Special BB Issues

Time to get after ’em! Spawn time baits n stuff part 2!

Rock that spawn with this-here part 2 of the special BassBlaster baits n stuff issue — enjoy it bass peeps! Had “Get Ready,” “Get Set” and “Before You Go” last time, now it’s time to GO. Let’s crank ‘er up!

Vids from the folks at Vexus Boats….

>> If you’re getting the BassBlaster for the first time it’s cuz a bud signed you up!

Bed Fishing

First of all, if you’re a-wonderin’ whether bed-fishing is “okay” — even tho we are just talking about FISH — read B.A.S.S. conservation head man Gene Gilliland’s post “Should we lose sleep over bed fishing?” Spoiler alert, answer is:


HAHAHA! Here we go:

1. YUM Christie Craw (white) and YUM Christie Critter (tin foil)

Designed by Jason Christie and used by many for sight-fishin’, includin’ Elitists Stetson Blaylock and Micah Frazier. Stetson actually used the Christie Craw in his Winyah Bay Elite win (here’s a vid of him sight-fishing there) — he put red Sharpie on the top of the bait (by the weight) to entice the basses to hit it:

> 7′ – 7′ 6″ H flip stick, fast reel, 20-25 lb fluoro or 50-65 lb braid depending on water clarity.

> ….hands down one of the best shakey-head options during the spawn…thin profile and hard-thumping tail. With every slight pull and pop on the bottom, the Thump’N Dinger [gp neon ^] dances and undulates providing tons of vibration.

Here’s Alton Jones fishin’ it:

> 1/8-3/16 oz War Eagle Shakey Head, 7′ M spinning rod, 3000-size reel, 6-lb fluoro.

[Quick story: I spooled a whole spin-reel with 6-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro the other day. The line felt thin — too thin. But it cast a dang mile and never broke. Even took a big pull to break it when I got my rig stuck in a tree (lol).]

Of course a regular YUM Dinger and other stickworms are the deal too this time of year…or any time of year. For those:

> 7′ M rod (wacky) and 7′ – 7’6 MH or H (Texas), any reel, 15-20 lb braid spliced to a 8-10 lb fluoro leader (wacky) — use a bright-colored braid to help see bites. 15-20 lb fluoro for a Texas rig.

Bunch of “how to fish a Dinger” vids here, includin’ wacky-rigged.

The Tokyo Rig is rising like the flood waters in Noah’s day…maybe a bad analogy but you get it! Example: All of Ott DeFoe’s fish on days 2 and 3 of his TX BPT win were caught on it, during the spawn. Here’s Elitist Patrick Walters talkin’ ’bout it:

> …one of the best and most-productive times to be utilizing the Tokyo Rig [is the spawn] no matter where you are in the country. The Tokyo Rig is still pretty mysterious to a lot of fishermen — people think of it as a completely different technique or style of fishing. But all it is is a different harness that utilizes all the great fishing-catching capabilities from other techniques — like a Texas rig, a belly-weighted hook and a dropshot — and forms it into one approach/rig called the Tokyo Rig.

> During the spawn I love to pair the Tokyo Rig with a Zoom Zlinky [stickworm] and as light of a weight as possible, either an 1/8-oz or 1/4-oz depending on the conditions and the cover.

> The great thing about the Tokyo Rig is it keeps the bait about 2.5″ off the bottom and this drives the spawning fish crazy. It keeps the bait directly in their face — they don’t have to go to the bottom or turn onto their side to eat the bait off the bottom of their bed.

> When you’re trying to sneak up on spooky fish…you want to keep the boat a good distance away from the bed and make a long cast…try to get that fish to react without him knowing you’re in the area.

> …the Tokyo Rig allows you to cast the bait in a small hole or target, and the bait falls completely vertical…goes straight to the bottom [so] your bait lands and stays in the fish’s bed easier…resulting in more bites compared to a pegged Texas rig with the same bait….

