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bass fishing resource tackle tips

bass fishing resource tackle tips


Mike Reid

Smallmouth fishing can be a drag!

By Mike Reid

Its 6:24 am. and you just arrived at the launch. You stand on the end of the dock staring out at the lake. The 2-hour drive to get here is now ancient history. Your mind is racing with great ideas and expectations as to how the day is going to play out. The boat slides off the trailer and into the glass like surface of the lake, like a Seal through a hole in the ice. You turn the key and the gasoline powered 'ticket to freedom' fires to life, cutting through the silence like a distant thunder. You buckle up your life jacket, secure all loose objects, throw it in gear, drop the throttle and you're off.

You pull up to your first spot of the day, a nice little rocky point beside a feeder creek. You've never fished it before, but you've seen it during your travels of the lake and have always wanted to give a cast or two. You tie up your lure of choice and get down to business. After 45 minutes, a couple of lure changes and numerous casts without even a sniff from a Bass you decide to move on. After receiving the same welcome from the fish at your other known hot spots, frustration and disappointment start to overtake the great expectations you had this morning.

As you sit in your boat thinking what a drag this day is turning out to be. That's when it hits you! "Dragging"! As a last resort, you could always drag bait around before you pack it in, but what you don't realize is that dragging for Small mouth Bass can be a very effective technique when they're tight lipped.

Now I can speak from experience when I say that sitting in a boat dragging bait along the bottom is not nearly as exciting as making that perfect cast or pitch to structure, but this technique can produce good numbers of quality Bass. There is a lot of bait for this method of fishing, but I have found that Crayfish and Minnow imitations work best in most situations.

Once you have selected bait, you will have to experiment with size, color and weight with 'weight' being the most critical. You want to have enough weight to feel bottom structure but if you're getting a lot of snags you probably need less weight. A one piece spinning rod and a good reel will offer the best sensitivity. You can basically drag bait through any type of structure, like a broken rock bottom, a sandy weedy bottom or even through tall vegetation. You will want to rig your bait weed less in the thicker weed growth.

Drifting using the wind or current to move you along is best because it is less intrusive to the fish. Try casting into the wind or current because the fish will usually be behind structure, facing it, waiting for potential food. Of course, with no wind or current you will have to use your electric motor to edge you along. The speed of the drift is vital to success. A drift too fast can be controlled by using a drift sock to slow you down. If you feel your going to slow this is a good time to add some action to your bait. When you feel your bait stop against some structure give it a quick snap and pop it up, but be ready because this is when the fish will usually pick up the bait. When you're dragging be sure to check your line frequently for nicks and abrasion from it coming in contact with structure.

The next time you're out fishing and the bite is tough and you're thinking, 'what a drag'. Don't get discouraged; let the 'drag' work for you.

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