BIG BASS

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"DEADSTICKING" - FISHING LURES WITHOUT IMPARTING MOTION

"Deadsticking", that is, fishing lures without consciously or deliberately imparting any motion to them can be a successful Bass fishing technique. Strange, but true!

On more than one occasion you must have heard the tale of someone casting out a surface lure, perhaps getting busy with something else or being distracted for longer than usual, only to have the lure just lying there - for all practical purposes, motionless - being slammed by a massive Bass! This not only happens with surface lures, but with lures such as plastic worms just lying on the bottom of the dam. Bass definitely do pick up motionless objects even off the bottom.

Have we been "overdoing" our retrieves in order to impart action to our lures and retrieving just too fast? Perhaps ...

Read how Mike Long caught his personal best Bass of over 20lb (!) after sighting the fish in clear water:

He ... tossed a 6-inch rainbow-trout-pattern Castaic swimbait from a 7-foot rod and said a prayer: "God, let me catch this fish. I'll weigh her, take pictures and let her go."

"I watched her come three or four feet toward it and just kind of stop, then back up," said Long, 35, a Poway, Calif., construction-company project manager renowned for his trophy-bass prowess. "So I left the bait there and backed the boat all the way to the shore."

A waiting game had begun, with Long stationed at the end of 65 feet of 15-pound line at the back of a rental boat ... A half-hour would pass, with Long crouched as low as he could, the line absolutely still and the bruiser bass inching slowly toward the sinking swimbait that had long settled on the lake's floor. Then 45 minutes.

"It took an hour for her to get all the way in," he said. "I made everything calm and quiet, like I wasn't there. The water had been a little choppy for a while, so I could just see her black shadow."

Later the water would glass over, and Long could see the fish "perfectly."

"I tightened up the line and shook the bait once, and I watched her go 45 degrees," he said. "And I shook it a second time, just gave it a pop, and then she went as vertical as she could go and I remember my rod was just going toward the water. And I thought, 'The boat's moving.'

"Then I realized, 'Oh, man, she's hit it,' and I just swung. I looked out and a saw a flash and I knew I'd hooked her...

Picking up from this report, BassMaster Patrick, a regular visitor to the Big Bass Forum, tried casting out a 6" Castaic Trout swimbait from his anchored boat and just letting the lure lie on the bottom while fishing with another rod and managed to catch Bass on the motionless lure!

"Deadsticking" a lure works - both on the surface and right on the bottom! It may be a successful big Bass technique to include in your repertoire.

Perhaps surface current or ripples will impart minute movements to a surface lure and water current or subtle movement of even an anchored boat will cause some movement to a lure just lying on the bottom. In many cases this is all that is needed to interest a Bass, so hold off on those crazy almost violent retrieves you often see and your catch rate may well improve!

So, what lures can you use for "deadsticking"?

On the Surface, just about any traditional surface lure would work, also floating Rapalas, floating stickbaits and jerkbaits as well as any crankbait which floats at rest (even the big 9" and 12" MS Slammers and Castaic Soft Bait Trouts!).

On the Bottom, try the sinking 6" Castaic Trout Swimbaits, plastic worms (any brand, but I am partial to Berkley Power Worms in 7" and 10" sizes) or jigs with trailers (Zoom Brush Hog or Gene Larew Hoo-Daddy). Perhaps this would be a good time to add some scent you have faith in to your lure of choice ...

An alternative to "deadsticking" if you are not yet ready for such a radical departure from the norm - just slow down your usual retrieve speed and utilise long pauses and twitches inbetween retrieve cycles, or if you are fishing from a boat, switch off that electric trolling motor and just drift for a change of pace ...

Let us know how you do!

 

*Also check out Dead-Sticking Bass by Steve von Brandt.

 

Jacques Wolmarans


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