The spring freshwater season is upon us and every angler I know is already hitting the lakes in their favorite neck of the woods. We all have our go-to baits that produce year after year, but a little tweaking in either the presentation or appearance can go a long way at upping the livewell count.
Jerkbaits Have To Run Straight!
We all fish jerkbaits in the early part of the season, and some fish them throughout the year. But a jerkbait, in spite of the erratic retrieve needs to run straight, before you can impart the correct action. Before using one, make a short cast and swim it back to the boat or shoreline. If the bait runs left or right, simply bend the eye left or right slightly to make it run straight. A straight running jerkbait, when twitched, will impart the best action.
When fishing small hair jigs, grubs, worms or even swimbaits line visibility is a critical factor, especially with slow moving baits, or baits that you pause for any length of time. To alleviate the sight issue, try using hi-visibility yellow or pink braided line with a trace of fluorocarbon to the lure. Hi-vis line, even on those windy days, will be easily seen, and setting the hook can be done even quicker.
Shallow to Deep Crankbaits
One of my favorite lures is a crankbait, and I will throw it any condition, and at any object and depth. There times I like to run the same crankbait a little deeper or shallower. And, this is the reason why I always have three rods at the ready for cranking. All three will be spooled with fluorocarbon in pound tests from 10 to 14 or either 17 or 20. Varying the line diameter is the easiest way to get your bait to run shallower or deeper, and maintain the same profile you are looking for.
Shorten Your Skirt
I love jigs, and it is no secret it is my favorite lure. In fact, if I could only fish one lure for a tourney or weekend of fishing, a jig would be the choice. You can swim them, hop them on the bottom, drag them along rock beds and throw them into the nastiest cover. They imitate every baitfish, depending on how they are adorned. When the bite is tough, and the fish are not “crushing” the jig, it calls for a little trick. Trim the skirt back a bit so it is still weedless, but the hook point is at the edge. You will hang up a little more in heavier cover, but the reward will be more hooked fish.