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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Finessing The Big TRD

August 3, 2021 by lbailey

Finessing the Big TRD will conquer, even though summertime fishing can be a little tough. Rising water temps create a very taxing environment for post-spawn bass still beat up from the bedding process. As fish scatter in search of food and a more comfortable dwelling place, The bite gets a little tricky.

Baits like the Z-man Big TRD are a staple for summertime fishing, from the early summer immediate postspawn time frame right into the fall. Texas rig and Finesse the Big TRD. Try skipping it around shallow cover is a great way to catch big bass and numbers alike.

Finessing the Big TRD

At the urgency of anglers outside of the tiny world of finesse fishing, Z-Man created the Big TRD. Finesse Anglers wanted a bait that they could wield on a wacky rig, and on/or a Texas-style slip-sinker rig. The TRD (Turd) as we call i t can be used to skip and pitch it into various kinds of cover that largemouth bass relate to.

Use it on either a bait-caster or spinning, rod and reel that is spooled with 10-pound or 12-pound-test fluorocarbon line. Employ this retrieve that is called a slow-roll-and-dead stick presentation. Around laydowns, lily pads, and patches of wild hydrilla, where the water is four to five feet deep.

Accomplish this task by making accurate casts and delicate pitches to strategic spots. Along the edges and pockets of laydowns and patches of lily pads and wild hydrilla.

Once the Big TRD rig reaches the bottom, employ a deadstick presentation for four to five seconds. Then make three slow rotations of the reel handle. After the third rotation, pause and allow the Big TRD rig to glide and fall to the bottom. Deadstick it again for a few seconds. After the second deadstick presentation, slowly rotate the reel handle. this allows the Big TRD to swim and glide six to 10 inches above the bottom. Do this until the rig is 10 to 15 feet from the spot where the cast was placed.

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Dog days of summer

July 4, 2021 by lbailey

The dog days of summer on most lakes and ponds will often drive the surface temperatures way into the high 80’s and even into the 90’s. This hot water many times does everything except make lake fishing “HOT”. In fact the bass in most lakes during the hot summer are so tough to catch that most fishermen look for an air conditioned room, a cold one and a baseball game.

I have found that the dog days of summer is a very stable time to fish on most current system bodies of water. Here you will typically find that the water temperatures are lower than in the still water lakes. You will also find it to be a time when river currents and water levels are not fluctuating much either. This lower temperature accompanied by a rivers natural current flow will produce high oxygen levels. The bass that are lucky enough to have current will usually show a higher activity level than those that will be found in most lakes during the summer months.

Daog Days of summer result in exsplosive fishing.

“I have found that the dog days of summer is a very stable time to fish on most current system bodies of water”.

dog days of summer is main river and creek time.

Bass migrate back onto the main body of the river current system, where they hang around channel-oriented structure: humps, points, drop-offs and ledges. Also where there is cover like pilings,bushes and lay-downs and weeds. Your best bet in the first part of this summer migration phase is the mouth of creeks on the main river and at the mouth of a spawning cove.

Baitfish and bass will gravitate to weedy bays and pockets, where the water is cooler and highly oxygenated. Bass position themselves near irregularities in the weed bed, such as holes, pockets and points, laydowns and junk piles. They can be taken on the surface with a weedless frog or rat, or by flipping or pitching a plastic worm or creature bait through the grass.

Bass lay in heavy structure where they can ambush prey

The summer time on most river systems offers bass an increased supply of accessible food. With the current factor river systems offer the bass the capability to stay shallow throughout the summer. Here they take advantage of the current and lay in heavy structure where they can ambush this ample supply of food. This ample supply of feed usually consists of earlier hatched fry and baitfish from the spring spawns.

Bass Bluegill and buzzbaits begins a catching bonanza.

