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  Article 17...

Outsmart Conditioned Bass
By Chad  Brauer

Many times we get caught in a rut using the same bait and the same techniques every time we hit the water. It is my opinion that fish will often get conditioned to a bait in heavily fished waters. There are times when merely switching gears will trigger strikes out of the bass. All it takes is a little imagination and confidence and you can outsmart the fish and other fishermen. The following are a couple examples of how this has worked for me:

Deep Diving Crankbait Around Shallow Wood
The bass were definitely around shallow wood but were very used to seeing jigs and worms as well as spinnerbaits. I opted for a Strike King Series 4 crankbait. This crankbait is very buoyant, has a wide wobble, and is compact enough for accurate presentation in tight cover. I was using 20 lb. Stren High Impact line to deal with the heavy cover. I also went with a heavier action rod than normal due to the heavy cover. The Team Daiwa Davy Hite Spinnerbait Rod is ideal for this technique. I was able to present the bait in the wood and could retrieve the crankbait very slowly through the wood keeping it in the strike zone longer. The deeper diving crankbait allowed me to deflect off the wood more often while still keeping my retrieve slow.

Tube Bait as a Jerkbait
Since I have tried this technique it has become one of my favorites. The Strike King Flipping Tube was by no means designed to be a jerkbait, but nevertheless is a great one. Its solid head makes it durable enough to use as a jerkbait, and also gives it an uneven weight distribution resulting in a very erratic action. The tail of the tube gives a subtle action when stopped as well. I rig it Tex-posed on a 4/0 Mustad Tube Hook. If needed you can also add a screw-in bullet weight to the front or a rattle inside the tube. I generally use the Pearl Pepper or Chartreuse Pepper colors, but have done well on others.

 

 
 









 

 

 

  When faced with a situation where you know the location of the bass, but you feel like you could be getting more bites, try giving them something different to eat. It may be a different bait or merely a new color or retrieve. After all if I were given pepperoni pizza to eat every day, I would eventually get tired of it and would want a steak.

 
 
 

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