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Publication: Bass Matters
Reflex Action Bites

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><> ><>       BASS MATTERS - September 13, 2006       ><> ><> 

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Hello Anglers,

Here is a trick that can be deadly. If you are fishing in 
shallow water put on a deep diving cranks bait. This will 
result in the bait digging in to the bottom. This creates 
vibration and noise that will alert the fish and will kick 
up debris. The retrieve should be stop and go with most of 
the strikes coming as the bait slowly floats up during a 

P.S. You can discuss this issue or any other topic in the new 
Bass Matters forum. Check it out here...

Bass Matters Forum

Enjoy a week of fishing!
email Brock

Reflex Action Bites
by Roland Martin 

Reflex action is the second most important reason fish 
strike, particularly why bass strike, and it accounts for 20 
to 25 percent of the bass I catch in a year's time. A bass's 
reflex action is like the behavior of any predator-like a 
cat pouncing on a mouse. 

A lurking bass is seeking two things. He's seeking shade for 
his non-eye lidded eyes. He can't stand direct sunlight, at 
least not for very long, so he's going to try to shade his 
eyes in the shadow of a boulder or a bush or a boat dock. 
Second, and probably more important, is that, being a 
predator, he is seeking concealment to hide or camouflage 
his body from the wary eyes of small baitfish of some 
description. So the bass is in the shadows of an object, in 
this case an ambush point. 

To get a reflex strike you need one of two types of lures: 
either a crank bait or a spinnerbait. They are fast-moving 
lures which come whipping through there. The concept of 
reflex-action fishing is to try to throw the lure right on 
the fish instead of just throwing past the bush, past the 
stump, or past the ambush point and quickly cranking the 
spinnerbait or crank bait right down to where you think he 
is. I think about which way the sun's shinning so I can 
fish on the shady side. I think about which way the wind is 
blowing, because the wind will automatically position the 
fish on these shallow cover areas. 

If the wind is blowing from the north, the fish will be 
facing the wind because of the current it creates. They 
can't swim backward, and they face the current. I conjure up 
a mental image of exactly where that bass is positioned. 
Then I theoretically try to snag the fish-I'm trying to get 
right to his eyes. And really the lure is coming right at 
the fish, right at his eyes, and at the last second he can 
do one of two things. He can either move out of the way or 
he can strike it in self-defense, and quite often, since 
bass are fairly bold and pugnacious, they will strike at 
that lure simply out of reflex action.  


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Another condition which is better for the reflex-action 
fishing is a cool water temperature, because that means the 
lure can get just a little bit closer to the bass before he 
knows it's there. This is kind of an advantage. Water 
between 45 and 65 degrees is probably best for the spinner-
bait and crank bait, because the fish does not detect the 
presence of the lure until it is pretty much right on top 
of him. Then he can see it and strike it. 

When the water is muddy, it is the hotter water temperature 
that are better for reflex-action strikes. When the water is 
below 50degrees and muddy, you hardly ever get strikes on 
these kinds of lures. If the water temperature is from 60 to 
90, and the water is real muddy, you'll get a lot of good 
reflex strikes. Here the fish doesn't see the lure well, but 
his lateral sensitivity is such that detects its presence at 
the last second and he strikes it. 

The pattern most representative of reflex-action strikes is 
bumping the stump with a crank bait. This is simply a great 
pattern because that's just a natural feeding spot. The best 
cover might be a stump on an exposed point, where the wave 
action has eroded under the roots so that there are some 
areas beneath that stump which the fish can use as his lair. 

The best depth probably is less than 6 feet, because, 
remember, you need to make visual contact with these ambush 
points. You need to be able to identify where they are, and 
the best way is to spot them with Polarized sunglasses. So 
look for stumps in about two to six feet of water. 

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        GopherCentral's Question of the Week
Do you think Osama Bin Laden is dead?

Question of the Week

                  FISHING JOKES CORNER

Two rednecks were drinking beer and doing some bass fishing 
when they spot two Hispanics in a canoe paddeling along the 
shore line.

Zeke says to Jake, "Why don't we give those 2 yahoos a scare? 
Act like you're going to swamp them and sink them" 

Jake agrees and swerves in their direction, but he's had too 
much to drink and ran right over them, capsizing the canoe.  

"Oh well, tough luck", says Zeke and they continued on their 

A little while later, Jake says to Zeke, 

"I wonder where those guys were going?" 

Without hesitation, Zeke replied 


Jake asked him how he knew that and Zekes response was, 

"Right after you hit them, I clearly heard one of them say 
something about Sunny Beaches" 

Questions? Comments? email: mailto:brock@gophercentral.com
Email brock
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Copyright 2006 by NextEra Media. All rights reserved. 

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