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  • Proper way to bleed fish

  • Fishing Knots--Just a beginner

  •   


     

    So you want to be a Bass Fishermen

     

    So you want to be a bass fishermen/women?  The first thing I would recommend is give up the old zebco Ė we all love them but they just donít have the gears in them that you need to get down on top of the biggins.  I recommend no less then a 5 to 1 gear ratio with a medium to medium heavy rod.  My choice in line is Stren in 10 to 12 pound test.  The other very important thing to get is a good pair of polarized sunglasses.  I like the brown tint ones myself and also like the wrap around ones that cover the sides of your eyes as well.

    Ok, you got that old zebco strung up with some new ten pound line.  (We know your not just going to drop everything and go out and buy a new rod and reel for a few bass.)  Now choice of bait is a very important topic and every fishermen has their go to bait.  Later on I will get into my go to baits.

    Now you get to the water and it doesnít look any different to you then when you were bluegill fishing last week with a worm and a bobber.  It may not look different but you have to look at it differently.  You see those edges of the moss out there about 10 feet from the bank?  Sure you do, you created half the cover you are going to be fishing last week trying to pull those gills up through the moss.  Straight line thinking is out the door.  Now you are looking for every little difference in that moss line.  Circles, half moons, holes, cut in vís and all the rest.  Each one of those differences can hold bass.  My favorite to fish out of the ones above would be holes.  Out past the moss on top of the water you can see a small channel with a submerged weed line running out about 6 feet from the edge of the moss.  Now your getting it, that is a ambush zone for bass to sit in or under the cover and wait for the smaller fish to swim by in the channel and ambush them.  Any small channel cut in the moss or submerged weeds needs to be explored.  Also donít forget the obvious of lay down trees and submerged stumps and things like that.  Ok now we are thinking like a bass fishermen.

    Now letís say itís early in the day in Mid April to Early May.  The first thing I am going to tie on would be a number 2 worm hook (Gamakatsu, Musted, Eagle or what ever is available).



    My knot of choice is the old stand by clinch knot.  Insert knot picture here  It is a knot my grandfather taught me years ago and I can count the number of times it has failed me on one hand. 


    Trim the excess string nice and close.  Now we are going to rig the plastic worm Texas style Ė minus the weight. 

    http://www.culprit.com/html/culpritworm.html

    Oh I know there are more then just a few bass types that will swear by using a bullet head weight.  They make too much noise hitting the water and take the worm out of the fishes target area too fast.  Now that is just my opinion and I would recommend doing what works best for you.  They do help out when it comes to casting a soft plastic in the wind and do add to the presentation of the worm. 





     

    Now remember itís early in the year and everything is just starting to wake up from its winter sleep.  The fish are still sluggish and slow for the most part (depending on where you from).  Pick out a spot that doesnít look the same as all the rest of the shoreline, weed line or moss line.  I find it is better to go past your target 3 to 6 feet and let the worm sit.  Good rule is count to ten each time before you start reeling in.  Once are sure you have the worm close to the bottom start your retrieve.  Nice and slow with a twitch here and there in the middle.  A twitch early in the year is just a quick jerk of the rod to move it an inch or two at most.  I know you are very excited but you have to slow down to about half as fast as you are going now.  You should be close to that target we were aiming at.  You might even stop for a second then twitch a few times just to see if anything is willing to bite.  You have to watch your line for the slightest movement to either side and any pressure at all you feel is more then likely a fish.  Now is where you wish you would have gotten that spinning combo.  Crank down as fast as you can to get the slack out of the line and move your rod tip down as you are cranking.  As soon as you have the slack out of the line raise up like you never have before and set the hook.  I have had people tell me it looked like I was trying to jerk the lips right off the fish.  Well those people had never hooked into a 8 pound plus bass so they had no clue just how hard you had to set the hook. 

    Ok so you have the hook set and have a dance partner.  Early season bass sometimes donít put up much of a fight but most will try and stay down near the bottom.  Good thing itís early and we donít have moss line running around the pond right?  Well we do have one so we need to deal with the fish in short order.  A lot of people will call it horsing a fish in.  You have 10 to 12 pound line so you shouldnít have any problems getting that fish up to the top of the water and its head up to bring it in over the moss.  Again you will be wishing you had a good medium heavy rod and spinning reel to accomplish this task.  Oh yeah we all dream about it happening like that and once in a while it does happen like that.  Well the fish is now buried in that moss line so what are we going to do.  Best thing is to keep steady pressure on the fish and crank slowly down with the rod tip and pull up with just an enough pressure to keep the moss moving.  Youíll get him in if you take your time.

    Now that you have caught your first good bass of the year you are ready to go get that monster you know is in the pond.  Early in the year the deeper areas of the lake and or pond where they come into shallows are my first targets.  They always say the north side of the lake or pond is the best early but I have not found this to be true all the time.  I will start on the north side of a body of water if it is available or close.  If not I will work with the water I have. 

    Early Season Go To Baits

    7-inch plastic worm in pumpkin seed to green watermelon
    10-inch plastic worms are also a good backup and easier to cast in the wind.
    Shallow running crank bait 1 to 4 foot (perch and blue silver are my favorite colors)
    White or Yellow willow blade spinner bait.  (There are always a few aggressive fish)

    Now those are just my go to baits in the spring.  As the season continues and the water gets more weed lines and structure I will go to more top water baits and shallow running crank baits.  Hiddeon torpedos have produced more 20 inch fish in the past 10 years then any other bait I have used.  Chug bugs, Pop-rís, zara spooks and skitter pops are also good to have available.  When the moss is really bad itís time to go the moss boss type lures that will run over the moss beds without getting snagged up.  Go back to those bass eyes and look for the small variations in the moss to target and you can always drop a plastic worm (rigged weightless) in those holes and on the edges.



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