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    Springtime Bass fishing (Ohio)

    10 Point

    Posts : 141
    Join date : 2013-03-28
    Age : 51
    Location : Ohio

    Springtime Bass fishing (Ohio)

    Post by IOSherryHolt on Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:54 am

    It's here if the weather would just cooperate!

    The Best Lures for Spring Time Bass Fishing in Ohio

    The Best Lures for Spring Time Bass Fishing in Ohio
    bass image by Witold Krasowski from <a href=''></a>

    Ohio is home to a variety of bass species. Anglers can fish for bass throughout the year though springtime is one of the most opportune periods to catch them because of peak activity. The types of lures and bait for bass fishing varies depending on the specific fish, season and fishing grounds. In Ohio, bass anglers can find fish throughout the state including Lake Erie, Acton Lake, Ohio River, Buckeye Lake and more.
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    Largemouth Bass
    Largemouth bass can be caught in streams, rivers, ponds and most reservoirs and inland lakes in the state. The average fish length in Ohio is 21 inches. Baits and lures with dark colors are very productive in the spring. From March to April, anglers use lures with slow to fast action to imitate movements of crawfish. Lures, such as lizard or tube baits and Jig & Pig creature baits in colors such as green pumpkin and blue-black, are quite effective.

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    Hybrid Striped Bass
    A cross between striped and white bass, hybrid striped bass are one of the hardest fighting fish in the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The average length of hybrid striped bass is 21 inches. When fishing in faster moving waters like the Ohio River tail waters during springtime, use lures like jigs and heavy spoons. In waters with less current, fish with crankbaits and imitation minnow baits are most effective.

    Smallmouth Bass
    Smallmouth bass is another type of bass in the state. Most anglers catch these fish species by wading or boating on streams. Anglers can find naturally reproducing fish in reservoirs and streams in Ohio. The state average smallmouth bass length is 20 inches. During spring, the best lures are ones that imitate bait fish. Lures, such as twister tail jigs, spinners white tubes and silvery tubes, are very effective in luring these fish. Anglers often find smallmouth bass in areas like deep pools with wood cover, undercut banks or large boulder when fishing during spring.

    White Bass
    White bass are found in Lake Erie and many other larger reservoirs and tributaries in Ohio. According to the Ohio Division of Wildlife, anglers can find some of the best white bass fishing in Lake Erie tributaries during spring time. Averaging 16 inches, these fish can be caught from March to April with bait fish attached with small jigs tipped with minnows or plastic tails. Small shiny spinners or spoons also work. Many white bass anglers also use minnows under bobbers.

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    Read more at The Best Lures for Spring Time Bass Fishing in Ohio |

    Last edited by sherann67 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
    10 Point

    Posts : 141
    Join date : 2013-03-28
    Age : 51
    Location : Ohio

    Re: Springtime Bass fishing (Ohio)

    Post by IOSherryHolt on Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:17 am

    Use A Compass To Catch More Early Spring Bass

    By Dave Wolak

    When you’ve been cooped up all winter, it’s very easy to get on the water for that first run of these season and start pounding the first bank or piece of structure that looks good. Let me tell you, looks can be deceiving. Remember that this time of year, bass are starting to move shallow, and good shallow-water bass anglers are always hunting for those skinny areas that yield both size and numbers. The best of them have a knack of finding those spots that seems to be constantly replenishing themselves with fresh bass. Though honing this skill can take years, there is one common factor shared by their hot spots more often than not, and figuring it out simply requires a compass.

    Let’s say you were to throw all the early spring variables into a pie chart—ie. water temp, water color, vegetation, general topography—and measure the overall influence each one has on success with early spring bass. One of those variables would be southerly-facing shore lines, and if measured across several bodies of water, I would bet that this particular variable would take up at least half of a pie chart. Bass instinctively know which areas are protected from that mischievous north wind, which could cause shallow water temps to plummet in northerly facing areas. In short, southerly-facing banks often warm faster and hold their warmth better. Northerly-facing areas typically fire up much later in the spring.

    Last edited by sherann67 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
    10 Point

    Posts : 141
    Join date : 2013-03-28
    Age : 51
    Location : Ohio

    Bass fishing soft plastics

    Post by IOSherryHolt on Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:36 pm

    A Guide to Bass Fishing Soft Plastics
    by: Jason Sealock

    The best way to develop your feel for bites is by bass fishing with soft plastics. It requires patience to fish with these lures generally speaking because you have to feel the fish pick up or bite the lure, often when it’s not moving. There won’t be a big splash like a topwater or a hard tug like a crankbait. And knowing which plastic to use for different situations for bass fishing will eliminate a lot of wasted time on the water.

