The more time an angler spends on the water the more he will begin to understand the value of a good lure presentation. It is extremely important to present lures that imitate what a bass actually sees in its everyday environment. Shad and other forage should become one focus for trying to put the correct lure with the correct presentation in front of a hungry bass. Selecting one of the many lures on the market that effectively stays in the zone where bass are feeding and looking like what the bass are eating at the same time is the secret to a great presentation. Spoon lures and blade baits can do a great job of mimicking what a bass is seeing in the water. When a bass attacks a school of shad or baitfish occasionally a baitfish is injured and has a very distinctive wounded flutter. Spoons are a very good selection to try to fool a hungry bass; Nemire lures Red Ripper spoon is one which has a characteristics that gives a presentation that does a great job of mimicking an injured baitfish. Most anglers that have spent any time on the water know the flutter and dance of an injured baitfish. The Ripper spoon gives an uncanny imitation when per its name sake is ripped through surface and suspended bait fish pods. It wobbles in much like a baitfish and will flutter with a slow sink when stalled after the rip of the rod. The best time to really understand the effectiveness of this presentation is when shad schools are on the surface with hungry bass feeding in the pods. The spoon will be isolated when ripped through a pod and quickly stalled in the baitfish. A good set of polarized glasses help to see the action when ripping the pods as the bass eats your spoon. In most cases you will see the bite before you feel the fish.
Lipless crank baits are another good tool but some experimentation is usually necessary for you to get the bait to stay in the correct strike zone. Since a spoons curvature keeps the lure in the strike zone a little longer than the lipless crank baits the bass may react to the quicker fall rate. Different brands of lipless crank baits tend to ride differently in the top column and fall differently when stalled in baitfish so experiment to get the correct presentation. The fish will usually start to key you in usually by a more violent bite. A spinner bait can also be stalled in the same manner and presents a larger profile to attract a strike. It poses a larger meal for the fish and an easy target. Nemire’s Spin ripper is the best of both worlds when the bass want the larger profile with the spoon to give you the flutter action when stalled and the spinner bait portion.
Time of year can play a big role in what you chose in a lure. During the spawn male bass become very protective of predatory fish for new born bass. Sunfish and bluegill get special attention from male in all stages of the spawn. It would lead an angler to reason then presenting a lure that will mimic the look and color of sunfish and bluegill can coax an aggressive male to protect the young bass and get themselves a good meal all in one bite. Shallow running crank baits are a great choice in root beer chartreuse, yellows, browns and reds. Bandit is a good brand for having a many different color combinations to match up the local bluegill patterns on your favorite lake. Bottom dwelling creatures such as crawfish, salamanders, helgomites and others of the like are also a good thought during this time of year. Flipping the shallow spawning areas with creature bait is great start but with a little investigation of the local forage can clue you into some very important markers to use in the mimic of bottom crawling forage. Checking under rocks and wood on the bank line can give you a clue as to size and color of what bass are seeing and feeding on. The cliché is worn out but it’s the old match the hatch theory. It will not always work out and you sometimes find clues in nature and when you do it can be your most productive day one the water. When fish move toward the deeper haunts during summer one of the most important things is to be able to effectively put a lure in the water column that contains feeding and active bass. Carolina rigs deep diving crank baits and spoons again fit into the arsenal for effectively presenting a lure that mimics what bass are eating in their comfort zones. Electronics will be a very big key in what baits you actually decide to use this time of year. It can clue you in to select a 10’ or 15’ crank bait in choosing a lure that stays in front of hungry bass for a maximum amount of time. In conclusion taking the time to gather as much about what is in the water and where the fish are feeding is the key to a successful mimic.