Bass GEEK 2: Glide baits, bubba shottin, pork returns, more

Welcome to Bass GEEK # 2! Because you know you are one….

Reminder on terminology: Bein’ a bass “geek” ain’t the same as bein’ as bass “nerd,” which according to most dictionaries =  Elite fisherman. I mean that in a totally loving way. They’re nerds now…but they were GEEKS first!

[If you’re gettin’ this for the first time, it’s probably cuz a bassin’ bud signed you up for the BassBlaster!]

Today’s Geekin’ Out

1  Swimbaitin’ 

Wayne “just call me swimbait” Campbell of Swimbait Universe answerin’ my Q about what the difference is between a swimbait and a glide bait…which are both called “swimbaits:”

> The term “swimbait” has become so vague and diluted today because of the introduction of new baits and styles from all the manufacturers. The term now encompasses paddle tails, boot tails, vortex tails, glides, rats, wake baits, etc. That list could probably go on for days depending on who you ask, with sizes ranging from tiny to bigger than most would ever throw.

> The Gan Craft 230 that Stanley Sypeck Jr was fishing [at the Classic, which I asked Wayne about] is a pretty well-known glide bait from Japan. It has a really ideal size and sink rate to imitate a slow-moving easy meal that big largemouth like to key in on. Gan Craft actually makes one that’s even bigger, 303mm, and it’s as big as it sounds!

> The bait is considered a “glide” based on the swim during a normal retrieve — think of how a Spook walks except this is subsurface. I say “normal” retrieve because the beauty of these baits is their versatility.

> In pre-spawn, when the water is just beginning to warm, fish are still relatively lethargic. That’s when your slow cadence, back and forth, will tend to shine. In post-spawn, the big glides have the ability to be worked much faster and erratically which can trigger some really aggressive strikes. The speed of the retrieve generally will be dictated by the water temp and the activity level of the fish.

> As with most bass fishing, techniques that work best are mostly conveyed as generalities — there’s always exceptions. The best bet is to pick a bait and learn all the different ways it can be fished, then apply it to your specific conditions.

2  Lunker Lore 

by Josh Alwine, scribbler of the rad books Lunker Lore and High Percentage Fishing

> The chart below shows the approximate lifetime odds of catching a 10lb+ largemouth bass by state.

> A lifetime of fishing has been defined as 16 outings per year over the course of 60 years.

> Odds developed through a size distribution model statistically calibrated to state records and amount of fishable water in the state.

3  Bankin’ it 

IN bank hammer Brian Waldman with some “advanced tactics:”

> With winter waning in most parts of the country, and water temps at their lowest, I like to start bank fishing in or near deep water right after ice-out, “deep” being defined as 8-10′ or greater.

> In reservoirs, anywhere a channel or other deep water hits or comes near a shoreline, causeways and bridges, and sharp breaking points get my attention first.

> In smaller ponds and lakes, find the deepest water you can reach and start there. Sometimes it’s in the middle of the lake, but often, one end of a pond will be much deeper than the other.

> Start fishing the bottom in both cases, casting closer to shore or into shallower water if fish seem uncooperative.

> Blade baits (Damiki Vault, Johnson Thinfisher), black or brown hair jigs (Cumberland, Punisher) and lipless rattlebaits (Rapala Rippin Rap, Lucky Craft LV) are all good baits to begin with in the coldest waters based on cover and water clarity. Mimic shad/baitfish colors in reservoirs, and bluegill patterns in ponds. Crawfish colored baits will work in both. This is one time of the year when I like to throw out into the deeper, open water from shore instead of along the bank.

> Bass in reservoirs will tend to hold in these deeper areas and move gradually, so good banks can produce for weeks. However, in small ponds and lakes, a couple warm, sunny days will get the bass moving out of their deep holes much quicker, so carry a pocket temperature gauge with you.

> Or, watch for floating algae. A few warm days gets the photosynthesis process going, and algae will generate and trap air bubbles, floating to the surface in little clumps that make it look like the water is turning over. When that happens, move toward the shorelines where any wind is blowing and drifting the algae to, as this will also be where the warmer surface waters get pushed.

> Water temperatures are cold, so be careful with your footing on the bank. Always let someone know where you’re headed just in case, and when you plan on returning.

4  YouTubers

OH high school bass-head Zach Stacy giving us his vid perspective:

> Whether you are fishing a Cheeto colored worm or a frog, or anything in between you can catch bedding bass.

