The members of UltimateBass.com provide a wealth of information on all aspects of bass fishing. With members of all ages and from various states and countries, the information available will certainly be useful to all fishermen and women. Here is an accumulation of bass fishing tips that have been posted in the Ultimate Bass Forum.
Crankbaits! As a general rule of thumb use wide wobbling baits in warm water (over 60 degrees) and narrow, quick wobbling baits in water under 60 degrees.
Crankbait Tip: Cause your bait to deflect off of something. Be it a tree, post under a pier or brush. A very high percentage of strikes come after your bait has hit and cleared some type of obstruction; some professionals of bass fishing believe this is as high as 90 percent.
Here’s a tip for you crankbait fishermen: If you use the clip locks, I use the Norman Speed Clips, taking the factory split ring off so the clip goes directly to the bait keeps the action of the bait true and you have a lot less trouble with the line fouling.
When you hang a crankbait on a stump, a plug knocker or lure retriever works great, but what about when you launch one into a tree? A golf ball retriever works great on getting those lures back. They have telescoping handles that usually extend to 10 feet or better. The little “cups” on the end have slots on them that are perfect for snagging those crankbait hooks while trying to pull your lure back down. You can pick one up at a sporting goods store for about $10.
As many of you know, I am a huge Rat-L-Trap fan. My primary colors are chrome, gold, and the occasional red or baby bass. I like to use chrome on a sunny day and gold on cloudy days. I use red if there is a little stain on the water or if there has been a lot of pressure with chrome and gold colors. I’ll throw baby bass in really clear water, when I don’t want to much flash with the bait. I will also tell you this; my favorite brand of lipless crank may be Rat-L-Trap, but the subtle differences between lure makers can really do the trick sometimes. Bill Lewis Lures are the most popular, once in a while, I will throw a Diamond Shad or something else to give the fish a new look or sound. I tried Yozuri’s lipless crankbait the other day, and I was really pleased with it. It costs $7, but Rat-L-Trap’s gold paint flakes off after a few strikes or after running the bait through some thick grass. The Yozuri’s paint job has remained pristine after several fishing trips and quite a few strikes. Another really cool thing that Yozuri did with the bait was to move the belly hooks further apart from each other. That way the hooks will never tangle up together. I also like the different body style that Yozuri and some of the other bait manufactures offer besides the traditional “football” look. As with most things in fishing, it’s all about giving the fish something different. Many people have told me, “you can’t beat the original”; and that may be true, but every once in a while even a major league pitcher has to throw a change-up behind that fastball to get a strike!
Tournament co-anglers: I fish tournaments as a co-angler, and one thing I’ve learned is you have to fish your strengths. Even if, the guy in the front is fishing slow baits (worms or jigs), I fish crankbaits or spinnerbaits – I just get to be a lot more thorough.
When you rip a hole in your soft plastic bait, heat the blade of your knife with a lighter and insert the hot blade in the tear. This will melt the plastic back together. Obviously you don’t want to use this trick over buying new baits, but if you’re stuck on the water with no spare baits, this will get you through the day.
When fishing soft plastics in heavy grass or lily pads, use a little fish attractant (the oily kind). It will help your bait slide through the grass easier, as well as smell good for the fish!
I have been experimenting with Gremlin split-shot worm weights. They are in the shape of a normal bullet weight, but they crimp on the line. I have had no problems with line damage after using them. I really like the versatility of being able to go from weightless rig, to Texas rigged (pegged), to a Carolina rig and back again in literally 3 seconds! You can easily vary the length of your C-rig to by simply sliding the weight to where you need it.
One advantage of your kids wearing braces is that you accumulate a lot of small rubber bands. One use I have found for them is extending the life of wacky worms or Senko type baits. Put the rubber band around the worm and run the hook under it instead of hooking it directly into the bait.
When fishing lures like a fluke, wacky worm, Senko or other such weightless soft plastics, you can add a little weight by inserting a finishing nail or a brad nail into them. This will increase the cast-ability of the lure as well as ever so slightly increasing the rate at which it falls, so you can fish them deeper. It will also help take out some of the slack in your line when you are fishing.
