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J.C

Bass lures for the Midwest

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Hey guys,

 

I have never caught a bass before but once and I was like 6 or 7, but I recently got back into fishing and started rebuilding my tackle box. As of now all I have for bass is,  a pack of green pumpkin Senkos and some 3 ought red hooks, a deep diving crank it goes 12-16 feet, a black spinner, a black and blue speckled spinner, white buzz bait, and pack of Power Bait 5'' curly tail worms in the black and blue speckle to match the spinners. I was wondering what I need for bass up here, I was looking into frogs but know nothing about how to buy them expect that the belly is what matters I guess. What do you guys think I need?

 

I live in Minnesota but all answers will help! 

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Welcome to the forums! 

 

Senkos and 3/0 hooks are good, maybe look at siebertoutdoors.com and pick up some jigs, swim jigs, and a chatterbait. The Savage Gear 3D bluegill swimbait is a good one, also a couple hollow body frogs are always fun. I guess I should have asked first what kind of rod and reel are you using. My suggestions would be geared more towards baitcasters, of course most can be done with spinning gear also, you just need to make sure you have a stout enough rod. 

 

Frog colors, I like to keep a black, white, and natural color. 

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I am going to give you some suggestions that work for me here on the tidal rivers of the Chesapeake Bay, on clear drinking reservoirs, fast running rivers, small streams and in the big lakes like the ones we fish in TN. and KY.  In other words we use many of the same baits rigged several ways and just change colors depending on the water clarity.

Start with some basics.  The Senco worms can be fished weightless, on a light weight texas rig, or using a rubber O ring they can be hooked in the middle which is called wacky rigged.  So now you purchase say a pack or two of 2 different colors and try fishing them in different ways. This allows you to get bites in shallow and deeper water depending on your rigging at that time.

 

I would pick up a couple of packs of shakey head jig heads, say 2 pack of 1/8, and 2 pack of 1/4 ounce jigheads. You can fish your curly tail worms and pick up some finesse tailed worms for shakey head fishing. These can be deadly.  I would pick watermelon red flake and green pumpkin. Now the thing I am stressing is not spending a fortune. I just mean a few packs of a type of bait and getting enough hardware to fish those baits  from top to bottom.   Craw patterns like a Strike King Rage craw could be used on these rigs as well

 

Next I am going to be very specific as this is an old school weapon that my wife and I use everywhere and it will catch bass, panfish like sunfish and crappie, catfish and lots more. It is a Kalin 5 inch Lunker Grub. I fish them one way and it works for these grubs as well as many small plastics.  It is a Bass Pro Perfect Finesse worm jig head.  You will need to match the hook size to the bait as I forget if I use the 1 or 1/0 size but I would buy a few packs of the correct hook size in 1/8 and 1/4 ounce. These are very simple texas riggs but work fantastic. I fish these from just under the surface to 30 feet down and catch fish.  Bass Pro also has a larger version called a Perfect worm jig head. These make a quick texas rig for some bigger plastics since they have larger hooks available.

 

I would highly recommend getting some plastic paddle tail swimbaits. Look for Reaction Innovation Skinny dippers. These mimic live fish and can be cast out and let to sink. Then slowly swam back with occasional hesitation. They have a killer dead fish quiver and sink and many of the strikes come when the bait is killed. If no strike I will sharply jerk the bait so it jump alive sorta.  I rig these three ways. One is weightless for times I am fishing it shallow. I use a regular swimbait hook with a screw on it. I also rig them with a 1/8 or 1/4 ounce belly weighted swimbait hook. This works well from 1 to 10 feet of water.  Finally I rig them using a swim bait jig head. These look like a fish head attached to the hook. Look at a Big Hammer swimbait jig head or a Picasso smart mouth swimbait jig head. These are just examples I use lots of brands. Use 3/8 and 1/2 ounce to fish deeper water. 

 

If you notice I would suggest getting a bait in several colors and then the hardware to fish it many ways. This means you have a tackle bag with some different baits that you can have confidence in and be able to rig up to match the conditions you face that day.  After you fish for 40 years like this old fart you might have a tackle bag as big as mine. It is 17 1/2 feet long LOL

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Thanks a lot Frosty and Fishnkamp! I will totally take both you're guys advice and get this stuff! I have a pretty good idea now of what I need, and learned a bunch! Lets hope I can get back out and catch me a biggin! ;)

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Spend some time watching you tube videos on how to fish these lures. You tube is wonderful  because it can show you how to rig baits and how to work baits.

 

Also check out these shakey head jig heads. They are the ones I use the most.

http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Megastrike_Shake2_Pro_Model_Shakey_Heads/descpage-MSPROMD.html

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Senkos work great! 

One thing that works great for me is a white chatter bait with a red power bait trailer. I've caught a fish every time I've used it. 

Another thing I've been trying recently is useing a pink senko as a trailer for my jig and it works great also. 

Pink flukes are great. They are always good when the fish aren't biting.

 

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Hey fishnkamp, What size shaky head and if it matters what color? I also have a pretty wide range of fishing youtubers I watch which is what made me want to start catching bass. When I am usually looking for tutorials I usually turn to Glenn! 

 

 

Thanks Brett_22 I will give that a shot!

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14 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

I would pick up a couple of packs of shakey head jig heads, say 2 packs of 1/8, and 2 packs of 1/4 ounce jigheads.

My suggestions are just a starting point of course.  All too often a member gets the answers to his question and feels they need to go out and buy thousands of dollars worth of gear. Instead I would rather you get a few of this and a few of that, but enough hardware to rig it in different ways so you can fish the same lure in many ways.

