HOW BASS BITE A LURE   1 comment

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Although they are still popular the jig is not as dominant on the professional bass fishing circuit, as was once the case.  With the advent of pitching and flipping, the jig was a natural lure.  According to BASS pro-angler Kelly Jordan most anglers today are flipping and pitching tube baits.  He maintains they catch more fish.

A while back we sat down on the deck of his Skeeter bass boat to discuss this issue.

Jordan prefers soft plastics most of the time.  He likes the Lake Fork Craw Tube as it has produced a lot of his income in tournaments.  The many bites he gets with this tube have made it his go to lure.

The bass angler uses a salt and garlic impregnated tube for dragging matted grass, in timber and rocks.  He does report that his friends use it to catch smallmouth bass in the Great Lakes.

“A jig has its place,” says Kelly, “but the reason I like to flip a tube over a jig is that the tube falls better.”  He finds that in cold water the jig gets better action.

Throwing a tube, however, is a little more weedless.  Sometimes you can get them through the thicker stuff.  Using a Texas-rig, you can use a larger hook.  Jordan puts a really big hook in them to increase his landing rate on really big fish.

Speaking of landing big fish, Jordan has an interesting theory on bass bites.

Anglers usually set the hook instantly when they feel the thump.  When a fish picks up a lure and begins to move with it, you see line movement.  The fish has already had it for a second or two in order to get a full grip on it.

Jordan maintains that this is the time when one really wants to wait and let them load up on you to take the slack out of the line.  Then set the hook.  Here is why.

In fishing a plastic jig, look where your knot is on your hook or jig.  A lot of the time when you land a fish the knot is on the back of the eye.  If you’re fishing Texas-style or flipping a tube it will be on the hank of the hook.  The knot may be next to the shank of the hook on the backside of the eye.  It is where the gap is on the ring of the eye.  What causes that?

As a fish thumps the lure hard or eats a minnow it is always head first.  When bait is falling they always get them head first.  That means your hook is facing the back of their throat.  The bend in your hook is against the front of their mouth.  The weight on a Texas-rig, flipping tube or head of a jig is usually farther back in their throat.

You set the hook, it pulls that knot right around.  When you are fighting the fish it is pulling straight up.  What your lure has to do is turn around and hook them.   If you set the hook on a really hard thump you miss the fish.  You just jerked the lure out backwards.

If you let the fish load or have it for a second and actually get just a touch of pressure you can actually turn that lure around in their mouth when they are chewing it.  A lot of times when you hear someone say they had a fish spit it out they do not known the fish was there until too late.

Jordan is not talking about counting to ten.  Let them load on you maybe 2 or 3 seconds.  Get a little load pressure if you are having trouble hooking them, especially if you are getting that hard thump.

He explains if he gets a bite, he lets them pull down.  That makes sure he gets maximum hook penetration.  You get it when you hook is in the right position to get them.  Jordan maintains that you get a good hook set almost every time and you will hardly ever lose a fish.  It is especially true in a heavy cover situation if you just let the fish pull down.  They are just not going to let loose of the lure.

In practice, Jordan will cut off the hook of a jig or fishes soft plastics, like a tube, without a hook.

He finds it great practice because he can pitch it into a brush pile and nasty stuff.  He does not get hung-up unless the line wraps around something.  You can fish faster and then when you do get a bite you can actually lean on them.  You are not going to hook them even if you try.  You can pull them up to the top half the time and if not, you sure can feel how big they are.

Practicing without a hook is an eye opening experience of the habits of bass.  When you find out just how long a bass will hold your bait it will blow your mind.  It will amaze you to play a fish when you are getting a lot of bites.  Jordan finds he learns much about how fish hold a bite.

You will not believe how they will hold on if you do not pull too hard.  You can actually walk them like a dog.  They will hold on to the lure for 2 or 3 minutes.  You can follow them out into the lake with your boat.  They will fight you for that lure.  He has had them boil around a stump and does not even have a hook.  They are fighting that lure.

 

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