ut fishing with a friend, guide and tournament
angler Michael Murphy got into a debate
about the intricacies of bed fishing. After all, bed fishing, like many techniques, has become ultra-
refined in recent years, especially as fishing pressure has
And anglers have started to get a little, um,
overzealous about what will and won’t work to trick fish on
Murphy’s friend was in that group. So, having
a fisheries biology degree, he decided to show him
“The old G.I. Joes used to have these hooks on them
when you took the arms off,” says Murphy. “So, I tied my
line to one of the hooks and put a hook on the other. And
sure enough, it bothered that bass enough for him to hit it,
and I caught him.
“If a fish has eggs in the bed, they’ll hit anything.
They’re not looking to eat; they’re just being territorial. So,
it’s all about efficiency when picking lures. What will bother
the fish fastest to get a reaction. A G.I. Joe is probably not
the most efficient, but sometimes, those off-the-wall lures
Years of covering tournaments and talking with pros,
you hear and see some
pretty unique patterns. Here’s a few for bed fishing you may want to try, be it to finally trick that big girl or just prove a point to a friend.
Whether it’s to get a bedding bass to chase it and reveal a bed or to actually get the fish to bite, big swimbaits, particularly bluegill-shaped ones, get reactions. Many now come in the forms of bluegill-shaped jigs designed to be tossed into beds and mimic bluegills eating eggs. Otherwise, many pros swim the lures around spawning areas to try and locate fish, who will often chase them off. This way the pros see where the bed is without ever getting too close.
Jigs are a top choice for bed fishing. But what about vibrating jigs? Many pros secretly will use these to agitate a bass, as the vibration and flash of the blade will often drive a bass far crazier than just a normal jig. And at the very least, it’s so aggressive you’ll learn quickly if the bass
wants to stick around or if it’s
just going to leave.
Few lures are more aggressive than crankbaits. So, what better way to agitate a bass? Tossing a shallow- running crankbait in and around a bed and twitching it
at just the right moment can
make it “deflect” and prompt
a reaction strike. Otherwise,
a slightly deeper running
one can actually be run into
the bed to stir it up, and
stopping it will allow it to
float up, offering a perfect
opportunity for the bass to
hit the intruder. The one
risk is snagging. So, you
have to be extra careful
when trying this technique.
You know something is a secret when even Google can’t find it, but I promise, this one is real. Back in the early 2000s, Bass Pro Tour pro Shin
Fukae used to bedfish
with a rig that can best