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A-Jay

Most Productive Baits ~ A Seasonal Review

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As I work through the somewhat painful process of putting up my gear for the hard water period.  I like to look back and see which baits did what over the course of a season.  Now I’ll openly admit that the more a lure produces the more I fish it – but there have been times I’ve made a switch during a good bite “Just to See”.  I don’t do this as much as I used to because I think I missed a lot of potential bites re-tying & all that.  But it’s still a good way to gain confidence (or not) in a new to me bait (or technique).   

It should also be noted here that a good percentage of my fishing especially this season, was done on new to me lakes.  A couple are much larger than what I’ve been able to fish so there was a requirement for quite a bit of prospecting.  Fortunately, the vast majority of that was done before I ever left the ramp (Humminbird Contour Elite).  Once I got to my spots, I tried to fish as “Small” as I could.

In addition to what’s listed here & as one would expect, I fish many, many other baits & presentations over the course of the (way too short) season; to include but certainly not limited to drop-shot, jigs (football, swim & structure jigs), smaller paddletail swimbaits, deep divers, and quite a bit of Texas rigged soft plastics; craws, worms, tubes, creature baits and dare I even mention – Stick baits. That was for you @Darren.  :smiley: 

And so as this past season progressed, the colors / patterns of the baits pictured below were the ones I reached for the most.  Others did catch of course but these were the baits that seemed to routinely get bit the most; making them the Go-To’s.   And I usually dislike that term, but it does apply so . . . . there ya go)  

None of this is new or remotely earth shattering stuff, just felt like sharing.  Ok – enough of that . . .

 Topwater ~  Duo Realis 110 Pencil – I throw this bait a lot – it’s easy to work, and catches fish.  Love this one.  If I’m throwing a walking bait during low light or overcast conditions – this is often it.

 And then there’s Paycheck Baits Repo Man – a bait I received a few years back as part of the BR X-Mas gift exchange. (sorry CRS has kicked in and I am unable to remember which BR member sent it – but Thank you ) Fished this one a ton this fall ~  It Got All Kinds of HAMMERED !

Squarebill ~ SK 1.5 & 2.5 – I had several fantastic outings throwing these bait exclusively – like for an entire day.  In time tested fashion early & late in the season while bass were shallower is the classic time when these shine but late summer I started burning these like a spinnerbait.  That’s one I’ll do a whole lot more of.  The Strikes are a ton of fun.  Honorable mention goes to the 6th Sense X75 – which is a flat sided bait that has been a bass magnet for me for a few seasons now.

Spinnerbait ~ The Megastrike Snapback Colorado Willow.  With so many excellent choices in this category, it’s hard to pick one sometimes.  The jointed mid-section on these however is effectively different than most other baits on the market.  I’m not a huge spinnerbait thrower but burning this one over, through & around shallow vegetation was a blast for me this season.  The SK KVD Perfect Plastic Blade Minnow made for a nice trailer on as well.  I cut off about ½ an inch (the head essentially).

Medium Depth Crankbait ~ The Spro Mike McClelland RkCrawler 55 Crankbait.   This one was very good.  I particularly like the somewhat translucent color patterns and the subdued rattle which routinely did the trick in the mostly clear waters I’m throwing it.  It essentially replaced the SK 5XD which up until this year was my bait of choice for mid-depth cranking applications. 

Jerkbait ~ This one was a bit of a surprise for me.  The SK KVD Jerkbait; both the standard 3 hook model and the Deep version.  For the past several years, ALL of my jerkbait fish came on one of the (way too) many Lucky Craft baits in the collection.  The LC”s are certainly quality baits that run true, have great actions & come in a mind boggling array of colors & patterns & get bit. But for whatever reason, this spring I picked up a few of the KVD Jerks – and I am Very Glad I did.  Bait’s a winner.  Doesn’t look like much in the package or at first in the water.  But I’ll be the first to tell anyone that will listen, these baits are M O N E Y.  Super early (still ice on the water) and very late (right before ice up) the deep bait filled the live well many times over.  And the addition of a red treble on the front didn’t seem to hurt either. Up here – it was all about the Perch pattern.

