Thank you for purchasing the Lure Selection Mastery Video Course! After finishing this course, you’ll have a much better grasp on which lure you should be using and when you should be using it.
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Everything You Need to Know About a Jig – Video 1
Bass jigs are a basic but highly misunderstood lure. A lot of beginner anglers don’t know to properly choose the right jig, and what trailers to use, so they end up quitting on them too early.
Types of Bass Jigs
A bass jig is a weighted hook with an eye attached to the top or side of the weight. Some of the hooks have a weed guard attached to them as well.
There are many different bass jig styles that each have their own purpose and application. Understanding the different types will help you choose the best bass jig for each situation.
They all have a time and a place.
Football jigs are the most common type of jig, and you can probably imagine what the head is shaped like. These are designed for hitting rocky bottoms and then retreating towards the surface.
The large head on these provides a lot of extra weight to the lure, which makes it ideal for casting, and the design creates buoyancy so it sits upright when you leave it alone.
Fishing with a football jig is the least active of the jigging techniques because of the upright floating design. You’ll want to cast it out and let it rest for a bit. Start jigging, resting, and repeating that process, but do so relatively slowly.
I think it’s most beneficial to fish a football jig more like a crankbait than a jig. Throw a craw-colored creature bait on there, and you’ve got a great presentation.
A flipping jig is another highly common bass jig and one of the other most popular options for largemouth bass anglers. These have a slightly pointed head with an eye on the top, and they almost always come with a fiber weed guard.
These lures are designed for work in cover, and they can rip through the weeds without bringing them all home with you. Keep in mind that flipping jigs do come in various designs, so they don’t all have the same head shape. The design of the head will vary based on the manufacturer you purchase it from.
If you’re flipping around hard structures like stumps or docks, you’ll want to use a rounder shape because it’ll be easier to pull over branches without getting pinned in between them.
Flipping jigs have a wide assortment of sizes ranging from ¼ ounce all the way up to 1 ½ ounces, depending on what you’re after.
You’ll want to cater the size to the conditions, weather, and tackle you’re using. When you’re working a flipping jig, you’ll want to be a little more aggressive than a football jig and twitch it a little harder with a more active presentation.
Cut through weed beds along the shore, and don’t be afraid to cast directly into dense vegetation from the shore.
A finesse jig can be a lot of things but simply a sized-down version of it. You can have a football head, pointy head, round head, and a hair jig designed finesse jig.
It’s all about the size. The main reason for finesse jigs is due to conditions. If you’re fishing when there’s a lot of pressure, during a cold front, in shallow water, or in extremely clear water conditions, this is where finesse jigs come in handy.
Have you ever gone to a popular lake to find that there are 50,000 people there fishing, and you know darn well you don’t have a chance to catch anything?
Get a finesse jig for this situation.
I had a situation like this last Father’s Day where it was super windy, and there were boats and people fishing the bank all over the place at a local state park that’s known for being overfished.
Your best choice during a time like this is to pull out a light-colored ¼ ounce swim jig and work it consistently in the shallow water.
A swim jig is a lot shorter with a much thinner skirt. These are the best jigs for prioritizing a trailer rather than the jig itself.
These designs make this the perfect lure for covering a lot of water. If you’re fishing in a spot you’ve never been before and you’re simply trying to feel it out, a swim jig with a double paddle tail trailer is a great choice.
Swim jig heads are typically pointed with an eye on the top, so they work more like a spinnerbait. You’ll actually pull them headfirst with the weed guard sliding through vegetation.
Everything You Need to Know About a Spinnerbait – Video 2
What is a Spinnerbait?
A spinnerbait is called that because of the spinning rotation of the blades on the top of the lure. These create a vibration and flash in the water that drives the bass crazy.
If you understand why bass strike, much of the time, it’s not even because they want to eat or they’re feeding; it’s because you’ve aggravated them enough to get them to bite.
Another characteristic of a spinnerbait is the skirt that hangs off.
This cover is supposed to help imitate a fish, and it covers the hook to make it look less suspicious. Underneath all the smoke and mirrors is a standard jig head (usually).
Types of spinnerbaits for bass fishing when it comes to the design of a spinnerbait, most of the variety will come from the type of blades you have and how many.
