by 3-time Basmaster Classic Qualifier Lee Bailey Jr

Jerkbait Minnow Shaped Lure

Jerkbait Minnow Shaped Lure

A jerkbait minnow shaped lure that provides a horizontal presentation. A straight retrieve makes a jerkbait swim with a shimmying action. This catches fish, but where a jerk-bait shines is on a snap-pause retrieve, which gives it an erratic, darting action that drives bass wild.

Tweak the Retrieve:

Jerkbait Minnow Shaped Lure

There’s more than one way to fish a jerkbait. Some prefer more of a sideways, rather than a downward, snapping retrieve. Mixing up your retrieve mechanics can also prevent arm fatigue. When trying different retrieves, first make a short cast and watch the lure to ensure it has a good action. Tweaking your retrieve style and cadence is also a good tactic when fishing different models, such as shallow, mid, or deep-diving jerkbaits.

Fish the Conditions:

Experiment with how fast and far you move a jerkbait minnow shaped lure, along with how long it’s paused, to match fish mood and activity level. Generally, the warmer the water, the faster the retrieve, the more aggressive the snap, and the shorter the pause. This triggers reaction strikes. Generally, it’s best to slow down in cold water. Assertive snaps can be productive, but extend the pause.

“For so long, that early springtime, cold water, suspending type presentation was when a jerkbait was considered to work the best. But I’ve figured out that anytime fish are chasing bait, whether it be bream, shad or whatever, they’re susceptible to being caught on a jerkbait.”

Winter Warm-ups:

“On the highland reservoirs like Bull Shoals and Table Rock, you’re going to have days when you can pick up a few fish in the dead of winter, but that’s generally when the sun’s out, the bait rises really high in the water column and the fish push up a little bit.”

Maternity Ward:

Bed fishing, there are too many baits of greater potential. Yet you can still force the jerkbait here. However, the right model can work wonders on hungry pre-spawners.

Dropping Back:

After the spawn, those tired and stressed out mamas will slide out to deeper recovery zones like standing timber. From Toledo Bend to any of the lakes and rivers around the country, fish chilling in treetops are suckers for a vulnerable looking jerkbait minnow shaped lure.

Jerkbait minnow shaped lure with big smallmouth bass

“I’m pausing it maybe two to five seconds, as opposed to 12 to 15 or 30 seconds (as in early spring).”
In this scenario, your biggest challenge is going to be finding which color triggers the fish.

Tip:

Adding a stripe of orange or chartreuse to a bait’s belly can turn lookers into biters.

“This is especially effective on smallmouth.” “For example, Table Rock Shad (purple back with chartreuse sides) fits the bill when you’re looking for a bright bait. Sometimes they want a more subtle bait, but with a brighter belly.”

Filled to the “Bream”:

We all know that bedding pan fish mean lurking bass, but amid the prop baits, swim jigs and spinnerbaits, I suggest pausing a jerkbait all by its lonesome right in the kill zone. Matching bait models to bream bed depth is one of the keys to reaching those opportunistic bass.

Summer Hot Spot:

“It’s not that you’re trying to catch fish deep; you’re trying to catch fish that are suspended high in the water column and chasing bait,” “It almost becomes a deal where you’re looking for schoolers. Whether it’s early in the morning or later in the afternoon, and you’re keeping the bait higher in the water column.

Autumn Attack:

Keep a jerkbait handy throughout the year, and one of the most favorite opportunities occurs during the fall feeding frenzy. Targeting what I would call the “gut” of a creek, Look for bass rounding up shad over the shallow ditches and depressions that provide staging points for opportunistic bass.

My parting Tip would be to seek out windy banks when you are tossing a suspending jerkbait. A little (or a lot) of chop on the surface makes it more difficult for upward looking bass to distinguish the bait from the real thing.

