Try something new
Franklin County Times
Can old dogs learn new tricks? Sure they can. I don't consider myself to be an old dog but there are some techniques that I want to improve on to become a better fisherman.
We all get stuck in ruts and fish with the same lures week after week – and that is fine – but learning to fish different lures can open up a whole new world of opportunities.
There are two baits that I plan on using a lot more this year. The first is a jig. I seldom go to the lake when I don't have a jig tied to the end my line. The jig is one of my favorite baits, and this year I plan to use them in a different way. I'm already looking forward to the hot summer months when I can fish a heavy jig in deep water. When fishing deep water structure, I usually use a big worm or a carolina-rigged lizard.
This year I plan on using the heavy jig in the same situation. This is different from what I'm used to and it will give the fish something new to look at and hopefully bite. The jigs I will use in fishing deep water will be the football head style and poison tail jig, both in 3/4 ounce. Fish these jigs on a heavy-duty rod and big line. If fishing around rocks, make sure to check your line often because pulling these heavy jigs over hard structure will fray the line above the knot.
The second lure I plan to use more is the crank bait. I almost always have crank bait tied on but I seldom fish them. This year I'm bringing the "sexy" back to fishing. The "sexy" I'm referring to is not sensual but it is the sexy shad crank bait by Strike King. Kevin VanDam has made this bait very popular in the past year, and it should perform well when fishing deep water.
Fishing crank baits in deep water is not something that I've done very often because it's not a technique that I've been comfortable fishing. I plan to make myself fish the big crank baits because, like the jig, it will give the fish something new to look at.
It will take the 6 Series sexy shad to reach these depths and the other crank baits that I will use the fat free shad, dd-22, and the new 700 Series by Bandit. These baits will be fished on a 7-foot cranking rod, and I'm not sure what size line yet. Smaller lines allow these baits to be fished deeper but mentally it's hard for me to fish for big bass with light line. I'll probably find a compromise with 12-pound line.
Fishing should not only be fun, it should be an opportunity to learn and use new techniques. I apologize for the "?" symbols that have appeared in my articles. There should have been weights and sizes, but apparently they did not make the transition into print. Hopefully this week the weights will appear correctly. This weekend the BCDA tournament will be held at Slick Rock boat ramp on Cedar Lake. Keep in mind that the Belgreen Bulldog tournament will be held the last weekend in April at the same location. Grown-ups are not the only ones who can benefit by learning new fishing techniques. Take a kid fishing and pass your knowledge on to them.
Kevin Stone is branch manager and loan officer at Valley State Bank and can be reached at (256) 332-3600.