I’m not talking about bills you pay. I’m talking about crankbaits. The size of the bill on the crankbait determines the depth the lure will dive. A small billed crankbait will dive very shallow, whereas a larger billed crankbait will dive very deep.
This crankbait is designed to be a wake bait. This means the lure only goes an inch or so below the surface. This lure is great when baitfish are near the top of the water and game fish are actively feeding on them. It is also a great choice when fishing above submerged grass. I had a great trip to Wisconsin a few years back using a Mann’s Baby 1-Minus.
These crankbaits are designed to dive 4 to 6 feet deep when reeled in. This is great when you know fish are living in that depth of water. The rule of thumb is, pick a crankbait that will dive just a few feet deeper than the water you are fishing. You want the crankbaits to hit the bottom. This style of crankbait is my all around favorite lure to use.
These crankbaits are designed to run very deep. These are great when fishing off shore structure. They can reach depths of 18-20 feet when reeled in. The key to this bait is being able to cast if far enough to allow the bait reach its maximum depth. Line size is also critical when fishing this style of crankbait. A smaller diameter line will allow the crankbait to dive deeper.
Crankbaits are a great lure to use when you want to fish fast and cover a lot of water. Crankbaits will normally catch the active fish in an area.
For a bass fisherman not all bills are bad! You need different tools to do different jobs, and crankbaits are no different; you have to have the right bills to catch fish! Try a few of these different crankbait styles next time you are on the water.
Frog fishing is one of my favorite ways to fish! There is no better strike than seeing a bass explode through the moss and weeds to eat a frog bait.
Frogs come in a variety of sizes and colors. There is a huge variation in price point when purchasing frogs. Trust me, you get what you pay for. The cheaper frogs tear and fall apart after a few catches.
Frog fishing is at its best when you can find a place full of weeds and moss. Frogs will float on top of this structure and not get tangled. You want to fish in areas that look like places where a real frog would live.
Bass will swallow a whole frog. They are usually hooked on the top of the mouth and will rarely come off once hooked.
We caught these fish this past week in Northern Indiana. We were fishing a pond with a lot of vegetation. The weather was bright, calm, and sunny, but the bass were still eating the our frog offerings.
Frog fishing is an extremely fun way to catch bass. This technique catches all sizes of fish from giant bass to large northern pike. Once you catch one on a frog, you will have a hard time throwing another lure.
I have been asked many times how to properly rig a soft plastic lure. There are a few different techniques you can use. The most popular style is a Texas rig.
The Texas rig works for almost all styles of soft plastics and is entirely weedless when rigged properly. Here are different sizes hooks, weights, and lures that can all be used.
Step One: Select a hook, weight, and lure. There are numerous styles, but for the most part all will be rigged the same way.
Step Two: Insert hook into the head of the lure all the way to the bend.
Step Three: Slide the lure up the hook while rotating it 180 degrees. Ensure the hook comes out straight and in the middle of the lures bottom side.
Step Four: Pull lure onto the eye of the hook. Notice how the hook wants to enter back into the lure.
Step Five: Insert hook just below where the hook naturally bends back toward the bait.
Step Six: Place the point of the hook barely inside the lure’s back. Make sure the lure is perfectly straight.
There you go! Now you have a Texas rigged lure.
This is a classic rig that will catch bass anytime, anywhere. It is also weedless, so you can cast easily around structure. Use this bait by slowly bouncing it off the bottom. Hook sets are free, so when you feel a bite set the hook!
I’m not sure who loves fishing more, me or our dog, Tucker. We took Tucker with us on a Michigan trip and he loved every minute of it. Tucker was ready to go from the time we hooked up the boat to the time we got back to the truck.
We were fortunate enough to catch some great largemouth and smallmouth on this trip. Tucker got more excited than us when we caught fish. As soon as he knew we had a fish on he would go nuts!
We had to pick a pet friendly hotel during our trip to Michigan. You might be surprised on how many hotels are pet friendly. We brought food and water on the boat for him. We also had to stop and “stretch our legs” from time to time. When we had multiple rods on the deck, we just made sure that bait was hanging over the side of the boat in the water.
