TIPS AND TRICKS FOR FINDING BASS AND WINNING TOURNAMENTS
For grass lakes like Guntersville or any one of a number of lakes throughout the Northeast and south, there’s nothing really any better than a hollow bodied frog. Look for areas that are different than rest of the surrounding grass. On the Flats in the Upper Chesapeake Bay, a Spro Popping Frog in black is the second choice for frog fishing.
The areas in Furnace Bay, Cara Cove, and on the grass flats by the Hospital are key areas for big bass on frogs. The key here is of course baitfish and clearer water, but there are subtle differences that make certain spots better. When you find an area that has 2 or more different types of grasses coming together and even small depressions and humps within them, this is where to concentrate your efforts. You should also look for an area that may be a little bit deeper or a little bit shallower, even though all the pads and/or grass looks the same
Most people that target suspended fish like to slow-roll a swimbait or throw a jerkbait,
And those work great at times, but one of my favorite things to do is cast out a small plastic on a jighead, or a weightless Fluke, and let it slowly fall through the school of fish. It takes a lot of patience to work but can be the key to catching more bass in a tournament, as most anglers can't deal with the time it takes to wait for the bait to slowly fall down through the school.
When I rig a soft plastic on a jighead I like a 1/16- or 1/8-ounce Owner Ultrahead Darter Head, and I use Sunline FX1 braid. If the water is REALLY clear, I use Sunline fluorocarbon in the lightest pound test I can get away with.
In pressured areas I like to use a Shakey head. I especially like to use this for dragging on long flat points where there is some brush on it. The other thing I do is drag a Carolina rig with a 2 foot leader here and also when I fish areas like a depression between two sandbars. I do this quite often in areas of the Northeast, on many of the rivers on the Upper bay and Delaware.
A seriously good bait for these techniques was developed by Michael Neal and is called the "limit maker". It features more detail than the stick baits most people use on mushroom jigheads for the typical Ned rig, which has become one of the more popular styles this year. The Ned Rig has accounted for numerous tournament wins and is something that many anglers don't employ on a regular basis.
While having the right line, baits, and tackle make all these techniques easier and more effective, if you can't find the bass then it doesn't matter what type of rod or reel or line you are using! Besides learning and understanding where bass go in lakes and rivers in different seasons and different situations, having the best sonar and understanding what everything means is THE MOST IMPORTANT aspect of finding them and winning tournaments!
When the Hummingbird 360 first came out, it was a major player for many anglers in winning tournaments that they may not have been able to win despite their good instincts and ability to cast and land bass. Finding offshore spots and open water bass with this unit played a BIG part in them winning several events especially on the Upper Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Rivers!
Now, in my opinion, after seeing it first hand, and talking with several anglers, I believe the new Garmin Panoptix all seeing sonar is unlike anything you've ever seen on the water. It gives you the ability to see all around your boat in real time and in 3 dimensions. And now there's Panoptix LiveScope™ live scanning sonar, the most amazing sonar technology ever. Whether cruising or fishing, Panoptix transducers are available in Forward and Down configurations
LiveScope Forward is an amazing tool for scouting and fishing out ahead of your cast. You're looking at live, incredibly detailed images of structure and fish swimming all around your boat – up to 200' – even while your boat is stationary. Both LiveScope Forward and LiveScope Down modes are included in one transducer and are available with either transom or trolling motor mounts.
Anglers with this system and a good knowledge of the area will definitely have a serious advantage over the other competitors. Just as the Hummingbird 360 made a difference on the bay and other rivers and lakes, this will again do the same all over the country!
You can get more details,free shipping, watch video demonstrations, and see all the tackle mentioned in the article by just clicking on the TACKLE STORE link.