Shakey Head Fishing

The popularity of shakey head fishing has prompted tackle manufacturers to create a wide array of jig-head sizes and styles. The key to shakey head fishing is using as light of a jig-head as possible. You must still keep the bait in contact with the bottom. A 1/16- or 1/8 ounce jig-head works best for shakey head tactics with a finesse worm. But you might have to upgrade to a 1/4 ounce head on windy days. As well as in current to prevent your line from bowing and losing the feel of the bait.

Anglers around the world have been consistently winning tournaments with it for years. It works great For those days when the bass prefer a small appetizer instead of a full course meal. Knowing how-to fish a shakey head well can improve that day’s fishing.

Shaky Head Fishing has several different presentations for all conditions

The shakey head presentation excels when certain criteria are met. Clear water is one such case. The clearer the water, the greater the chance of bass becoming extremely finicky or spooked. During these tough times, regular baits often won’t cut it.

The shakey head can be thrown to a wide variety of places. They definitely excel when tossed alongside weed-lines and clumps, rip rap and humps, beaches, docks and lay-downs. Depending on the severity of vegetation will play a part on whether to go weedless or not.

A shakey head and finesse worm, subtlety twitched and quivered on the bottom can illicit strikes. These non-takers get switched on and into biters. If you can see the fish clearly in the water below, or if you have frequent follows and short strikes, then a shakey head needs to be next out of the box.

Over the years, I’ve experimented with several different shakey head presentations. It is difficult to fish a shaky head wrong. With a few intricacies will improve your ability to catch more fish during those tough days on the water.

Drag it:

The name “shakey head” fools many anglers. Although the name implies that you should shake your arm out of socket, don’t fall into the “one-retrieve” trap. Dragging a shakey head along the bottom often yields better results.

If you don’t get a bite in the first ten casts, simply leave and continue the search elsewhere. When implementing the dragging technique, you can hit dozens of areas while making mental notes and way points on your GPS device. This allows you the opportunity to hone-in on the most productive areas. This also makes dragging a shaky head an outstanding technique to use when practicing for that big weekend tournament.

Hop it:

Although it sounds as if we’re splitting hairs with this. There is a huge difference in shaking a shakey head and hopping a shakey head. Differentiating your presentation from what the bass see every day usually leads to more bites. You will also have the opportunity at catching those bigger, more educated and conditioned fish.

When implementing this presentation, it isn’t necessary to rip the shakey head. Beginning with your rod tip at a 3 o’clock angle, twitch upward to a 1 o’clock position to trigger reaction strikes. Craw-fish aren’t Olympic high jumpers, so hopping the bait too aggressively can appear unnatural to surrounding bass.

Anglers must watch their line with this presentation. There isn’t a quicker way to lose a fish. Twitching your rod tip upwards when a bass already has your shaky head in its mouth. To combat this, be sure to let your bait fall on a semi-slack line. Do this while watching for any jump in the line. If you notice any movement whatsoever on a slack line, it is important to set the hook immediately.

Shake it:

We know it sounds fairly obvious, but shaking a shakey head along the bottom of your favorite fishery is an outstanding way to catch a lot of fish. Knowing when and where to do so will yield the best results. Let’s draw a quick parallel to human behavior for a better understanding of this presentation:

When bass are in large concentrations on ledges, in ditches or off the end of a main lake point, this presentation will catch them. When you feel bass are roaming up and down a stretch, shaking a worm in place will give the bass time to wander in and find your offering before you move it out of their feeding zone. If you’re having trouble getting bites, don’t be afraid to switch your color or weight size—sometimes the small things make a huge difference. Just remember to use small, subtle twitches of your rod tip while letting the bait do the rest of the work, as over-doing it can spook larger fish.

Swim it:

This is a presentation in which I’ve had recent success. Reel this bait across chunk rock and other hard bottom compositions, swimming a shakey head can be a deadly approach around active fish especially spotted bass.

