opportunistic they can also be highly selective. Paying attention to details is the best way to consistently catch bass, and to catch the biggest of bass. When bass are actively feeding around structure or cover, matching the hatch will usually result in the best opportunity for luck.
What if you have no clue where the majority of bass are located, or what they may be eating?
Put together a game plan to systematically use a suite of rods designed to exploit different
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feeding approaches that will narrow the options and quickly determine an approach that catches bass.
Imagine you are a bass. Think about all the
different lures and techniques and how they are
viewed by bass from their perspective. Some
lures are designed to be
used on the bottom, some
on top, and others in the
middle of the water column.
A further distinction is
direction of movement. Some
lures are employed with a
horizontal retrieve; others are
designed to work in a vertical
fashion, and others in erratic
combinations of both.
How often do you think
about these factors when you
decide which rods you place
on your deck? Having a suite
of rods that exploit all or most
of the different ways bass feed
can make a huge improvement to
your ability to unlock the bite on
any body of water.
Prepare for multiple opportunities by choosing rigs that exploit vertical presentations, horizontal presentations, open water situations, and heavy cover situations. When you think and plan in these terms, rather than just putting just your favorite rod on the deck, then you are prepared to create your own luck.
For many reasons, some days you catch more bass with lures that move horizontally, and other days they jump all over a lure that falls vertically. If you only fish one type, how will you know? Place a variety of technique rods at the ready, and you are more likely to try them and offer bass a variety of views that will help you pick up on a bite that otherwise would have been missed.
Horizontal options that exploit the bottom include football head jigs (and similar styles), Carolina-rigs, shakey heads, Texas-rigged worms, and others. Horizontal options for mid-column use include crankbaits, jerkbaits (hard and soft), swimbaits, spinnerbaits, Alabama-rigs, underspins, and even