Tackle & Tips

                       from

     AZ Great Adventure Fishing

Pro Guide  Mike Strole   TheFish Whisperer”

 Key Seasonal Bass Fishing   Tactics & Facts To Remember!!!           

Check out these Seasonal Tips!  

           Spring Patterns & Tackle

Largemouth on the beds use a 6 ½ -7’ Medium action fast tip rod, 6 to 8 lb fluorocarbon line, 6.2 -1 spinning reel, Rig with a White Ragetail Coffee Craw with bobber stopper, 3/8 ounce tungsten bullet weight, next add a red bead, 2/0 offshank Trokar hook. Be sure to position your boat to make long casts so as not to alert the fish. Drag the bait through the bed to provoke the fish into attacking the bait. If the fish is not responsive use the rod tip to impart motion to the bait causing the bead to click and get the fish’s attention. If the female and the male bass are on the bed at the same time and they are rubbing up against one another go to the next bed and return to the bed later. If the fish on the bed seem to be reluctant you can use an old trick to cause them to become irritated and aggressive. Use a red laser; shine it on the nest in the area near the fish. This will tend to irritate the fish. This will produce a more aggressive response and then when your bait enters the bed your chances of success will dramatically increase.

Drop shot is another effective tool to catch bed fish. Use 6 to 8lb. test fluorocarbon line, 6 ½ - 7’ medium action rod with an extra fast tip, 6 to 1 reel or faster to get them off the nest and out of the cover quickly.

Largemouth

3’ White tail grub (thin tail for increased action/ movement in the water rigged with bobber stopper, 3/8 ounce tungsten bullet weight, next add a red bead, 2/0 offshank Trokar hook. Be sure to position your boat to make long casts so as not to alert the fish. If the fish is not responsive use the rod tip to impart motion to the bait causing the bead to click and get the fish’s attention. Be ready to set the hook as soon as the fish attacks the bait.

Smallmouth

Use #2 nose hook, chartreuse & white I shad (2.8 inch) (Japanese version), 1/8 ounce drop shot weight, rig the hook 6- 10 inches above the weight. Pitch it into the fish’s strike zone on the nest twitch using the rod tip if necessary. Repeat so as to irritate the fish and trigger the strike.

Big Bedding Bass in cover

Use 7’ Medium-Heavy bait casting rod with a fast tip, 17-20 lb test fluorocarbon line and a 7 -1 reel to get the fish out of the cover quickly. Use a 6 inch white lizard rigged with bobber stopper, 3/8 ounce tungsten bullet weight, next add a red bead, 4/0 offshank Trokar hook. Be sure to position your boat to make long casts so as not to alert the fish. Drag the bait through the bed to provoke the fish into attacking the bait. If the fish is not responsive use the rod tip to impart motion to the bait causing the bead to click and get the fish’s attention fish. This will produce a more aggressive response and then when your bait enters the bed. Repeat the presentation several times in an attempt to provoke a strike.

Striper

Modified Drop Shot Rig 7 ft Medium action extra fast tip rod, 6 to 1 retrieve Spinning Reel, 10lb Nanofil with 6 lb flourocarbon leader spliced using double uni knot, 2/0 red circle hook, 1/8 to 3/8 drop shot weight depending on the depth of the fish. Bait: cut anchovies, live shad, (When using live large Bluegill and or 1lb Carp utililze Medium Heavy or Heavy Bait Casting Rod with a Fast Tip, 6 to 1 Reel, 20- 25lb Braid with 12-20 lb Flourocarbon leader, up size the hooksand weights) live Bluegill and Carp are used when fishing for big Striper. Types of Bites: aggresive bite (bait is hit on the fall), tapping bite, and pressure bite.

Innovation Swimbaits 7 ft Medium action fast tip rod, 6 to 1 Spinning Reel, 10lb Nanofil line with 6lb flourocarbon leader. I use 5/0 Spring loaded hooks on the 5 inch swimbaits with a treble hook rigged as a stinger hook. I use a 3/0 Spring loaded hook on the 3 inch models with a trouble hooked rigged as a stinger hook. The stinger trouble hooks will get those fish that hit short and works especially well on Stripers that have a tendencey to hit short. When casting and retrieving the bait, retrieve it at a steady rate with an occasional pause. If the fish follow the bait, but won’t commit toss a wacky rigged senko on your back up rod and more times then not the fish will hit it. I use the same rig for trolling, but I will sometimes go to a Medium Heavy Rod. Adjust the amount of line you put out to achieve the desired depth. Establish a trolling speed that produces the appropriate rod tip action.

