Bass Techniques on Show

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Bass Techniques on Show

Postby butts » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:57 am

Gday Adrian

I’d like to ask you a couple of questions regarding Bass (and it has nothing to do with the fact that the quarterly comp is a Bass competition, honest, well maybe a little).
I have only ever fished for Bass once and that was down at the last Coolendel trip. Bassin helped me out a lot with some very handy tips (thanks Mick) and I was lucky to hook up.
Now there are two waterways near me that are reported to have Bass in them, one is a salt water creek but it is divided by a concrete weir and then it is fresh water that goes up the back of a golf course (not a big water way but it doesn’t get fished). There are plenty of snags and the water looks fairly deep.
The other waterway is a large dam that I never knew existed up until 4 months ago. The dam from what I was told used to be stocked with Bass. How often it gets fished I don’t know and I don’t know if other people even know its there (I didn’t and I’ve lived here for nearly 38yrs).
My questions are:
How would you approach these water’s, would you target the edges and snags or hang out in the middle of the deep water.
Would there be a particular time when you would fish for Bass. Morning, evening, night or smack bang in the middle of the day. Basically when is the best time for Bass?
Would you throw diving lures, surface lures, suspending lures or those spinning lures?
What happens if I actually hook up, are they dirty fighters (I have heard they go hard)?
I was going to use 2-4kg rod with 2.5kg braid with a 6kg leader. Would this be enough or will I be under gunned.

I know I could go through all of my fishing mags to try and find these answers but I thought why not go to someone who obviously knows how to catch Bass and has many photos of big Bass to prove it. Instead of reading articles that may have been written to just fill the pages of a magazine.

Any info would be very much appreciated.


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Re: Questions for T-curve

Postby jonesy » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:30 am

Hey Butts just my 2 bobs worth :wink:
Cant wait for Adrians response so lets see how close I am :lol: :lol:
By the way my answers are based on wild river bass unfortunately I havent had the opportunity to target them in a dam YET :cool: :lol: :lol:

How would you approach these water’s, would you target the edges and snags or hang out in the middle of the deep water.
Edges, overhanging trees & snags is what I target.

Would there be a particular time when you would fish for Bass. Morning, evening, night or smack bang in the middle of the day. Basically when is the best time for Bass?
Early morning and late afternoon.

Would you throw diving lures, surface lures, suspending lures or those spinning lures?
All of the above although I have had the most success on surface poppers and small spinnerbaits & scatterbrains (chatterbaits).

What happens if I actually hook up, are they dirty fighters (I have heard they go hard)?
Oh my wordy yes :lol: :lol:

I was going to use 2-4kg rod with 2.5kg braid with a 6kg leader. Would this be enough or will I be under gunned.
Personal preference probably but I use a 1kg graphite (5' 2") 4lb braid and 10lb leader.

Bass would have to be one of my all time favourite sports fish :love: and for anyone that hasnt had a go at them yet do your self a favour and find a way you wont regret it :cool:

OK Adrian how close am I :gu:
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Re: Questions for T-curve

Postby T-curve » Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:20 pm

Ok.. here goes, this is what currently works for me or has done in the past, if anyone of you other bass freaks have some input, fire away !!

Firstly ill start with this little creek but most will apply to both the situations you mentioned ( ill add a few differences towards the end for the dam). Ill also ramble on with some detail so everyone can refer back to it for future reference.

Well you say this little creek has a weir ? Does it look easy for the fish to pass through ? If not, it may rely on flood water to make it more accessible. Ive fished smaller coastal creeks which sound similar and depending on the accessibility, you may find you will get them on either side or one or the other depending on the time of the year of course. But assuming you fish for them before there next spawning run id be aiming at the upper reaches if you think it looks like a goer. Don't disregard below the weir though as half the fun of catching bass is finding them.

Aim for those deeper pools holding structure such as those snags you mention and also look for areas of riparian Vegetation along the banks that act as cover, provide shade and food that might happen to fall into water for a quick meal. Also target any rock bars if you stumble upon any and patches of weed as well which can be either under the water or on the surface such as lilly pads. So the thing to look for is structure and cover whether its on the edges or in the middle, it doesn't matter.

If its a fairly shaded creek throughout the day, you may find its fishable most of the time, but as a general rule, low light periods such as early morning or late afternoon or even an overcast day will be the best bet. And off course lets not forget after dark if your really keen, especially for some serious surface action. Bass venture far and wide after dark in search of a meal which means you can virtually cast a surface lure anywhere to entice a strike. As the sun gets higher in the sky, your best chances are targeting the deeper pools tight against structure with deep divers, plastics etc right in there face. In saying that, iv'e had days where iv'e had hot surface bites in the middle of the day, really who knows what makes them tick ..lol Some days they just have me Scratching my head :lol:

As for the arsenal, all those lures you mentioned id be taking if possible. When i go out i take hardbodies (sinking, suspending, bibless and bibbed), spinnerbaits, surface lures and beetle spins, pony heads fitted with plastics ( i prefer the types with tails with there own action) and of course fishing those deeper pools during the day you can try any plastic you like. Just take a variety of styles and colors to suit the conditions. I rarely use anything heavier then 1/16 jighead. Don't forget the weedless types to if it comes to that. In very weedy areas, your limited to what you can throw at them apart from some spinnerbaits and surface lures. In the end, lures work on your confidence. Just because you had a bad session with one doesn't mean you should lock it up, just make sure you give them a good go and find out what works for you and where your fishing. I always tend to start with what has worked in the past and if things aren't going as planned i then give some of the others a run and you will be surprised at what actually might start getting results.

