other methods of using plastic worms.

Until then Good Fishing

Fishhound

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pre Spawn Fishing Basics

How to Find and Catch Pre Spawn Bass

The first order in catching pre spawn bass is being able to find them - so I’ll get straight to that task first.

Finding bass during the pre spawn period can be a challenge for bass anglers anywhere in the country. However this stage of the spawn offers one of the best opportunities of the year to catch those really big bass.

On lakes and reservoirs, I always begin my search for pre spawners by first determining what part of the lake the fish are most likely to be in a pre spawn pattern. I’m looking for water temperatures in the low 50's to low 60's.

Water temps on most large lakes or reservoirs vary from one section of the lake to another as the season progresses and so does the spawn. On large bodies of water It’s very possible to have fish in all three stages of the spawn on different sections of the lake at the same time.

The shallow or upper end of the lake normally will warm first; so bass there will be the first to go into a pre spawn pattern. So in early Spring, I will begin there. If it’s later in spring I may start looking for those 50 to 60 degree temps on the lower end or mid part of the lake.

Once I determine what part of the lake has the water temps I’m looking for, I begin by looking for bass migration routes. Migration routes defined as it pertains to bass fishing, is a route bass travel from the deeper water winter holding places to the shallow water cover or structure.

Normally a migration route consists of a ditch, creek channel, point, weed line, road bed or some other structure that leads from deep water to shallow water spawning areas. For example a creek channel leads from the main lake and progressively shallows as you move back toward the back end. The back of the creek or shallow pockets on the sides of the creek may be good spawning areas and the creek channel would be the route bass travel from the shallows back to deeper water wintering areas.

Once I locate a likely migration corridor that leads to a shallow cove, flat, or other good spawning area, I decide whether to start looking for fish in the shallows or on the deeper part of the structure by taking in to consideration the weather conditions. If the weather has been warm and stable for several days, I will start looking for bass on the shallow part and work my way toward the deeper end of the structure keying on any cover such as weeds, stumps, rocks or brush within or on the migration route.

Keep this in mind when looking for pre spwan fish

The smaller male bass have the responsibility of preparing beds for the bigger female bass to lay her eggs. So they will normally be the first to move up into the shallower water. On warm days they will move up and begin cruising the shallows looking for places to build beds while the big females lay back in the deeper water. As the season progresses and water temps warm, the females will also move up into the shallows and cruise as they prepare to go on bed. But if the weather turns nasty i.e. a strong front rolls in; all the pre spawn fish will usually draw back into the deeper water. And wait for conditions to stabilize.

How to catch bass in pre spawn

While bass are generally active and ready to feed during this time, several factors may come into play in catching them.

Choosing the right lure

and

Lure presentation

Again weather plays a huge role in how bass may react to your lure and your presentation during the pre spawn.

If you are at all experienced in bass fishing you probably know that cold fronts and unstable weather can have a very detrimental effect on bass activity.

The pre spawn takes place in early spring in most parts of the country; and this time of year is notorious for unstable weather. The weather is always my first consideration when choosing a bait.

If the weather is stable and warm, I’m expecting bigger fish to be cruising on or near the spawning area’s in shallow water. I will normally start in the shallows with a bait that I can fish fast and cover lots of water.

Everyone has a favorite bait and you should have confidence in any bait you use. But this is a whole other can of worms that I’ll get into in another post.

In this particular situation, I start with a soft plastic jerkbait and try other baits if needed. I move right into the spawning area and fish any visible cover and work my way back toward the migration route.

Now, if I’m faced with adverse weather-a front. I expect the fish to be holding in deeper water on the migration route but near the spawning area. In this case, I would normally reverse my method. I start on the deeper part of the migration route with a bait that can be fished slowly on deep water structure. My personal favorite pre spawn bait for this situation, is a carolina rig with a plastic lizard. I position my boat parallel to the migration structure and cast across or to it and work my way toward the spawning area.

My goal of coarse is to is to pattern the larger fish. Once I figure out what they are doing I can fine tune my bait and presentation to what is working best.

The pre spawn is a very exciting time of year for most bass fishermen. It means that the end to winters slow deep fishing is near, and it’s an opportunity to catch the bass of a lifetime. And if you’re armed with knowledge of how bass act during pre spawn, it ups your chances of catching them tremendously.

Good luck with your pre spawn bass fishing.

Fishhound