Probably the most common question a bass angler is faced with is; what bait should I be using? This question gets increasingly tougher when the angler is on a body of water that they are unfamiliar with. After factoring in weather, time of day and season, the answer becomes convoluted. This usually results in reaching for the sharpest hook in the tackle box.
My answer to this question is always the same and that is to use the bait that provides the absolute best presentation to the fish in the water I am fishing. Regardless of the season, time of day, depth or whether it’s a cold front, I am always tying on the lure with the best presentation to the fish. With that being said here are my top 3 lures to use that provide incredible presentation and are seldom resisted by any bass.
My first one is the Berkley PowerBait Frog. Unlike any other frog lure I have used, the Berkley frog sinks at a perfect speed while its 4 life-like limbs wiggle with any movement. I would also assert that this frog lure is the most versatile one on the market as well. The frog has a Texas rig setup so if you are in very shallow or weedy waters you can work the lure quickly turning it into a top water lure and when you hit an open patch in the weeds or in deeper water you can let it stall and sink down to where the fish are waiting. My only frustration with these lures is that all of the limbs are very flimsy and usually get torn off in a fight or even from a solid bite. Once the limb is gone the frog does not operate the same and you’re putting on a new one instead of just repositioning the lure on your hook. This can be frustrating, if you only have a few of them, but a small price to pay if it means you’re able to land that lunker that is not biting anything else.
The second bait that will yield a lot of bass when presented in the right way is your common jig. There are far too many different styles of jig heads to mention, but I will often make sure I have a few colour options in a round 1/2oz jig in the tackle box. A little bit more important is how you tip your jig head and remember that the premise behind these lures is presentation to the fish, not which ones are my favourite. I will use the 3inch Mister Twister Grubs because they have great tail movement and are reasonably priced compared to their competitors.
Mister Twister Grub
Rain or shine I have had great success when getting these baits down in 10-20ft of water and just working them off the bottom. Even when you are marking the fish on your fish finder and they don’t seem to be biting, a well-presented jig head can change your fortunes. I find that it is only so long a bass can stare at that grub tail without at least attempting a reactionary bite. Some of the biggest bass I have landed have been pulled up this way and I would not travel to a new lake without my jig head gear.
My last lure is arguably my favourite and in my opinion provides a virtually irresistible presentation to any bass that is in 15ft of water. That lure is the Yum F2 Dinger. The Dinger is Yums version of the soft bait stick worm and comes in a variety of sizes and colours.
Yum F2 Dinger
I always rig these up ‘whacky style’ and tend to load my tackle box with the 5 and 6 inch variety. The reason I prefer the Yum model of this bait is because not only does it sink at the speed I’m after, but the movement on both ends while it’s sinking is near to flawless. Other companies claim to have the exact same product, but unlike the other versions, Yum does it at a reasonable cost. No matter what the structure is, time of day or what the weather is like, I find that bass cannot resist the sinking whacky rig worm. As long as you are able to get the bait into the water, the fish will find it. There have even been days where I throw a Dinger out behind the boat and let the wind push me wherever it wants. As long as I let the bait sink down to the bottom by letting out more line and work the bait over the structure I will come up with a bass.
Author with a Southern Ontario Large Mouth caught on a Yum F2 Dinger.
I have other anglers show me their favourite baits all the time and when and where to use them. Don’t get me wrong, they do work; however, the 3 baits I mention above go beyond specific times, seasons and weather. I find they will get the fish to bite at any given time solely based on their presentation alone. Next time you want to try something new or are getting frustrated from skunked I encourage you to try them and the techniques described, you might find a new clutch lure.