Changing things up is often the name of the game when fishing for largemouth bass. When bass turn off and seemingly will not hit anything you throw, it may be time to fall back on the basics and use the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple) method. Since bass may become wary especially under heavy fishing pressure, presenting a lure or bait in a different manner can make all the difference in a strike or going home skunked.
Change Up Your Stick Baits
Instead of getting impatient, settle back and wait the bass out. Cast stick baits to the edge of brush piles, stumps, logs or rock piles and let it sit. Don't move the bait, just let it sit. If a bass does not get curious, try twitching the stick bait and let it sit some more. In most instances a bass will take the bait presented in this manner by sucking the stick bait in. You have to keep a tight line to sense any motion. If this does not work, try Wacky rigging the bait. Double the bait in half and insert a 4/0 or 5/0 EWG (Extra Wide Gap) hook through both sections of the plastic bait. Cast the bait and allow it to slowly settle through the water. Keep a tight line.
Change how you present trick worms. Switch to a solid color such as black, dark green or brown. Cast the worm and allow it to sink to the bottom. Let the bait settle for several seconds, tick or slightly raise the rod tip three or four times and then slightly retrieve the trick worm. Let the worm sit and then repeat the tick. Work your way around and over a variety of underwater structure. Also consider attaching a Shaky Head weight to the trick worm. Attach the worm to the weight and cast. Allow the bait to settle to the bottom. The Shaky Head is designed to allow the worm to stand off at an upward angle. By moving the rod tip, the tail of the worm will wiggle in the water. Many times this provides dramatic results.
Shallow Crank Baits
Work the shallows and edges to entice cruising largemouth. Use a shallow running crank bait such as a 3- to 5-inch minnow. Cast the lure toward the bank and let it rise to the surface. The goal here is to imitate a wounded minnow. Retrieve the lure with a sharp sideways motion and stop. Allow the lure to again rise to the surface. Continue the side-to-side motion, pausing to allow the "injured minnow" to rise.
Article Written By Keith Dooley
Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.