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Using small lures to catch big bass

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Don Campbell of Elizabeth City made this catch recently.

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By Mike Sweeney
Columnist

Saturday, December 30, 2017

When the weather turns bitter like it has lately there are a few tricks that I use to help bring largemouth to the boat. I slow down my presentation to help with the colder water and I use smaller baits to bring more strikes.

When the fish get picky I like to throw baits that get more bites in order to help locate the fish and find out where they are.

The fish are moving a lot and are sometimes hard to locate so the more strikes you get the better it is to put a pattern together.

I start with a small square bill crank bait to cover water quickly and I usually start in the creeks because the baitfish tend to be in there and where there is bait, there are bass.

I look for ambush points on the deeper water turns and I make sure I pause the bait when it strikes the cover.

This means when I bump the log or stick I stop the retrieve and let the bait slowly rise then I twitch the rod tip and make it jump a little.

This will often trigger a strike when they are slow to bite.

If the structure looks good and I know that there is a fish there then I throw in a small 5 inch worm on a Texas rig.

A worm will pay off when all else fails but the key is to bring a strike so you can work on a pattern even if it a short strike.

You are looking for a location on that particular day to help find out where the fish are.

Let’s say you are working on the mouth of a creek and you get a strike on the first deep turn on the creek.

Now you can move to another creek and fish the first deep corner in that one and see if there is a pattern.

It could be that the sun has warmed up the inside flats in the creek or they are on the main river points but you have to get a strike first in order to figure out the winter time pattern.

Once you have figured out the pattern now you can stop fishing the dead water and focus on the places where the fish are and small baits will bring you those bites.

What’st biting, where...

The fishing reports for this week are pretty much a bust.

With the holidays and the high winds a lot of people stayed home with family and friends.

The offshore fleet was tied to the docks all week and the beaches had high surf and strong northeast winds pounding the surf.

I had a few reports on the southern beaches of some puppy drum and mullet but nothing to brag about.

Locally we had some diehard anglers getting out on their kayaks during the snow on Wednesday and they caught some bass.

Don Campbell of Elizabeth City has been a kayak buddy of mine for a while now and he didn’t let a little snow get him down.

Don went out of Newbegun Creek and scored 5 nice largemouth.

Another local kayak angler Rick Zipp was out and caught a nice bucket mouth in the same creek so if you want to you can catch them.

Rick is also starting a new kayak fishing club which I will be a member of and they are going to meet on the 20th of January for the first time.

If you want to join or just want to show off your catch send me a note at fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike and I will let you know the details.

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