Part of the reason that bass fishing is so popular is because of the wide variety of lure styles, colors and sizes that are available. Because lures work best with specific techniques, situations and strategies, anglers must understand how to match the lure to the occasion. This is the only way to have a chance at winning the 3-way chess match between you, the bass and the environmental conditions. It takes a lifetime to master the patterns that work the best, but even beginners benefit from understanding the basics.
Muddy water provides some of the most difficult conditions for fishing, because the bass have trouble seeing your lures. This is the perfect time to use bright colored, rattling crankbaits. Chartreuse is one of the most popular and effective colors for such situations, as it remains visible, even in deep water.
It is important to use realistic-looking lures and techniques when fishing in clear water. Crankbaits and jerk baits are the best tools for such situations, although plastic worms work well too. Use well-painted crankbaits and jerk baits, in shades of white, silver, blue, green or brown and the lightest line possible to help improve the presentation. A variety of plastic worm colors are effective in clear water, including brown, black, purple and pumpkin seed.
While fish become more active immediately before a storm, the arrival of the rain often sends them scurrying for deep water or thick cover. Try pitching a jig into sheltered places during the rain. Let the jig fall all the way to the lake bottom before moving it; when you do move it, twitch it slowly and persistently.
Before, During and After the Spawn
Strikes from spring bass are often territorial, rather than predatory, in nature. While the bass are in the mood for love, use loud, flashy lures to generate strikes. Buzz baits, big spinner baits and obnoxious crankbaits are ideal. Use a fast retrieve and cast in the same area more than once to irritate the fish into action.
Night-hunting bass must be able to perceive your lure if they are to strike it. Accordingly, you must use either baits that rattle or otherwise trigger your target's lateral line, or lures that are highly visible – such as a top water bait. This is the perfect time to drag a slow-moving plastic frog through and over submerged weed beds.
Dawn and Dusk
When the sun is low and the water is still, use a top water bait, such as a floating plastic frog, chugger or jitterbug. Buzz baits can be effective as well during this time, and they cause enough water disturbance that they may draw big bass from some distance. Dark colors are often the most effective, as they create a strong silhouette on the surface.
For more tips and information visit a local bait shop, like Wilcox Bait Tackle.