Maintain bottom contact when swimming a shakey head. If you are unable to feel the bottom, simply changing to a heavier shakey head or a slower retrieve should help. Keeping your rod tip down and to the side will aid in the detection of bites, while also keeping you in position for a strong, sweeping hook-set. While it will take a little practice to get a good feel for the bite with this presentation, it is important to stay vigilant and observant. During the hook-set, make sure to reel until you feel the fish and sweep your rod to the side, just like a Carolina rig hook-set. If possible, avoid any slack in your line.

Shakey head fishing can be one of the most versatile techniques in an angler’s arsenal. Thinking outside the box and trying different things can lead to some really fun fishing throughout the entire year. Whether you’re dragging, hopping, shaking or swimming a shaky head, it is an extremely effective technique for anglers of all skill levels.

Lees Seasonal Approach

Lees Seasonal Approach Guide is a system I’ve adapted to help find bass on unfamiliar waters. As a retired touring pro, I fished all kinds of lakes and rivers in many regions throughout the year. Obviously, I didn’t have time to become intimately familiar with each of these venues prior to tournament competition. When you only have three practice days to unlock the secrets of a large river system, you need some guidance to help you quickly get on a viable fish catching pattern. Lees Seasonal Approach provides that information, regardless of where or when I’m fishing. It helps me make educated guesses about where bass are most likely to be at any given time of the year. It’s a system that quickly eliminates unproductive water and helps me home in on areas holding the most bass.

A Seasonal approach with a Binsky

“I actually begin fishing a fall pattern when the water has cooled 10 degrees below its hottest point of the summer”.

The concept operates on the theory that at any given time, the majority of bass in a given river current system will be on certain key types of structure. Of course, not all bass will adhere to this “rule.” I could probably catch some bass off flats or in shallow bays in winter if I spent long enough trying, but in a tournament, I’m better off spending my limited fishing time in high percentage areas. The Seasonal Approach gives me the general direction I need to form a fish catching pattern quickly. How well I fine-tune this generalized pattern during competition determines how high I’ll finish in the standings.

I learned early in my fishing career that bass relate to the different seasons very predictably. Once you understand that the seasons are part of the foundation to a bass’s life, you too will be able to catch them more consistently.

A very important part to consistently catching bass is to understand what role the different seasons play in the lives of the elusive bass. Having a strategy to the seasonal developments will allow you to have an understanding of seasonal movements.

Lees Seasonal Approach for Fall: 75 to 55 degrees

I actually begin fishing a fall pattern when the water has cooled 10 degrees below its hottest point of the summer, this can vary greatly from river to river. A rapid temperature drop is best, for this can really put bass on the move from deep main river structure to shallow water. Bass react to cooling water by moving shallower to big flats, long points with a gradual taper, and tributary arms.

A Seasonal Approach To Fall

A rapid temperature drop is best, for this can really put bass on the move from deep main river structure to shallow water.

As surely as the seasons change, the behavior and location of bass change as summer passes into fall and fall into winter. Unfortunately, the exact changes the bass makes often seems as unpredictable as the fall weather.

From a fishing standpoint, “fall” starts when summer fishing patterns start to dissolve and ends when stable, winter patterns begin. It’s a period of constant adjustment, basically because it’s a period of nearly constant change.
Simply, river systems offer the most predictable option. The key to staying in contact with bass as they move through the fall cycles is having some idea where the bass are coming from and where they are headed.

Bass are more baitfish-oriented now than in any other season. Look for large schools of shad, alewives, etc., on your graph. In most river reservoirs, cooling water causes vast numbers of shad to migrate into tributary arms, and bass are close behind. Follow this migration by fishing the first third of creek arms in early fall, then gradually pressing farther back into the tributary as the surface temperature drops. I’ll often idle my boat up a creek arm, watching my graph for suspended shad schools or looking for bait flipping on the surface. Isolated wood cover or boat docks in the backs of creek arms are dependable fall bass patterns. In lakes that don’t have shad, bass feed heavily on bluegill and shiners, both grass-oriented species, so target weedy areas.

Crankbaits In Detail

Crankbaits in detail fall under the category of power fishing lures, because of how much water you can cover with them in a short amount of time. This is a significant advantage to fishermen looking to locate and catch fish quickly, like tournament anglers for example.

