Lake Mismanagement, Crankbait Tips, Why Bass Hit Spinnerbaits, and More

Top Bass Fishing Questions
Viewer submitted questions about bass fishing are answered right here! The second in a series. Send us your bass fishing questions and we'll answer them.

    

Transcript

Hey folks. Glenn May here at BassResource.com, and one of the things I'm gonna talk about today is like the different kind of questions that we get either on our forums or our YouTube channel, or even on our social media channels. The thing about fishing is there's a lot of questions and a lot of theories, some debatable, and that's what makes fishing so much fun. There's actually a lot of unknowns.

And even for myself, every time I go out fishing, I try to learn something new. I try to walk away with some new nugget information that might help me later on and help me become a better angler. We're all like that. We're all in the quest of knowledge. So, today's questions, I've kind of culled from a variety of different sources from our channels, and hopefully, they're gonna help you become a better angler. Starting off with this question.

  

Question: So, Glenn, I noticed in your videos that you hold your reel, your baitcasting reel in your hand. Why do you actually hold it that way versus holding onto the rod itself?

Answer: That's a really good question. It basically boils down to control and sensitivity. So let's talk about control first.

Rods, they're designed to have that reel at a point where it's kind of a fulcrum point, it's the pivot point, the balance point of the rod. This allows you to have maximum leverage when you're setting the hook and you're fighting the fish back, that's the spot where kind of the sweet spot where you'll have that. So the reel is strategically placed where you should have your hand. But in addition, that rod handle, that's designed to actually go here underneath your arm and to press against that.

So when a fish bites, it actually fights. As the rod tip pushes down, the handle pushes up against your arm and it enables you to have more leverage. If you had to hold just the rod handle, then all of that weight is on your wrist and you've got to really muscle them. You're working two, three, four times as hard to pull on that fish versus if you had that rod handle resting against your forearm.

In addition, it enables you to have a lot more sensitivity. The line is really your only connection between you and that fish or that lure. And so, when the lure is bouncing on the bottom, or when there's a bite, those little vibrations come up through the line. When they touch the rod guide, some of that vibration is transmitted down the rod, and the rest of the vibration also goes down through the line to your reel.

So the reel seats are designed in such a way that first of all, there's a blank on the bottom side of it, and that's where your fingers touch. So you have your fingers touch on the actual blank itself so you can feel those vibrations coming through the rod. If you had a hold of that cork handle, or that EVA foam handle, that foam, it deadens all that and you're not gonna feel that vibrations coming through the rod.

The line connecting all the way down to your baitcaster, all that vibration's gonna be vibrating right through the baitcaster right to your hand. So between your hand touching the rod, and your hand touching the baitcaster, you're gonna have a lot more sensitivity and be able to detect those subtle bites as well as being able to have a much better feel for what is on the bottom of the lake.

Okay. Here's a great question about props.

 

Question: Glenn, would a stainless steel prop, one that give my lower gears, my lower unit more damage if when I hit an object versus having an aluminum prop, I mean wouldn't aluminum probably better in those conditions?  

Answer: This is a myth. Honestly, because the way props are designed, they're not all one welded piece of stainless steel or aluminum for that matter.

The core of the prop is called the hub, that's actually pressed on machine-wise, pressed on with a rubber gasket in the middle. It's done this way because it's engineered to absorb impact when you strike something and even give way if you hit a really hard object long before that vibration or damage can occur, you know, going up into the gear case where it can cause damage. That hub will give away and you actually will spin it. It's what you call a spun hub, you know, break that tension and that prop will spin free around the hub. There, that way, the prop takes the brunt of the damage versus the lower unit.

Also, if you do hit something that's not as hard with your prop, stainless steel can hold up to that a lot better than aluminum. The stainless steel might have a little scratch or a small nick, whereas that could total an aluminum prop. So over the course of the lifespan of the engine that you own it, you could go through several aluminum props and actually end up spending more money that way than you did if you just bought a stainless steel prop upfront.

There we go! Okay. There we go. There we go. That was fun. Thanks for playing buddy.

So here's a good question.

 

Question: A spinnerbait doesn't look like anything you would see in a lake, yet the bass hit it. I don't understand why? Glenn, why do you think this is the case?

Answer: Well, a spinnerbait, what it does...yeah, you're right. A lot of people have a hard time getting over what a spinnerbait actually looks like. They have a hard time fishing it they don't have all the confidence because it doesn't look like, say, a baitfish or a crawfish.

That said, a spinnerbait appeals to the bass as predatory instincts as well as its senses. This is why it's actually so good at attracting strikes. It does a couple of things.

First of all, it moves quickly through the water column. You use it by fishing it through and by the places where the ambush points where the bass are at. So it goes by very quickly, it almost startles the best, but they have to react in an instant, they don't have time to think. It's something that's moving that looks alive and that's why they hit it, it's getting away from them.

It also has the flash and vibrations. It looks very realistic, like something moving and going through the water. And those are the type of things that baitfish and other forage have, are those characteristics. So it resembles not visually but it gives off those visual cues that, "Hey, this is something that I like to eat or will eat."

In addition, in my opinion, bass, they are very curious and they don't have hands like us. They can't grab onto something to look at and examine it and touch and feel it to figure out what it is. The only thing they have is their mouth. So they will put something in their mouth to figure out what it is.

And so, a spinnerbait, it looks a little foreign to them, but it gives off all those characteristics that it's something that's alive, that's something that they could eat. And so, some of the bites that you get are because they want to know what that is. So you've got those three different things. It's appealing to their predatory instincts, it's appealing to their visual and the lateral line senses, and it's appealing towards their curiosity. I think that's why spinnerbaits work so well.