> [A Texas rig] usually tends to glide or fall at more of an angle resulting in missing the bed completely.

Here’s Patrick walkin’ the walk — click the pic to see a vid on fishing it:

Along with the regular EWG version, there’s also the heavy duty flippin hook version and heavy duty worm hook version.

Baits on beds are vile to bass. Vile. Like when Jabba finds out Jedis are in his crib:

Lol! Anyhow, here’s a couple NON-TRADITIONAL but still similar enough to water critters soft-plastics for your bed-fishing:

That’s the VileBug in “white silver flake” and VileCraw in “falcon craw” — red might be a good/different choice! VileBug looks kinda like a bluegill-ish profile, wonder if you can rig it sideways….

Use your regular flippin’ gear or — if you’re feeling lucky or you know the feesh are pressured — spinning gear with a SHARP hook + change your hookset a little.

If all I had was Lunkerhunt stuff this time o’ year, I’d try to catch ’em or at least find ’em with a few of the most-fun topwaters ever invented — the Lunker Frog or Combat Frog, or the Phantom Spider. If I found ’em thataway but they wouldn’t bite, time to tie on the Descend Series Crawfish (“cajun” color ^). Listen to this:

> …made using a revolutionary multi-port salt-injection system, which allows injections of different salt concentrations into different areas of the bait to create a natural sink rate and better swimming action without the need to add weights….

> …quickly sinks to the bottom of the water column with its claws always pointed upward….

I haven’t tried one yet, but a salty craw that sinks claws up and doesn’t need weight?

Little vid for you on it and the other Descend Series baits:

Hiroshi Nishine will bend your mind about everything — because he doesn’t look at fishing the same way almost all of us do. This is just one example…using a finesse football jig (black blue flake ^) for spawners:

> …built around a strong yet fine-wire Owner hook that allows for easy penetration on the hookset, perfect for ultra-finesse high-pressure fishing situations…open hook design proves deadly when bass bite light.

> …custom-designed skirt to generate lifelike realism, with a hand-tied wire keeper to keep plastic baits firmly in place….

Use a M casting rod and 12- to 16-lb fluoro to ensure the hook won’t straighten out on the hookset…which should not be a huge hookset…. Here’s Jarrett Edwards tellin’ you more about it — cool, quick vid. Skirt looks and acts sick:

Here’s why spawning bass hate bluegills:

Believe it! Those 2 Soft Bio-Gills are “ghost bluegill” and “light bluegill” — 3 more good colors too. Some deets:

> T-tail design has the great [and instant] kicking action on a slow to medium-fast retrieve.

> Specially-designed hook decreases downward angle…unlike most single-hook bluegill baits.

> Available in 4″ inch and 5″.

Little vid rundown here. Can also get it unrigged, sizes are 3 5/8″ and 4 5/8″.

Check it:

That’d look pretty dang good on a bed! A shakey-type head:

> …unique head shape that’s a cross between a casting, football and stand-up head, which allows anglers to skip, swim, shake and finesse your soft-plastic…through almost any type of cover….

Sick, sick rods. Trey Kistler says he likes the 7′ 3″ MH for the spawn:

> “…by far the most versatile length and power for any spawn-fishing technique.

> “You don’t need too much power when fishing on top of a bed because of close range. Too much power can pull the hook out of the fish, break line, etc.”

Believe it peeps! Kistler website lets you to pick actions and rod lengths, or go full custom, so:

Moving Baits

It fer sher ain’t all bed-fishing during the spawn so:

Yep the spawn is topwater time too — for catchin’ ’em and/or findin’ ’em. Here’s a couple for ya, startin’ with the Yo-Zuri 3DB Prop:

That’s “bluegill” and “silver prism black.” FLWer Mike Surman:

> “The 3DB Prop is a bait I’ll always have tied on during the spawn. It’s a great search bait to cover a lot of water and get the aggressive bass guarding a bed to show themselves. It especially shines on grass lakes where any hole in the grass could be the home of spawners.