May 26, 2021 by lbailey

Bass Bluegill and buzzbaits begins a catching bonanza. During summer, most anglers fish deeper structure or weed edges, or target shallow cover with jigs and soft plastics. Many anglers, pros alike miss out on this wild BlueGill bed fishing technique. A morning topwater bite offers a chance for a big fish on a Baby Buzzbait™. But in shallow lakes, I and other pros pick up a buzzbait rod in the morning and don’t put it down until weigh-in. You might get more bites on a worm but the Baby Buzzbait™ fish are typically bigger. In hot weather, cast over thick weed cover and experiment with retrieve speed. Keep a Z-Man TR D stickworm handy to throw back if a bass misses the buzzbait.

“My Baby Buzzbait™ comes off the shelf with all the amenities a bass pro might want to modify on a regular buzzbait. After over 25 years of research and testing I have come up with the Baby Buzzbait™. This little top water lure is second to none. The most compact buzzbait ever built measuring a mere 1.5″ high x 3.5″ Long. Yes, even the 1/4 size. The Baby Buzzbait™ is slow, squeals, sputters and spits right out of the package. all my top water buzzbaits are hand tuned and air tested prior to packaging”.

Tuning Buzzers for Bass Bluegill and buzzbaits:

Straight off the shelf, buzzbaits catch fish. Still, pros often alter lures to gain a slight advantage in sound production, in appearance, or in hooking ability. My Baby Buzzbait™ comes off the shelf with all the amenities a bass pro might want to modify on a regular buzzbait. After over 25 years of research and testing I have come up with the Baby Buzzbait™. This little top water lure is second to none. The most compact buzzbait ever built measuring a mere 1.5″ high x 3.5″ Long. Yes, even the 1/4 size. The Baby Buzzbait™ is slow, squeals, sputters and spits right out of the package. all my top water buzzbaits are hand tuned and air tested prior to packaging.

Stinger Hooks not needed:

Stinger Hooks: Because bass often seem to strike behind a buzzbait, many experts add a stinger hook when conditions allow. It’s arguable whether a bass that misses a bait actually wanted to eat it, however. Fish accurately aim attacks on steadily moving objects on the surface. Bass sometimes charge a bait to chase it away, or to investigate it more closely. An extra hook can hook these fish. When the Bass Bluegill and buzzbait bite begins, I personally don’t choose a trailer hook. The Baby Buzzbait™ can be retrieved so slow and is so compact that fish usually inhale it, whether by accident or on purpose.

I had several top-5 to top-20 finishes in the Elite Series during the Bass Bluegill and buzzbaits catching bonanza lakes using a Baby Buzzbait™

The Binsky Late/Spring Early/Summer Bass Fishing in the North

May 4, 2021 by lbailey

Typically Binsky Late/Spring Early/Summer Bass Fishing in the North is when you should think of post spawn bass. Think of big groups of bass looking for a summer hang out spot. Most bass only spawn for a couple of days before they head on back to the deeper creek channels and main river channels to group up and feed on shad for the summer. I try to target places that are fairly deep water and with a little cover. For deeper lakes I tend to look for longer points that might extend for a couple of hundred feet. I want to find numbers of fish because they will likely be more active and feeding rather than trying to locate one or two fish up shallow.

Binsky Late/Spring Early/Summer Bass

Typically Binsky Late/Spring Early/Summer Bass Fishing in the North is when I think of post spawn bass I think of big groups of bass looking for a summer hang out spot. Most bass only spawn for a couple of days before they head on back to the deeper creek channels and main river channels to group up and feed on shad for the summer. I try to target places that are fairly deep water and with a little cover. For deeper lakes I tend to look for longer points that might extend for a couple of hundred feet. I want to find numbers of fish because they will likely be more active and feeding rather than trying to locate one or two fish up shallow.

The post-spawn bass fishing season in the North typically begins when the water temperature reaches 70 degrees. It also coincides when the bluegill begin spawning. On most years, the spawn lasts only 2-3 weeks. If the spring is cold, it might be less than that. The post-spawn period is normally just two or three weeks as well, and then they begin establishing summer patterns.

A Binsky by Fish Sense Lures worked around these weed beds to mimic a vulnerable bluegill is another effective strategy for post-spawn. The Binsky Late/Spring Early/Summer Bass are positioned perfectly for this technique as well. Match the Binsky to the colors of the bluegill. Then look for a reaction bite. The size of fish you catch will tell you which presentation to use.