My personal favorite shakey head brand is MegaStrike ShakE2Pro jig. It stands up automatically.. As for colors of jighead I usually go green or black I doubt it matters.   http://www.megastrike.com/shakey

As for color of worm. Well this is a clear to mildly stained water bait so worms in natural colors are my choice. I prefer Zoom trick worms and Z Mann finesse worms. I have caught more fish on Z Mann worms. They stand up the best.  I like watermelon/ red flake, new money, and junebug best.

Watch this video I prefer their ShakE2Pro series jig. The screw on it is better at keeping the locked on after a fish bites it.

 

 

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Thanks fishnkamp! I will make sure to listen to what you told me, and if I have any further questions I will make sure to ask you. I will also make sure to pick up a couple of these jigs they look deadly!

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I lived in SE Wisconsin for quite a few years and the same lures seem to work down here too.

 

I did have a couple of Mepps spinners go on strike though. They wanted $20.00 a cast!

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You have a 12 to 16 foot crankbait . You should have   bait's to cover the other depths . A 10 to 12  , 8 to 10 ...  

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Let me add something easy that you could use your 3 awt hooks for. Get a few packs of Zoom Flukes in a few different colors. Another easy bait for beginners is a Mepps spinner.

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Hastings...on the Mississippi, just upriver of LaCrosse?  Are you fishing the river?

 

Check this out: the top 10 lures from the recent FLW tournament that was held in May on the Mississippi at LaCrosse:

 

https://www.flwfishing.com/news/2017-05-22-top-10-baits-from-the-mississippi-river

 

EDIT:  Ah, I checked the map...Hastings is farther up than I remember it being.

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MIbassyaker, no worries and thanks for the tip! :D

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Like Fishnkamp I have been using the Kalins 5" grub for years, cheap, durable, and flat out catches them. Ron's Craw is a color I have done really well with in both dingy and super clear water. Other colors work well too. 

 

The second bait I would suggest is a tube, you can imitate anything from a craw to a baitfish with it. You can fish it weighted or unweighted. 

 

For both I rig up with slider spider heads. I have used both the light wire and heavy wire hook models the sell. Realistically though if you have a box  of just tubes and 5" grubs, you could go to any lake that has bass and catch em, sometimes the old school simple stuff can be the best. 

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I love old school!!!  If you look in my 17 1/2 foot long "tackle box" ( lol ), you will find plenty of modern day fishing lures, but lures like a Torpeedo,  Zara Spook, a gold body/ black back floating- diving Rapala, Rebel Humpy, or a Cotton Cordell Big O. I still have some of all of these.

A sinking jointed Rebel minnow still works, like the blue and chrome ones in my tackle boxes.  I wonder how many fish have been caught using a Hula Popper?  Grubs are killer baits and they will always be that.  

Some anglers today may think the Shakey head is a hot new technique, but how many years ago were the Charlie Brewer slider heads first brought out?  Remember "the do nothing worm" technique. Sorta fits the image of today's finesse worms.

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Just wanted to add in case J.C doesn't know Zman and standard plastics don't play well together. They need to be stored separately. 

 

Fishnkamp, one of my favorite dock rigs lately is a 1/2 Zinkerz on a slider head, I call it the sled rig;) Old school finesse meets new school finesse. 

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It is "the more things change the more they stay the same"  I am 55 years old this month. The only truly new invention" that I remember taking the bass world by surprise was when Bobby Garland brought out the original "Gitzit" tubes. That was a whole new animal.

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Don't why it should ever need to be said, but the old school stuff --the grubs, tubes, torpedos, slider worms, hula poppers, floating minnows and what-not-- have never stopped working. 

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The OP will be fishing mostly rivers and natural lakes where he lives. Nearly everything bass anglers suggest regarding lures are for targeting largemouth bass in reserviors or ponds, rivers and natural lakes are very different. 

Welcome to bass fishing and the BR site.

A good source of bass fishing information for the upper Midwest are In-Fisherman books written by the Linders.

I would suggest starting with a few lures and learning how to fish those before going out and buying tackle you don't need. Are fishing from shore? What rod and reel combo do you have? Knowing the answer to those question helps to focus on what you need for lures.

Tom

PS, Major Leage Fishing is rerunning a series filmed in Mn. Predominate lures where jerk baits, drop shot and T-rigged worms.

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Cgolf and Fishinkamp, I am totally going to get the grubs and tubes and take a look at some of the lures you guys suggested. Last night I got a pack of Powerbait black craws and a pack of Strike king KVD caffeine paddle tails in green pumpkin with red flake.... They smell like coffee?  Cgolf I like the nick name for the rig and will give that a shot! I don't have any Zman's yet and I assuming they melt in a tackle box? What would you suggest putting them in?

 

 

WRD, I am a shore fisherman currently. My fishing pole is a 6' 6'' medium action Shimano SRS serries with 8lb test line on a Shimano R4000 spinning reel with a 4.2:1 gear ratio.

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  I fish in MN, the southern part of the state mostly.  The water down here is usually green, brown, or sometimes muddy, and less than 1ft visibility.  I usually use dark colors, like black/blue or green pumpkin mostly.

   If you want to catch bass fish cover.  Weed beds with a Texas rigged worm or creature bait.  Lay down trees are also a good area to hold bass.  Hit them with tx rig or jig.  Topwater popper will get you lots of bites too, and if you are in an area with not a lot of weeds, don't be afraid to try a ned rig.  You will catch lots of fish of all species.  Tight lines, and post some pics when you catch a bass!

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check out joe's sporting goods, they might be able to give you some advice for the local area as well as have some good stuff for the area.. If i recall correctly frogs would seem to work since I remember last that there's usually a lot of algae 

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Jonnyblazex, I will make sure to listen to you're advice. The water is the same color here as well. I will defiantly post some pics when I get a bass!

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