Lipless / Rattle Bait ~ SK Red Eye Shad ½ oz. (Rattle & Silent) The new Tungsten 2Tap accounted for a ton of tight lines as well.  I like fishing this style of bait.  It’s remarkably versatile and effective in many depths.  And although the collection includes other brands like 6th Sense, Duo Realis (g-Fix) XCaliber & Jackall, the SK baits see more action.

Blade Bait ~ Original Silver Buddy in 5/8 oz.  A very close second goes to the ½ oz Damiki Vault. 

In order to fore fill complete disclosure here – I had several magic days on smallmouth water very late season fishing a rattle bait low & slow in the same fashion that I do a blade bait.  In particular the Duo Realis G-Fix 68. It’s a tungsten filled, super thin profiled bait that seemed to excel for this deep water application.   

And something that is sort of glaring – are the baits NOT mentioned.  Like for instance Larger Swimbaits.  I have them & fish them: and enjoy doing so.  But having so many soft body baits just completely Shredded by pike time and again, I’ve all but abandoned their use.  Baits like Matt lures, Hudds, and the JSJ Hitch that I Really like but just get totally bummed out when they get sliced & diced or worse get cut in half. 

Then there’s the U-Rig or the A-Rig or whatever it’s called now.  I made a concerted effort to fish this one – hard.  Was a lot of work and ended up being a bit of a disappointing deal for me.  Despite throwing it a ton (sore shoulders) there was very little to show for it.  But I haven’t given up completely on this one.   Then there’s the infamous Spy bait.  Whipped this one around a fair share as well. Did have a few takers but still it didn’t really produce as I’d hoped. 

So there you have it. 

A-Jay

large.2016_Season_Baits.jpg.3a95b4dc9021b5a8e5d9d87791bc66f9.jpg

Here the Repo Man Topwater bait in action (last 5 minutes of this clip are fishless :rolleyes:)

 

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@A-Jay, takes a real fisherman to admit stick baits
work well! 
:lol:

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Just now, Darren. said:

@A-Jay, takes a real fisherman to admit stick baits
work well! 
:lol:

We Both Know There is NO Doubt they are very effective -

But for whatever reason, I just do not like fishing them. 

I might be mentally defective.

:wacko:

A-Jay

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Thanks A-JAY. This kind of stuff is why I frequent this site. Experienced fisherman sharing their knowledge and gear. 

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3 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

We Both Know There is NO Doubt they are very effective -

But for whatever reason, I just do not like fishing them. 

I might be mentally defective.

:wacko:

A-Jay

Based on a lot of what you like throwing, you are 
a speed junkie B) like KVD!

I am less inclined to such things...perhaps a deficiency
on my part. :blink:

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6 minutes ago, Darren. said:

Based on a lot of what you like throwing, you are 
a speed junkie B) like KVD!

I am less inclined to such things...perhaps a deficiency
on my part. :blink:

The KVD comparison is nice but other than fishing some of his gear - ENDS RIGHT THERE.  I'm a Hack.

And you do more than OK yourself.

:)

A-Jay

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3 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

The KVD comparison is nice but other than fishing some of his gear - ENDS RIGHT THERE.  I'm a Hack.

And you do more than OK yourself.

:)

A-Jay

Heh, I was also going to compare your speed junkie-ness
to your upgrading to a power boat from a canoe...

I consider my kayak like a stick bait, LOL. Works well for 
the amount of places I get it to.

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14 minutes ago, Darren. said:

I consider my kayak like a stick bait, LOL. Works well for 
the amount of places I get it to.

Love it.  "Kayak: The stickbait of watercrafts"

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Me thanks you a lot, but not my wallet since I have to go out and buy all the lures you mention lol.

