This is one of the toughest blogs I’ve ever written. The bait I’m about to tell you about has been my money springtime bait for many years. I’ve always kept it a secret. I hate to give it up, but you’re my fans. I want to help you catch more bass this spring. I guarantee you this will do it.
It’s good for prespawn, spawning and postspawn bass as well as when you’re fishing behind another boat. You’ll catch bass that you didn’t know were there and bass that won’t bite anything else. And, it’s inexpensive and easy to rig.
Here we go: It’s the tail weighted French Fry. This lure is as old as dirt. But, the way I rig it is the key to catching bass with it.
We’ll start with selecting the right French Fry. The real key here is to pick one that has a flat bottom to it. This is critical to make it glide down correctly and for it to have the right action when it gets to the bottom. My choice is the Berkley Powerbait Lugworm. It’s 4 inches long, has deep ribs, a flat bottom and comes in at least 10 colors.
The next thing is to select the proper hook. You can use an offset worm hook if you like but it’s better to pick a small, light wire hook around a 1/0 or No. 1 size. The hook that’s best for this rig is the VMC Finesse Neko Hook. It’s a hybrid between an offset hook and a straight shank hook and it comes with an adjustable fluorocarbon bait keeper.
You’ll want to Texas rig your French Fry with this hook. The design makes it perfect for a perfectly straight bait when you’re done. And, the hooking percentage with this hook is higher than with any other hook I’ve ever used. It’s almost 100 percent.
The Lugworm has a fat end and a skinny end. Texas rig the bait with the flat side down from the skinny end. When it’s finished everything should be perfectly straight.
Now, we’re going to tail weight the Lugworm with a 1/32 or 1/16-ounce VMC Neko Weight. They look like a nail and they’re made of lead so you can shorten them with a pair of pliers or a knife if necessary. I cut most of mine in half under normal conditions. This basically makes for a little nub. I put mine in the fat end and make sure it’s as straight as possible.
Now comes the magic — because we’re using a light wire hook and because our French Fry is tail weighted this bait is going to fall backwards at an angle, actually it looks more like a glide. It’s almost horizontal. You can get it back, under almost anything. The bass haven’t seen anything like it. It looks real to them.
Fish this rig with light tackle. The line is especially important. I use anywhere between 6 and 10-pound-test fluorocarbon. Frankly, 6-pound-test is the best. You can use all fluorocarbon but I like to use a light braid to a long leader, somewhere between 4 and 6 feet. You want the bait to fall with the fluorocarbon. A short leader won’t let it do that. I use Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon and Berkley X9 Braided line. Color doesn’t matter.
I won’t get into specifics about my rod and reel choice other than to say that I like a 7- or 7-foot, 6-inch medium action rod. Any good 20- or 30-size reel will get the job done. The critical thing about this rig is line size, not your rod and reel.
Your bites will come on the fall so your presentation should center on a lift and fall presentation. Learn to drop your rod tip as the bait falls. Follow your French Fry down. You’ll get more bites that way.
One final tip: If the bass are actually on the beds, use a VMC skirted Neko weight. It’s the same exact weight with a skirt attached. For some reason the bass hate it when it invades their nest. They attack it with a vengeance.
There you have it. My secret bait for spring bass, the Tail Weighted French Fry. Give it a try. It’ll be lights out for the bass.
Hear Mike explain the Tail Weighted French Fry ____________________________________________________________________________________________
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