All week I dream of secluded coves, lily pads and rocky bottoms covered with bass. Then I hit the water and target these go-to locations only to find no fish. The problem is, I spend too much time fishing places where I think the fish should be, instead of finding where they are. The solution is power fishing.
Power Fishing Tactics That Work
Divide the water you will fish into three parts: top, middle and bottom. Then rig one rod with a topwater lure, another rod with a suspending bait and arm the third rod with something that will roll deep.
When I approach a promising location, I first cast the topwater, then use the suspender and finally bounce the bottom lure. I limit myself to 10 to 15 casts with each lure before I move on.
The trick is determining what lures to use. While colors and models may change from one part of the country to another, the same basic principles apply to bass fishing from coast to coast.
In the spring, I work a slow-moving wake bait across the surface. A spinnerbait or jerkbait can be retrieved at a steady pace or paused so it hangs in the water. For fish lying low or protecting beds, a jig and creature bait are too much to resist.
In the heat of summer, bass will respond to big and noisy reaction lures. Poppers, spooks and buzzbaits cause chaos and commotion on the surface. Flashy lipless crankbaits and chatterbaits shake it up mid-level. I probe the bottom with a jig or finesse worm.
Fall For It
During autumn, I mix up spring and summer tactics. Weather plays an important role in lure choice. When the wind blows, the water is stirred up and the fish focus on the midwater column. On a sunny day I spend more time with the topwater lure. I can even pick apart vegetation with a weed-less jig or worm.
The key to power fishing isn’t in the water or in the tackle box, it’s in your head. Keeping up hope while making a thousand empty cats wears on patience and tests any angler’s resolve. On a recent fishing trip to a new lake, my brother and I only had a few hours to hit the water. While he was adamant on catching fish with a topwater popper, I rigged up for power fishing.
For over an hour, my brother made cast after cast. In half the time, I covered twice the water and determined the bass were focused on spinnerbaits. I told my brother to tie one on and, in short order, he caught six nice bass, including a three-pound trophy.
Carry a quiver of rods to cover all levels of the water column. | Feature photo: Dustin Doskocil