Here’s an awesome fluke rig that I learned from Woo Daves. I call it the Super Fluke Rig. Start off with two swivels. Cut two lengths of line, one longer than the other by about 2-4 inches. Tie one line to one swivel and the other line to the other swivel. Now tie a worm hook to the open end of each line. Once you’ve done that, slip the shorter swivel-line onto your rod’s line. You want the line from your rod to pass through the open end of the swivel. Then tie the longer swivel line to the rod’s line, and you’re done. The longer line’s swivel, tied at the bottom, keeps the shorter line’s swivel from coming off your fishing rod’s line. This rig will let the shorter line move independently from the longer line. When you put two weightless flukes on the end of this thing it’s really amazing to watch. It looks just like to independent baitfish in a school darting around eachother. You have to try it so that you can really appreciate it. Fish it like you would a Rouge, with small twitches and jerks. You won’t be disappointed; I promise.
After a heavy down pour fish anywhere you can find water running into the lake this water will be full of nutrients starting a vibrant food chain and bass will be all over it.
Stitching. Lots of big Bass specialist use this method for connecting with BIG Bass. You simply pull the bait (plastic or jig) along very slowly with your hand rather than your reel. This forces you to slow down and really enhances the feel of your bait and any pickup.
If you’ve ever spilt chartreuse dye on your boat carpet, you know how hard it is to clean up. Try using a little shaving cream (not gel). I spilt an entire bottle of Spike-It chartreuse dye on my carpet and I got all of it out using shaving cream. Granted my carpet is dark, but the shaving cream definitely worked better than everything else I used.
This one is kind of basic fishing knowledge, but I’ve seen too many people do this in a tournament no less! When you are fighting a fish, and trying to get him back in the boat, at all costs do not let him jump! It looks really cool and all when a bass goes airborne and does some neat acrobatic tricks, but that is the easiest way for them to throw the hook. Too many times I’ve seen guys that I fish with “horsing” a fish to the boat with their rod tip straight up in the air. If you have a fish that wants to dive deep, then raise your rod tip and keep the tension on the fish. However, if the fish is screaming for the surface, lower your rod tip! Don’t allow slack in your line, just hold your rod to the side, but with the rod tip low. If you keep upward tension on the fish as it comes to the surface, you just make it that much easier for the fish to jump. And if you have tension on the line when it jumps, then you will more than likely lose that fish. So in short, my tip is if you think the fish is going to jump on you, keep tension on the fish by lowering your rod tip to the side or something, don’t hold it straight up in the air!
A good way to add red to a bait or a hook on the water, keep some red fingernail polish in your tackle box. Dries quick and stays on for a long time.
Charcoal in the storage bins of your boat, will absorb moisture, keeping your stuff dry. Another thing you can do to keep your baits dry is to punch little holes in the bottoms of your tackle boxes. That way, when you put a wet crankbait back in the box, the water can either pour out, or evaporate.
Another use for the small rubber bands is re-enforcing the bands on spinnerbait skirts; you know how they tend to melt over time.
If you need to replace the gas shocks on your deck lids, go to a truck accessory store. You can use the replacement gas shocks for a truck toolbox. They are the same thing, but much cheaper than those at a boat store.
I have an older boat (1997) and some of my deck lids are coming loose; actually the screws are backing out. I have found some screws that are awesome replacements. They are called Deck Mate screws, and they can be found at Home Depot.
I bought a caddy for the front pedestal on my boat. I put my fishing scents and pliers in it. I was well pleased with it, except that my pliers kept falling out when I was running. So I attached them to the caddy with an old kill switch lanyard. The large “clip” end of the lanyard is the perfect size to slip over the head of my pliers. It rests at the pliers joint and won’t slip off. Then I hooked the other end of the lanyard to the caddy and viola! No more pliers flying across my boat at WOT! The other cool thing is that the lanyard is coiled, so it springs back into place.
It’s a good idea to mount your trailer’s license plate on a stainless steel hinge. That way the plate won’t bend when you pull your trailer in and out of the water, and the stainless steel won’t rust.
Before your next trip to the lake, check your lug nuts to make sure they are tight. A friend of mine didn’t check his and lost a tire on his trailer while going down the road at 60 MPH!
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