John's Journal...

Good Tactics for Bad Spotted Bass

Catching Spotted Bass

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: The spot likes clear water and deep, rocky structure. He also loves to fight. He is delicious to eat but tough to catch because he is the baddest bass in the bassing business. Today we’ll learn what productive lures to fish with to catch the spotted bass.

Click to enlargeDr. John Ramsay, retired from the Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Auburn University, says, “Lure selection is somewhat personal. What I use may not be what other anglers have utilized to catch spots. However, I believe a lure with some flash on it tends to catch more spotted bass than a lure without flash. I like chrome-type baits with fish patterns on them. If I am fishing crankbaits, I prefer a balsa bait that can be cranked down, stopped and allowed to float up. But my favorite lure to fish for spots is the spoon. I usually retrieve the spoon rather than vertical jigging it. I have had very little success in taking spotted bass vertical jigging a spoon.”

Click to enlargeAnother tactic that has worked on spotted bass during the cold months of the year and the early spring is fishing small plastic worms on ultralight tackle. Since spotted bass like deep, clear lakes and prefer rocks to treetops, lighter line and smaller baits can be fished in deeper water to produce more spots and retrieved slowly and steadily along the rocky bluffs. “During the cold months when the fish are deep and the hot months when the fish are holding around the thermocline, spots seem to favor slower moving, smaller bait to the bigger baits,” Charley Brewer, the inventor of the Slider worm, explained. “By using light line and a little Slider worm, you can feel the fish hit – even at 20-, 30-, or 40-feet deep. When deep-water Slider fishing for spots, I recommend using 4- to 6-pound test line. This type of angling requires a different hook-setting technique from what is usually used. Instead of hitting the fish hard when it takes the bait, you generally will catch more by trying to sweep the bait into the fish’s mouth.”

Click to enlargeAn effective technique for taking spots when they are bunched on rocky points is the swimming method utilized by well-known fisherman, Nolen Shivers of Birmingham, Alabama. “I have found that the 3-inch, rubber-tailed, chartreuse jig is deadly on spotted bass on rocky points,” Shivers reports. “I’ve had more success casting the jig out and using a steady retrieve rather than a bottom-hopping retrieve. Oftentimes the spots may be on the points, and you’ll have to find at which depth they’re feeding. Sometimes I’ve caught spots while swimming the jigs just off the bottom. At other times, they may be as much as 5 feet off the bottom. Whatever the magic depth is, that is where you’ll catch the spotted bass. For instance, often when I’ve located spots 5 feet off the bottom, cast to them, let the bait fall to the bottom and then started a steady retrieve, the spots have not hit. But when I cast to them and start my retrieve 5 feet off the bottom, I can take the spotted bass. I believe the 3-inch jig is one of the most-deadly lures any time you find spots on rocky points that you can use.”

Tomorrow: Taking Deep Spotted Bass


Check back each day this week for more about " Good Tactics for Bad Spotted Bass"

Day 1: The Creation of the Bad Spotted Bass
Day 2: Spotting the Spotted Bass
Day 3: Locating Spotted Bass
Day 4: Catching Spotted Bass
Day 5: Taking Deep Spotted Bass


Entry 360, Day 4