Catch More Bass During Tough Transitional Periods
In the springtime just prior to the spawn, bass fishing can be relatively easy as fish begin moving shallow and gorge themselves as their metabolism speeds up with rising water temperatures. However, during other transitional periods – like spring-to-summer and summer-to-fall – bass can be more difficult to dial in. In these situations, using electronics to map high percentage offshore locations and selecting the right lure set-up are absolutely critical to getting bites.
During tough transition periods, bass routinely stage offshore over structure, including both natural structure like rock ledges, humps, and creek beds and man-made structure like submerged roadbeds and brush piles. Such features are easily located using electronic mapping tools available on most modern GPS systems available today, but dialing the precise location and the proper technique presents more of a challenge.
Once a likely area is pinpointed, the best way to approach the situation is to run a zig-zag pattern across the area, while watching the fishfinder screen closely for isolated structure like timber or man-made brush piles. Experienced bass fishermen look for the presence of baitfish and larger predatory fish on the sonar screen and mark any promising locations. At the same time, watching for visual cues is critical, as bass often roam the perimeter of underwater structure looking to ambush bait on the surface. Any kind of schooling topwater activity is a dead giveaway that feeding fish are in the area.
When probing spots in this manner by scanning for clues on the sonar and on the surface, using a versatile lure that will tempt fish throughout the water column is absolutely critical. Perhaps the most versatile rig is a basic jig-and-worm combo like the Big TRD soft plastic worm and Power Finesse ShroomZ jighead, both manufactured by Z-Man Fishing Products.
A four-inch stickworm like the Big TRD is ideal for this type of fishing because it mimics a variety of forage. When casting to surface fish and paired with a light 1/10 ounce jighead, it descends slowly through the water column and falls with a quivering motion like a dying or stunned shad. At mid-depth, the buoyant ElaZtech material causes the jig-and-worm combo to sit at a horizontal posture like a live baitfish, and the jighead’s weed guard allows the rig to slide through wood and brush without snagging. When dragged along the bottom on a 1/5 ounce jighead, the tail of the ElaZtech bait floats up and comes to life like no other soft plastic worm will, mimicking a crawfish or other invertebrate scurrying along the bottom.
A versatile combination like the Big TRD and Power Finesse ShroomZ will allow an angler to react quickly to different types of scenarios that may be encountered without constantly changing tackle. What’s more, the exposed hook design of Power Finesse ShroomZ jighead allows for smooth, easy hooksets, and the bait need not be constantly re-adjusted like baits rigged Texas’style with the hook point embedded in the plastic.
While patterning bass can be trying during transitional periods, combining the mapping and sonar tools of today’s electronics with the most advanced and versatile fishing lures available will definitely help shorten the learning curve.
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Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com