Selecting the best crankbait is a more involved process than with most other bass lures. There are many factors to consider on these baits. But the most important factor is how deep do you want it to dive. Crankbaits can run from just barely below the surface to as deep as twenty feet.

Crankbaits in detail classification isn’t black and white, but we still need to break them up. How else would we talk about them? We’ll start with shallow runners then dive a little deeper.

…..Shallow Diving…..

Shallow diving crankbaits perform best in around one to four feet of water. The lips on these models are small, and create very little resistance against the water when retrieved. This is what keeps them running shallow while still giving them a wobbling action. The line attaches to the nose on shallow divers, which also keeps them running shallow.

Shallow diving crankbaits perform best in around one to four feet of water.

Shallow diving crankbaits are ideal for working shorelines that have gradual slopes. They are the best crankbait for targeting boat docks, fallen trees, and other cover that is typically found in shallow water.

…..Medium Diving…..

Medium divers are best used on drop-offs, between shorelines and the deeper parts of the lake. They are great on sunny days when bass go a little deeper to escape the sun, or to find cooler water.

The crankbaits shape dictates how you should present the lure to bass. Since wide wobbling crankbaits best imitate crawfish, you should crank your plug down to the bottom to deflect it off the rocks. Retrieving a thin-sided crankbait at high speeds triggers strikes from staging bass.

…wide wobbling crankbaits best imitate crawfish…

When the water temperature rises into the low 50’s. Work the shad-imitating crankbait over the tops and around the edges of standing timber and along windy banks where baitfish are present.

.….Deep Diving…..

Deep diving crankbaits can get down as deep at twenty feet. These baits are a little more advanced than the shallower running models though.

Key targets for deep cranking include ledges, humps, bluff-ends and channel-swing points.

Key targets for deep cranking include ledges, humps, bluff-ends and channel-swing points. As the water warms, bass will move closer to the bottom. Check your electronics to find any sweet spot (logs, brush piles, shell beds, big boulders, etc.) on the structure and try to run your crankbait into it. Deflecting your crankbait off the sweet spot will trigger more strikes.

Making a long cast past your target will enable the crankbait to dive deep enough to hit the sweet spot in the middle of your retrieve. Since line diameter affects a crankbait’s diving capability, use thinner line such as 10 to 12 lb test Fluorocarbon to enable your plugs to reach depths of 20 to 25 feet.

…..Lipless Crankbaits…..

Lipless crankbaits are much different looking than conventional crankbaits. Mainly because they don’t have a lip to create their action. They have a very tight wobble that is better described as a vibrating action.

…excellent for fishing in grass, since they travel quickly and can be ripped through the vegetation…

Since tight wobbles are better in cold water, these are very well known for being great cold water baits. They are also excellent for fishing in grass, since they travel quickly and can be ripped through the vegetation much easier.

But with a lipless crankbait it’s more of a vibrating action than a wobble, some anglers actually call them vibrating baits. The action is more similar to a blade bait than a crankbait.

Baby Buzzbaiting Boat Docks

Baby Buzzbaiting Boat Docks can be frustrating. They ring the shoreline of your favorite lake, in plain view, probably harboring big bass in the deep shadows beneath them. Yet there isn’t a lot you can do about it, given the casting limitations that are presented.

When you try to lob an overhand cast into the nooks and crannies underneath such docks, your lure winds up on top instead, or your line wraps around pilings and drapes over cross beams. If you’re lucky you ricochet a jig off a piling and it lands with a splat several feet from where you want it to. More likely, the plug splashes down a couple of feet in front of the dock. Then, muttering to yourself that there aren’t any bass under the dock anyway, you move on.

When you try to lob an overhand cast into the nooks and crannies underneath such docks, your lure winds up on top instead, or your line wraps around pilings and drapes over cross beams. If you’re lucky you ricochet a jig off a piling and it lands with a splat several feet from where you want it to. More likely, the plug splashes down a couple of feet in front of the dock. Then, muttering to yourself that there aren’t any bass under the dock anyway, you move on.

