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Publication: Bass Matters
Spring Bass: Weather Patterning

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><> ><>        BASS MATTERS - April 12, 2006         ><> ><> 
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Comment The Post Below...

Hello Anglers,

Use your crank bait like a jerk bait when bass are suspended 
or when they suspend around bait fish. You have a greater 
range of lure depth available with crank baits. We know 
jerk baits catch bass. Using your crank bait like a jerk 
bait just gives more erratic action at the depth you need. 

Remember you can comment on any story or read comments   
by visiting: Bass Matters Blog

Enjoy a week of fishing!
Brock

email Brock


Spring Bass: Weather Patterning
From Extreme Bass Lures

The thought of early spring bass fishing brings both a sense 
of anticipation and dread. We bass anglers are thrilled that 
now is the time that we have a chance to corral our biggest 
bass of the year. This knowledge is tempered with the fact 
that now is also the time when we are faced with somewhat 
lethargic bass, muddy water conditions, cold fronts before 
the spawn, high waters, and excessive wind. Here are some 
tips on how to cope with these conditions and some tackle 
that can be matched with these particular situations.

LETHARGIC BASS: You arrive at your favorite bass lake, the 
one where you know where the best spots are where the fish 
are likely to hold. Yet, after several hours of visiting 
your favorite honeyholes, you do not have a bass to show for 
your efforts. For this situation, a good solution is to take
a break and remind yourself that much is in your favor. For 
example, you know what kinds of cover the bass are on in 
your home lake prefer and how they use that cover. Return to 
the same locales that you visited earlier in the day, but 
this time, slow your presentation and employ finesse baits. 

The bass are where they are supposed to be, but they may 
need extra prodding, and finesse lures are ideal choices for 
lethargic bass. One of the best finesse baits is a 2 or 3 
inch tube lure. These days, one of the hottest trends on 
America's best bass waters is to Texas rig 4 and 5 inch tubes 
with sliding bullet sinkers. This trend is so popular that 
many anglers have forgotten that for many years smaller 
tubes were a standard go to bait when bass were extremely 
turned off. Ideal tube colors should match those of crayfish 
in your home impoundment. 

Instead of Texas rigging these tubes, try split shotting 
them with a few shots 10 to 12 inches above the artificial. 
Retrieve these tubes very slowly, periodically stopping the 
retrieve, then allowing the bait to flutter to the bottom. 
Don't be afraid to leave the lure in one place for 10 or 
more seconds either, especially if your home lake has any 
current that may give life to a motionless lure. To get the 
most from finesse tubes, use medium to light action spinning 
rods and lines no heavier than 6 pound test. Loosen the drag 
on the spinning reel, and be prepared for some lengthy 
battles with some good sized bass. 

MUDDY WATER CONDITIONS: Muddy water can present some 
problems, to be sure, but this condition can also present 
some opportunities. For example, after a week of rain, the 
water has been discolored for a few days. In that situation,
bass may go several days without actively feeding, but they 
are not going to starve themselves just because conditions 
are unfavorable. They will bite, and the key is to take 
advantage of that instinct to feed. Two lures stand out for 
muddy water bass. The first is a tandem spinnerbait with 
Colorado and/or Indiana blades. 

Willowleaf blades excel in clear water because their blades 
give off more flash than other blade configurations do. But 
in discolored water, Colorado and Indiana blades are super-
ior because their blades emit more vibration, what many 
anglers call "thump," than willowleaf blades. The second 
lure is a soft plastic bait, such as a 6 inch worm or lizard, 
or a 4 inch crawfish that is big enough to add rattles to. 
By themselves, plastic baits cause very little water 
displacement or noise, but a creation that has several sound 
chambers imbedded in its body can give off a bit of noise. 

These two lures are ideal in that together they entice muddy 
water bass that are active or inactive. For instance, if the 
bass are foraging and cruising about over flats or up and 
down points, a tandem spinnerbait is a superb choice. Fancast 
this bait to likely areas. Start out retrieving the lure at 
a quick clip. If strikes do not occur, progressively slow 
your retrieve until you are slowrolling the spinnerbait. 
Conversely, if the bass are not moving about but appear to 
be holding tight to cover, tie on a soft plastic bait that 
had a rattle or two added.

Move in tight to wood or rock cover, and flip or pitch this 
lure to likely locales. Be sure that you thoroughly work all 
of the cover and don't be afraid to leave your lure in one 
spot for a long time. After the soft plastic lure has been 
allowed to rest, squeeze your rod handle and activate the 
rattle chambers. Sometimes that action will be necessary for 
a resounding strike to occur. 

COLD FRONTS BEFORE THE SPAWN: A cold front that crashes 
through an area right before the spawn is one of the worst 
hands that Mother Nature can deal to a bass fisherman. You 
are set to experience some truly hot action, but then a 
bluebird sky arrives, the air temperature drops, and the 
bass leave the shallows and return to deep waters. One point 
in our favor is that the bass that flee the shallows are not 
hard to find. For instance, if the bass on your home lake 
typically spawn in shallow coves, flats, or points - as is 
typical in anywhere in the country - the fish merely 
relocate to the first dropoff from those locales. 

