WON Landing Page March 2022

Tackling bass lure basics

Most bass fishing anglers own enough artificial lures to fill a small tackle store. Yet a bass angler only needs a handful of baits to catch bass on most waterways. Tackle manufacturers prey on the fact that anglers are like children in a candy store, everything looks good! If we stay focused on the task at hand we can save a lot of money and still catch as many bass as the next angler. To help us stay focused, let’s simplify what an angler needs to catch bass by breaking a waterway down into three water columns and then the lures needed in those water columns.

These three water columns apply to lakes, ponds and river systems. The surface column is everything three feet deep or less. The bottom column is everything within three feet of the bottom. What’s left is the middle column, which is all the water between the surface and the bottom water columns. The majority of bass will be in one of these three water columns based on time of year and time of day. Our lure presentations should be based on the water column we think the most bass are in.




Surface Water Column Lures

During warmer months and low light conditions bass will spend significant time near the surface of the water column. This happens early and late in the day, or during cloudy days. In these conditions an angler should look to surface baits to attract actively feeding bass. There are hundreds of choices when it comes to surface baits, but you really only need two; a popper style bait and a propeller style bait. The popper will have a cylinder body with a flat or concaved face. This shape allows the bait to make a “blooping” noise and splash water when it is twitched on the surface. Use popper style baits when the water’s surface is calm with little to no wave action. The propeller style baits are just that, baits that have propellers on the front, back, or both. Propeller baits have a lot of flash when pulled across the surface of the water; they also make a lot of commotion as the propellers churn the surface. Use propeller baits when the wind has created a ripple or small wave action on the surface of the water.

Color choices should always resemble the local forage, most often this will be some sort of silver to imitate shad or minnows; however, bluegill or perch may also be a local forage that creates additional options. Even with the thousands of top water lure options on the market today, an angler will find success with one of these two styles of lures during any top water conditions.




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Illustrations courtesy of http://www.fix.com/blog/tackling-bass-lure-basics/.



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    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


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