Westernbass Magazine - FREE Bass Fishing Tips And Techniques - Winter 2016, Page 50

Westernbass Magazine - FREE Bass Fishing Tips And Techniques - Winter 2016, Page 50

go with more clear, ghost color patterns.


Owner Darter Head

A darter head is a bullet shaped lead jig head meant to give a plastic worm or other creature a unique motion as it sinks. Why a darter head instead of one of the many shaky head, round ball head, or any of the other types? The advantage to a darter head is that it tends to create a wandering, spiraling action on the fall, instead of a straight lift and fall of a round head. Unlike shaky-style heads, the darter head allows for an open hook, because the worm is threaded onto the head and not rigged Texas-style.

You can find a few different weight and hook size combinations; however, spotted bass can be more finicky and a smaller hook such as a #1 can provide more hook-ups. The darter head can be rigged with a wide variety of soft plastics ranging from four to six inch worms, creature baits, grubs and even smaller swimbaits. Most common weights are 1/16- to ¼-ounce, with 1/8 and 3/16 ounce being good starting points. Depending on the depth and rate of fall in which you get bit will determine how heavy or light you will want to go.

Fishing this bait on 6-lb fluorocarbon is most common; however, 8-lb fluorocarbon, or braid to

fluorocarbon leaders isn’t unheard of either. A 7’ to

7’3” medium-light to medium-

action spinning rod is


To fish this bait,

cast it out towards

the bank and let it fall

to the bottom on slack line, once it hits bottom, slowly reel and shake to drag along the bottom while giving it action. You can also hop the bait and let it fall again, the fall is where a lot of bites will come. Letting the bait fall back down on slack line gives it that wobble glide you are looking for.

As with most finesse, light line techniques be cautious in setting the hook. A reel set is advised to avoid breaking off, especially on those bigger fish. Always play the fish with spotted bass, it isn’t a race to get them to the boat, nice and easy to maintain the hook up.

Because this bait has an exposed hook, it is best to avoid grass, weeds and brush. That leaves a lot of other structure such as rock, rip rap and more that spotted bass favor.

A darter head and jerkbait allow you to cover a wide range of the water column while keeping your lure in the strike zone the longest. By knowing where bigger spotted bass can be found and two key ways to catch them, you should be able to do consistently well this winter.

50 ®