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  Article 24...

Going To Weeds
By Chad  Brauer

Fall is the time of year when feeding on baitfish becomes a top priority for bass. The baitfish will migrate toward the backs of creeks and the bass will follow. Fish activity levels are high, and you can see the bass feeding on schools of bait. A fisherman can hardly pass up an opportunity like this, but these fish are not always the easiest to catch. I have two approaches that I use to catch schooling fish when I am lucky enough to get around them.

First, I try to take advantage of the aggressiveness of the bass with a topwater bait. A chugger-type bait seems to work well here. These baits give the appearance of a bass chasing prey. My personal favorite is the Strike King Spit-N-King. If the water clarity is greater than one foot, the shad or baby bass colors work well. If the water clarity is less than that, I like the chartreuse/blue pattern. It is advantageous to throw these baits on a rod with a light tip action. This will help allow the bass to get the bait in its mouth and will reduce the number of fish you miss on the hook-set. I have been using the Team Daiwa Spinnerbait rod with Stren 14-pound line with good success on this technique.

The second approach is with a fast moving spinnerbait or crankbait. The Strike King Rocket Shad and Diamond Shad are perfect fits for this. Both are designed for long casts and quick retrieves, which are needed to catch these fish. I will often use the same set-up as I do with the Spit-N-King unless I feel that the water is dirty enough to move up to 17 pound Stren. The same color choices are also appropriate. Most of the time a simple fast retrieve will work, but sometimes a stop and go retrieve will trigger the strikes.

Whatever approaches you take, remember that the bass will attack wounded or lone targets first. So try to give your bait that appearance. A fisherman does not get many opportunities at schooling fish so be prepared when they do show up.







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