Crank Baits- Shad color fall 6 ½ ‘ - 7’ Medium Action / Fast tip rod / 6.2 - 1 reel, 10lb Nanofil with a 6-8 lb fluorocarbon leader. The depth will determine your lure choice and design. I like square bill cranks in the shallows under 10 ft in depth. They seem to hang up less be sure to dig the bottom and deflect, this triggers more strikes. In the 9’ to 12 ‘, get the bait to hit the bottom fishing ledges. If the water is too deep, use rod tip and retrieve to simulate erratic action of bait deflection that will trigger the bite. Don’t be afraid to throw into cover. Check for line damage periodically and retie when necessary. Works equally well off points, walls, ledges, and drop offs. They can also be trolled through suspended fish to trigger the bite. When fish asr suspended go to lipless crankbaits like red eyed shad or rattle traps. When the fish are deep go to Medium Heavy Action Bait Cast Rod with least a 6 to 1 retrieve rate and DD22’s. 

Spooning - In the morning after the top water bite and into afternoon, or when fish are suspended in the middle of the channel or off ledges humps or when fish are herding up the bait. Be sure to keep trolling motor on lower settings. Boat positioning is crucial, if fish seem skittish or there are other boats fishing the same school use only one sonar. Cadence is important when vertical jigging spoons, Use a heavier size will result in faster drop. rate and sometimes that’s the key. I use ¼ oz for slow fall rates and go up in size to as big as ¾ ounce when I desire a faster fall rate, but ½ ounce is adequate in most situations. I like War Eagle’s jigging spoons because they have quality ball bearing swivels attached (silver, gold, and white are my favorites). I also carry Cast Masters, Lake Fork Flutter Spoons,and  Hopkins spoons. Check the hooks and sharpen or change out dull hooks (You can change out the hooks to red for a different look) when the bass circle up the shad in deeper water. They can also be used to get to the bigger fish in boils by counting them down into school of feeding fish, because as a rule the larger fish are deeper in the water column. War Eagle spoons and Lake Fork Flutter Spoons are more aerodynamic and give you longer cast, especially in windy situations, and have a great flutter action. I have found them to be most productive when I am trying to stay on a school of fish that are feeding on the surface.


         Summer Patterns & Tackle

Your tackle box should include:

Line Lubricant improves casting, reduces line memory and increases line life

Shad scent covers human scent and can cause the fish to hold onto the bait longer

Spike It scented markers also scent the bait while you can also customize its color

Top Water- Great Fish Locators

White Buzz Bait - with shad trailer and trailer hook 3/8 to 1/2 oz. Rod 6 1/2’ to 7 ½’ Medium Action Rod Medium Tip / Reel 6.2 to 1 or faster reel 10-14lb line.

(Bass are feeding on shad in the channels and in the backs of coves) Secret (Turn the blade until the blade until it squeaks. This can be accomplished by holding it out the window while driving down the road. To increase the noise you can use a drill to create a small hole in each of the blades / to slow roll – cup the prop on the two blades (makes it easier to keep the bait on the surface) at slower speeds keeping the bait in the fishes strike zone longer or you can buy a three blade. Do not be afraid to rip it.

Casting Presentation / Pattern - one side of cover, then the other side of the cover, and finally through the middle. Vary distance start from the bank work your way out so as not to spook the fish.

Back Up Rod- 6 ½ to 7 ½’ Medium Action, Fast Tip Rod, 10 lb green nanofil with fluorocarbon leader gives the bait a more natural presentation. Fish these baits in the backs of coves, in and around the brush, along walls that contain suspended fish. If the fish flash on the top water bait and are reluctant to take it have a senko rigged Texas style / weedless or wacky style drop shot on an O ring to throw as a backup.

Ricos -when calm or light breeze or current - experiment with the cadence until you find the one that the fish want.

Rio Ricos- when breezy - experiment with the cadence until you find the one that the fish want.

Walking Baits experiment with the cadence until you find the one that the fish want.

Spinner Baits (Blades) - 3/8 -1/2 oz War Eagle with trailer hook. Shad colors work best in the fall because the fish are feeding on shad /6 ½ -7’ Medium Action Rod - Fast Tip- 5 to 1 Reel 10 – 12 lb fluorocarbon line in the fall slow roll dual willow silver and gold finish fish shallows and rock walls. Colorado Blade gives better helicopter action on suspended along walls on suspended – remember to vary retrieve speeds and use the rod tip to produce the desired erratic behavior needed to trigger the fish and vary retrieves. You can also slow roll this bait along the bottom and fish it like a swim jig.

