FIVE SECRETS FOR CATCHING SMALLMOUTH BASS
Use a Spinner Bait
NOTE: Larry Nixon has fished competitively for
more than 27 years. He's won the Angler-of-the-Year title on the BASS
Circuit twice and the BASS Master's Classic in 1983. He's appeared at
24 BASS Masters Classics. He's also won four MegaBucks tournaments.
QUESTION: What is your "poison" if you are luring smallmouth?
ANSWER: If I want to target smallmouth, my first lure of choice will be
the spinner bait. I prefer a 1/2-ounce Premiere Pro Model with tandem
willow-leaf blades. I like to have one white blade and the other chartreuse,
and I prefer a chartreuse-and-white skirt. You have to remember that smallmouth
bass like light-colored lures. They also enjoy chasing bait. For this
reason, I crank this spinner bait as fast as I can and keep it just under
the surface of the water. I'll make really long casts and crank the bait
back through open waters. You have to remember that smallmouth bass are
sight feeders, and big smallmouth love to chase and run a bait down. When
a smallmouth sees a bait trying to run away, the fish seem to become aggravated
and want to chase that bait.
Where is the best location to use the spinner bait for smallmouth?
ANSWER: I like to fish around scattered grass or boulders. I like to fish
along fairly flat banks, have my boat in 7 to 12 feet of water and cast
into 2 to 3 feet of water. I want that spinner bait to run across the
break line where the bottom drops off from shallow to deep. I've seen
smallmouth come up from 10 feet of water to take the spinner bait, especially
when I'm burning that spinner bait. I prefer the willow leaf blade because
these blades allow me to fish the spinner bait faster than I can with
the Colorado blade.
QUESTION: Do you use anything special with your spinner
ANSWER: I always run a trailer hook on my spinner bait because smallmouth
are slash feeders. Many times the smallmouth won't hit the main hook,
but you will catch it on the trailer hook. If the smallmouth are not really
taking the bait, I bulk the bait up by using a twin-tail trailer.
TOMORROW: BET ON THE WILD SHINER