Live Bait for Bass
Use Mother Nature's Brand Wild Shiners & Shad
by Captain Jerry Sloan
for the hottest big fish technique in bass fishing?
on board with the bait Mother Nature provided. Wild shiners or shad are the most
productive and easiest way of catching bigger and better bass. There are
several steps in making this work for you.
Handling live bait can be very
important. Water temperature should make slow changes, if any, from the time shiners
are placed in live well, until they reach destination to be fished. Plenty of
oxygen must be provided also. Bass rarely hit bait that can't run away from them.
Fishing and Terminal Tackle
proper tackle to match bait size can increase number of hits. For example, if
the bait is three inches long, stay with 3 ought or less on your hook size. For
shiners 8 to 10 inches long, use 5 and 6 ought hooks. Use weed guards only when
necessary in heavy cover. Seven foot heavy action rods with 20 to 30 lb. big game
lines are great for winter fishing. Summer tactics change a great deal. Down-sizing
in bait and tackle will give you an edge over most anglers.
Hooking a Live Bait
Shiners and shad live longer
if hooked through front lips or bottom lip through nostril. Care must be taken
not to break the neck of the bait. This technique makes the shiner swim in a downward
motion, and works great for trolling. Hooking in the dorsal fin will make the
bait swim up and away from the line or bobber, thus creating more action, but
the bait will wear down much quicker and die sooner, so wait until you are anchored
to try this technique. Anal fin hooking close to back bone, but taking care not
to touch spine, will make bait swim down and away. Shiners can actually be steered
under vegetation to exact points where you want to be.
When casting live bait, remember
the object is to get them to the fish in perfect condition. Underhand pitching
or side arm casting prevent hard impact with the water, thus helps to keep all
the scales intact. Scales that are knocked off leave white spots on your bait
that can be seen under water as well as makes your bait weak. Take the time to
hit your target the first time without repeated casts. Just remember you are not
fishing with artificial bait, so let the shiner sit and do his job.
Balloons and Bobbers
Keep them small, only large
enough to keep up with, where, and what is happening on the other end of the line.
Three to four foot depth in most lakes allow for free movement. As far as bobbers
or balloons, I personally like the camouflage colors, so as not to distract the
line works great in running water or for trolling. It also works better in deep
water or high skies days when fish do not want to come up. Carolina rigging in
running water will normally blow your mind, it requires constant contact with
weight in order to distinguish hits. Depending on the water speed, 1 ½
oz. weight with 3' to 4' leaders.
Check your wind! If you know
where the fish are, be sure to set the boat up properly first time around in order
not to spook them. Have adequate rope and heavy enough anchors to hold fast. Lock
boat in front and rear with anchors to prevent shifting.
people and guides tend to lean toward super hard hook sets, the how is much more
important than the hard. Women in the boat tend to prove this fact more often.
Strength is good but skill is better. Remember nylon stretches, so retrieve all
slack smoothly until you have made contact with fish with rod tip down make an
over head hook set surprising your catch, while maintaining pressure with bent
rod all the way in will keep hook firmly in place. Thirty-five years experience
says from the time the bobber goes down till the time to set the hook should be
no more than 30 seconds, unless you want him to swallow hook resulting in gut
won or been in the top three places of live bait tournaments for several years
and guided many bass trips with a very low mortality rate, so set the hook early
and save the fish. Should you hook deep cut the line and release the fish quickly.
Click on above photos for larger version,
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You can contact
Capt. Jerry Sloan at:
Tom & Jerry's Pro Guide Service
Web Site: http://www.tomandjerrys.net/
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