Chatter Baits- fished with shad color soft hollow body swim bait trailers - 3/8 -1/2 oz effective in open water, drop offs, suspended fish, can be fished like a jig, worked as a crankbait vary retrieve to get desired action for different situations. The bite will be detected as a change in the vibration pattern of the bait. When this is detected set the hook.

Crank Baits- Shad color fall 6 ½ ‘ - 7’ Medium Action / Fast tip rod / 6.2 - 1 reel, 10-12 lb fluorocarbon line /45 degree angle to the bank to locate the fish. Once you locate the fish then parallel the bank at that depth of water. The depth will determine your lure choice and design. I like square bill cranks in the shallows. They seem to hang up less be sure to dig the bottom and deflect, this triggers more strikes. In the 9’ to 12 ‘, get the bait to hit the bottom fishing ledges. If the water is too deep, use rod tip and retrieve to simulate erratic action of bait deflection that will trigger the bite. Don’t be afraid to throw into cover. Check for line damage periodically and retie when necessary. Works well off points, walls, ledges, and drop offs. They can also be trolled through suspended fish to trigger the bite.

Soft Hollow Body Swim Baits - experiment with the cadence and size until you find the one that the fish want.

Suspending Hard Jerk bait - Shad color Rogue suspending model – count it down to a depth of the fish or slightly above because the fish will normally move up in the water to take the bait (They will not normally dive down after this type of bait) and use the rod tip to create the cadence and erratic movement patterns to trigger the bite. Do not hesitate to throw it around cover.

Drop Shot- 6 ½ ‘ to 7’ Rod / Medium action / extra fast tip / 10 lb nanofil with 6 to 8lb Fluorocarbon leader / Rig using Palomar knot on hook tag end down through top of the hook attach to the weight. Be careful to set drag correctly and don’t horse up fish from deep water as this can cause injury and death. 1/8 ounce in shallows ¼- 3/8 ounce for deeper water. Worm 4” when the fish are finicky or spooky 6” when they’re more aggressive. Keep trolling motor on lower settings in shallow water and be especially aware of boat positioning in relationship to the fish. This is a great technique to use in the middle of the day or when the bite starts to slowdown.  Utilize your sonar Locate points and shelves with at 15 - 25’ that drops off into deep water. When the bite is detected reel down, drag set to set the hook and crank don’t slam it. Remember to keep pressure on the line using the drag to keep the line taunt and let the rod tip do the work until the fish is landed.

Ways to rig the Drop Shot

Nose Hook – open water

Weedless – Texas rig for brush

Wacky style – use weedless for fishing brush

Wacky style with O ringallows you use wider variety of baits and larger sizes and produces a more active fluid movement of the bait in the water. It is also, very effective during the pre spawn.

O ring and nail weight Wacky style - something unique that the fish don’t see very often. It works especially well when fish are spooky use hooks with brush guards when throwing into brush.

Pitching Senkos hooked weedless into the brush with spinning rod, Baby bass color, 6 ½ to 7’ Med-Heavy, fast tip rod, 6.2 to 1 Spinning Reel /8 - 10lb. braided line with fluorocarbon leader Pitching provides a soft entry. Med Heavy rod gives you the power to get the fishes head up and the control to get him out of the cover.

Pitching or flipping a 4” Yamamoto Fat Ica - Blue Pearl, Silver Flake, Reversed Hooked, nail weight, soaked in Shad Scent, 6 ½ to 7’ Pitching Stick, Flipping Reel, 20 – 40lb. Green Power Pro Braid with Fluorocarbon leader, 5/0 Owner Wide Gap Hook. Fish the sides of the bush or structure then the middle. When the bite is detected set the hook and get the fishes head up and pull him away from structure into open water. This bait can be effectively fished in shallow cover and in deep water or along walls for suspended fish.

Flipping & Pitching Jigs - 1/4 – 1 oz - The size of the weight controls the fall rate. It can be thrown into brush in a variety of depths or used when fish are on the bottom - colors and sizes depend on water clarity and light penetration. Key to bites change in pressure or sluggish feel. When detected set the hook and get the fishes head up and pull him away from the brush and or structure.

Robo Westy Worms - 7 ft Med Action Rod, fast tip, 10 lb nanofil  tipped with 6 lb fluorocarbon leader, 1/8 to 3/8 ounce depending on depth - They come in four colors. Work the bait slowly moving the bait with upward movement of the rod tip and allowing it to fall slowly. Change of pressure is the key to the bite. When pressure is detected reel down then set the hook. Works well on ledge fish and fish on deeper structure like main lake points.

