John's Journal... Entry 253, Day 5
BEST NEW TACTICS OF THE PROS
Three Bass Tactics That Work
Editor's Note: Have you wondered what's hot and what's not in the world of bass fishing? Has a new tactic caught on fire, promising to change the way we all fish for bass like dropshotting and flipping have in years past? Or, have anglers re-explored and dusted-off old techniques that once again have proved their value as significant bass-catching strategies? What's the inside scoop on the way professional bass anglers fish to produce the most and the biggest bass? Here's the answers to these questions as we all look forward to the 2004 Bassmaster Classic to be held at Lake Wylie in July, 2004.
Jim Bitter: Try Speed Worming - Jim Bitter from Fruitland Park, Florida has fished as a professional for more than 16 years and has 31 top-10 finishes. He's won over $700,000 in BASS tournaments. "When Zoom came out with its new Speed Worm with a paddle tail, I started fishing it," Bitter comments. "I used the Speed Worm at Lake Okeechobee in Florida and caught two 7-pounders back to back. I was buzzing the Speed Worm close to the surface on 20-pound-test line with a No. 3/0 wide gap hook across the surface of the bedding areas. The key to getting the Speed Worm to work properly is to use a high-speed reel so you can keep the worm moving fast across the surface. Speed worming goes against almost everything you know about plastic worm/bass fishing. Most other plastic-worm tactics are slow moving or target-oriented. However, for the best results, fish the Speed Worm like you do a spinner bait. I predict that speed worming will be one of the hottest new tactics in 2004."
Chad Brauer: Use Red for Bass - Twenty-nine-year old Chad Brauer from Osage Beach, Missouri, has fished professionally for six years. He's won the 1996 Tennessee Top-100, has had nine top-10 finishes and has competed in the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. "For about a year now, I've been experimenting with the color red," Brauer mentions. "I believe bass that see red on a baitfish assume that the red is blood and that the fish is wounded -- offering them an easy meal. My father (Denny Brauer) has been working with Mustad to help create "Bleeding Hooks." Bleeding Hooks are red. When they're attached to a crankbait, they give the appearance that the crankbait is a wounded baitfish that's bleeding. I started changing out the silver and black hooks that come on most crankbaits and replaced them with Bleeding Hooks. I now have more confidence in these red hooks then I do the hooks that come standard on most crankbaits because I catch more bass with the Bleeding Hooks than I do with dark-colored hooks. Another reason I'm building more confidence in the concept of bleeding baits is because Strike King Lure Company has developed a line of baits that have the red bleeding color on the lures as well as the hooks. I believe that these new Bleeding Baits present a different-looking lure to the bass that triggers strikes. I really believe that the red coloring on these lures has caused me to catch more bass this year than I did last year. If you think about it, identifying an injured baitfish is what causes the bass to attack one baitfish instead of another one in a school of baitfish."
Mark Rose: Fish Small and Heavy for Spots - Mark Rose, age 31, of Marion, Arkansas, has competed professionally since 1999 and has had several top-20 and top-10 finishes in bass tournaments. "This year I learned to fish smaller, heavier spinner baits in deep clear lakes to catch spotted bass," Rose explains. "Initially, I'd take a Strike King Pro-Model spinner bait, cut an inch off the wire to shrink the bait and add lead to the lure to get it down deeper. I had to re-bend the wire to make the spinner bait react properly. I caught more spotted bass than the anglers who were fishing the big heavy spinner baits or little bitty spinner baits. Little spinner baits were almost the right size, but they weren't heavy enough to get down deep. Big spinner baits were heavy enough to get down deep, but they were too big for the spotted bass. Now Strike King has come out with the Silhouette Models. These factory-made, small, heavy spinner baits will get down deep in clear lakes, and I've learned that spotted bass will really eat them up."
Professional bass fishermen consistently catch more bass than most of us do because they constantly try out new techniques and lures and also reuse old tactics by refreshing them and treating them like they're new strategies. The best bass fishermen in the world have learned these methods this year. If you'll use these tactics, you'll start catching bass like the pros do.
To learn more about Strike King's lures, go to www.strikeking.com.
For more information on Zoom, visit www.zoomworms.com.