By Pat Renwick
With the outdoor show season and the 45th Annual Bass Master Classic now in our wake it is time to dive head first into the yoo-hoo
stained waters of Straycasts.net. It was a pleasure to meet many of you at the shows, talk fishing and promote the soon to come "Outdoor Cartoon Television" video podcast. In regard to the BMC congrats to Mr. Ashley. You deserved it and made the Palmetto State proud. Although let's think about it; wouldn't it have been interesting to see Takahiro Omori take home his second Classic victory just to see the JM & Associates camera guys spin out and an awkward silence come upon the Greenville crowd as TAK did his best to get through the acceptance speech. (Did I just write that out loud?) In all seriousness, Takahiro is an amazing angler.
In my many years as an outdoor host, member of the bass fishing media or whatever the hell you call what I do, this is my first time ever writing an article. I have a headful of sermons and never a mouthful of spiders when it comes to communicating verbally but with pen to pad my mind seems to wander..... Have you ever noticed that most girls named Kate are hot? Take for example Kate Hudson, Kate Upton, Katie Holmes, Katy Perry and Kate Moss just to name a few. Think about it. You know what I mean? Sorry if I left any of you Kates out.
Oh wait! Here it is, a moment of clarity, and on to the premise of this jaunt. What I really meant to say is have you ever noticed how extremely effective and productive a chatterbait can be? That simple but effective bladed jig was probably the top producer for me as well as many others in 2014. Just about every professional angler as well as most recreational anglers had one tied on at all times last year just for the simple fact that they put fish in the boat.
Why is this bait so effective? Well, in my opinion it can be fished slower in grass in every season and we all know that bass relate to grass. The key word here is slow. It doesn't bog out like many traditional reaction baits do in grass such as a lipless bait, a square bill or spinner bait. And if does, you can clear the debris a lot easier with the simple snap of the rod tip.
Here are a few tips that will help you put more fish in the boat with a chatterbait:
-Fish it slow.
-Fish it even slower. Try the reel and sweep method by reeling and pulling the bait sideways with your rod as opposed to using a straight, slow retrieve.
-Fish this bait around sparse weeds or pad stems early and late in the year and in late spring and summer fish weed lanes or edges adjacent to cover such as pads, wood, rock or docks.
-Keep colors and size simple. All you really need is green pumpkin to emulate bluegill and a shad pattern to represent, you guessed it, a shad. The 3/8 oz. seems to be the most versatile size.
-Throw that goofy twin tail trailer that comes with the bait in the trash bin of your boat and replace it with a 3-4 inch minnow imitation
Trailer. I find small swim baits or paddle tail type minnow trailers most effective. They will give your bait a rolling and vibrating action as opposed to the straight chatter type action. Bass love irregular actions.
-Spice up the trailer with a spike-it marker. On the green pumpkin trailer color the throat orange and the tail chartreuse. On the shad trailer color the throat red and the tail blue. You might be thinking this is a bit ridiculous or extreme but I promise you this subtle modification will get you more bites.
-Use a minimum of 15# fluorocarbon, a 6:4:1gear ratio reel and a rod with enough give to allow the fish to inhale the bait with this slow presentation yet enough backbone to pull the fish out of the grass.
I prefer a 7 foot, heavy parabolic action glass rod.
-Use the bait as a search tool covering as much water as you possibly can yet still maintaining the slow presentation.
If you've thrown a bladed jig in the past with limited results, give these tips a try. Hopefully you've deciphered some useable knowledge out of this hot mess. The rest is up to you. It works if you work it. Catch ya soon!