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In an upcoming issue BAM talks about search baits. What is your favorite?

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Yellow and white spinnerbait, or a Rat-l trap for largemouth, 3" curly tail grub on a jighead for smallies.

x10

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Shallow or mid diving crankbait

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Yellow and white spinnerbait, or a Rat-l trap for largemouth, 3" curly tail grub on a jighead for smallies.

X10.5

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It depends on the season, spinner for active seasons, C-rig for colder slower seasons

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Most will go with a crank or spinner, but I use a swim jig, and always find them with that. Thing never comes off my deck, actually.

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Most will go with a crank or spinner, but I use a swim jig, and always find them with that. Thing never comes off my deck, actually.

x 10, I have found swim Jig with a matching trailer does the magic for me.

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As far as I'm concerned, topwaters are search lures as well.

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dont believe in search baits.

x10!

I just don't understand the whole concept of search baits. If you get a hit on a spinnerbait, what are you supposed to do now? Change just because you found them?! I don't get it.

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My favorite search bait is a shallow crankbait; however, I just started using a swimjig a few months back. I just pulled a flipping jig - a big Arkie head jig and added Zoom Super Speed Craw, the first day using it on the CA Delta I got 50 fish from 12 inches to 6 lbs. So much for searching it was catchin'

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x10!

I just don't understand the whole concept of search baits. If you get a hit on a spinnerbait, what are you supposed to do now? Change just because you found them?! I don't get it.

Just catching one doesn't show you anything. When using a search bait your looking for quantity(schools) then go back with a worm or jig and get your quality. It works really well during the spawn cause you can locate the males and come back and pick the females off. Also good post spawn when the fish can be harder to locate.

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First I heard of this was years ago with a tournament fisherman. He went down a bank with the trolling motor going pretty fast and would cast a Bagley Balsa Killer B crank bait. He would fly through an area for about 50 yards. If he hooked something, he would stop and fish the area with several baits. If not, he would pull up the trolling motor and go to another place.

He said he didn't want to waste time in an area with no fish.

I had a hard time with this technique, but by the end of the day we had plenty bass.

That's what I understood as being in a "search pattern."

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x10!

I just don't understand the whole concept of search baits. If you get a hit on a spinnerbait, what are you supposed to do now? Change just because you found them?! I don't get it.

seriously though, it doesnt make sense to me. how do i know if im using the right bait to begin with, there could be fish where im throwing said "search bait" but they just dont want what im throwing. how does one determine what to throw as a search bait when one doesnt know what theyre biting that day to begin with?

Just catching one doesn't show you anything. When using a search bait your looking for quantity(schools) then go back with a worm or jig and get your quality. It works really well during the spawn cause you can locate the males and come back and pick the females off. Also good post spawn when the fish can be harder to locate.

ok, so how do you determine your "search bait"? how would you know if any fish is going to want that on a given day? and what if that first bait you choose to throw does land some quality, you going to change up then?

sorry, but i cant buy into the search bait thing, at one time i may have thought there was something to it, but now i realize their really isnt. i can buy confidence bait, but not search bait, and they are two different things...

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A "seach" bait is more aptly called a "reaction" bait and is effective in "seaching" since the fish don't have to be feeding to strike it and you can cover more water with it. It's really all about the water coverage aspect of the bait. You can move through an area and if you get a couple strikes you know the area holds fish and can go back and fish it more thoroughly. Heck, you can even keep using the "search bait" once you know the area has fish if you're happy with the results you're getting from it. "Searching" is a technique you use these specific baits for. However, just because I'm casting, say, a shallow crank down the bank doesn't mean I'm searching at that time. I may have already found the fish there and determined that's what they wanted to eat. Once the action slows down I can go back with something slower and possibly pick off a few more. I know the fish are there and would feel like it's worth my time to use a slower approach.

As far as determining which search bait to use it really depends on the water you're fishing (grass, wood, depth, etc.), what the bass might be feeding on and what lures they might've seen 50 million times. It's really all about getting a reaction from any fish that might be there. Many, many baits can fit this bill. I can even "search" while flipping a grassline by using a heavier weight and brighter color.

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For me it depends on the structure and the cover in the lake. Usually if I am fishing with someone one of us will throw a crank and one of us will throw a spinnerbait.

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seriously though, it doesnt make sense to me. how do i know if im using the right bait to begin with, there could be fish where im throwing said "search bait" but they just dont want what im throwing. how does one determine what to throw as a search bait when one doesnt know what theyre biting that day to begin with?

You don't know. Fishing is unpredictable and every outing has a trial-and-error component. You pick a search bait that's suitable for the cover and depth you want to fish and make sure it's a lure you have confidence in. If it doesn't pay off, change baits and/or tactics. You just can't predict what the fish will do on any given day.

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crankbait or topwater.

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Ive started using giant wake baits to find the fish, and come back and clean up later. A big wake bait will pull alot of big followers, once you find em you know where to try and catch em. Its resulted in several good fish this year.

NGaHB

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I've fished with fellows who were using "search baits". But, they were not using them as search baits. Spinner baits, crank baits, rattletraps, etc., is what they were using, or trying. They caught nothing. Meanwhile, I was catching plenty of fish on wacky worms, drop shot and various creature, shaky heads and other finesse baits in the same water they were fishing. After an hour or so of beating the water with what are known as "search baits" they'd switch to the type of bait I was using and start catching fish.

In fairness, I knew the waters, and what the fish were taking. Nevertheless, had they been by themselves, they would have spent a lot longer throwing those search baits at fish that just plain were not interested in them. There will be days that the search baits will be what the fish want, just like there will be days when fish will take anything, and days when they won't take anything.

Searching. There are several things a fisherman should search for. He/she should search for where the fish are. But he should also search for what the fish want.

Cast your search baits to your heart's content. If you are not catching them on the search baits, toss something else at them once in a while. Not getting bit on the search baits does not necessarily mean the fish are not there.

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Characteristics of a good search bait (high percentage bait) are two fold: Attracting and triggering qualities. They are used to find "some" bass in the lake, river or reservoir, to determine where they are located. This works especially well when you are fishing unknown waters and want to connect with fish as soon as possible. You could waste a lot of time thoroughly fishing a "fishy looking" spot that bass are just not relating to, due of a lot of different factors (i.e.: oxygen content of the water there).

The theory of using such a high percentage bait is the thought that this will clue you into good areas to proceed with your presentation strengths and the preferences of the fish you've found. Most of the waters I've previously fished, I'm pretty familiar with and don't need to employ this technique. However, even on those waters, sometimes, if I can't turn a bite, I'll re-group and start a search pattern.

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Crankbits.

Buzzbaits in AM

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A search bait is one that you can cover water with an attempt to locate bass, wether they bite or just follow the bait. The idea is to locate an area, areas or type of cover thay are relating to at the apticular time. Since bass move quite a bit it can be difficult to find them day after day so a bait that covers water can help with this. Bass fishing is a game of seek an find, search baits are just a tool and the one who chooses the right tool and the right area wins.

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