Bass can be a funny fish at times and can be shut down for a number of reasons, so sometimes trying something different could be the key. I find in heavily fished areas, they can be become lure shy, especially if everyone ones getting them on similar lures and sometimes it pays to make the change and offer them something different.

Ill just rattle a few of my favourites off and where i use them.

Hard bodies

TN50's and Td cranks - Edges of weed beds and deeper water ( watch the snags with this as they sink and will burn a hole in your pocket real quick :shock:
Jackall chubbies and Cherries - As above as well as snags and underneath overhanging foliage.
Luckycraft Flat Minis - Same as previous
Halco Combats - " "
Halco scorpions - " "
Pakrats - " "
Manns depth - " "
Ecogear Ck50's - " "
Ecogear SX60's
R2S baby cranks

Spinnerbaits

Well not a lot of difference apart from brands,weights, colours and blades.

I use such brands as Auspin, secret creek, TT's and Smak

Favourite colors are purples, whites, purple/white combo, Black/pink combo and gold.
For dirtier water i still like the whites and others such as bright yellows and oranges and Black/red combos
Weights, i have several but i prefer 3/8th for where i mostly fish. My advice would be to start smaller and go from there. Blades, I usually use a combo of both colorado and willow blades.

The beauty about spinnerbaits is you can replace the skirts and blades to if need be. Colorados (like a tear drop) can be worked at a slower pace as opposed to the willow shape ones to. Some people attach stinger hooks to the main hook to to help catch those short striking fish to, but i'm happy with the way they are. More hooks can mean more snags and that's where spinnerbaits come into there own. If your in really rough country with lots of submerged timber and overhanging tree branches that hang into the water, cast a spinnerbait right in amongst it, they rarely get snagged but if so are easily dislodged. Using spinnerbaits this way really gets in there face. Just upsize your leader and tighten the drag in these situations and be ready for all hell to break loose !! Off course you can use HB's in this matter if your accurate with your casting but require a bit more of a careful approach working them back out of the timber.

Beetlespins and pony tails

Both pretty much the same as spinnerbaits, though pony tails will get snagged much easier. Just use jighead weights to suit and add a plastic of choice. Brands such as Betts,beetlespin and auspin are just a few that come to mind.

Surface lures

My prefered ones are black jitterbugs, large and small, preferably the double jointed ones.

Halco night crawlers
Koolabung fizzers and walkers
Sammy 65's and nw pencils
R2S buggi pops
tiemco softshells
Megabass siglets


All i can say is go black and nothing else, well that's the case where i fish anyway with the local cicada/insect populations. Others might prefer greens and browns.Try to vary the size to suit the the time of the day, in theory, the darker it is the bigger and noisier i go. And as the same for hardbodies, cast close to structure and vegetation, though accuracy isn't as important for surface fishing but does help. Night time, you can cast almost anywhere, but beware of the trees, these things have arms and can grab your lures and make off with them real quick...lol. Once you have cast to where you want it, don't start retrieving in straight away. Give the bass time to locate it and to get there interest. Even just twitching it on the spot might even entice a strike. That goes for the floating HB type lures as well. The longer you can keep it in the strike zone and in there face the better, so don't just begin retrieving the lure straight out of the snag. A few twitches and pauses during the retrieve whilst still in the zone might be enough to make a bass snap. Also forgot to add, accurate casting is a must, just like bream fishing, get it in the zone. If i have a shocker, ill wind in and cast again!! I tend to use the smaller surface lures such as the buggi pops, fizzers etc in brighter conditions and the larger noisier ones after dark. The bigger jitterbug types also seem to perform better if there is some floating weed/debris about also. Now if one happens to grab a surface lure when your off with the fairies, be prepared for a coronary...haha, especially if one grabs it from under your nose!!


Fishing with plastics for me is still a learning process and usually something i try when its one of those days, though probably one of the better options during the heat of the day and the sun is high and bright. Some of the other guys such as Ben or Leigh might be able to shed some more light in this department if they would like to add something. Ill be the first to say i prefer using hardbodies and spinnerbaits, but that's where the confidence factor excels for me and the fact that they really hit them hard when there in the right mood which makes me always want to tie one on when i head out again.

So after confusing you with all the wheres, whats and why's and you happen to get amongst them, the question ( Are they dirty fighters and do they go hard? ) Bloody oath they do and apart from there habitat, it is one reason why i love fishing for them so much. And they only get nastier as they get bigger. The bigger specimens really put you and your tackle to the test especially from a kayak. They will have you in all sorts before you know it!!