- Willow – Sharp points on both ends, creating a fast but limited-range rotation
- Colorado – Oval-shaped blade with a slower rotation but brighter flash
- Indiana – Oval shape with a point on one end. Moderate speed and flash
Let’s break each of these down in more detail.
Willow-leaf blades are long and narrow, and they’re designed to move through the water quickly. This is a great choice when the bass are active in the early morning on a hot summer day. It also makes them a great choice for fishing deeper clear water because they’ll sink faster to your desired depth.
Colorado blades move much slower than willow, and this has its advantages and disadvantages. The blades make Colorado spinners a great topwater spinnerbait because they don’t sink as much. If you’re trying to fish right below the surface, you’ll want one of these blades.
Since they spin slower, they create more vibration in the water, which is why you’ll see these blades used on spinnerbaits recommended for nighttime fishing. They also work well in low-visibility water right after a rainstorm when there is a lot of runoff.
This blade is the middle ground between the two, so it works well in both scenarios. If you’re unsure about what depth you’re fishing or what you’re going to run into on the water, you could use an Indiana-bladed spinner and get the best of both worlds.
You might see that many of the spinners we recommended above have two different style blades. This strategy is a great way to hone in on what you’re trying to accomplish.
The different types of blades allow you to create both the flash and vibration you want. Trailer Hooks Before we dive into spinnerbait fishing techniques, I wanted to talk about trailers for a second.
In many cases, spinnerbaits are retrieved too fast, so bass end up missing them. Having a trailer hook on the end of the lure is a great way to prevent that from happening.
A trailer hook is basically just another hook that you’ll run through the existing hook on the jig head. It will hang off the end and offer a little more real estate for the bass to strike so you can set the hook more easily.
Spinnerbait Fishing Techniques
Learning how to use a spinnerbait is much simpler than most people think. It’s one of the easiest lures to fish with because it doesn’t require any special presentation.
You simply cast it out and retrieve it. The lure itself does all the work and creates the presentation for you.
What kind of blade you have will determine how fast you need to retrieve it.
Spinnerbaits work their best when you have a slight cloud cover and ripples on the water. You’ll always want to cast these along and near structure or cover.
Let’s take a look at three techniques you can use if you’re trying to get fancy.
All you need to do is give the rod a little jerk every so often as you’re retrieving it. Whenever the lure is passing by something like a stump, you can change up the presentation and provoke the bass to strike. When you keep the motion the same all the time, the bass might be curious, but they won’t bite.
The way that I’ve always preferred fishing spinnerbaits is just beneath the surface. The strategy is a bit more challenging, and it requires some finesse, but it works. Keep the rod’s tip pointed up, and make sure you have a Colorado blade to disperse the weight.
Fishing beneath the surface is a great method when you’re fishing shallow water along the shore when there is a lot of greenery.
Yoyo Method (not the illegal one)
The yoyo method works well if the bass aren’t biting, but you’ll want to use a willow blade for this. You’ll let the lure sink to the bottom, lift the rod up so you jump the spinner off the bottom, then reel in the slack. Keep repeating this, and it will create a lot of noise and vibration in the water.
Everything You Need to Know About a Crankbait – Video 3
What is a Crankbait?
A crankbait has a hard body, and it mimics the appearance of a baitfish. The reason these work well for bass is because bass are known to eat smaller fish. Anything that eats other fish can get targeted with a crankbait.
Crankbaits have a bill or a lip on the front, and that is what helps them dive quickly into the water. The bill then acts as a suspension mechanism that helps the lure float in the water between two and six feet below the surface.
When you reel in the crankbait, the lip then helps the lure wiggle from side to side, which is what gives these baits such a natural appearance.
The Different Types of Crankbaits:
- Shallow diving crankbaits
- Deep diving crankbaits
- Lipless crankbaits
Shallow diving crankbaits will dive around one to four feet, and they typically have small lips, so they don’t create a lot of resistance when they hit the water. As a result, they dive quickly, and you should work them slower than deeper diving lures.
These are almost like topwaters, and they work well in shallow water.
Deep diving crankbaits will do the opposite, and they’ll dive as deep as 25 feet, and the lip on these creates a powerful wiggling motion in the water that leads to a louder disturbance which creates more attention. The only time you will use these is when you have a lot of open water or you’re trying to target a structure that is deep below the surface.
Lipless crankbaits obviously do not have a bill, and they have a much tighter wobble that doesn’t generate as much attention. I like to use these in smaller ponds where there might be a lot of vegetation.