    This category could take ages to explain so we’ll try to keep it as simple as possible. Soft plastics are essentially combinations of salt, plastic, sand, glitter, and coloring shaped and formed into anything that can be perceived to be alive by a bass. There is an amazing array of colors, shapes and sizes when it comes to soft plastics and there are hundreds of different types plastics available.

    We generally sort plastics into one of these categories:

    soft stickbaits
    soft jerkbaits
    shad tails
    drop shot baits
    soft plastic baits for bass fishing

    Most soft plastics are either going to be rigged on a hook either Texas rigged, wacky rigged, Carolina rigged, nose hooked, Tex-posed or otherwise hooked, or they will be rigged on some sort of jighead and fished open hook.

    Fishing a plastic worm on a Texas rig is one skill every bass angler must master and become proficient with. Learning to detect bites on a plastic worm sitting still and knowing the difference between a bite and say bumping a rock or pulling through some grass are acquired perceptions that will make you a much better angler. We discuss that more in our Learning to Detect Bites feature.

    For now, let’s stick with the different types of plastics and their intended uses.

    soft plastic worms for bass fishing
    Top to Bottom: Zoom Magnum Ol’ Monster, Go2Bait Paddle Tail worm, Zoom 7 1/2-inch worm, Z-Man Finesse Worm, Berkley Bottom Hopper, Zoom Trick Worm

    Probably the easiest of the soft plastics to start learning to fish with would be a simple plastic worm. Creme introduced anglers to a new way to catch bass many decades ago, but a plastic worm has stood the test of time as a productive way to catch bass all over the country.

    Plastic worms come in a variety of lengths with a variety of tails. You have paddle tails, curl tails, straight tails, vibe tails and more. Each tail is designed to give the worm some sort of lively action as you lift it off the bottom of the lake and let it settle back. Some worms have a vibe tail on the end that has a cut in it so that as you steadily reel it in, it vibrates subtly under the water.

    There are lots of ways to fish a worm and they work in a variety of conditions. It’s narrow profile helps it come through cover, but a long curl tail will have a tendency to grab on to things underwater. It’s great for fishing on long casts and working an area thoroughly to see if bass are there. Worms work great in clear and muddy water alike. They work well on Texas rigs with bullet sinkers. Most bites will feel like a slight tick, pressure or you will feel or see the bass swimming off with your line.

    Creature Baits for Bass fishing
    Zoom Brush Hog, Berkley Powerbait 4-inch Lizard

    This category of bass fishing plastics involves usually slender profile worms with multiple appendages. They may mimick lizards or nothing that swims in the water but the many appendages give them action and help them look alive. They are equally effective on a Carolina Rig and on a Texas Rig alike. They can be great baits for flipping sparse cover, sight fishing, working big areas out deep, and pitching around isolated objects. Their many appendages can make them hard to penetrate heavy cover that is better fished with more streamlined flipping baits. But they work great in muddy and clear water alike. You can downsize the baits to small sizes and even fish them on shaky heads to give the bass something alive looking to bite.

    soft plastic beavers for bass fishing
    Left: Zoom Z-Hog, Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver, Yum Wooly Bullee Right: Berkley Havoc Pit Boss, Gene Larew Biffle Bug, Missile Baits D-Bomb

    This unique streamlined bait was designed to penetrate the heart of thick cover and get where big bass live and ambush prey. A slightly ribbed oval body with flaps at tail of the bait allow it to glide and dart in and out of cover, coaxing bass to bite. Andre Moore of Reaction Innovations gets the credit for creating the first beaver bait, the Sweet Beaver. His design spawned a whole new category of soft plastics that anglers have flipped and pitched on just about every fishery in America with great success. Their narrow profile and solid body makes them a great choice for punching matted vegetation, flipping bushes, or even just pitching to docks, stumps, lay downs or any other cover you find.