As for tackle, i'm a fan of baitcasters and learned to use them from a very young age, but i still also use spin outfits to. Each to there own and as long as your tackle is up to the task, go with what your comfortable with. Currently i'm using 2 baitcaster outfits, one being a 2-4kg strudwick pro with a shimano Scorpion spooled with 12lb Tuffline and very rarely go less then 12lb leader. You may think thats heavy but my other outfit is a 3-5kg Daiwa ProcasterV IM7 with a Daiwa Zillion spooled with 15lb Tuffline and a 20lb leader and believe me some days its needed in some of the areas i fish with the bigger models and when your on a kayak and dragged into the trees/snags..whatever, that heavier leader can be the difference. Ive even had that snap like cotton, depending on the country. One thing i don't like to see is a bass suffering with something stuck in its mouth after breaking you off, not to mention it just took off with a $20 or $30 lure :sad:. Crushing the barbs hopefully helps them to dislodge it if that happens to be the case. If i think i need to take a different approach, ill use my spin outfit which is a 2-5kg Daiwa Heartland teamed with an Advantage reel spooled with 8lb braid and no more then 10lb leader. I mainly use this for the smaller spinnerbaits, beetlespins etc on days where i need to take a softer approach to get results or fishing areas where the bass ain't as big. Only thing is, if i hook a horse i'm in all sorts.... :lol: . Overall I prefer my scorpion though, it casts like a bullet on the spot almost every time and doesn't even look like getting a birds nest. I can even cast light jigheads/plastics with it.

I havn't fished to many dams/impoundments before but you can pretty much refer to most of it above for the same results, but questions i can think of would be as follows!!

How big is the dam? Depending on the size a sounder would certainly paint a bigger picture.

Will you be on the kayak or land based? Obviously fishing from the bank limits you to those areas but having the kayak will broaden the horizons especially if you can sound it out if there is no visible structure.

How deep is it and is there much weed? A lot of dams can be choked up full of weed, especially if shallow. If so this might limit your arsenal somewhat and you will have to use lures to suit. If its deep and not to choked up, that pretty much will give you all of the above options.

Hopefully one advantage will be the lack of pressure and the fish wont be to lure shy.

Look for insect activity and if there are any little baitfish around to find what they might be feeding on. This will help you pick a lure that hopefully pays dividends. I still cant help but wonder what the hell a spinnerbait is supposed to look like but they seem to smash em, maybe it just pee's em off... :lol:

Might take a bit more time to nut this one out, so my advice would be to be make an appearance (even if it means taking the yak) and suss it out before hand and work out a game plan to suit and when it comes to the crunch, make sure you have a couple of rods and throw the whole tacklebox at them to find out what makes them tick. If you have a sounder, even better. That's assuming its quite a large dam with some depth to it.

Well thats my $1.10 worth, so i hope your heads spining, because i know mine is.... :pain: and i hope it gets you some results and i expect a full trip report with plenty of bass porn down the track :wink:

And Jonesy, nothing wrong with your answers fella, mine just got out of hand :lol:
Cheers
Adrian

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Re: Questions for T-curve

Postby BenWalker » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:54 pm

Great reply Adrian, very informative and spot on. The man certainly knows his stuff. Only thing I would add, and this may be different to fishing where I fish up here as opposed to down there, but plastics really are fantastic in shut down periods. When the bass arn't responding aggressively, I usually switch to bait fish imitations, such as Berkley Hollow Bellies, or grab a pack of slider drop shot worms and rig them up un-weighted with a G-Lock hook Size 1 (weedless). General rule of thumb is cast into heavy cover / snags / lillies etc (make sure you get it right into the cover, don't pull up short, skip cast if you have to), then let it sink right down and fish them really slowly with slight twitches and jerks of the rod, if you think your going slow enough with these, go even slower again. Just keep a good eye on your line and try to keep it taught as possible, bass will generally inhale plastic baits fished this way and its hard to catch the bite sometimes, if you think your snagged and feel anything abnormal in the weight, set the hook, a lot of the time it will be a fish (and if you don't set it quick enough they might wrap you around the snags and get you hung up, nasty little buggers!)

Its always more fun when a bass hits out of aggression though, nothing like having the rod half pulled out of your hands lol, but plastics are always good if other things arn't doing the trick.

One more thing I think is important, Adrian touched on it with him liking hard bodies more than plastics, is confidence in your bait. You ask 100 different bass fisherman what their favourite lure is and they will all give you a different answer. Basically bass are opportunistic feeders and will take most presentations if used properly, the trick is to find a bait/s that suit your style of fishing, have that / those as your go to lures, then build on other techniques from there. There's a 100 ways to catch bass and their all brilliant fun :D
Last edited by BenWalker on Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Questions for T-curve

Postby BenWalker » Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:47 pm

6 Jitterbugs mate! The poor bass have no chance :grin:

If you want to spend a bit on a popper as well, I bought and tried out the Lake Police SK Pop this afternoon, this things a weapon as far as cup face poppers go. Can be as loud and abnoxious as you want for shut down bass, of as was the case today, just give it the slightest little taps and still create a nice bubble trail. Really impressed with it.
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Re: Bass Techniques on Show

Postby The KFDU Team » Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:41 pm

Hi Everyone, you can see the original posts here viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4789

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