Here's a great question about spooling line on a reel.

 

Question:  Why is it so important to get the right amount of line on your reel?

Answer: Boy, there's several reasons for this. On baitcasting reels, if you don't put enough a line on there, man, you're gonna get a lot of backlashes because that spool is gonna spin a lot faster and that line isn't gonna be able to peel off as fast as that spool is running and you'll get a lot of backlashes. It will also inhibit your casting distance that way because it's just gonna mess up with that line.

With spinning, if you don't have as much line on there, then what happens, you'll underfill it. That line is gonna be whapping up against the lip of the spool and that's gonna inhibit your casting distance. So you're gonna have much shorter cast because the line isn't filled up all the way.

Now conversely, if you overfill a spinning reel, then all your line is gonna be looping off. It's gonna be coming...that lip isn't gonna hold it in place, the line is just gonna be falling off that reel and you're gonna get all kinds of nasty knots and backlashes. And when you’re reeling in the line and a lot of times you'll get that little bit of a loop in the spool and then your next cast, you get this big bird's nest. So overfilling it can be just as detrimental as underfilling it.

With a baitcaster, if you overfill it, a lot of times what happens is when you depress the thumb bar, it's kind of got this fulcrum, right? So you've depressed it on the top, the body of that thumb bar will...the bottom part moves in and it can touch in or rub the line if it's overfilled, and it's gonna decrease your casting distance.

Plus, what I've discovered as personal experience, if you overfill it, the line doesn't always line right back up evenly on the spool when you're retrieving it. It can load up on one side or the other. And while you're reeling it back in, it'll start to catch on either the piece of the frame of the baitcasting reel or on that thumb bar and it'll start to tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, and it'll catch.

And that can be really detrimental to when you're especially if you catch a fish, but it also, you, say, you're crankbait fishing or spinnerbait fishing and now your reel is clunking and catching and stuff, it's gonna ruin your retrieve. So make sure you fill it up to the proper amount of line on your reel and you're gonna have a lot better success not only with the casting and casting accuracy, but also in your presentations.

Keri: There we go. Better one?

Glenn: Yeah. I bounced it right off a rock. As soon as it hit the rock, bang. Smacked it. As soon as it ricocheted off the rock. Here we go.

All right, here's a question about lake management.

 

Question: If I go to a lake several times and I don't catch any fish, is this an indication of possible lake mismanagement?

Answer: Well, you know, I'm not gonna say no, because yeah, it's possible the lake isn't managed very well, and there just might not be an abundant amount of fish in it. But typically, if you're struggling to catch fish in the lake, it's usually because of the angler. A lot of us like to blame something else, environmental conditions or lake mismanagement, but the reality is, sometimes the fish are just reluctant to bite or you're fishing in areas where the fish aren't at or perhaps you may be fishing the wrong lure or presentation that aren't appealing to the fish at that time.

Fishing is a real puzzle, it's real difficult sometimes to narrow down what the pattern is that day. It's a matter of trial and error for everybody, myself included and every pro, when they go out on the water, they have an idea of what the fish might be doing that day. But the reality is, you've got to go through a series of trial and error and kind of a countdown method, if you will, to go through the check-downs, go through these different motions to find what the fish are doing that day and fine-tune based upon what you think they're supposed to be doing and find out what they're really doing for you to catch fish.

So, what I like to do, for example, is I'll fish top to bottom, fast to slow, just kind of a matrix in my mind, where I'll fish the top layer water first, then I'll start fishing fast and then I'll start fishing medium speed and then slow. If I'm not getting bit there, I'll move down another layer in the water column, and again, fish fast, medium to slow, move deeper, fast, medium, slow.

At the same time, I'm also looking at different cover available. I'll fish weeds, I'll do that same thing, top to bottom. I'll fish points top to bottom. I'll fish stumpy areas or flats, top to bottom, that type of thing. I dissect it that way and that enables me to hone in on where the fish are that day and to catch more fish.

A good indicator to tell whether or not a lake has been mismanaged is if there's a lot of fish that are the exact same size that are thin, stunted fish. Typically, you catch a lot of dinks, those 10 to 12 inch fish or even smaller. They're all uniform no matter what you do, and they're not very fat. That to me, means you have an overabundant population and not enough forage. That's a lake mismanagement issue.

 

Question:  Why are extremely long cast critical to crankbait fishing?

Answer: This is a really good question. It really goes down to the mechanics of crankbait fishing, specifically deep diving crankbaits. In order to get that bait down to the diving depth, you've got to do a lot of cranking at first to really fast to get it down there. And then you can slow down your retrieve, and crank it and to keep it down at that depth as long as you can. But at some point, it's gonna start coming right back up to you, because you've run out of length, and it's gonna start coming right back up to your boat into your rod and reel.

So, there's a certain amount of your cast that’s spent on that lure going down to the depth that needs to be and coming back up. The shorter the depth, the shorter the cast you make, the less amount of time it's gonna spend at that ideal depth where the fish are gonna bite it. So a longer cast are necessary so you can keep that bait longer during the strike zone and fish greater areas for longer amount of periods with that crankbait. So that's why you fish and throw long distance with your crankbaits.

So I hope I've answered some of your questions. If I didn't get to them, don't worry, I got a bunch of these that I'm gonna go through. As time goes on, I'll be answering your questions, I hopefully get to yours soon enough. And if you happen to have a question for me, please shoot me an email down here at the bottom of this. I've got it listed down here or you can always hit me up on Facebook or on our forums on BassResource.com. For more tips and tricks like this, visit BassResource.com.