ABUNZ o O ® p Z e D n BI w AZ ate EI r TDS
By Marc Marcantonio
sk any expert to explain their key to success, and
they will likely point to paying attention to detail.
Big bass do not get big by being reckless. Before they open their mouth to eat, they instinctively evaluate
their prey to ensure details match a pleasant previous
experience. Realism matters.
Bass utilize multiple senses to determine if an object is
something they should eat or reject.
Whenever visibility allows bass to see prey from a
distance, sight becomes the primary sense relied upon
to commit. Therefore “Matching the hatch” is especially
important when fishing in water that is aquarium-clear.
Swimbait specialists understand this, and make a
science of precisely duplicating the action, appearance,
sound, and even the amount of water displacement in the
lures they use. The closer a lure matches real forage, the
more likely the lure will trigger a strike.
Lures that work well in muddy or colored water appeal to the lateral line sense of a bass. A bass’ lateral line
contains many nerve endings that detect vibrations in the water.
Water displacement from the shape and size of prey, as well as movement of fins and body, produces vibrations bass expect from their prey, and feel with their lateral line even when they do not see the prey.
Lures that are effective under low visibility conditions are often ignored in clear water typical of reservoirs and oligotrophic waters – unless they also look realistic.
This brings up the age-old conundrum of why any bass would eat a contraption like a buzzbait?
What hatch do you match with a bunch of wire and metal that looks more like a wind turbine generator than a fishing lure?
For answers I turned to the master of buzzbaits, Larry Elshere of Ojai, California.
Anyone who has fished a tournament on Lake Casitas, or the surrounding area knows legendary Larry, his daughter Michelle, and late-son Eric Elshere.