Bait Movement and How Bad We Mimic It

We as bass anglers are very poor at mimicking bait fish movements with our lures. What I’m talking about is when you throw a plastic worm or a pig-n-jig into the water, what you think it does and what it actually does in the water are totally different most times. Let me give you a little knowledge that may shock you, and when I give you the facts stop and think how many bass are most likely turned off, by how you move your baits.

I use to be a part owner of a bass tank. You know the ones that you see at the boat and fishing shows or outdoor, sporting conventions. Having access to the bass tank provided me with the ability to watch my baits and I learned a lot about bait movement.

I’ll start with baits that are to be fished slow. Let’s say your sitting in 20 feet of water on top of your favorite hump. You make a long cast with a Carolina rigged fry type bait. It’s even worse when you’re throwing bigger baits for bigger bass. You watch as your line goes slack when the bait hits the bottom. Then you reel up the slack and let the bait sit for a few seconds and then start your pull-up to move the bait. This is where 99.0% of people go wrong. I can tell you this, when you pull your rod from 9 o’clock to 12 o’clock you move your bait over 8 feet. That looks so unnatural it is not even funny. If you have a pizza going across your kitchen jumping 8 feet at a time would you try and bite it?

Most of us aren’t throwing live shad, so a lot of movement on the bottom, most of the time will turn bass off. Think about it, your bait moving that fast would almost never be in the strike zone. If your water clarity isn’’t clear than its even worse. All you have to do is move your rod a couple of inches to make your bait look more natural. This will make your bait move about a foot or two and make it look so much more like something that would be lurking along the bottom of the lake. This applies to almost all baits that are designed to fish slowly like texas rigs, jigs, and weightless baits. All of the baits that I just mentioned are fished way to fast by most anglers.

If you stop and think about people who only fish for 10 pound bass, they fish so slow it’s unreal. California anglers will anchor both ends of the boat and stitch their baits; which is wrapping the line slowly around your hand as you bring it in. This should ring a bell for all of us, but it doesn’’t.

It didn’’t hit me until last year when I started trying to catch bigger bass every day I was on the water. Once I started using what I had learned by watching the baits I throw in the tank and their movement I started catching bigger bass more often. A lot of times when I get off the water other bass fishing guides have had tough days, and I have had a great day with lots of fish and a big bass in the livewell. That makes my clients happy and keeps them coming back. What I hope is that this article will help you keep your bait in front of a bass, in its strike zone, and help you catch more fish.

If you would like to take a trip on Lake Fork, and learn some other tips and techniques about things that can help you catch more bass give me a call at 903-765-3980 or visit me at and email me.

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