Spooning In the afternoon, or when fish are suspended in the middle of the channel or off ledges humps or when fish are herding up the bait. Be sure to keep trolling motor on lower settings. Boat positioning is crucial, if fish seem skittish or there are other boats fishing the same school use only one sonar. Cadence is important when vertical jigging spoons, Use a heavier size will result in faster drop. rate and sometimes that’s the key. I use ¼ oz for slow fall rates and go up in size to as big as ¾ ounce when I desire a faster fall rate, but ½ ounce is adequate in most situations. I like War Eagle’s jigging spoons because they have quality ball bearing swivels attached (silver, gold, and white are my favorites). I also carry Cast Masters, Lake Fork Flutter Spoons,and  Hopkins spoons. Check the hooks and sharpen or change out dull hooks (You can change out the hooks to red for a different look) when the bass circle up the shad in deeper water. They can also be used to get to the bigger fish in boils by counting them down into school of feeding fish, because as a rule the larger fish are deeper in the water column. War Eagle spoons and Lake Fork Flutter Spoons are more aerodynamic and give you longer cast, especially in windy situations, and have a great flutter action. I have found them to be most productive when I am trying to stay on a school of fish that are feeding on the surface.


           Fall Tackle & Patterns


Ricos -when calm or light breeze or current - experiment with the cadence until you find the one that the fish want.

Rio Ricos- when breezy - experiment with the cadence until you find the one that the fish want.

Walking Baits experiment with the cadence until you find the one that the fish want.

Spinner Baits (Blades) - 3/8 -1/2 oz War Eagle with trailer hook. Shad colors work best in the fall because the fish are feeding on shad /6 ½ -7’ Medium Action Rod - Fast Tip- 5 to 1 Reel 10 – 12 lb fluorocarbon line in the fall slow roll dual willow silver and gold finish fish shallows and rock walls. Colorado Blade gives better helicopter action on suspended along walls on suspended – remember to vary retrieve speeds and use the rod tip to produce the desired erratic behavior needed to trigger the fish and vary retrieves. You can also slow roll this bait along the bottom and fish it like a swim jig.

White Buzz Bait with shad trailer and trailer hook 3/8 to 1/2 oz. Rod 6 1/2’ to 7 ½’ Medium Action Rod Medium Tip / Reel 6.2 to 1 or faster reel 10-14lb line.

(Bass are feeding on shad in the channels and in the backs of coves) Secret (Turn the blade until the blade until it squeaks.) This can be accomplished by holding it out the window while driving down the road. To increase the noise you can use also drill a small hole in each of the blades. If you want to slow roll the bait – cup the prop on the two blades (makes it easier to keep the bait on the surface) at slower speeds keeping the bait in the fishes strike zone longer or you can buy a three blade. Do not be afraid to rip it.

Innovation Swimbaits 7 ft Medium action fast tip rod, 6 to 1 Spinning Reel, 10lb Nanofil line with 6lb flourocarbon leader. I use 5/0 Spring loaded hooks on the 5 inch swimbaits with a treble hook rigged as a stinger hook. I use a 3/0 Spring loaded hook on the 3 inch models with a trouble hooked rigged as a stinger hook. The stinger trouble hooks will get those fish that hit short and works especially well on Stripers that have a tendencey to hit short. When casting and retrieving the bait, retrieve it at a steady rate with an occasional pause. If the fish follow the bait, but won’t commit toss a wacky rigged senko on your back up rod and more times then not the fish will hit it. I use the same rig for trolling, but I will sometimes go to a medium heavy rod. Adjust the amount of line you put out to achieve the desired depth. Establish a trolling speed that produces the appropriate rod tip action.

Suspending Hard Jerk bait or Flukes- Shad color Rogue suspending model – count it down to a depth of the fish or slightly above because the fish will normally move up in the water to take the bait (They will not normally dive down after this type of bait) and use the rod tip to create the cadence and erratic movement patterns to trigger the bite. Do not hesitate to throw them around cover.