The Baby Buzzbait is one of the easiest topwater lures you can fish. It can be fished over cover, through grass, or in open water. No matter where its fished, it produces some of the biggest, most violent bites of the Summer and Fall! Many anglers fail to realize how versatile the buzzbait really is. With simple modifications these baits can be fished in virtually any cover.

If you find yourself around overhead cover like docks, trees, or brush, the skirtless buzz is a must have! I typically tip the skirtless buzzbait with a paddle tail swimbait or a Horny Toad to create an action the fish haven’t seen before. With a Horny Toad for a trailer this Baby Buzz can easily be skipped deep into cover and on the retrieve the subtle blade leads a perfectly natural swimbait profile back out of the shadows. If you haven’t tried Baby Buzzbaiting Boat Docks, now is the time.

Two of the best pieces of structure on a boat dock pattern are ladders and braces underwater. Bass seem to prefer to hold next to structure parallel to the bottom, rather than vertical. Although a ladder has vertical structure, the rungs of the ladder seem to be where the bass prefer to associate. Many boat docks will have braces under the water that are parallel to the bottom. This too, is a good pattern to look for within your boat dock pattern.

Remember to let that buzzbait hit the structure, in and around the boat dock. Trigger a strike from a giant old bass is when a buzzbait hits the structure where the fish is. That old bass is a opportunist, and that fish is going to destroy anything that rings his doorbell.

Lees Take on Structure

Since my last article was about “cover” it seemed only natural for this article Lees Take on Structure to follow. Many bass anglers find “structure fishing” a confusing concept. After all, it’s one thing to read about some pro winning a tournament on an obscure ditch or offshore hump, but when it’s you out there trying to find some channel drop-off a half-mile from shore and having to rely on your graph instead of your eyes to know where to cast — heck, it’s no wonder there are a lot more weekend anglers pounding the banks than probing open water.

Lees Take on Structure

Lees Take on Structure is ”critical” to catching largemouth bass and only slightly more critical to catching smallmouth bass. So to fish structure you must be able to find it!

Structure, in it’s simplest form, is some change in the river bottom, be it shallow or deep.

Though many anglers consider “structure” and “cover” to be one in the same this is not accurate.

Change in bottom profile constitutes “structure” and this can be a change of a foot or twenty feet. In a “river system” this change in profile, i.e. “structure”, could be a hump, point, sunken island, creek channel, submerged road bed, rock pile, break line or a sloping shoreline.

In a “current system” the change may be a very gradual slope that is no more than a couple of feet to five feet change in depth that slopes out over a 50 yard distance. It might be a drop of a foot, the difference between the bottom and edge of a small channel running through a broad flat that is only 5 or 6 feet deep.

They travel within these areas with the seasons. The size of these home ranges vary with individual bass and the size and nature of the body of water. Structure, at least good structure, also provides bass with quick access to deep water since most structure is associated with a change in water depth.

Lees Take on Cover

Lees Take on Cover reminds him that cover and structure are many times used interchangeably, but they are not the same. When you get down to it, structure refers to the physical characteristics of the water body, such as points, reefs and islands. Cover, on the other hand, is the add-on features, such as docks, fallen trees and vegetation. A good way to remember the distinction is that if you were to drain all the water from a lake, the structures would not move.

This is one of the most basic concepts of bass fishing. Bass and cover is similar to peanut butter and jelly. It’s like the chicken and the egg. They go together. The bass is a creature of prey. He uses cover as a point of ambush to attack. Cover also provides protection from other species.

Lees Take on Cover

Lees Take on Cover can be the obvious like stumps, laydowns, docks, vegetation. Or it can be subtle like the change of two types of rock, or deposits of bottom siltation on a sand bottom, or even shade. Cover is some physical object separate from the actual bottom contour. It is often mistaken for structure. Structure is the actual bottom contour (breaks,drops,humps,etc.).

