Fall & Early Winter Bait Choices Part 5: Boot Tail Swimbaits

Fall & Early Winter Bait Choices Part 5: Boot Tail Swimbaits

My final pick for a fall and early winter bait is a boot tail swimbait. They have a unique action to them and a thump from the tail that’s subtle but feels real to a bass. And, if you throw the standard sizes, most of them will pretty well match the hatch. I’ll fish them from now until the water gets hard. The only time I won’t have one on is when the water’s muddy or heavily stained. This is […]

Fall & Early Winter Bait Choices, Part 4: The Triple Willow Spinnerbait

Fall & Early Winter Bait Choices, Part 4: The Triple Willow Spinnerbait

Sometimes one or two blades isn’t enough on a spinnerbait, especially when they’re turning one behind the other. For those times I worked with Molix to design the Mike Iaconelli Lover Triple Willow spinnerbait. It’s design is unique. It has three arms running from the head of the bait back to three blades that are turning alongside each other, but not eating into each other. The idea is to make something that looks like a small school of baitfish that’s […]

Fall & Early Winter Bait Choices, Part 3: Spinnerbaits

Fall & Early Winter Bait Choices, Part 3: Spinnerbaits

The thing about spinnerbaits is that they are versatile. I know that you’ve heard and read things that say they’ve been replaced by other lures. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They’ve caught bass for decades and they’ll be catching them for decades into the future. One of the best things about a spinnerbait is that it can be fished on the fall or horizontal. I’m partial to the horizontal presentation and it works best in the fall and […]

Fall And Early Winter Bait Choices, Part 2: Walking Sticks

Fall And Early Winter Bait Choices, Part 2: Walking Sticks

Last time we talked about buzzbaits. This time we’ll look at walking sticks. The allure of a simple stick sliding from side to side across the water’s surface is something we humans don’t fully understand. My thinking is that it looks exactly like a baitfish feeding along the surface. Other anglers believe it looks like something — anything — in distress so a bass strikes at it out of instinct. I say simple stick because that’s what I like to […]

Fall/Early Winter Bait Choices, Part 1

Fall/Early Winter Bait Choices, Part 1

We’ve had a few cold nights here in New Jersey. Fall has arrived. I’m excited about that because it’s one of my favorite times to fish for bass. Big or little, they’re aggressive so you don’t need a tackle box that weighs 40 pounds to catch them.  All you need to do is find the forage and throw any of the five baits I’m going to tell you about over the next month. You can’t put too much importance on […]

Fall Bassin’ Calls for a Plastic Minnow-like Jerkbait

Fall Bassin’ Calls for a Plastic Minnow-like Jerkbait

I fish a plastic minnow-like jerkbait under almost any conditions from now until the water gets real cold, and even then one will get you a few bites. The only time I don’t fish one is when the water’s real cloudy or muddy. They don’t work very well for me under those conditions. Basically, I rig my bait one of two ways. The first is with a 4/0 or 5/0 offset worm hook in the usual manner. If I want […]

Pick the Right Treble Hook

Pick the Right Treble Hook

I’m asked a lot about how to pick the right style of treble hook. The answer is pretty easy, really. There are three basic styles of treble hooks. There’s the traditional round bend where the hook point is away from the shaft. That’s the first one. Then, there’s the extra wide gap (EWG) style where the hook point is bent back towards the shaft. That’s the second one.  And finally, there’s a hybrid design. I use all three depending upon […]

Another Look at Blade Baits

Another Look at Blade Baits

We’ve talked about blade baits in the past but I think we should take another look at them, especially now that we’re heading into fall. A lot of guys fish blade baits only one way. They throw them out, let them sink to the bottom, rip ‘em up as hard as they can and then let them fall back down on a slack line. You can catch a few that way. There’s no doubt about that, but there are other […]

Smallmouth Bass and Scent

Smallmouth Bass and Scent

Those of you have been following what I write and preach know that I’m a big believer in scent products. Some anglers think they attract bass. Others think they mask foreign odors. I say that misses the point. What they really do is work. Nowhere is that more true than with smallmouth. All bass use their senses to eat. They feel with their lateral lines, they hear some way, they feel and they can see. They also have a sense […]

My ICAST pick: The Berkley Powerbait Bearded Grass Pig

My ICAST pick: The Berkley Powerbait Bearded Grass Pig

Every so often something comes along that I would use even if it wasn’t made by a sponsor. That’s the way I feel about the new Berkley Powerbait Bearded Grass Pig Swimbait. It’s a true upgrade to the swimbait class of plastics. The best way to describe it is to say it’s a new design based on the original Grass Pig — a more traditional-type plastic swimbait — that adds a skirt at the front along with a collar that’ll […]