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Chris

How to put them to Bed.

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Let me first say that bed fishing can be fun rewarding and a pain in the % . There are days that you can sit on a bass bed all day looking eye to eye with your would be trophy and she just looks back and gives you the one fin salute. Maybe some of the things that have worked for me over the years might add to what works for you then we can be the ones with the one fin salute.  ;) Early season when the bass first get on beds I have great success running a buzzbait or a walking topwater bait over the bed. When fish are spawning in stained to dirty water is when this technique really shines and after they get off the bed there is a window that it works also. The main thing to keep in mind is to work these baits slow right when it gets over the bed. With a buzzbait this can be achieved by bending the blades out a little and adding a full skirt with a pork trailer. With a stick bait make long pauses in between jerks. Try to use a stick bait that has a single rattle in it to draw attention to it. Sometimes I will take a boy howdy or a jerk'n Sam and weight the tail of it by using a larger hook. When you jerk the bait real hard the nose will slap the surface and at a pause it will sit vertically and bounce. You can mess with a devils horse the same way. Another lure that you don't hear about a lot that still is a killer bed bait is a Bagley Bang-o-lure. Years ago in Florida it was a top producer for me especially the style that has the spinner on the end around grass. There are times when a rattletrap style bait when ran through the bed area will produce in stained to muddy water. There is a bait I used for years called a sugar shad that when it sits on the bottom it will sit in a natural position. What I would do is use it much like a flipping bait and pitch it to the bed. I would then shake it gently to get the bass's attention then rip it to get a reaction. Spinnerbaits catch them also what I like to do is use a spinnerbait that is tandem and shake and jerk it violently so that I make the blades smack together while I reel it in. Jerkbait's like the smithwick rogue that suspend can be killer at times. What I do is jerk it like I would normally and stop it dead still in the middle of the bed and wait. If you have it weighted right the bait will just stay in one spot looking stupid while it makes the bass's temper go hog wild. I have also taken a bomber long A and just used it like a crankbait and caught them also. I would cast and reel the bait and pause it just outside of the bed then snap it two or three times the reel it normal. It is like this one hard jerk and two quick jerks it looks like a bluegill that just figured out it isn't wanted and looks like it is trying to get away. Doing a little probing. Let me first say that every bed has a sweet spot. There is one section of the bed that gets the attention of the bass every time you just got to find it and exploit it. Top on the list is tubes, crawfish, lizards, soft jerkbait's, creature baits, jig, senko, worm. Some days when the bass get picky I make my pitch and move far away so that there is no way for the bass to see me. I had times when I was fishing from shore and I would sneak up and make my pitch and the crouch down out of eye sight. If you want to be creative and if there is a tree close by act like a tree blowing in the wind. Think about it this way if everything on shore is moving and your not how hard would it be to pick you out from the surroundings. Sounds crazy but it works trust me. Make sure that you wear colors that blend in also can't hurt. Now for the die hard snuff dipping backwoods  guys like me wear face paint. (Tiger stripes) :D The main thing about bed fishing as far as pitching and bottom baits is that you need to cast past the bed and bring it to it. (normally we will go into exceptions in a minute) When your bait gets to the bed stop it. If your bait doesn't have a rattle your success will go to pot it is extremely important.   After you get the bait to the bed shake it just enough to quiver it and make the bait rattle. You want to shake it and pause for a second then shake it some more. Don't over exaggerate it because you will move the bait out of the bed. Sometimes color can be important so use a color that is visible against the bottom. Make several presentations until you narrow what part of the bed the fish is willing to protect. Dropshot and a senko on a slip cork work great on bedding fish also. With the slip cork add a splitshot so that when you lift the senko it will click against the bobber to get their attention. With a dropshot just lift the bait off the bottom and quiver it for a few seconds then drop it. A soft jerkbait is another option that works great. You want to cast beyond the bed and work it to the bed then drop it. If you rig the bait so that the nose is angled up you can shake the bait and wait until the bass goes nose down on the bait then make one quick jerk and the bait will shoot up into their face and it forces them to react to it. Sometimes when your pitching a jig you can sit there and pitch over and over and finally tick them off into nailing it. You can also use a Carolina rig with a short leader with a floating lizard or a tube with some foam in it. What you do is bring it to the bed and just jerk the bait making the bead and swivel smack together and the bait twitches. Wacky rig works great and don't overlook a 4" slider.  

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That's great Chris. I guess I will cary a few more rods in the boat this spring. Thanks for the great info.

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another bed fishing thread

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Good post Chris!

I'd just like to mention another lure for working the bedding flats that is rarely mentioned by anyone

and that's a "4 Grub on 1/8oz Ballhead Jig". It works particularly well in the north,

when the weeds on the flats are still short, say 15" tall in 30 inches of water.

Hold the rod almost vertical (12 o'clock) and turn the reel handle just fast enough

to keep the grub ticking the weed tops. Balsa floaters like the bang-o-lure and rapala

spend far more time lingering over the bed, but strangely enough I've often done better

using that slow gliding grub :-/

Roger

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Guest avid

Some people sound like they they know bass fishing.

Chris KNOW bass fishing.

My man ..................................

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