One of my favorite bass fishing techniques is tube fishing. People who know me well know that I almost always have a rod rigged up with a 4″ tube and a 1/4oz Taper Tube Jig. I love to throw this on a bait casting rod (7+ ft MH) with 12# fluorocarbon. In really clear water I will switch to a spinning rod with 10# braid and a long (3′-12′) leader of 8# fluorocarbon line. In either case I will usually cast this out to a rocky bank and drag or hop it off the bottom. This is especially effective for smallmouth bass but the green bass love it as well.
My favorite tube is a Mizmo Big Boy. It is a 4″ heavy wall tube that is just killer in lakes I fish and pretty much a staple in Lake Erie and Lake St Clair. I buy these by the hundred since I use them so much. My good friend and active military Mizmo rep is John Zdral. Tell him Cincy Fisher Baits sent you and he will hook you up with a nice discount. You can reach John at JohnZdral_mizmobaits@yahoo.com or by phone/text at (586) 453-9814. John can also hook you up nicely with Cruncher Baits – he’s kind of a busy guy….
On another topic, I am working on a weedless Taper Tube Jig and will soon be listing that. Let me know if you have specific suggestions on that design – it’s not too late…
Well it’s officially deer hunting season and all my fishing buddies are in the woods. It’s hard to find people to fish with this time of year so I just fish alone fairly often. I enjoy the solitude sometimes to be honest. And it’s less embarrassing when you call for the net again on a stick – don’t act like you don’t do that too…
So I headed to the lake this morning at 9AM. Air temp were in the forties and water temps around 57 degrees with decent clarity (2 or 3 ft). Winds out of the southwest 10 – 15 mph. Overcast. These are perfect conditions for fishing and the for once the fish agreed.
I started out throwing some Cincy Fisher Blade Baits but no takers. I switch to a spinner bait and nothing. Tried the beloved Shad Rap and more rejection. Then I threw a square bill and things turned around quickly. The fish ate this bait with enthusiasm. I’d mostly parallel the bank since I was fishing alone the smallmouth bass were chasing it. I knew they were chasing because I’d feel a slack and then a couple seconds later they’d eat it. I was moving the bait fast too – almost a burn. This is how I love to fish so I was glad the pattern worked out.
I caught 8 keeper bass with the biggest being in 3.25 to 3.5# range according to my hand held scale. Only 2 keeper large mouth. I caught a couple eater sized walleye so that will be good for dinner tonight. I must have caught 10 more dink bass. Overall a very good day for me.
The crankbait was a 1.5 square bill that I paint. I don’t have them listed on the web site yet but if you want some let me know. They are $6 each and come with Mustad KVD hooks. Just send an email (email@example.com) or call me (513-378-6685) to order.
Just returned last night from a short trip to beautiful Lake Norris with my wife Amy. Amy’s good friend Kathy let us stay at her fantastic house right on the shores of the lake. The house is amazing and we’re grateful for the accommodations.
Let’s be honest here – I’m the fisher in the family but Amy was a great sport and spent lots of time on the water with me. And fished quite a bit too. This time of year the lake is drawn down at least by 20 feet or more and the water is extraordinarily clear. At the dam I could easily see the bottom in 20 foot of water. Turns out the fish could see me from even further away. Water temps were surprisingly warm at 69 degrees. Of course I’m from Ohio…
My friend Doug suggested I give night fishing a try and I did – twice for a couple hours each night. I caught a few decent largemouth bass on buzz baits and a few nice smallies on square bill crank baits.
The day bite was tough. I did manage a few nice fish on Snootie Jigs (my all-time favorite) and of course on blade baits. I should have thrown the blade baits earlier. I just thought the temps were too warm. They weren’t. We’d locate 45 degree rocky banks (not hard to find on this lake) and position the boat in 20 or so foot of water and make long casts on light line (10# Suffix 832 brain with 12 ft of 8# Suffix Red Label fluorocarbon). We’d let the 1/2 oz nickel blade bait fall on semi-slack line until it hit bottom. We’d give it a 2 foot bump, just enough to feel the vibration from the bait and then let it settle on or very near the bottom. We’d do this all the way back to the boat. The hits were usually subtle and you’d see your line bump. This is why it’s important to watch your line and let it fall on semi-slack line. We hung up a bunch but here’s the secret on that – don’t set the hook on a rock! We’d just give it a light jiggle and if that didn’t shake it free we’d troll to over top the bait and jiggle some more. This almost always worked. When it didn’t I’d tell my wife this is why I sell them in packs of ten…
We caught several nice small mouth and a few hefty bluegill too. I only sell baits that I use and believe in. These blade baits are my confidence bait when the water is clear and when it’s cold (I’m re-thinking that part though).
BayBass Bryan of BayBass.com wrote a great article that went into detail about fishing blade baits. Here is an excerpt:
Jigging baits or blade baits have been around since Paul “Buddy” Banks invented the Silver Buddy™ lure and trademarked the name in 1983. Billy Westmoreland, known as the world’s greatest smallmouth fisherman, used this particular bait nearly every trip. The bait works magic all year round but excels in the winter when fish are normally deeper and tighter to the bottom and less willing to chase. This bait will catch or snag anything that swims including perch, walleye, bass, striper, crappie, carp, bluefish, sea bass, catfish, pike, and more.