Tips and techniques by pro angler Lee Bailey jr

An excellent collection of fishing tips, fishing tactics, and fishing tricks for bass, by Lee Bailey Jr

 

 

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Early Spring Binsky Tricks For Bass

April 7, 2021 by lbailey

Early Spring Binsky Tricks is traditionally a cold water presentation but its effectiveness doesn’t stop there! Keep the Binsky on deck in Early Spring and you might be surprised how the bass react.

Early Spring Binsky Tricks For Bass

Why does it work? Largemouths, Smallmouths as with many other predatory species, are primarily sight-feeders, but when their vision is impaired by murky water they rely heavily on their other senses. Fish detect many lures by picking up its vibrations with the sensitive lateral lines. This is the salient feature of a Binsky. It’s long, has a lean profile and its weight-forward construction causes a tremendous amount of vibration.

Binsky blade baits are not infallible. More than one angler has cursed his luck when a fish has turned against the lure and gotten off the hook. The quality the Binsky comes equipped with, a strong split ring that does not afford the fish the leverage to throw the hook. A supper sharp strong set of treble hooks that will stick a fish and hold them on the slightes bite.

Fishing Early Spring Binsky Tricks for largemouths or smallmouths is pretty much a no-brainer. Cast it out and reel it in. You can vary your retrieve and tweak the action by speeding up and slowing down, and by pumping your rod tip and allowing the lure to flutter momentarily. you need to believe that this “dying flutter” action would be dynamite on both ‘eyes and northern pike as well.

So, what’s the best time to start blade baiting bass? April and May is a hot period for Binsky blades and they are deadly on giant pre-spawn females. Right after ice-out plump butterball shaped bass move shallow toward their selected spawning grounds. Here, they gorge themselves on bait fish while waiting for the water to warm up to 55-58 degrees. Many anglers will still catch fish on tubes, worms, and cranks, but if you want hot fishing action, concentrate on blades.

Early Spring Binsky Tricks For Bass

Buzzing Spring Bass

April 3, 2021 by lbailey

Buzzing Spring Bass by Steve Price Senior Writer for Bassmaster Magazine.
This excerpt taken from the April 2021 issue Of Bassmaster Magazine.

Go ahead and pick up that buzzbait a little earlier than you are supposed to. According to Elite Series pro Wes Logan, this can help you pick up the biggest bass in the lake. “I know buzzbaits have a reputation for autumn fishing, but I start using them in the spring when the water temperature reaches 50 degrees, and I keep one tied on until late autumn when the water drops below 50 degrees again. A lot of anglers overlook them in the spring, but it’s a lure that really does have some advantages over other spring baits.”

Buzzing Spring Bass when the water temperature reaches 50 degrees.

Perhaps the major advantage a buzzbait offers is it’s effectiveness around shallow, often isolated cover, like stumps, laydowns, clumps of vegetation or shoreline weed, even riprap. These are places bass might be holding or possibly spawning. They don’t move shallow in the spring to feed, but that doesn’t mean they won’t hit a noisy, churning creature that even bumps into that cover.

Buzzing Spring Bass

The Elite Series pro concentrates his buzzbait fishing in shallow bays and pockets of the main lake, wherever he can find protected water. He goes to the sunny side and looks for isolated cover, anything that would hold a bass on the bank. The best areas are flat or even gently sloping; fast-falling banks are not going to be very productive this time of year for a buzzbait.

“It depends on the area, but basically you can’t fish too shallow, which is another advantage a buzzbait offers,” continues Logan. “All of us would rather fish shallow water than deep water. Most of the time, my boat will be in just 4 to 6 feet of water, and I’ll be casting into about 2 feet. I’m not actually trying to catch a bass on the bed, but a buzzbait can show me one I didn’t know was there, especially in dingy water.

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NE Early Spring Bass Fishing

March 30, 2021 by lbailey

Let’s talk about early spring bass fishing.

NE Early Spring Bass Fishing is the time of year that every Bass fisherman who is worth his salt looks forward to. The thought of Bass that haven’t seen a lure for at least 3 months is enough to stir any of us into a frenzy.