As a general rule the more extreme the conditions (heavy current, bad cold front, super hot water, really muddy water) the tighter to, and into cover, bass will be. The more stable the conditions, the looser a bass will relate to cover.

Fish relate to cover for shelter and security from the sun and predators. At the same time, cover provides predators with hiding and ambush areas. Elaborate and large areas of cover are like “aquatic neighborhoods” with each stage of the food chain present. From insects, to blue gills, to largemouth, cover serves as a place where fish come to feed, or hide-out in an effort to avoid being eaten.

Wood is a relatively broad category when it comes to fishing cover. It can include sunken logs, standing timber, fallen trees (laydowns), beaver dams, docks and more. The point is, when you locate wood — fish it.

Timber or as most of us call laydowns is one of the most common and easiest types of cover to identify and fish when it comes to any type of river or pond/lake. Timber can vary from tree stumps sticking out of the water, entire logs, or large branches in isolated water. Bass cling to timber almost all year round, which is why anglers feel such confidence when attacking this type of cover.

Baby Buzzbait Explosive Action

Hands down one of the most fun techniques to catch fish on.

Mirrored tranquility is marred by a minor disturbance on the surface as a topwater lure gradually makes its way towards the angler. Suddenly, the bait disappears in an explosion of white spray. Nothing compares to the heart-pounding excitement of Baby Buzzbait™ Explosive Action fishing for bass.

Action begins as bass come off their beds and settle into their post-spawn routine, the Baby Buzzbait™ bite kicks into high gear. If you have fished a buzzbait before, you know that it is hands down one of the most fun techniques to catch fish on.

Baby Buzzbait Explosive Action

It’s fast. It’s explosive. It’s exciting. So when and where do you fish it?

WHEN Should You Fish a Buzzbait?
  • Start in Early Spring: When bass begin to vacate their spawning beds, it is time to rely on Baby Buzzbait™ to put you on bass. “When I’m catching nothing but small posts-pawners on a tube or spinnerbait, I’ll often tie on a buzzbait and wham, I immediately hook up with some Baby Buzzbait™ Explosive Action. I can’t imagine a more exciting bait to fish. What makes buzzbaits so effective now, is that the noisy lures can goad even finicky bass into Baby Buzzbait Explosive Action.
  • Shad Spawn: Shad are one of the most popular forage species in most lakes and they tend to spawn just after the bass and sometimes even congruently. You’ll find these spawning shad pushed up tight in the mornings and evenings against hard structure like walls, levees and rocks. Run parallel to the structure and throw the Baby Buzzbait™ as tight to it as you can. Bass will think they have an easy trapped meal and hit it off the surface.
  • Summer through Fall – You can catch buzzbait fish all through the summertime, particularly during those cooler low-light conditions when bass are most active. A cloudy day is your best friend during the summer, to keep that Baby Buzzbait™ bite going. However, the fall is really the Baby Buzzbait™ prime time. This is when all the baitfish start schooling up and you see bass chasing them into pockets and shallows. Bass will bust through these schools and break the surface. This is when you need a buzzbait tied on and any time you see those busting fish, toss that bait right through the middle and hold on.
WHERE Should You Fish a Baby Buzzbait™?
  1. Shallow Cover – This is a broad category, but any weedlines, reeds/tules, docks or cover are perfect targets for a buzzbait. Like mentioned above, bass will pin baitfish up against that cover and hide in ambush spots that make it easy to attack. They sense that disturbance coming over their house and many times they can’t resist.
  2. Shade Pockets – Particularly in the summer, shade and clouds are your friend, especially for throwing a buzzbait. Morning and evenings are ideal, but on those days when the sun is high, make sure you look for things like docks, overhanging trees or anywhere with shade. This is where you want to fish your buzzbaits.

A Baby Buzzbait™ should never leave the deck of your boat from late February through November for most parts of the country. It’s an incredibly fun technique, but it can also be an incredibly effective technique for catching those big fish when they’re least expecting it.