Crank Baits- Shad color fall 6 ½ ‘ - 7’ Medium Action / Fast tip rod / 6.2 - 1 reel, 10-12 lb fluorocarbon line /45 degree angle to the bank to locate the fish. Once you locate the fish then parallel the bank at that depth of water. The depth will determine your lure choice and design. I like square bill cranks in the shallows under 10 ft in depth. They seem to hang up less be sure to dig the bottom and deflect, this triggers more strikes. In the 9’ to 12 ‘, get the bait to hit the bottom fishing ledges. If the water is too deep, use rod tip and retrieve to simulate erratic action of bait deflection that will trigger the bite. Don’t be afraid to throw into cover. Check for line damage periodically and retie when necessary. Works well off points, walls, ledges, and drop offs. They can also be trolled through suspended fish to trigger the bite. When fish asr suspended go to lipless crankbaits like red eyed shad or rattle traps. When the fish are deep go to Medium Heavy Action Bait Cast Rod with least a 6 to 1 retrieve rate and DD22’s.

Drop Shot- 6 ½ ‘ to 7’ Rod / Medium action / extra fast tip / 10 lb nanofil with 6 to 8lb Fluorocarbon leader / Rig using Palomar knot on hook tag end down through top of the hook attach to the weight. Be careful to set drag correctly and don’t horse up fish from deep water as this can cause injury and death. 1/8 ounce in shallows to 15- 20ft, 1/4 - 3/8 ounce for deeper water. Worm 4” when the fish are finicky or spooky 6” when they’re more aggressive. Keep trolling motor on lower settings in shallow water and be especially aware of boat positioning in relationship to the fish. This is a great technique to use in the mid morning  hours and into the middle of the day or when the morning bite starts to slowdown.  Utilize your sonar Locate points and shelves that drop off into deeper water. When the bite is detected reel down, drag set to set the hook and crank don’t slam it. Remember to keep pressure on the line using the drag to keep the line taunt and the rod tip down and let the rod tip do the work until the fish is landed.

Robo Westy Worms - 7 ft Med Action Rod, fast tip, 10 lb nanofil  tipped with 6 lb fluorocarbon leader, 1/4 to 3/8 ounce depending on depth - They come in four colors. Work the bait slowly along the bottom moving the bait with upward movement of the rod tip and allowing it to fall slowly back to the bottom. Change of pressure is the key to the bite. When pressure is detected reel down then when you feel the weight of the fish and or the line moves set the hook. Works well on ledge fish and fish on deeper structure like main lake points.

Spooning - Works best when fish are suspended in the middle of the channel or off ledges humps and when fish are herding up the bait. Be sure to keep trolling motor on lower settings. Boat positioning is crucial, if fish seem skittish and there are other boats fishing the same school use only one sonar. Cadence is important when vertical jigging spoons, Use a heavier size will result in faster drop rate and sometimes that’s the key. I use 1/2 oz for slow fall rates and go up in size to as big as ¾ to 1 ounce when I desire a faster fall rate, but ½ ounce is adequate in most situations. I like War Eagle’s jigging spoons because they have quality ball bearing swivels attached (silver, gold, and white are my favorites). I also carry Cast Masters, Lake Fork Flutter Spoons and Hopkins. Check the hooks and sharpen or change out dull hooks (You can change out the hooks to red for a different look) when the bass circle up the shad in deeper water. They can also be used to get the fish feeding on the surface. When fishing the surface boils surface boils you can reach the bigger fish by counting them down into school of feeding fish, because as a rule the larger fish are deeper in the water column. War Eagle spoons and Lake Fork Flutter Spoons are more aerodynamic and give you longer cast, especially in windy situations, and have a great flutter action. I have found them to be most productive when I am trying to stay on a school of fish that are feeding on the surface.

Open Face Reel – advantages you do not have to adjust reel for each of the individual bait used.

  1. Multi -Ball Bearings- as a rule the more bearings the better smoother operating
  2. Smooth Drag System - allow you to use lighter weight line for more effective presentations and prevent line breakage when fighting fish.
  3. long cast spool releases more line and produces fewer coils per yard and increases the efficiency of the reels casting distance and if you’re impatient it aids in helping to control your temper and level of frustration when you make a bad cast.
  4. anti- drag switch - allows you to back reel if necessary


Dealing with line twist

  1. When closing the bail take up the slack and reset the bail with your hand not with the reel handle.
  2. Never crank against a drag while fighting a fish. To slow the fish down simply ad pressure to the spool with your index finger thusly reducing the chance of line twist.
  3. To control line twist during the cast by using the index finger to slow down the spool and control the length of the cast reducing the chance of line twists from excessive slack in the line. This can also reduce the chance of wind knots.


Knots

KNOTS
KNOTS 2


  

This site was created by Bryan Davenport • 602-749-0776