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For  me:

Rage Tail Structure Bug, J-rigged

Siebert Outdoors Jigs/ Rage Tail Baby Craw, Craws & Lobsters

Fat Ika

Rage Blade/ Rage Structure Bug trailer

Norman Fat Boy (Redear pattern)

The Rig

Senko

Rage Tail Thumper (purple)

Sworming Hornet/ LFT Live Magic Shad

BPS Tender Tube (#71)

Megabass Ito Vision 110

Megabass PopMax

MegaStrike MegaTube Craw

MegaStrike Strikeback Spinnerbait (white)

Strike King Red Eye Shad (blue chrome)

Rage Tail Cut-R

GYCB Kut-Tail/ MegaStrike ShakE-2

 

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1 hour ago, roadwarrior said:

For  me:

Rage Tail Structure Bug, J-rigged

Siebert Outdoors Jigs/ Rage Tail Baby Craw, Craws & Lobsters

Fat Ika

Rage Blade/ Rage Structure Bug trailer

Norman Fat Boy (Redear pattern)

The Rig

Senko

Rage Tail Thumper (purple)

Sworming Hornet/ LFT Live Magic Shad

BPS Tender Tube (#71)

Megabass Ito Vision 110

Megabass PopMax

MegaStrike MegaTube Craw

MegaStrike Strikeback Spinnerbait (white)

Strike King Red Eye Shad (blue chrome)

Rage Tail Cut-R

GYCB Kut-Tail/ MegaStrike ShakE-2

 

Nice List Kent ~  Going have to try that Rage Blade / Rage Bug Combo ~

Do you rig it flat or side ways - (horizontally or Vertically) ?

Thanks

A-Jay

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I rig The Bug horizontal on the Rage Blade, vertically as a swim jig trailer. 

Another trailer I REALLY like for swim jigs is the Rage Tail Shellcracker (vertical).

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8 minutes ago, roadwarrior said:

I rig The Bug horizontal on the Rage Blade, vertically as a swim jig trailer. 

Another trailer I REALLY like for swim jigs is the Rage Tail Shellcracker (vertical).

Excellent ~

Thank You

A-Jay

 

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Here's a few

Seibert outdoors jig(deep throat hook with rage craw or fat Albert twin tail

Netbait t-mac on shaky head

Strike king 1.5 square bill

SK sexy dash Jr

Booyah pad crasher 

Spro popping frog

Hack attack swim jig with swim senko trailer or twin  tail menace

Strike zone ledgebuster

Zoom ultravibe worm

Brushhog

Fluke

Berkeley wild thang

Pop-R

 

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Cool idea A-Jay, can I join too? :)

My MVP's:  Black/Green 3/8 Jig, Texas Rigged Rage Bug (probably the single MVP of the whole year), Bladed Jig (mostly Bluegill colored, sometimes plain GP), and a Trick/Finesse worm on our club's own jig/shakey head (not for sale ;)).  

IMG_20161126_174025.jpg

The 2nd tier:  Double Willow Spinnerbait, Bronzeye Shad Frog, and a Swinghead with a Rage Bug (occasionally a Menace too).  

IMG_20161126_174138.jpg

Honorable Mentions:  MB Vision 110 (and variants), Mann's Baby 1-Minus, 1/2oz to 1oz Punch Rigs, Zell Pop, Various Squarebills (KVD 1.5, LC 1.5, and MB Knuckle mostly).

As you can tell, it's a lot of shallow stuff...Our tournament schedule this year happened to favor shallow water fishing essentially all year, so the deep water stuff I like to throw a lot didn't really play a whole lot.  That's normally 5/8oz or 3/4oz Jigs, Mid and Deep Cranks, Drop Shot, and Carolina Rigs.  In 13 events this season I think the deepest fish I weighed in was probably 8 feet...and since I basically tailor my whole year to our tournament schedule, I didn't really fish any other places where I wouldn't be fishing shallow.  This list would typically be fairly different, it's funny how these things work out like that.  Will be interesting to analyze it next year....