> Justin Rackley @LakeForkGuy and Jacob Wheeler @Jacob Wheeler Fishing went out searching for some springtime fatties on a remote TX lake. The fish were up shallow and their go-to techniques were a wacky-rigged floating worm (merthiolate) and a Live Target Popper Frog (brown maroon).

> They would toss either bait up shallow and work it quickly over a bed with short pauses inbetween. These tactics were perfect to get that bed-guarding male to bite.

> I find a couple things in this video very interesting. One is it shows how aggressive these male bed-guarding bass are and how they will hit whatever you put in front of them.

> There was also a specific situation in the video where I learned something: Jacob caught the male guarding the bed, and before releasing it, Justin pitched his worm onto the bed and caught the female. The next time I go bed-fishing and catch the male, I will be sure to cast back to the female before releasing the male.

5  ‘Lectronics 

One thing that helped Bobby Lane win this year’s Kissimmee Open was what he called “high speed sonar on my Raymarine Axiom Pros…I could see everything on the bottom — I could eliminate all the water I needed [at that speed].”

Wanted to see a screen cap of that, finally got one — whoa that’s pretty cool:

6  Proving Grounds

Japan: Back to real pork

Bass GEEK source in Japan is on it!

> A local meat shop in Japan has developed a hand-made pork rind bait named “Pig Daddy:”

> I assume you know the Big Daddy by Uncle Josh — a discontinued product but there’s still cult popularity here. Some bought big bottles of all stock available, but there’s a quality control problem: some are too stiff to make a natural movement that would create great water displacement to make fish bite. So there’s lots of tips and techniques to tune them to be good fish-catchers (such as pork-softener powder).

> What this meat shop did is they made a high-quality pork rind chunk , no tuning required. They use select material — you can tell by their video.

> I checked if it violates Uncle Josh’s patent or something — seems they officially and legally clarified it doesn’t.

> I assume a few peeps in the U.S. are talking about pork rind these days, probably still a hidden local secret.

Cali: Bubba-Shottin’

Cali native and college basser (at OK State U) Josh Shapland:

> One of my favorite techniques for finicky bass up shallow — particularly in the summer — is the bubba shot. But I’ve noticed that a lot of anglers aren’t using this setup to their full potential.

> I’ve been using the bubba shot, or “power shot,” for several years now, and it flat-out works whenever finicky bass are in heavy cover or vegetation. This rig was designed on the West Coast for fisheries like the Delta and sometimes Clear Lake where you can find finicky, pressured fish buried deep in vegetation. It was made popular by CA fishermen who liked dropshotting, but didn’t want to break off kicker fish when they fished it in heavy cover.

> The bubba shot is essentially a beefed-up dropshot rig that’s used on a stiffer baitcasting setup. As expected, the bait, weight and line size are sized up.

> I like a M to MH rod with a fast reel — but that’s just personal preference and typically I end up using whatever baitcasting rod isn’t being used on my deck. That rod could be my favorite Senko rod (Powell Max 734) or even a stiff cranking rod (Powell Inferno 705) with either a 6.8:1 gear ratio or a 7.1:1 gear ratio reel spooled up with 15-lb Seaguar AbrazX fluoro.

> I ALWAYS Texas-rig my plastics when I bubba shot. This is a heavy-cover situation, so I like to use 2/0 or 3/0 Gamakatsu SuperLine EWG hooks. For baits, the possibilities are endless. Some days I use Beavers or Brush Hogs, other days I use simple worms like Trick Worms and Roboworms.

> I never go below 3/8-oz when I’m doing this and I don’t ever go above ½ oz weights. Tungsten works best because the bubba shot needs to go THROUGH, not around, the cover and vegetation. Think of it as punching with a dropshot.

> The key to this is getting into the cover and giving the fish a finesse presentation. The best time to use a bubba shot is when the fish are deep in the cover, but just aren’t eating the punch rigs and flippin’ jigs. The bubba shot can also be used in bushes and trees because it’s relatively snagless and weedless.

You a GEEK?

Still looking for more geeks. If you’re obsessed in a GEEK way (fine deets) with ANY part of bassin’ — jigs, cranks, line, weird Howell/Clunn headwear, whatever — hit me back. But fer sher lookin’ for:

  • TX, FL and Guntersville what’s hot/not experts
  • Bank anglers
  • Bass boat expert
  • Knowledgable electronics geek

One more thang: Bass GEEK apparel comin’ soon…have to get it right first….

Ya got me

Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup

of the best, worst and funniest in bassin’, as curated by me — Jay Kumar. I started, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a bunch more in bassin’. The Blaster is the #2 daily read on any given day in the wide world o’ bass so thanks for readin’!

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