    tubes for bass fishing
    Zoom Super Salty Tube

    A tube is really a remarkable lure. The Gitzit created by Bobby Garland gave anglers a profile that not only mimicked baitfish but also crawfish. In fact, a study by Berkley concluded that the 3-4 inch profile of a tube, was the most preferred profile for a bass, probably because it mimics the size of most prey so well. A tube is a hollowed out plastic with multiple tentacles for a tail. You can slide a jighead up into the tube, a popular way to fish for smallmouth up north, or a texas rig it with a sinker and EWG offset worm hook and flip it. They are extremely versatile, fall with an erratic spiraling action on a jig head, and are a go-to bait for sight fishing.

    soft plastic toads for bass fishing
    Left: Strike King Rage Toad, Right: Zoom Horny Toad

    These soft plastic frog imitators were designed to be fished over the top of matted vegetation. With a flat wide body and usually two kicking legs on the back, you straight reel the lure in on heavy braid or fluorocarbon and it acts as almost a subtle buzzbait, gurgling on the retrieve to draw vicious strikes. It’s a great option for fishing over summer and fall grass. All you need is an offset worm hook, although better double pronged toad hooks are now available for this fishing.

    soft stick baits for bass
    top to bottom: Big Bite Baits Coontail, The Hag’s Tornado, Yamamoto Senko
    Soft stickbaits

    The soft stickbait hit the scene and it was as close as a plastic could get to fishing live bait. You simply cast it out on an unweighted hook, let it flutter to the bottom. If a fish didn’t pick it up on the initial cast, you might lift it up and let it fall again, before reeling it in and making another cast. It was that simple, and in clear water, it’s a deadly bass catcher. Gary Yamamoto basically came up with the design for the first soft stick bait when he made a mold of a Cross pen. With just the right amount of salt, sand, plastic, the lure dances on the fall and draws onlooking bass.

    Newer versions of soft sticks baits have hit the market that feature ringed bodies. These soft stick bait varieties fish well as drop baits, shaky head worms, and even on Carolina rigs. When bass are around the spawn, a Senko or other soft plastic stick bait can be hard to beat. They are great follow up baits for bass that strike and miss other lures as they really excel when bass are looking for a bait they know is in the area. You’ve got to be a line watcher with these baits. Any slight tick, or line jump or just a slow side swimming of your line and you know you’re about to have some fun.

    craws for bass fishing
    Left to right: Yum Money Craw, Strike King Rage Craw, Zoom Speed Craw, Megabass Bottle Shrimp, Strike King Rage DB Craw, Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw

    As simply as the name implies, soft plastic craws for bass fishing were designed to mimic one of a bass’s favorite foods—the crawfish. Essentially most craws are a small narrow 3-4 inch body that has two claws or appendages to mimic claws at one end. You hook the lure at the rounded end either texas rigged or on jighead. It can be flipped on its own or used as a trailer for a jig. The smaller varieties on shaky heads are deadly on smallmouth bass while the bigger versions make great swim jig trailers and flipping baits as well.

    trailers for bass fishing
    Left to right: Missile Baits Twin Turbo, Zoom Big Salty Chunk, Zoom Super Chunk

    Speaking of trailers, there are several plastic shapes designed specifically to be fished with casting jigs, swim jigs, spinnerbaits and more. These trailers offer tails that just undulate and more active tails that vibrate and flap as the lure is moved along. Typically I’ve found that the less active trailers do better for me in cold water and the more active twin tail type trailers work better in warmer water. You can usually find colors to match your spinnerbaits and jigs, but often times a completely contrasting color works wonders.

    drop-shot baits for bass fishing
    Berkley Twitchtail Minnow, Zoom Z-Drop, Missile Baits Drop Craw, Strike King Dream Shot, Robo Worm Straight Tail worm
    Drop-shot baits

    Some of the finesse worm and slender profile plastics were designed specifically to be used on drop shot rigs. With the drop shot rig, you don’t want a plastic that will catch a lot of water and cause the rig to spin on the retrieve, thus twisting your line and causing you problems later. You want a streamlined profile that you can make dance and swim with subtle vibrations and twitches on your drop shot rig. Most of these baits look like do nothing baits but catch lots of bass and big bass in deep, clear water, especially on lakes where bass like to suspend.

    soft jerkbaits and swim baits for bass fishing
    Zoom Swimming Super Fluke, AA Worms Shad Tail, Strike King Caffeine Shad
    Soft jerkbaits and shad tails

    The soft jerkbait is not only a fun soft plastic to fish, but it’s very productive as a follow up bait for misses on other hard lures. Rigged weightless on an extra wide gap (EWG) worm hook, you can make it dart and dance like a dying or injured bait fish and the bass will viciously attack it. We typically stick with shader other minnow imitating colors but have seen where natural colors like watermelon and green pumpkin have produced well.