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10 minutes ago, Logan S said:

Cool idea A-Jay, can I join too? :)

My MVP's:  Black/Green 3/8 Jig, Texas Rigged Rage Bug (probably the single MVP of the whole year), Bladed Jig (mostly Bluegill colored, sometimes plain GP), and a Trick/Finesse worm on our club's own jig/shakey head (not for sale ;)).  

IMG_20161126_174025.jpg

The 2nd tier:  Double Willow Spinnerbait, Bronzeye Shad Frog, and a Swinghead with a Rage Bug (occasionally a Menace too).  

:smiley:

Honorable Mentions:  MB Vision 110 (and variants), Mann's Baby 1-Minus, 1/2oz to 1oz Punch Rigs, Zell Pop, Various Squarebills (KVD 1.5, LC 1.5, and MB Knuckle mostly).

As you can tell, it's a lot of shallow stuff...Our tournament schedule this year happened to favor shallow water fishing essentially all year, so the deep water stuff I like to throw a lot didn't really play a whole lot.  That's normally 5/8oz or 3/4oz Jigs, Mid and Deep Cranks, Drop Shot, and Carolina Rigs.  In 13 events this season I think the deepest fish I weighed in was probably 8 feet...and since I basically tailor my whole year to our tournament schedule, I didn't really fish any other places where I wouldn't be fishing shallow.  This list would typically be fairly different, it's funny how these things work out like that.  Will be interesting to analyze it next year....

ABB - SOLUTELY  ~ !

:smiley:

A-Jay

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Pardon my ignorance, but what is the button you are tapping with your left foot when you have a fish on?

 

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Looking back in my logs, the lures that caught the most fish this year in order are:

Half of a green pumpkin ZinkerZ on a 1/16 ounce mushroom jig

Booyah junior pad crasher in crinket frog pattern

Booyah popping pad crasher again in cricket frog pattern

Wacky rigged senko and senko imitations (mostly some version of green pumpkin, and also a fair amount of junebug)

Rebel magnum Pop-r in tennessee shad color 

Several jerkbaits, mostly a doctored suspending rogue and recently a vison 110

Texas rigged senko and senko imitations, same colors as when wacky rigged

Green pumpkin Z-man finesse worm-z on a 1/16 ounce mushroom head

Strike king 1.5 squarebill in chartruse/black back color

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5 minutes ago, Yeajray231 said:

Aye  @Logan S you'd make my day if you tell me what craw you have on the back of that jig in your first photo..

Reins Ring Craw.  

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Aside from my river baits, the lures I caught the most bass on this year are the same as last year. The first one is a 1/4 oz football head with an Arkie Salty Crawling Grub and the second one is a Terminator T-1 in 3/8 oz. with a pearl shad skirt, Strike King 4.5 size willow leaf blade and a Big Bite Baits 3inch Fat Grub in clear/salt & pepper trailer. 

018.JPG

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58 minutes ago, TheRodFather said:

Pardon my ignorance, but what is the button you are tapping with your left foot when you have a fish on?

 

It's the foot activated switch to either lower or lift one or both of the 12 ft Minn Kota Talons ( shallow water anchors) mounted on the transom. 

A-Jay

 

 

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Top 3 bass lures this year for me:

1.  Bottom hopper in June bug on a  1/16 oz t-rig

2.  5" Yum dinger (weightless) in watermelon red on t rig

3. Baby brush hog in watermelon red on a 1/16 oz t-rig

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29 minutes ago, Gundog said:

Aside from my river baits, the lures I caught the most bass on this year are the same as last year. The first one is a 1/4 oz football head with an Arkie Salty Crawling Grub and the second one is a Terminator T-1 in 3/8 oz. with a pearl shad skirt, Strike King 4.5 size willow leaf blade and a Big Bite Baits 3inch Fat Grub in clear/salt & pepper trailer. 

018.JPG

Man - giving up the Secret Stuff ~

:smiley:

A-Jay

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