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When water temperature dips into in the 40-50 degree range my go to fishing workhorse for bass is the ever-versatile jig – once we hit the 55-65 degree range on surface water temperatures my suggestion is to transition to Texas-rigged tubes, a personal favorite of mine as well as the bass. At 60+ it is time for the seven inch worms rigged the same way, Texas rigged. The traditional Texas rig start with a slip sinker, next for me is a red bead that serves to add color, sound and protect the knot above my 5/0 Daiichi copperhead hook. Sticks, stumps, rocks and bumps. Folks say they’re afraid to throw into a certain area because they’re afraid they’ll break off their lure. Why do you have that $20 lure in your tackle box if you’re afraid to throw it? A wacky rigged worm, where you punch the hook through the worm or soft plastic stick bait just off center is good in clear or cool water. The worm “undulates” and bends as the bait is twitched and I accompanied with a slow fall using light or no additional weight. Generally open face spinning tackle is best for this presentation. Bring on the brushy brambles that hold the beastly bass – with these rigs you’ll have no difficulty getting down and around some of the favorite haunts of the heavyweights.

‘Feel baits’ are lures that are worked primarily with the action of the rod and less with cranking on the reel. Single-hook rigs are preferable because they offer a higher efficiency percentage hookup ratio, the logic; it’s easier to drive a single hook into the jaw of your quarry than a multiple pointed treble hook. My preferred jig weight is a 3/8th oz. model trailed by a soft plastic crawfish imitator. Colors vary by season (because crawfish colors change as the year progresses) and water clarity. Black/blue jig and trailer seems to work universally. Brown or green shades are effective that match the natural stage of crawfish in the specific locale and season.
To match the rod and reel, I lean hard on the baitcasting outfits. A seven foot rod adds length to the cast, picks up line faster, allows for a strong hook set and is more efficient in playing fish of any size. The feel that is supplied by braided line is a plus. My braid likely 15 pound test is spooled on a 6.3:1 gear ratio retrieve reel. The no stretch braid also is good for the solid hook set.

Temperature will also dictate retrieve speed, fish seem to prefer slow and steady in cooler water, more rapid imitating an escape in warmer months. The digestive rate of all fish is dictated on large part by the temperature of the water. The faster they digest their meals the more often they feed, Experiment; keep a sharp hook, strong knot and use a sure hook set. Learn to watch the thermometer, adjust lures and retrieves and your bass / fish catches are sure to rise like the mercury on an August afternoon.