Let me tell you that early spring has it’s advantages but it can have its own unique problems as well. Rising water temperatures can send Bass into flurries of activity that are a Bass fisherman’s dream come true. But, just as quickly, a stubborn early spring cold front can be a nightmare that puts the fish back into hibernation mode.

 The key to successful fishing during this time of year lies in using the proper lures, presenting them properly and using the weather conditions to your advantage. Paying attention to the smallest details can sometimes mean the difference between a respectable day’s catch, a great days catch and going home skunked. When starting out in the spring you can expect water temperatures to be in the low 40 degree range. Most people shiver when they even think of fishing in this kind of cold water. But the temperature should clue you in as to what type of lure is apt to give you the best results. Think small. 1/16 to 1/8 oz hair jigs by Andy’s Jigs.

NE Early Spring Bass Fishing Weather Details

The weather is always the controlling factor in early spring fishing. But its not always the enemy. Knowing what to look for in weather patterns can play a big part in being a successful early spring fisherman. Let me explain.

Sunny Days

One bright, sunny, warm spring day, as nice as it is, is not usually enough to turn the fish on unless the body of water you are fishing is extremely shallow. At least 2 or 3 days of stable weather are needed to really get things moving, although 4 or 5 days are better. Here’s why.

NE Early Spring Bass Fishing

By the end of the 3rd day the fish will begin to actually feel the rise of the water temp. At this time they will begin start to feed more aggressively and will be more responsive to any of your presentations. Most fisherman think of cloudy, overcast days as being the ideal conditions for aggressive feeding on the part of the Bass. This is only partly true.

Cloudy Days

A cloudy day , after having 2 or 3 other cloudy days isn’t worth a whole lot. A series of cool, cloudy days does nothing but drop the water temperature and put a damper on the Bass’ metabolism. The key to the cloudy day theory, especially in the early spring, is to fish the first cloudy day after a warming trend. If you have 4 or 5 warm, sunny days and then a cloudy, rainy day be sure to get out on the lake, even if it means calling into work and taking the day off. “It’ll be well worth it”.

Not only will you increase your chances of catching numbers of fish but your chances of connecting with a genuine hawg increase, in my opinion, by 25-30%. Under these conditions the hair Jig is without a doubt the best choice to throw. A sincere effort on the part of the angler will generally pay off with some good quality catches.

Keeping A Logbook (Fishing Factors™)

March 18, 2021 by lbailey

We have all had days on the water when the fish refuse to bite no matter what technique or bait we toss their way. Keeping A Logbook will help keep you from scratching your head only to bring greater discomfort, and we convince ourselves to believe that it must just be a bad day on the water. You can reverse days such as these, a feat made possible by the art of patterning fish. However, before you can pattern, you must first learn to understand and record the information you gather on each outing.

Keeping records of your fishing adventures is not only fun but also will certainly increase your catches later. If there were, one thing that I would consider as a very important Fishing Factors™ to becoming a consistent angler it would be Keeping A Logbook. I have personally kept a Fishing Log from the very beginning of my fishing experiences. You will learn many things from keeping a Fishing Log such as, behaviors of bass, weather patterns and Feeding habits, structure preferred by bass and baitfish, lures and techniques to use under similar circumstances.

Does keeping a logbook Really Help?

Basically, a fishing log is a permanent record that outlines various criteria present during the catching of a fish. These conditions could include; water clarity, wind, water and air temperature, date and time, lure or bait, retrieve speed and structure. A fishing log can include as much or as little detail as you choose, but the more information you track, the more useful it ultimately becomes.

What actually happens to you as an angler keeping a fishing log is that you will learn to be a more consistent angler from your own fishing experiences. The many hours of trial and error on the water now become a wealth of knowledge that you will be able to draw from. Remember one thing though with keeping a fishing log, you need to be as detailed as possible. I find it important that I enter my fishing details in the log the evening of my outing. If you wait, you will be amazed at how much you forget. Enter every detail you can remember. In addition, if you can, draw sketches of that little sweet spot, or specific piece of underwater structure where the big one came from.
Another neat thing about fishing logs is the complete picture that they represent. Compare how many Largemouths you caught this year to previous years. How many hours total did you fish this season? Did your average per fish go up or down? Not only can a log hold informative data, it can also hold a wealth of fun.