Buzzbaits are a situational tool

Buzzbaits a situational tool. Sure, you can haphazardly cast them around the shallows and catch a few fish—but to unleash their full potential, it’s imperative to be aware of their particular advantages. 

  • Efficiency: A Baby Buzzbait™ is extremely effective at covering water quickly, If I’m fishing an unfamiliar body of water, I’ll often use this lure as a search tool. It allows me to easily eliminate dead water, identify the approximate depth of the fish and the type of cover to which they’re relating. Even when they explode on it and miss, they give themselves away and give me an opportunity to make mental notes throughout the day.
  • Reaction strikes: Baby Buzzbait™ causes a bass to swipe at this topwater lure. Because they travel through the strike zone so fast, these lures essentially force the proverbial hand of lethargic bass. They’re hardwired to attack anything that seems to be escaping and a buzzbait takes full advantage of that predatory instinct. So even if they’re not on a major feed, they’ll have a hard time passing on a strategically placed buzzbait. 
  • Unique sound: Bass can get conditioned to hearing the same sounds day after day, Baby Buzzbait™ creates a unique commotion that other topwater lures cannot replicate. That’s a big reason I like to use them around heavy cover. They have a distinctive ability to call bass from several feet away.
buzzbaits a situational tool

To keep a Baby Buzzbait™ on the surface it needs to be in constant motion, meaning once the bait hits the water you have to start reeling immediately and continuously reel until the bait is retrieved. They also create a unique sputtering noise that is hard for bass to ignore. In fact, a bass will often hit one just to shut it up.

As a Baby Buzzbait™ is retrieved, the hook and skirt run just below the water surface, while the propeller cuts across the surface making a sputtering/gurgling sound and surface disruption that entices bass to bite. Buzzbaits come in all different styles, sizes, and colors, but their function is primarily the same.

Buzzbaits a situational tool, one of the biggest advantages Baby Buzzbait™ has over other topwater lures is how much water you can quickly cover with them. These fast moving baits allow you to stay on the move when you’re trying to locate fish and put together a pattern. You can stop on an area and fan cast to just about every spot in a short amount of time, then continue on your pursuit if nothing bites.

Fish Tidal River Currents

There are ways to fish and ways not to fish tidal river currents. One thing is that the only way to fish and be consistent on tide waters is to truly study and understand their effects on the fish that live in them. The tide is what for many anglers makes river currents the most difficult to learn and locating the fish even more so. One factor about tide water fishing that rarely changes is the predictability of patterns. Once you realize the significance the tide influences are on how the fish behave, locating the them will become more precise. This is the true secret to becoming a consistent tidal fisherman.

Fish tidal river currents

Understanding how to fish tidal river currents can seem tough, but when you keep focused on a few items your tidal experience will be a lot easier, and more productive. When fishing in current active fish are going to be shallow and I am after those active fish. A great location to find active bass throughout most of the tides is on a migration route. Especially if that migration route intercepts a major backwater. This could be a row of stumps or pilings, a weed line, a channel or ditch that leads from the flats or feeding shelves to the deeper or calmer water Once you find this type of water, you need only to concern yourself with what the actual tide is when you catch your fish. This will help you pinpoint fish catching locations on the river that will hold fish for you at the different stages of the tide.

Bass will be more eager to hit a lure during the moving tides while they tend to be less aggressive during the dead tide periods. You should try to fish your good cover areas during the periods 2 hours before and 2 hours after the dead tide change. At this time you will encounter aggressive fish and a moderate current pinpointing more for you where the fish should be holding. During the extremely fast moving times of the tides you can also encounter aggressive fish, but lure placement and boat positioning will be very crucial not to mention difficult.

River bass will hide in the eddies while traveling a migration route such as a typical creek leading to a backwater pond.

  • behind fallen trees
  • inside cuts
  • below the current side of points
  • under bushes (especially with an undercut bank)
  • on rocky shelves or underwater points.