Lipless crankbaits will rip through the cover a lot better.
What is the Best Color Crankbait?
To determine the best crankbait colors, you want to look at the current weather situation.
Generally, bright colors are ideal when the weather is warm, and natural colors are better when the weather is cool.
You should also pay attention to the condition of the water. In the spring and early summer, the water is usually murky due to snow runoff and heavy rainfall.
At this time of year, you’ll want to use bright colors to draw attention. When you’re fishing clear water during the summer and early fall, you will want to mimic the colors of natural baitfish as much as possible.
How to Fish a Crankbait
When you’re trying to choose the best crankbait for bass fishing, you want to keep two things in mind—first, the wobble and action of the lure.
Second, the diving depth, considering the location where you’re fishing. To fish a crankbait, you need to cast it out and let it dive. After a few seconds, you can start your retrieval.
The smaller the lip on the crankbait, the slower the cranking.
The best way to master fishing for bass with a crankbait is to get out there and try them because it’s something that you get a feel for rather than understand right away.
One thing that a lot of experts like Kevin Vandam recommend with crankbaits is to fish them where there is cover.
When they break free from the vegetation is what often triggers a strike.
Overall, fishing a crankbait doesn’t require a lot of experience or knowledge because it’s a simple cast and retrieval, and the lure itself does a lot of the work in creating the presentation.
Everything You Need to Know About Soft Plastics – Video 4
Types of Bass Rigs
There are many reasons why it’s important to learn how to rig a fishing line and a lure.
Every rig has a different purpose. Some are weedless, which means you can throw them near or in heavy cover, and you won’t pull back a ton of green.
Other bass rigs are for presentation. They create a natural appearance of the lure, which helps increase the likelihood of bass being curious about what it is.
Regardless of what rig you prefer to use for bass, knowing the most popular bass rigs will give you more gas in the tank when you’re out there fishing a long day.
The Texas rig is one of the most popular bass rigs, and you can fish a wide assortment of soft plastics this way. You’ll use this weedless rig to help cast into heavy cover without bringing back a ton of vegetation into your boat.
Fishing the Carolina rig for largemouth bass is about as common as fly fishing for trout. If you’re unsure how to rig a Carolina worm properly, there’s no need to worry.
The goal of this rig is to separate the weight from the worm because it can mess up your presentation. If your weight is holding down your worm, it will ruin the action, which will tell the bass to stay away.
Drop Shot Rig
Everyone should learn how to use a drop shot rig for bass because this is the rig that most professionals use. With a drop shot, your weight is at the end.
The way you present your lure with a drop shot is also much different than the “dragging the bottom” strategy of a Carolina rig.
The wacky rig is one of my favorites for fishing open waters because I find it creates the most natural presentation, but it does have some downsides. This fishing method is not weedless by any means, so you need to be much more careful when fishing around weeds and stumps.
It’s easy to rig, though and doesn’t require as much gear.
I’ve never been a huge fan of the Neko rig presentation because I’ve never really gotten the purpose. That said, I know many anglers who are killing it with this bass fishing rig setup.
It’s essentially a wacky rig with a weight at the end instead of the middle; that’s all we’re doing.
The Ned rig is one of the simplest types of bass fishing rigs, and you’ve likely fished this before without even knowing you were rigging a soft plastic.
It’s a great strategy for when the bass aren’t biting during the cold winter months. Their metabolism slows down during the winter, so you’ll want to deploy this strategy for winter bass fishing.
The shaky head rig for bass fishing is similar to the ned rig, but it uses a different kind of head. The presentation is still intended for when bass aren’t biting, but you can use it at any time. Instead of using a mushroom jig, you’ll use a round head and rig it Texas-style.
It creates a natural presentation that the bass can’t resist.
BONUS Video: Color Selection Simplified – Video 5
Colors for Muddy Water:
How Fish “See” in Muddy Water
Of course, fish use their eyes to see. However, that’s not the only sense they rely on to find their prey.
They also use their lateral line located along their head and body. By using all their senses, bass can be efficient predators, even in murky conditions.
The Color Spectrum in the Water Explained
Clear water often appears blue because blue is the last color to be absorbed by water.
Muddy water is obviously not blue because of the sediment mixed into the water.
