Weekend Bass StrategiesWeekend Bass Strategies Weekend fishing requires sneaky tactics. However, if anglers fish a little smarter, they’ll enjoy those weekends much more.
By Hank Parker
I’ve always said weekend anglers face some of fishing’s toughest conditions. As a rule, bass bite better during the week than on weekends.
Anglers joke that fish know they must eat heartily during the week, so they won’t need to show their faces to the entourage of weekend anglers.
Bass aren’t that intelligent. They are instinctive, however, and those instincts are more astute than most realize. With limited pressure during the week, bass are predators; they’ll chase baits and take more risks. When Saturday afternoon hits, man is the predator and bass instinctively become defensive.
Once anglers understand this predator-prey relationship, they’ll be able to anticipate drastic mood swings, make appropriate adjustments and discover that weekend bass can be easier to catch.
Key On Cover
If the local bait shop says bass were biting in Big Bend Creek on Wednesday, they’ll still be there Saturday morning. But when the weekend armada converges, the fish will take cover – literally.
Fishing pressure will push bass off the easy targets and into the thickest cover available. That means an angler must make precise casts directly into fish hideouts.
At this point, it’s critical to make the first cast to each target count. As I quietly approach each bush, I imagine where a fish is positioned. If I make a lot of noise or miss the mark, any bass that might have been attracted to my lure becomes defensive.
Fishing pressure also forces bass from shallow-water cover into deeper water. If others in the area are fishing deep, however, the bass may move shallower – if the shallows offer abundant cover. That’s when flipping, the art of dropping lures softly into brushy hangouts, is ideal.
On the other hand, wary bass prefer the security of deep water. When nearby depths offer plenty of cover, chances of success improve because fish feel secure and become more aggressive. Anyone who finds several large stumps in deep water near an area receiving intense fishing pressure, may discover a more aggressive school of bass.
Do Something Different
Sometimes, anglers simply can’t get away from a crowd, so they must find ways to fish around it. If I’m forced to follow other boats along a bank, I purposely opt for different presentations. Rather than follow other boats the same direction along a bank, I may go the opposite direction and use different lures, or at least different colors.
In deep-water situations, I may opt for a vertical, rather than the traditional horizontal, presentation. A vertically jigged grub, worm or spoon offers enough change to attract strikes.
In shallow water, I speed up lure presentations and cover the areas as quickly as possible. Some believe bass must be coaxed into biting under those situations. I prefer showing the lure to as many bass as possible, banking on reflex strikes more than finesse bites.
If an area known to produce fish is being pounded, I may seek other places that probably hold fewer fish – yet they are fish that haven’t been hassled. I work these areas quickly with topwater plugs and crankbaits.
Indeed, weekend fishing requires sneaky tactics. However, if anglers fish a little smarter and play by the bass’s rules, they’ll enjoy those weekends much more.
Fore more articles, quick tips and much more visit HankParker.com.
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