STRIKE

In baseball for the pitcher it’s good, for the batter not so much. If it comes after oil or gold it’s great. If it happens at your job, or comes with lightning not good. In bowling it’s preferred. If you haven’t guessed yet, it’s a strike. AKA (also known as) strikes are known as hits, pick-ups, chokin’ it, slams or a bite among other things. Subconsciously we fish certain bass baits because we’re addicted to the specific strike. Every bait category offers a different type of “hit”. I’m betting your favorite is probably in this list. Read on.


An old friend of mine, a bayou bassin’ man who went by the name of “shoestring” called it “throwin’ scrap iron” and hoping for a “dead thug”. Translation casting a spinnerbait and wishing for a ferocious hit that just completely stops the bait on the retrieve in. Casting spinnerbaits in likely areas is a good game plan, slinging one near heavy cover when bass are in ambush mode is likely to get that “dead thug” kind of hit. Spinners being reaction baits are likely to get a reaction bite. To increase the possibility of the spinner getting mugged bounce it off, docks, rocks, wood and weed beds. Adding some twitches to an otherwise straight line retrieve adds to the realism of a bait made to mimic minnow and shad.


Similar but not exactly the same is the crankbait bite. I’ve come to love, previously despised, casting crankbaits. I lost a majority of the fish I would hook would ultimately never make it to my grip. Shake the hooks, just come unbuttoned and regardless why made me hesitant to work the cranking lures. Capable of diving to varying depths, lips or lipless, rattle or silent crankbaits draw strikes from bass of all species types and sizes. Jerkbaits fall into the same category. When things are right the retrieve which can be slow and steady or stop and go the trip back to the kayak is interrupted by a sudden stop. As is the case with many strikes, any time you feel something different you should set the hook. Because the bass many times is charging the bait from behind the sensation is softened by the fish knocking slack in the line. Sharp hooks on each bait along with the correct rod, reel and line helps to seal the deal. My set up is a specialty rod from McCain fishing www.mcacinfishing,com , the CRANK IT rod MK862M is 7’2” is constructed of a composite combination of graphite and glass to give it the correct parabolic bend to consistently hook the fish and get it to the kayak. The reel is a Lews BB1Z reel ideal for crankbait fishing, strangely enough weigh in at 7.2 ounces is geared at 5.1:1 which means rod and reel weigh less than 11 ounces making for long days of cranking comfort. I spool the outfit with 12 pound test monofilament line.


See it, hear it, feel it, it’s the bass angler’s beloved topwater strike. Appealing to most sense sit the most exciting (for me) hit. Imagine if you will, an oversized buzzbait gurgling across the surface, crossing over a submerged brush pile and a surface explosion, including a giant water spray occurs and the weight of a “wall hanger” is the immediate sensation on the end of the line. It’s easily the most visually pleasing strike in bass fishing, the surface strike! I find that as my bait nears what I assume to be the strike zone I literally stop breathing in anticipation of the hit. Buzzers, wobblers, dog walkers, frogs, poppers, floating minnow imitators, dry flies, prop baits, floating soft plastic worms, each has its own charm and bass catching ability. Add the plus of casting to, or maybe more correctly past visible cover and this type of fishing takes on a new dimension. The target rich environment ideal for video or just locked into your memory bank includes lily pads, a partially submerged tree, a long wooden boat dock, a set of boulder rocks (are you getting a vision?) a row of cattails, heavy shoreline cover, an off shore, isolated bed of aquatic vegetation, the mouth of a feeder creek, a shallow point, a duck blind and many more types of hideouts and haunts for a bass that becomes a chump by a stump when you toss a topwater bait toward it.


Undeniable for me is the lure of the feel bait bite. Could be because my first several BIG bass came on an old time plastic worm and another on a jig, both of which fall into the category of a feel bait. Feel baits = cast it out, moving the bait with the rod, take up slack with the reel, trying to keeping constant contact with the lure to sense (feel) the “pick-up”. I swear endorphins are released into my system when I fish this way and get bit. The scenarios play out this way. Cast out and sometimes just on the immediate entry of the bait on the water a bass grabs it. In another instance, you start the initial retrieve and as the bait comes back with a combination, swim, twitch, hop, rest, retrieve you feel a thump. Maybe you just feel a steady pulling down pressure. You might just see your line twitch or jump. Possibly you feel nothing and see the line swimming off in an odd direction. There’s also the, “somebody cut my line” feeling of my lure is gone signaling that a bass grabbed the bait and is headed towards you creating the limp line sensation. Essentially feel baits strikes can range from an extremely subtle, something just feels different to a bone jarring attack on the bait. In any number of ways it might happen, your mind begins to race. What is it, a bass, what size is it? You lean into the hook set like it might be the biggest bass ever and prepare for battle. Feel bait bass are notorious for jumping, just an added plus to this strike. If your drug is the tug, feel bait strikes are for you.
Strikes come in multiple forms. Some good, some bad. Pick up that paddle and head out in search of your elusive personal favorite type of strike.

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