The suspended dirt blocks the light from penetrating as far as it does in clear water.
Red is the first color to be absorbed by water, followed by orange, yellow, and green because they are shorter wavelengths.
Colors of longer wavelengths, such as blue and violet, are absorbed last.
This means darker colors can be seen at deeper depths or in dirtier conditions.
So the best baits for dirty water will be colored purple, blue, or black because those colors can be fished throughout the water column.
Lateral Line: This Feels Fishy
The lateral line is what fish use to detect movements and pressure changes in the surrounding water.
This is why it’s important to use lures with lots of movement and vibration when the water is dirty.
The vibrations the lure gives off allow the fish to hone in on the lure’s location without having to see it clearly.
Putting it All Together on the Water – Video 6
Largemouth Fishing by Season
Spring largemouth season starts up around March or April, depending on where you live. There are a few things to keep in mind about fishing this time of year.
First, bass has moved from the deeper water into the shallow now. They’ve done this because late Winter to early Spring is spawning season.
The water will warm up faster in the shallow areas, so it makes for the perfect location for spawning.
In a recent interview we did with Shaw Grigsby, he said his eyesight is the most important tool when fishing the spawn: “I think some of it has to do with me being blessed with excellent eyesight,” Grigsby said. “But I’ve picked up little tricks along the way.
For example, I like amber, yellowish sunglass lenses because they collect light and make it easier to see a fish moving or a shadow.” Something I think that personally goes hand-in-hand with what Shaw said is the murkiness of the water.
This might not impact the Florida waters as much, but in the North, Spring is known for murky water, which can really kill your ability to see anything.
You’re dealing with a lot of runoff from melted snow and moisture in the ground. All of this creates extremely murky water, which means you need to be more aggressive with your presentation and choose spring bass lures that will shine or make noise because the bass won’t be able to see them otherwise.
The weather is hot, the sun is shining, and the water has cleared up because of a lack of rain. Fishing during the Summer is great, but again, it requires you to think outside the box a little.
We know that bass are cold-blooded, which means that barometric pressure impacts the way they behave, and temperature also impacts their behavior.
It’s generally assumed by experienced anglers that bass bite best during periods of extended low pressure and mild-moderate temperatures.
Science tells us that barometric pressure is lowest early in the morning and continues to rise, with its peak being around midday.
What does this tell us?
It tells us that bass fishing is best early in the morning and late in the evening.
Best of all, bass bite the most during falling barometric pressure which occurs throughout the night. Fishing for bass at night can actually be the best option in many cases during the summer.
Fishing in the rain is also a time known for lower pressure as the air begins to fill up with moisture and bass rise to the surface to reduce the pressure on their swim bladders.
This is what makes topwaters like spinnerbaits and frogs such a great option for hot summer fishing.
Fall bass fishing is one of my favorites. The weather is still nice but milder; a lot of people have left the water, and I find it to be a better opportunity to catch big bass.
Again, you’ll want to pay attention to the weather. The bass have been feeding hard all Spring and Summer.
Fall is when they start to slow down a bit which means you’ll want to size down your lures and line accordingly.
In fact, the legendary Gary Yamamoto said it best in an interview we had with him. When talking about his Senko worms, he mentioned: “I’ll see people using the Senko, and they’re fishing way too fast. Then they can’t figure out why they’re not catching anything,” Yamamoto said. “I just tell them, ‘Slow down.’ They’re amazed at the difference it makes.”
It’s hard to argue with greatness!
I also find that the color of your lure plays a more pivotal role in the fall. With all the changing colors happening around, believe it or not, the bass pick up on that too.
As a result, you need to make sure you’re catering to the changes around you by picking up lures to match your surroundings.
Fall bass lures like shallow jerkbaits, swimbaits, and worms will work best this time of year. Bass tend to school up when it gets colder, so pulling a jerk or swimbait through the school can be a great way to get a lot of attention without spooking them too much.
This time of year is better suited for slow movers like jigs, spoons, and blades. These will reflect a lot of light and move more subtly so you don’t intimidate the bass.
Make sure you naturally move slower as well. Don’t create too many sudden jerks, and move the lure through the water as fluently as possible.
You’ve now completed the Lure Selection Mastery video course!
It’s time to take what you’ve learned and apply it while on the water to begin catching more fish than ever before.
Be sure to check back in periodically for new and updated videos!