John's Journal...


More Clear-Water Tactics

EDITOR’S NOTE: Todd Ary of Moody, Alabama, a professional bass fisherman, fishes all the FLW and Everstart tournaments. This week, Ary talks about what types of lakes he fishes and the tactics he uses to catch bass in the fall.

QUESTION: What’s another deep, clear-lake tactic you use at this time of year?

ARY: Late in the afternoon the balls of shad will disperse into deep water, which causes the bass to follow them. Many times, you can see small patches of baitfish with large arches around them on your depth finder. Most people disregard this kind of show on their depth finders because they believe the large arches are either saltwater stripers or hybrid striped bass, especially when they see this mark in 25 to 30 feet of water, the depth where you usually find the stripers. Yet, those arches are not stripers at all. I start off by Click to enlargeusing 6-pound-test Mossy Oak Fishing’s Buck Brush Line. This line has a thick shell around it, allowing for a bit more memory, and also is more abrasion-resistant. By using a line that’s smaller in diameter, I can still get a fast fall, even with a line that may coil. I use this line on a spinning reel. I tie on either a No. 1 or a No. 2 red mosquito hook. Many people use the smaller size of this hook for dropshotting. Next, I put the hook into a Strike King 3X Finesse Worm from the flat side just behind the egg sack, which is similar to how you rig a wacky worm, but not exactly in the middle of the worm. Instead of having the hook turned sideways, I point the hook toward the tail of the worm. I prefer my line to run straight up the belly of the worm. In the head of the worm, I put either a 1/8- or a 1/16-ounce insert weight. I actually force the weight into the nose of the worm. When I drop it into the school of bait, it falls straight down. I want that worm to rocket straight to the bottom, instead of spiraling down like a jighead worm or falling horizontally like a wacky worm. Now I’m ready to go fishing.

I have the transducer on my graph recorder attached to the bottom of my trolling motor. With my trolling motor, I can move out to 25 or 30 feet of water to look for the small patches of shad with the big fish associated to them. Once you see the shad and the arches that represent bass holding close, put your trolling motor in reverse. Position your boat so that you’re right on top of the school of shad. Next, drop that 3X Finesse Worm straight to the bottom. Click to enlargeYou can see the worm falling, if you have a sensitive graph recorder. Nine times out of 10, you can see the bass follow that finesse worm down to the bottom. By the time you have engaged the reel and taken up the slack, the bass will have already eaten the worm. The reason this technique is so deadly is that when the 3X Finesse Worm gets to the bottom, it stands upright on its head. The tail of the worm sticks straight up, and the head of the worm is pegged to the bottom due to the lead weight in the nose. When a bass sees that worm standing up, it will eat the worm. One of the reasons for using light line is that it lets the bait fall fast. When using this technique, you are fishing light bait in deep water, which produces a faster fall and gets the bass’ attention. This deadly technique really works for anglers who are familiar with using a depth finder in deep, clear water, and they will catch 3- to 4-pound spotted bass. This is my favorite tactic to use in the fall.

Here are some rules that I use on lead size. If I’m fishing in 20 feet or less of water, I use a 3/32-ounce or a 1/8-ounce lead. If the bass are in 25 to 40 feet of water, I use a 3/16-ounce screwed-in lead. If the bass are deeper than 40 feet, I use a 1/4-ounce lead. One of my favorite leads to use is a Lunker Stick insert ball weight. The advantage of using this weight is Click to enlargethat when it hits the bottom, it makes a knocking sound, which attracts bass to the bait. Because you have the lead on the bottom and the finesse worm floating, the bass can hear, see, and eat the bait better. That’s why the Strike King 3X Finesse Worm is critical to the success of this tactic.

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Check back each day this week for more about FISHING WITH PROFESSIONAL BASS FISHERMAN TODD ARY

Day 1: Fishing Clear Lakes
Day 2: Highland Reservoirs
Day 3: More Clear-Water Tactics
Day 4: Fishing Aquatic Vegetation Lakes
Day 5: Grassy-Lake Tactics



Entry 323, Day 3