Snap Pop and Bass
By Scott M. Petersen
Once the shallows warm up bass will take to the spawn during the spring months. After the spawn ritual is done female bass will head towards deeper water to recuperate, leaving the males in the shallows to protect the newly hatched fry until they can survive on their own. Once that is done the males will start to head towards their summer homes and join up once again with the females.
For some of the bass population, the shallow water slop and heavy cover will serve as home during the summer months, but for the rest of the bass population the flats all the way out to the outside edge of the weeds will play host to a big number of bass. This setting will last pretty much throughout the summer months until the fall nights start to cool the water temps and bass once again make a movement towards the shallows to get ready for the upcoming fall and winter months.
With the bass making summertime residence on the outside edge of the weeds there will be specific locations that will attract and hold bass. One of these attractions will be thick weeds that are located on the outside edges of the weed flats. If you can put this area on or close to a dropoff that reaches into deeper water that will make this location even that much better.
The other attraction that I feel is the better of the two is when you can find thick clumps of weeds that are on the edge of the weedline or located just outside the weedline. Mix rock into these areas; and you have the best of locations that will attract big bass for the summertime months.
To find these areas you will need to rely on lake maps, Navionics chips and your electronics. To pick the outside edge apart I use my Humminbird 1197. With the Navionics map chip I can see every turn and point on the weedline. Team this with Side Imaging and I get a clear picture of what the weedline looks like and where the fish may be holding. When it comes to looking for weed clumps I can see where the isolated weed clumps are located and how to target them. If you do not have a Humminbird Side Imaging unit you can use your regular electronics to focus on the outside weedline. Use a lake map or map chip to find the key areas and go back and forth to get an idea of the layout of the weedline and start your work from there.
When it comes to the fishing side of this presentation, snap/pop jigging is nothing for the faint hearted or light tackle. This is power bass fishing 101. A seven foot heavy bait caster rod to a seven and a half foot flippin' stick matched with a fast retrieve 6.4:1 to 7.1:1 reel are standard. The reason for the fast retrieve reel is the fact that once you stick a bass you have to get the bass turned and out the cover fast. Spool these reels with twenty to twenty-five pound fluorocarbon line.
On the business of your line you will need a one-half to three-quarter ounce jig. My choice of jigs for this pattern is an Outkast RT Jig teamed with an Outkast Chunk. The key to this pattern is to pitch the jig into the think clumps of weeds and let the jig fall to the bottom. You do not want to make long casts with this technique. If you cast too far you will not be able to snap/pop the jig to get the action out of the presentation that will trigger strikes.
Once you have made your short cast or pitch, give the jig a good snap. This will pop the jig up and out of the weeds, and on a managed slack line, let the jig fall back to the bottom and repeat the process. The jig popping off of the bottom and snapping free of the weeds is the triggering factor of this pattern to the bass. Pay special attention to the jig as it is falling as this is when the majority of the bites will come.
The heavier the jig you use for this pattern the better it will work. A three-eights ounce jig will not work as well as one-half to three-quarter ounce jigs will; the heavier the jig the better. The key here is you are playing off of the bass reaction bite for this presentation. The erratic snapping and hopping of the jig is what triggers the bass to bite. That is why a heavier jig works best for this type of presentation.
When the bass make the move towards the weedflats and outside edge for the summer months give this snap/pop jig tactic a try. Heavy equipment is a must for this tactic. It is power bass fishing at its best. The heavier the jig, the more erratic its fall, the more bites you will get.
Create some memories, but please remember to practice CPR (Catch, Photo and Release.) The future of fishing is in your hands. For more timely tips and tactics for bass please log onto fishinginsider.com