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Ontario Fishing Network

Volume 7,  Issue 6 - June 2007  #78

Make a Change this Bass Season
By Justin Hoffman

With the season scant weeks away, an excitement is building for those that have a profound love for bass. I myself make no excuse for my affinity to these green and brown fish - a specie that can tug, tussle and splash with the best of them. But how many of us are in a rut when it comes to chasing this pugnacious adversary? For those that throw the same bait, to the same patch of pads, with that same ten-year-old spinning combo, then this fishing makeover is tailor-made for you.

Learn a New Technique
How many out there have tried flippin' and pitchin', drop shotting or vertical jigging? It's far too easy to become complacent when out bass fishing, content to throw a trusty white spinnerbait or floating Rapala day in and day out. Sure they catch fish, but with the leaps and bounds in tackle and techniques, there are certainly better bets.

Variety is the spice of life, and the same holds true when bass fishing. Make this your season to perfect one new technique at the bare minimum. And in order to become proficient, practice is definitely the key. Head out on the water with only a handful of flipping jigs, weights and finesse plastics or jigging spoons, and use them until your confidence level grows. Not only will these new techniques catch a boatload of undiscovered fish, but they will also put an added thrill into your time on the water.

Work the Night Shift
Fishing during the day has become so routine, as anglers we never second-guess it. But how about once the sun goes down? Working the water at night can bring great rewards, and for good reason. Fishing pressure is literally non-existent, bass will be actively feeding and line-shy or spooky fish will be few and far between - not to mention those pesky jet skiers will be at home and in bed!

The night period can reward you with BIG fish and great numbers, and if you think about it, can double your available time on the water. Safety is paramount when working the night shift, so always wear a lifejacket, have adequate lighting and the necessary safety equipment. In terms of preferred baits, you can't go wrong with noisy topwaters, Colorado-bladed spinnerbaits, jig and pigs and oversized plastics. Dark colours get the nod, and rattles and scent will up the odds of getting bit.

Make it a Baitcaster
If you're not using baitcast equipment, you're only scratching the surface in the game of bass fishing. A bold statement, but one that I believe is entirely true.

Lets face it - spinning gear can only do so much, and unless I'm tossing tubes or finesse plastics, my baitcast equipment gets the nod each and every time.

Spinning reels are not meant for the heavy line that many situations call for when chasing bass, and for the most part, spinning rods are not beefy enough for pulling fish from heavy slop or twisted trees.
Make this the year to learn the fundamentals of a baitcaster. It's my belief that 80% of bass baits are made to be thrown on this gear, and you're not really bass fishing unless you're working baits at their utmost effectiveness. Sure these reels will take practice, but once you get the hang of it, you'll wonder why you waited so long.

Spool up with Superline
Although monofilament is an excellent choice for some applications, the new breed of superlines is taking the world by storm. Not only do these lines cast smooth, have little or no memory and virtually no stretch, but they will also catch more fish. Your hooksets will be quicker as you will feel every bump and tap. You will also reduce the chance of breaking a fish off, as the strength capabilities are vastly greater than mono. They will also cut through vegetation, resist abrasion from docks, wood or rocks, and allow you to feel every action and vibration as your bait moves through the water.

Give braid a try this season - it can only improve and build on your fishing success.

There is no Such Thing as an All-Purpose Rod
Bass fishing requires specialized tools, and much like a golfer has more than one club in his bag, an angler needs specific rods for certain applications.

In order to work flipping jigs correctly and most efficiently, a bass angler should have a flipping stick at their disposal. The same goes for those that love to toss spinnerbaits, as a 7-foot medium or medium-heavy baitcaster would cover this base. For those that don't want to break the bank, three combos should be the bare minimum when heading out for a day of bassin', and expensive does not have to be part and parcel of the equation. In terms of flipping sticks, I still use the Bass Pro Shops "Tourney Special" Graphite rods. They can be had for less than $50 U.S. from the States, and have never let me down to this day.

I'll admit - six or eight combos routinely join me on my forays, but each has a role and purpose when it comes to specific techniques and baits. Start small and work toward more specialized equipment, because lets face it, one rod really can't cut it when out on the water.

Make some changes this coming bass season. I guarantee you'll put more fish in the boat, and that's what this love affair with the green and brown guys is all about.

Opening Day Muskie: You Can Troll, Too!
by J.P. Bushey

Toad Rigging Tactics
By  Tim Allard

Make a Change this Bass Season
By Justin Hoffman

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