    New versions have paddle tails on them. They can still be jerked around but they work even better just slowly reeled on a slightly weighted hook or jighead for a more finesse type action and profile in areas where you know the bass are roaming. The shad tails can be added to a jig head to be fished like a swim bait or jerked and hopped around like a jerkbait.

    There are probably more soft plastics we’re missing but this should give you a well-rounded base of knowledge for the soft plastics available to you and where to throw them. For a better idea of when to use which lure, check out our Bass Fishing Lure Selector Chart. For more information, see our How to Bass Fish Guide, When to Bass Fish Guide and Where to Bass Fish Guide.

    a big smallmouth bass fell for this soft plastic bass fishing lure

    Last edited by sherann67 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
    10 Point

    Posts : 141
    Join date : 2013-03-28
    Age : 51
    Location : Ohio

    Re: Springtime Bass fishing (Ohio)

    Post by IOSherryHolt on Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:37 pm

    Choosing the Right Bank for Spring Bass Fishing
    by: Jason Sealock

    We spend a bunch of money on boats and tow vehicles in an effort to get away from the bank in bass fishing. But then we hop in the boat and go right to the first bank and start fishing. The boat simply enables us to fish a lot more banks than we could by foot because of accessibility. But choosing the right bank for bass fishing is not random or luck in the opinion of most good anglers.

    We picked the brain of FLW Tour pro Terry Bolton of Paducah, Ky., and he gave us several tips for choosing the right bank to fish in the spring. The factors that affect his decisions on banks vary based on the following criteria:

    Angle of slope
    Rock size or type
    Clarity of water
    Bank location
    Additional cover
    Time of day
    Angler or slope determined by temperatures

    “I think that dirtier water makes them more comfortable about being up shallow, and it makes them easier to catch.”
    When Bolton begins his search for bass moving out of their winter locations in the early spring and early prespawn periods, he starts with steeper banks.

    “I think when the bass first start up to their spring locations, they want to still be close to deep water, like they know it’s going to be cold again soon.”

    The bass will move into those banks with 45 degree angle slopes or sharper where they can move up shallow and forage for short windows and then slide back out deeper to rest in the cold water.

    As it warms up the bass will get more comfortable on those flatter or shallower sloping banks.

    “A channel swing bank can be really good in the spring,” Bolton said. “You have the steeper deep sections that are good early. Then you have those tail out ends where it goes off the end a lot shallower and flatter. So the bass might be in the deep part of the swing early in the spring and then move up to the tail sections where the channel swings away from the bank.”

    Good banks vary throughout the spring as bass transition from deeper colder water to warmer shallow water
    Choosing the right banks for bass fishing in the spring can be as simple as finding the right rock and angle of slope.
    Rocks can be your best clue

    You can pattern the bass on a lake or in a major creek arm of a large reservoir by paying close attention to the types of rock on the bank.

    Early on, Bolton likes to find big Boulder or maybe head-sized chunk rock on a bank. That typically indicates a steeper grade and deeper water on the bank. As the water warms and he starts targeting bass on flatter shallower banks he will gravitate to more pea gravel type substrate.

    Isolated rock, however, will still be a big deal as we’ll discuss in a moment.

    Rip Rap can be a great place to find bass in spring. These man made rock walls can often hold bass throughout the entire spring. Learning to work up and down the rocks is key. During the low light hours or colder parts of spring, the fish may position on the deepest parts of the rip rap.

    While on warm sunny days or later in the afternoon, they may slide up the rip rap and position just under the surface on the shallowest parts of the wall, where the rocks have absorbed the suns warmth.

    Bolton always looks for transitions in rock, especially in major creek arms.

    “Creek arms hold populations of bass all year, so you can start in one creek and follow the different types of banks until you find the bass,” Bolton said. “I always look for rock transitions this time of year. Where it maybe goes from boulders to gravel or chunk rock to smaller rock. These can be good because the bass may sit in one type to warm up and then feed in the other type. So finding the edges where it changes can be great places to look for bass.”

