Posts Tagged ‘buzzbait’
3 Great Ohio River Topwater Bass Baits

The river’s settled down. Things are getting back to normal. That means a solid, early morning June topwater bite. Most experienced river anglers carry these three baits with them as they launch in the early morning light.

1. A small, quarter-ounce popper

This is the first choice of nearly every angler. You can work it slow and easy, or fast and furious. Most anglers start slow and then work their way up until they’re splashing water everywhere trying to imitate a fleeing shad.

Throw it on monofilament or braided line. Avoid fluorocarbon. It’ll pull the nose of your popper down and ruin its action.

Color is largely a matter of personal preference. The most common choices are natural shad hues and solid black.

2. A standard size Zara Spook

No lure on the planet has caught more big bass than a spook. Walk it back to the boat. Change speeds and stop it occasionally only if a slow and steady retrieve isn’t working.

Color doesn’t matter so long as the belly is white with a touch of blue. It’s a rare situation in the Ohio River when a bass can see the back of the lure.

Don’t expect a lot of bites on a spook. It’s not a quantity fish bait. It’s a quality fish bait. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to spool-up with braid.

3. A buzzbait

There are squeakers and there are clackers. Some anglers swear by one and curse the other. Maybe it matters; maybe it doesn’t. Make your own choice.

The important thing here is to fish your buzzbait back in the heaviest, thickest stuff you can find. Always use braid, nothing else will handle the abuse.

This is a reaction bait. Color is not a very important consideration. That said, nearly every successful buzzbait anglers throws white, white and chartreuse or black. Most go with a single blade.

Fish any of these lures around creek mouths, cuts, backwater areas and anywhere you can find an inflow into the main river. And never think the water’s too shallow to hold a bass. It isn’t.

Plan B – Fish the Farm Ponds

OK guys, I’ve written enough about the glories of fishing the creeks and the backwaters at this time of the year. Given the weather — it’s horrible — I’d suggest something else. In truth, they’re a mess and not likely to get any better for awhile, especially if the weatherman knows what he’s talking about.

Besides, you’re likely to get stuck just trying to get back into those places. So, let’s go to Plan B. Try the farm ponds.

Every single one I’ve looked at over the last week is overflowing its banks. The water is up into the grass almost everywhere. Believe it or not, this will give you a shot at catching a monster bass, the kind of fish you can brag about for years.

Here’s the thing — flooded grass and shoreline bushes draw insects. The insects draw forage such as minnows and tiny game fish which, in turn, draw the bigger predators. It’s not uncommon to catch bass over 5 pounds in less than a foot of water under conditions like we have now.

You can throw a buzzbait or a trick worm and catch them. The very best bait of all, however, is a frog. Toss it right against the bank, or even right up on it. Bring it back slow at first. Speed it up if that doesn’t work. Two of the best frogs on the market for this technique are the Dean Rojas Bronzeye 65 and the Ish Monroe Phat Frog. (The Phat Frog is made by Snag Proof, a Cincinnati based lure company.)

Be quiet and careful when you approach the pond. Shallow fish spook easily.

As I write this I’m aware that the reservoirs are in the same shape as the ponds. And, I know that the bass are moving and feeding shallow in them just like they are in the ponds. But, I also know that there’s a lot more shoreline around the reservoirs and that your — and my — chances of catching a giant bass are better in a pond.

5 Great, Fish-Catching Lures for River Bass

For those of you who want to do some bass fishing this year here’s a list of five baits that’ll get you through most of the year. As you can see it isn’t necessary to spend a fortune. You can fish and catch on a budget.

  1. A Trick Worm – River bass are notorious for holding shallow. At times they move up in the creeks into less than a foot of water, sometimes into as little as 4 or 5 inches. A wacky rigged — just run the hook through the egg sack — will catch them all day long. Circle hooks are the choice of top anglers. They make a secure hookset and rarely snag on slime and debris. Just remember, you don’t jerk on them to set the hook. A slow, steady pull with you rod tip works best.
  2. A Small (1/4-ounce) Popper – Work it along slow at first. Just make a few rings in the water every time you move it back towards the rod tip. If that doesn’t provoke a strike try speeding it up.
  3. A Buzzbait – Throw this lure as far back into the shallows as possible and then bring it back with a steady cadence. There are clackers and there are squeakers. Most guys have a preference but the truth is that both styles have caught a lot of bass. Carry a couple of each.
  4. A Square-Bill Crankbait – Toss these fish-catchers up against the bank and bring them straight out, towards the boat. You can also flip and pitch them. Bright colors seem to work best — maybe because they can see them better in the stained water. Tip: Some of the best are made by Ima. That should come as no surprise. They were designed by Bassmaster Elite Series angler, Bill Lowen, from North Bend, Ohio.
  5. A Big Creature Bait – Pick anything you like. Texas rig it with a big hook, a fairly heavy sinker so you can punch through the debris and toss it on a heavy rod and reel with stout braided line. Work every target from every angle.