I’m pretty sure it was a week ago today when I made a visit to my wall of shame. I mainly go there now when I’m stumped and I’m in need of some help and sometimes my wall of shame puts me on the right track. Such was the case for the past week. My wall of shame has a little bit of everything including new and used options from one season to the next so I usually stare at the baits for a while and think of what has worked in the past or what may work for various reasons. If something jumps out at me I pick it up and take it to the lake and give it a try. I grabbed one bait off the wall a week ago and it has accounted for 99% of my fish this week and I’ve had a blast using it.
This week has been a blast for me in terms of learning a pattern with a bait I’ve never really used before and using it with a very rewarding degree of success after learning it. What makes it even better is the fact that it’s a topwater bait and I get to enjoy the benefit of watching some big fish blow up on it and finally get hooked. I’d been having this problem with the bigger fish missing the stuff I’d been using like the popper and my little 4 inch walking baits. I’d been throwing a steady diet of chug bug, popper, Sammy style baits and the whopper plopper to name a few but my hook-up ratio was way down and the fish were constantly winning the battle. It’s like the bass had the stuff figured out and I wasn’t able to trick them like I had expected to. I don’t know about y’all but it’s pretty disheartening to have big fish barely miss your bait or get barely hook time after time during the course of a day.
By this time you’re probably wondering what I was throwing this week but to be honest, that’s not the point this week. It’s not so much about the bait as it is the pattern. I think that my biggest take away from the past week was that these fish see a lot of baits in the course of a day and giving them something different to look at can be the key. When I was staring at my wall and contemplating my plan I thought about how the fish had reacted to the popper by the popping sound and the splashing it creates. I thought about how the bass reacted to the popper in calm water because of the surface disruption around the popper and I wanted a bait that would create that surface disruption but I also wanted to mimic the blueback skittering across the water for visual effect. I wanted surface disruption, sound as well as visual effects and while staring at the wall one bait jumped out at me. It was sleek, different and I know the fish hadn’t been seeing it a lot lately because most folks are throwing the social media/dock talk specials right now. I just needed to create a pattern with the bait so that’s what I did. I was able to make the bait skitter and stop and I was able to create the surface disruption as well. I then created a combination of skittering and stopping, making some surface disruption and then starting the whole process over again. That was the pattern I wanted to achieve with the bait so late last week I set out to try it on the lake.
It didn’t take long till I had my first victim on a point in the creek and I was able to build on that. I just started running and gunning points and humps on my milk run and I got rewarded at every stop. My pattern was something the fish hadn’t seen lately and my hook-up ratio jumped back up where I like it. I was also able to fool some of the bigger fish with regularity again which really had me fired up. My neighbor and I had been planning a trip out on the lake and yesterday we were able to get out for a while. I had told my neighbor about my new bait and pattern so he procured a few more (all) of the baits at a local tackle shop and off we went on the milk run to chase a few bass. He had to get a little training but it didn’t take long till we were both on track and catching fish. I’m not sure how long our new pattern will last but I’m going to definitely ride this horse till the bitter end or until the summer spybait bite picks up a little more. LOL
Water temps are in the low 80’s and the corps isn’t pulling a whole bunch of water right now, mainly for a few hours in the evening. I fully expect the spybait and drop shot bite to pick up for me very soon.
I caught a lot of fish on one bait this week and I weighed a dozen of them for my “guess the weight” give away. Check my Facebook page later today for a link to a YouTube video for a sneak peek at the fish and guess the weight. You could win one of my emerald poppers and a few other baits from my shop.
Here’s a few pictures of my memorable fish for the week.