Jerkbait Minnow Shaped Lure

February 12, 2021 by lbailey

A jerkbait minnow shaped lure that provides a horizontal presentation. A straight retrieve makes a jerkbait swim with a shimmying action. This catches fish, but where a jerk-bait shines is on a snap-pause retrieve, which gives it an erratic, darting action that drives bass wild.

Tweak the Retrieve:

Jerkbait Minnow Shaped Lure

There’s more than one way to fish a jerkbait. Some prefer more of a sideways, rather than a downward, snapping retrieve. Mixing up your retrieve mechanics can also prevent arm fatigue. When trying different retrieves, first make a short cast and watch the lure to ensure it has a good action. Tweaking your retrieve style and cadence is also a good tactic when fishing different models, such as shallow, mid, or deep-diving jerkbaits.

Fish the Conditions:

Experiment with how fast and far you move a jerkbait minnow shaped lure, along with how long it’s paused, to match fish mood and activity level. Generally, the warmer the water, the faster the retrieve, the more aggressive the snap, and the shorter the pause. This triggers reaction strikes. Generally, it’s best to slow down in cold water. Assertive snaps can be productive, but extend the pause.

“For so long, that early springtime, cold water, suspending type presentation was when a jerkbait was considered to work the best. But I’ve figured out that anytime fish are chasing bait, whether it be bream, shad or whatever, they’re susceptible to being caught on a jerkbait.”

Winter Warm-ups:

“On the highland reservoirs like Bull Shoals and Table Rock, you’re going to have days when you can pick up a few fish in the dead of winter, but that’s generally when the sun’s out, the bait rises really high in the water column and the fish push up a little bit.”

Maternity Ward:

Bed fishing, there are too many baits of greater potential. Yet you can still force the jerkbait here. However, the right model can work wonders on hungry pre-spawners.

Dropping Back:

After the spawn, those tired and stressed out mamas will slide out to deeper recovery zones like standing timber. From Toledo Bend to any of the lakes and rivers around the country, fish chilling in treetops are suckers for a vulnerable looking jerkbait minnow shaped lure.

Jerkbait minnow shaped lure with big smallmouth bass

“I’m pausing it maybe two to five seconds, as opposed to 12 to 15 or 30 seconds (as in early spring).”
In this scenario, your biggest challenge is going to be finding which color triggers the fish.

“I’m pausing it maybe two to five seconds, as opposed to 12 to 15 or 30 seconds (as in early spring).”
In this scenario, your biggest challenge is going to be finding which color triggers the fish.

Tip:

Adding a stripe of orange or chartreuse to a bait’s belly can turn lookers into biters.

“This is especially effective on smallmouth.” “For example, Table Rock Shad (purple back with chartreuse sides) fits the bill when you’re looking for a bright bait. Sometimes they want a more subtle bait, but with a brighter belly.”

Filled to the “Bream”:

We all know that bedding pan fish mean lurking bass, but amid the prop baits, swim jigs and spinnerbaits, I suggest pausing a jerkbait all by its lonesome right in the kill zone. Matching bait models to bream bed depth is one of the keys to reaching those opportunistic bass.

Summer Hot Spot:

“It’s not that you’re trying to catch fish deep; you’re trying to catch fish that are suspended high in the water column and chasing bait,” “It almost becomes a deal where you’re looking for schoolers. Whether it’s early in the morning or later in the afternoon, and you’re keeping the bait higher in the water column.

Autumn Attack:

Keep a jerkbait handy throughout the year, and one of the most favorite opportunities occurs during the fall feeding frenzy. Targeting what I would call the “gut” of a creek, Look for bass rounding up shad over the shallow ditches and depressions that provide staging points for opportunistic bass.

My parting Tip would be to seek out windy banks when you are tossing a suspending jerkbait. A little (or a lot) of chop on the surface makes it more difficult for upward looking bass to distinguish the bait from the real thing.

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