    Bolton really likes craw patterns in the early prespawn but he will alter the body styles depending on the banks and temperature of the water.
    Clarity can dictate best banks

    Bolton’s arsenal for spring banks

    Here is a rundown of what Bolton has on the deck fishing on rocky lakes devoid of grass this time of year:

    Rapala Shad Rap - Bolton will start with a No. 7 Shad Rap in the colder part of the spring. If the bank is a little steeper he might go up to a No. 8. Then later in the day and later into the spring, he’ll fish a lot shallower and go down to a No. 6 or No. 5 Shad Rap. He likes the crawdad colors most of the time unless he feels the bass are on a shad bite real hard. He likes the Shad Rap on clean steeper banks without much cover.

    Rapala DT 6 - The DT6 has been a staple for Bolton for many years. The bait runs 6-foot deep and has a tighter wiggle than most crankbaits its size, making a great cold water crankbait. He likes a variety of colors in the DT6 line mimic crawfish, but also brighter shad colors like Hot Mustard as well in stained water. He will set his boat in 9-10 foot and throw to the bank with this crankbait when searching for bass along rip rap, and secondary channel banks.

    Rapala Rippin Rap - As the water gets warmer and the bass migrate to flatter banks, he will opt for a Rippin Rap. He can fish it slower by going down in size or faster by going to a larger size. When the bass are roaming shallow flats, he’s had some huge days targeting schools of bass that get up there and warm on those flats before dispersing for the spawn.

    1/2 Ounce Picasso Tandem Thunder Spinnerbait - Bolton has relied on a spinnerbait to catch bass from 0 feet to 25 feet. And he relies heavily on a spinnerbait when the bass are on cover laden banks that have a lot of stumps and laydowns to pick off big female bass staging and preparing for the spawn.

    Storm Arashi 3 and 5 - As the water warms up a bunch in the spring, he will go to a more aggressive wobbling crankbait like the Arashi 3 and 5 square bills. The wider more aggressive wobble on square-billed crankbaits can really trigger big bass feeding up aggressively for the spawn. They work well around cover or flatter banks.

    “I like to find stained water this time of year,” he said. “I think that dirtier water makes them more comfortable about being up shallow, and it makes them easier to catch. If I can’t find dirty water and the water is real clear, I want to find the banks with wind on them to break up the water so they don’t get as good a look at my crankbait or spinnerbait.”

    Dirty water is something some folks will run away from. But not me. And certainly not Bolton. Anything that makes it where the bass can see your bait but can’t get a great look at it, improves the odds in your favor.

    Bank location

    Early in the spring when bass first start moving to their spawning areas, Bolton focuses on banks closer to the main lake or main lake locations like points, bars in the mouths of bays, and creek channel ledges leading to spawning areas.

    As the water warms he will work back further into creeks and pockets focusing on channel swing banks, secondary points and banks leading into spawning areas with transitions rock and additional cover.

    Cover can refine your bank search

    Bolton doesn’t seek out specific cover in the early prespawn, late prespawn, spawn or post spawn periods, but the presence of cover is on his mind.

    “I won’t necessarily choose a certain bank because there is a certain type of cover on it, but having additional cover on the right banks makes them that much better,” he said. “I used to love targeting man-made structures like concrete ramps, docks and those boat rails that locals will use to launch a boat in their back yard. Pieces of cover like a shallow brush pile, a stump or a laydown can give those big bass a place to setup on those banks in the spring and make them easier to target.”

    Time of day

    The accepted norm is that when the water is real cold in the early spring, later in the day is often better, especially on sunny days. Bolton finds this to be true most of the time. But he also finds that the time of day puts the bass in different places on the same bank.

    “You might catch them on a 5 to 8-foot diving crankbait in the early hours of day but by the late afternoon, you might have to get out that smaller Shad Rap or Arashi 3 and fish in water less than a foot deep to catch those same fish. The warmer water can get them really shallow late in the day.”

    Bolton cautions though that anglers shouldn’t be to rigid on their selection of baits and where they target the bass on banks just based on time of day.

    “I can’t explain it exactly, but I’ve found a lot of times there will be big ones up real shallow on a bank real early in the morning, even though the water is the coldest. I don’t know if the rocks hold heat over night and that makes the shallows a degree or two warmer over night or if they are just moving up to feed in a small window first thing in the morning and again later in the day.”

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    Re: Springtime Bass fishing (Ohio)

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      Current date/time is Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:57 am