Taking your dog with you does create some extra work, but I think Tucker appreciated going!
Ponds and local community lakes can offer great fishing. Some of the fish living in these waters may have never seen a bait.
These type of ponds or lakes will prove to be a hidden gem. Many residents that live on these bodies of water have no interest in fishing. They may have no idea there are fish in them. Almost every pond or community lake has been stocked at some point. Typically they are stocked with bass, bluegill, and catfish at a minimum.
Megabass FX Knuckle Squarebill Crankbait
Bandit Lures Crankbaits Series 100
Here is how I approach fishing ponds and small lakes. You need to start with lures that mimic what the local fish eat, such as minnows, frogs, and insects. Keep it simple; soft plastics, crank baits, and top waters will cover most all situations you will encounter. Choose natural colors like green pumpkin or watermelon when using soft plastics. For top waters and crankbaits, again, keep it natural. The only time I would change this is if the water is dirty with visibility less than a foot. I highly suggest using spinning tackle because you will be using light weight baits. These lures may be difficult to throw using bait casting equipment. I also suggest using 8-10 pound test line for these lures. Spinning tackle typically works better with this light line.
Culprit Original Worm
Reaction Innovations Smallie Beaver 3.50
Remember one thing; get permission before you start fishing these areas. Most homeowners will never say a word, but you never know.
What do you have to lose? I know you will be surprised by these great bodies of water in your own back yard.
Plastic bottles, styrofoam cups, grocery bags, moss, and logs make for quite the eye sore. To a bass it looks like home.
A bass’s ideal home has thick cover with lots of shade to hide. This picture shows a great place to catch a big bass.
When fishing structure that looks like this you must have the right tackle to get the bass out of this cover. Often, when a bass bites it will get tangled in all the structure. More times than not, the bass will break your line. Make sure you are ready to get the bass out of its home when it bites.
Here is what you need to convert the strike into a catch. First, heavy braided fishing line. I like 65lb. Power Pro line. This may sound like over kill at first. Trust me, you will break your line with anything much lighter. Second, a pole that has enough back bone to get the fish out of the cover. I like a medium-heavy to heavy action St. Croix flipping stick. Third, a high speed reel. This allows you to quickly get the fish out of the cover before it gets tangled.
It is horrible that people treat our lakes this way. This type of cover is becoming more prevalent in many lakes. Don’t be afraid to put a lure right in the middle of it. You may just catch a monster bass from the trash.
This past Saturday, I spent a few hours fishing at Doe Run Lake in Covington, Kentucky. I arrived at the lake around 7:30. There were a few others already there fishing from the bank. This lake gets a lot of fishing activity for an electric motor-only lake.
Once I launched my kayak, I noticed the water temperature was in the mid 80’s. This warm water told me that I needed to fish deep. I am sure I could have caught some smaller bass fishing the bank, but the bigger fish should be deep. I tried a number of baits and water depths throughout my morning, but it seemed like most of the fish I caught were in 10-20 foot of water.
The most productive bait on this trip was a Bomber Fat Free Shad deep diving crankbait. This style of lure is challenging to throw from a kayak. Deep diving crankbaits will literally pull the kayak around. This makes it a little frustrating to keep re-positioning the kayak cast after cast. I also used a Texas rigged worm, but the crankbait caught the majority of my fish. I focused on finding brush piles and drop offs with my Humminbird Fishin Buddy DI depth finder and thoroughly fished those areas.
I managed 3 keeper bass (15”) on this trip and a few fish that were around 12”. One bass I caught was right at 5 lbs! This was a pretty successful outing on this lake for late summer. When I am faced with a lake that gets lots of fishing activity, I try fishing a way that others will not. I always see people fishing the bank, never off shore. The only deep water fisherman I see are cat fisherman. I am sure those bass had never seen a deep diving crankbait before.
The fishing at Doe Run will be much better this fall. Can’t wait to get back out there.