Well the weather is warming down here in beautiful South Texas on Lake Amistad, and that means spring is knocking on the door. With spring just around the corner, most of us get excited about bass fishing and the spawn. Those of us who are lucky to have access to clear water lakes and rivers, this means some great sight fishing!
Anglers who like to sight fish find it both rewarding and frustrating as well. We have all come across, at one time or another, a big bass guarding the bed, who just won't take a bait. Like others, I usually find myself changing baits, sizes, colors, etc. and sometimes with still no success. So what do we do when that happens? Well we can leave her and she will be just another dock story or we can use the cat and mouse technique, and catch her!
There has been a bed fishing technique out for years that increases your success on hard to catch bedding bass, but it has been kept quite by those who know. In this article, I am going to explain the why and the how of this technique so you can experience greater success in your bed fishing.
It is no secret biologists and fishermen have been studying the mental aspects of largemouth bass for a long time, and have learned a lot about what drives the fish to do the things they do. It is with this information I am going to show you how and why this works. We all know the main role of the male is to protect the bed and usually they are very aggressive when they do, making catching them a lot easier. This technique is not for them, but what happens when the male is gone and the giant female is the one doing the guarding. There are a lot of times when this happens – the female becomes very tough to catch because she is not easily fooled by most baits and presentations. It is during these times, this presentation is most effective.
When you are faced with this situation it is best first to take a minute, and study her and let her settle. Watch what part of the bed she is resting over or keeps returning to. Make sure she is locked on and not already guarding fry. Once you have this information it is time to select your bait. When this presentation was taught to me I was told to select the bait I was the most confident with, as it would only play a small part in the success. So I usually choose a Hags undertaker in pearl white that has been T-rigged with a pegged Tungsten weight. Whatever bait you choose you should just make sure you can get it to the bed easily and see it as well. So try to stay with a brighter bed colors like white or pink.
The presentation is simple, just take the bait and flip it on the bed and try to slide it to the sweet spot or the location of the eggs. Most likely you will push her off. When she returns, if she picks the bait up by the tail and drags it off, don't worry it makes her a great candidate for this presentation. Now the important part and the key to this whole deal is; on the next flip into the sweet spot, the first aggressive move the fish makes toward the bait, you want to rip it back to you as fast as you can.
I know right now you think I must be CRAZY! Remember though this is for the ones who like to pick it up by the tail and swim it off or nose it and won't take it when they do. So once you have ripped it back, you need to get the bait back on the bed quickly. When she makes another aggressive move rip it back. You should repeat this about 4 or 5 times. Now what you're doing is you are training that bass to eat that bait, by constantly rewarding her aggressive behavior by removing the threat. Then when you throw it on the bed the last time let it sit and when she makes that aggressive move and the threat does not leave, you will trigger a basic instinct response of fight or flight. Due to the fact she is spawning she cannot leave, so her aggression is increased and she will choose to fight, this means, when she gets to the bait this time she will really eat it, and the fight is on!
The next time you're on the water during the spawn and you come across one that is giving you some trouble try this technique and you will be sure to enjoy a higher success rate when fishing for bedding bass. It is also important to think responsibly when fishing for spawning bass and try not to keep them out of the water too long so they can return to protecting their nest and insure the best possible survival rate of the eggs. I hope you enjoyed this article and found it very helpful. If you are ever in The South Texas area look up Cast Away Guide Service at www. theamistadman.com and let me show you this and other great techniques to catch quality largemouth bass.
Until next time remember, each cast could produce the fish of a lifetime!