> “This is a great bait to really agitate spawners because it has the sound of other fish chasing fry, and also sits in place which will really trigger bites on the pause.

> “On cloudy days or where there’s more color in the water, I’ll throw the solid painted version. But when the sun is high or I have really clear water, I always use the prism finishes.

> “I typically throw this bait on a heavier rod with 50-lb Yo-Zuri SuperBraid. I can make super-long casts this way and create a lot more action without overworking the bait because of the zero stretch in braid.”

For more pro pointers, here’s Elitist Brandon Card talkin’ ’bout fishing it:

“Matte ghost bluegill” [heart eyes emoji] and “skeleton ayu” ^. If you’re unfamiliar:

> …has a metal prop on the rear hook to provide added water displacement…a “true” waking action on water surface.

BPTer Jason Lambert on the Noi-Z:

> “When springtime rolls around and fish start ‘thinking about it,’ there’s always a topwater on my deck. The Hardcore Noi-Z is my new favorite go-to when looking for aggressive spawning bass up shallow.

> “…when I’m forced to beat the bank, I want to use a bait I can cover a lot of water with and be effective. The Noi’Z is a perfect fit for this. I can cover a lot of water, and with the waking action of this bait, if a fish is aggressive they are going to show themselves.

> “I like a wakebait because I believe bass are a bit skittish during the spawn. I want to throw a bait that will surprise them once it gets in their face rather than create noise before they actually see it.

> “The bluegill pattern is perfect this time of year because bass will become really defensive against bluegill and protect their beds. In super-clear water I like the ‘ayu’ color also.

> “I like to throw this bait on a shorter M-action rod so I can make a more accurate casts when going down the bank. Unless I’m fishing super-clear water, I’ll always fish this bait on 30-lb green Yo-Zuri SuperBraid, but if the water’s clear then 15-lb Hybrid will get the job done and has less visibility.”

Yo-Zuri Hybrid line is a fluoro/mono combo….

A FLOATING ‘Trap? That’s right! Stop for a sec and imagine all the places you could fish a lipless crank if it didn’t sink right away:

Hahaha! Bait feels a little different than a regular ‘Trap cuz it floats, but I know you’ll get the hang of it fast.

Up top are TW-exclusive colors: “stump knocker,” “blueberry perch” and “blue shiner.” Gitcha chromes, sexy and TN shad colors here.

Is there ever a time a bass won’t eat a 3.8 Keitech Fat? Not a trick question so…nope. If you’re stick of fishing it on a jighead or want a different presentation that can move slower through the water column, the Jewel Gem Series is it. Here’s a little more on one of those, the Gem Blade 2.0:

> …features a smaller head and more-compact profile perfect for targeting finicky fish or navigating highly-pressured fisheries.

> Like all of Jewel’s Gem heads, the Jewel Baits Gem Blade 2.0 Spinnerbait is engineered and created using their proprietary “Resin Tech” over-molded injection process, which provides a super durable and perfectly balanced head design that swims and tracks true at any speed.

Key part: ANY SPEED, meaning slow too….

If you’re gonna fish a treble-hooked bait up shallow — for that matter any bait up shallow — your cast better be accurate and your hookset better be right for you…which in my opinion means it needs to be a little slower than we think it should.

Anyhow, with that in mind, here’s a couple good Alpha Angler options for you, I guess no matter what your hookset style is cuz somehow they’ve been good for everyone I’ve talked to about ’em:

TopHammer — 7′ MF — video here:

> Allowing for braid mainlines, the guides are sized larger to allow leader knots to flow seamlessly.

Slasher — 6′ 10″ MF — video here:

> From early-season jerkbaits to mid-summer topwaters, the Slasher has the perfect action to launch, work and land.


– End of part 2 of 2 –

On BassBlaster.rocks right now…
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