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Those dropoffs may take the form of a river or creek channel, 
a ditch that is either natural or manmade, or an old roadbed. 
Whatever form that initial dropoff takes, you can bet that 
the bass were shallow the day before are now on the decline 
in the lake's bottom. The best bait for this situation is a 
jig and pig, coupled with a medium-heavy baitcaster spooled 
with 12 pound test or line as heavy as the water clarity in 
your home body of water will allow. Remember that bass that 
are ready to spawn don't eat often, but when they do, they 
usually want a big meal. 

These fish don't typically desire to expand energy chasing 
down a minnow, shiner or other baitfish. A jig and pig ful-
fills a bass' desire to consume a slow moving creature that 
offers maximum food caught with a minimum of energy spent. 
Work this bait so that it scoots slowly across the bottom 
like crayfish kicking up little silt clouds. If your home 
lake lacks underwater cover, stop your retrieve for a few 
seconds at a time. If, however, cover lines the bottom, a 
halted jig and pig is often a lost one. If there are lots 
of cover, keep this lure moving, albeit slowly.

HIGH WATER: If you have fished for any number of years at 
all during the early spring, sooner or later you had to deal 
with high water conditions on your favorite impoundment. 
Although at times this water can be discolored or even muddy, 
sometimes water levels are above normal merely because the 
lake has been temporarily drawn down. The ideal choice for 
high water conditions should be crankbaits. Medium action 
baitcasters that are 6 1/2 to 7 feet long and feature a slow 
tip are ideal choices for early spring crankbaiting.

The long rods are great for accurately casting a crankbait, 
and the medium action and the slow tip are perfect for 
allowing a fish a little extra time to wrap its mouth around 
a bait before you feel a strike. Some anglers prefer flat 
sided crankbaits for the early spring period while others 
opt for the more traditional alphabet styled crankbaits. 
Alphabet crankbaits have a reputation for rising to the top 
a little slower and are often considered the best choice 
when you need a lure to hover in one area for a longer 
period of time. 

On the other hand, flat sided crankbaits seem to give off a 
fetching side to side action, and sometimes that movement 
will trigger strikes. A good solution is to affix flat and 
alphabet styled crankbaits to several different rods and 
work both baits equally until the bass indicate that they 
prefer one to the other. The most important thing to do, 
though, is to cast these lures as far back into cover as is 
possible. That's where the bass will be.

EXCESSIVE WIND:  You won't mind fishing when the wind is 
dimpling the surface, and things aren't so bad even when the 
wind periodically causes waves to form. But when you hear 
the weatherman proclaim that the wind will be blustery, you 
know that you are going to have to change your game plan 
when you visit your home lake the next day. The question is, 
what is the best game plan? The best way to answer that 
question is to explain how bass react to various forms of 
wind. Anglers know well that a breeze that gently disturbs 
the surface often causes bass to feed more aggressively. 

The same holds true when the surface has a slight or 
considerable chop to it. Indeed, bass will often feed just 
on or near the surface when those conditions are prevalent. 
When the breeze becomes a stiff wind, as is often true 
during the early spring, the bass tend to relocate. For 
example, look for the bass to be deep and around structure, 
especially point that the wind is blowing in on. Various 
prey species, from one celled organisms to baitfish, will 
have been forced into these same areas, and the bass will 
have followed them. Thus anglers should look upon excessive-
ly windy conditions as a challenge, but also as an 
opportunity. The bass are likely to be active, and the key 
to catching them is giving them the right lure presented 
in the right way. 

One of the most effective windy day artificials is a 1/2 to 
1 ounce tandem willowleaf spinnerbait, especially if the 
water is clear or just slightly stained. The flash from the 
willowleaf blades makes this lure easy for the bass to see 
and to home in on, even in the wind buffeted water. Boat 
positioning is also a key. You will do better if you position 
your boat in accordance with the direction the wind is blow-
ing. That means pointing the bow into the breeze and casting 
the lure upwind. Bass will be facing into the current waiting 
for food to be washed down to them. If the wind shifts direct-
ion sometime during the day, make sure that you react accord-
ingly. 

During the early spring period, bass fishermen have the 
potential to enjoy spectacular success, or to endure 
spectacular failure. The difference between glorious success 
and total failure is how well we respond and adapt to the 
weather conditions. Make sure that you have taken the time 
to prepare a tackle box that matches the cards that Mother 
Nature has dealt you on that particular day.   

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        GopherCentral's Question of the Week

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                  FISHING JOKES CORNER
------------------------------------------------------------

Fishing rule #1: The least experienced fisherman always 
catches the biggest fish.

Fishing rule #2: The worse your line is tangled, the better 
is the fishing around you.

Fishing rule #3: Fishing will do a lot for a man but it 
won't make him truthful.

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Questions? Comments? email: Email brock
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