Because the bluegill are often spawning, seek out Binsky Late/Spring Early/Summer Bass by finding the bluegill. Look for the closest deep water structure near bluegill beds. Often times you can find this happening in the same places you caught spawning bass, because bluegill will often spawn in the same area. Bluegill and bass have an interesting relationship. During the bass spawn, bluegill will often pester bass by raiding their nest and eat their eggs. However, when the bass are done spawning, they will turn around and ambush the bluegill beds for their own food source, and eat the bluegills.

Fishing the Binsky is a great way to get a bite on a super slow day. When the day hits that lull where fish become less active and the bite has slowed down, the Binsky Late/Spring Early/Summer Bass are perfectly set up to get a bite. There are two ways I like to fish the Binsky Blade Bait, and the first way is fishing across a point. Position yourself where you can cast across the point and hop and drag the bottom all the way back to the boat.

The other way is to fish it, is to parallel the channel or structure. Try to keep your Binsky Blade Bait as close to the fish as possible allowing the slow sinking of the bait to attract the fish off the structure.

Deep blading is a tournament proven way to catch fish. Every pro on the tour will throw a blade bait at some point during the late spring early summer events they fish. Fish are feeding on shad and a Binsky will get a reaction strike every time, so fish that are pressured or hugging the bottom will bite a Binsky Blade Bait that comes by their face. When cranking a blade you want to identify the water depth and water clarity.

Baby Buzzbait™ Early Summer Tips

April 18, 2021 by lbailey
Baby Buzzbait™ early summer tips

I notice that a lot of weekend anglers have never tried the Baby Buzzbait™ early summer tips, and that is a mistake. The Baby Buzzbait™ has helped me qualify three times for the prestigious Bassmaster Classic When the fish are using shallow water cover, the buzzbait will flush them out.

This lure is one of my favorites for drawing fish out of heavy cover in both stained and clear water.

There’s not but four characteristics of a Baby Buzzbait™ early summer.

It’s a great tool for locating bass in the shallows. When I’m checking out new areas, I move quickly and make a lot of casts until I get a bite. It may not be the only lure that I use during a tournament, but it’s an important one for finding fish.

The lure belongs in non-tournament anglers’ tackle boxes simply because it is fun to fish. Baby Buzzbait™ strikes on the surface not only are sudden and exhilarating, but the lure attracts big fish as often as it does small ones.

There’s not but four characteristics of a lure that make it appealing to a bass, and a buzzbait offers three of them. It can be seen, heard and puts out vibrations. The only one missing is scent, so it covers just about everything you need to trigger a strike.

1. Vary your speed:

I notice most anglers make the mistake of tying on a Baby Buzzbait™, making a few casts, and then putting it down for the rest of the day.

You have to experiment with the lure to find just how the fish want it, and changing speeds and direction is a good way to do that. Changing speeds and direction not only allows you to experiment with the sound and vibrations, but it affects what the bass sees, as well.

2. Fish it at night:

A lot of features you see in Baby Buzzbait™ Early Summer Tips come from my over 30 years of competition.

I admit that you may not catch the numbers that you can with other lures at night, but the Baby Buzzbait™ will produce bigger bass. Nighttime bass are more secure, therefore they will travel a greater distance to hit a buzzbait than they will during daytime.

If there’s a fish in the area, he’s lurking in the shadows. A major feature of the Baby Buzzbait™ is the angle of the wire between the blade and the head into a downward stair-step. This keeps the head, skirt and hook a little deeper underwater, which makes it easier for the fish to eat the bait.

3. Expand your seasons

Baby Buzzbait™ is mistakenly stereotyped as a hot weather lure.

I’ve caught some giants in 50-degree water in both spring and fall, when most people think you have to fish deep. On unseasonably warm spring or late fall afternoons, bass will venture into shallow water to feed. When fish move toward shallows in cold water, they’re usually looking for a big meal.

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