Bass are exploding around your boat frothing the surface chasing shad everywhere. It would be impossible not to catch one, but that is exactly what is happening. You can’t get a sniff, nibble or strike on any of your favorite topwater lures. Use the secret schooling bass lures to catch them.
Scratching your head in disbelief, you do what any angler would do. You just keep changing your lures in hopes of one being the magical lure bass will bite. However, it’s not likely to happen with the bigger lures you are trying to catch them on.
Why big topwater lures don’t catch bass during certain times of the year has to do with several factors. One reason is bass are so keyed into size they will only bite on the exact sized lure. It’s the typical match-the-hatch scenario where bass only bite the same size lure.
Another factor is an abundance of smaller shad due to a recent shad spawn. Small shad in the fall will bunch up in schools in the back of major feeder creeks and pockets making them easy prey for bass.
Fishing pressure can also influence bass to be extremely cautious. That happens even when there are hundreds of shad swimming around. A loud splashing lure will send wary, high-pressured bass scattering.
To catch bass, an angler has to use smaller, downsized versions of bigger lures. Downsizing the lure allows anglers better match-the-hatch and give bass what they want. However, there is one catch to fishing with smaller, downsized lures and that’s anglers have to use lightweight fishing tackle.
For many anglers using lightweight tackle when fishing with smaller lures brings the fun and excitement back to angling. In many situations, it’s maybe the only way and angler is going to catch any or fish efficiently. High quality spinning reels like the WaveSpin Reels Legend 250 or DHxL (www.wavespinreel.com) rigged with small diameter 6 pound test monofilament or Fluorocarbon fishing line on a 7 foot light action rods make the perfect combination when casting lightweight lures.
Over the years, frustrated anglers have slowly figured out what special downsized lures catch schooling bass that refuse bigger lures. Most anglers keep it a secret unwilling to share with anyone including their best fishing buddies. However, a few anglers are willing to share their secret lure and the following four lures consistently get mentioned.
Interestingly, the list is made up of these secret lures covering the three zones where fish can be caught when schooling. Topwater zone is where bass can actively be seen feeding on the surface. Middle zone is where fish feed on schools of shad being pushed up towards the surface or trying to evade packs of bass chasing them. Bottom zone is where injured and dying shad slowly fall after being attacked by a school of fish.
At the top of the list is a topwater lure. The Heddon Zara Puppy may only measure 3-inches, but it appeals to schooling bass no matter where you are fishing it. Just like the larger walk-the-dog style lures, an angler has to master the technique of walking-the-dog to incite bass to strike it.
Fishing a topwater lure is simple. Just cast to where the fish are breaking the surface then walking the lure back to the boat. Some days it takes a fast retrieve and other days a slower side to side walking action. There will be days when bass will only strike even downsized lures casted accurately to a certain spot.
It may be fun to watch a bass explode on a topwater lure, but reluctant bass normally will bite lures fished in the middle and bottom zone more aggressively increasing the number of strikes and bass caught. The middle zone ranges anywhere from just below the surface to almost on the bottom. It’s the zone where schooling bass are chasing balls of baitfish or feeding on individual shad away from the school.
Two of the secret lures are designed for fishing in the middle zone. It’s not surprising since bass spend most of the time chasing schools of baitfish below the surface. The Worden’s Rooster Tail, an in-line single spin lure often catches bass when no other lure can.
All of the action comes from just a single willow leaf spinner blade. It’s subtle action and small profile matches even the smallest shad.
The other middle zone lure is a Rapala CountDown Minnow that’s shaped just like a small baitfish. It can be casted or even trolled. Both of these lures can be counted down to where the bass are feeding.
While oversized magnum spoons are all the rage in bass fishing right now, however, bass in the bottom zone may not want these large oversized magnum spoons. When bass are being finicky, the smaller Cotton Cordell 1/4-ounce Little Mickey spoon is the perfect size and catches everything from small bass to big bass.
These secret lures are all too lightweight for using a baitcaster. Ultralight spinning tackle is perfect, however, using the right one can make your day fishing these lightweight lures.
Most people don’t like spinning gear because of line twist and tangles. Using a WaveSpin Reel with the patented “Wave” spool and guaranteed no tangle technology allows loops to come off the spool. This eliminates the dreaded bird’s nest created with traditional reels.
Anglers will also need a superior drag system when fishing with these smaller lures. Both WaveSpin Reels Legend 250 and DHxL have an exclusive 10 disc drag system for a silky smooth release of line from the spool. This eliminates the catching effect that would break the line or rip the hooks free from the fish when it makes a run. The smooth exclusive WaveSpin Reels 10 disc drag system also decreases stretching the line that would otherwise result in the fishing line twisting and tangling.
Now you know the secret lures to catching reluctant schooling bass. Just tie on one of the secret lures mentioned above to a spinning rod and reel. They maybe small lures, but the results will amaze you and your fishing buddies.
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