Thursday, February 5, 2009

Committing to learn a new pattern in 2009

This is something I was going to post as a New Years resolution, but never got around to posting. I consider myself a pretty good, versatile fisherman when it comes to bass fishing. Rivers, lakes, largemouth, smallmouth, spots, tidal water - I'm fairly comfortable with all these options. But I recently realized that I have not kept up with a lot of the newer tactics - drop shotting, for example. Since I don't fish tournaments anymore, it doesn't really matter to anyone except me. But I have a lot of lures that I rarely use. So, I wantto try to get comfortable with at least one of them this year and expand my comfort zone on the water.

One of my goals this sumer will be to do more mid-depth crankbaiting. The 5' - 15' deep range. I almost always fish this type of water with some sort of plastic - a swimbait, grub, fluke. One of the big reasons for my lack of experience in this type of fishing is simply that I don't have any waters nearby that have that type of depth. Most of what I fish locally are shallow (5' max) ponds. Still, I have a few waters where I can give these mid-range crankbaits a try. So, I made a quick look through a box of baits and came up with some ideal trial baits. The following will be my arsenal for this experiment.

Strike King Series 3 and 4S, LC GD3 mini LC Staysee 90 SP, Flat CB 14, 20

Rapala DT 4, 6, 7 Rapala Minnow Rap 7, 9, Storm Jr. T-stik

I know that the only way I'll realy get a good feel for these baits is to take them out exclusively and fish them all day. I guess I'll just have to leave the topwaters / spinnerbaits / plastics at home. Year's ago, when I was first learning to fish worms, I did the same thing - went on the water with only worms. It was tough, but it worked. In the end it just made me a better, more versatiel fisherman.

One bait I am really looking forward to using this year is one I experimented with briefly last year. The Rapala Sub-Walk was introduced LY. It is a slowly sinking "Walk-the-dog" style baits - a subsurface Zara Spook, if you will. In clear water, it is a really fun site bait - the pike in Ontario absolutely mauled it, even if they were small. I didn't get a chance to try it for bass and I think it will be great.

That ought to do it for now - until we lose the 15" of ice and 8" of snow, open water fishing will just be a dream. I'll have to be content with sharpening hooks and re-spooling reels. Can't wait for the spring.

Rapala Sub-walks