Action Attracts Bass
Inside the Outdoors, June 14
, 2013

June 15 begins bass season. For the warmer water angler, that means challenge, good times and the prospects of possibly more fish caught than in the years past.

So, let’s just say this is your first year and you want to get into the sport. What would I recommend?

Well, there are two approaches, one crankbaits, and the second, softbaits – meaning plastics, such as rubber worms. This columnist has always preferred the first, a lure that resembles a creature that lives in the environment where bass feed. Various lures are available on the market, which are definite producers.

First of all, I want you to fixate on a principle I learned a long time ago – there are pretty lures and then there are the pretty good to very good-getters. Most the pretty lures are made to catch anglers more so than fish. The retailer will love selling them, but you probably won’t catch many of any fish with them. On the other hand are the latter. Color-wise, they may turn you off because they aren’t splashed with sparkling dabs from the rainbow’s spectrum, but to the eyes of the fish, they may look like the meal ticket that looks worthy to crunch down upon. And that, my friends, is what one ought to use.

Originally, when I started dabbling in this sport, lures were commonly made of wood and many of them personally carved out by individuals who knew just how to fashion the bodies to look like the critter they aimed to chisel. It took time and care, but did the trick.

Before I tell you about what lures I have found fantabulous, this is what I’ve come to realize. Pick out maybe three or four and stick with them and them only. It will make life so much easier and you won’t have to lug around a bunch of junk that you will never use. Second, when you buy your favorites, do so in quantity. For instance, for trout fishing, I purchased eight Worden’s white Rooster Tail in the second to smallest size. I have caught a variety of fish using it, including bass, as it imitates small minnows, a favorite fish’s food.

Here are my favorite bass lures: Rapala 7 and 9, black and silver (floating, jointed and not jointed), Storm white Shad Raps, Rebel Teeny Wee Crayfish (Stream) and Arbogast Hula-Popper. Just for the record, I crimp all hooks for easy removal. Works great!

I’ve never done well with plastics, so seldom use them, but others have, and they swear by them. Of those sought-after imitations, I have done best with the dark green black-spotted tube baits, maybe just under three-inches long.

There are numerous worm and crustacean look-a-likes that have been manufactured by Yum, Zoom, Strike King, Gary Yamamoto and Bass Pro. These are just a few of the many companies. Put a spinner in front of the lures to make sure there is action. That will definitely attract any bass that may be asleep or looking the other way.

Whether you are pulling a crankbait or a plastic imitation, make sure your line was made in the last two years, your bait is knotted so it won’t slip off and think twice before offending others with your language. Tomorrow will be the start of a fun-filled year!


Kudos to Mark Ludwig! He caught a lunker bass recently at Keystone State Park Lake using a rubber worm. With nothing more than a number six hook attached to its front end, he was able to tag a female, packed with eggs, measuring somewhere in the proximity of 24 inches.

The first words out of the Latrobe resident’s mouth were, “God is good!” And so He is.

Telling his story, the Gertrude St. resident stated, “I was going to fish quick and hard. I went at 7:30 p.m., After getting to the spot I wanted to be, I threw out my worm. The fish hit it on my first cast. I thought I got it snagged on a log.” After realizing he hooked a hefty fish, he said, “I then found myself running up and down the shoreline until I tired it out. “Then I pulled it in,” he said. When asked how he felt, “That was so neat, I feel I’m still riding the waves and that was two days ago!”

- Paul J. Volkmann
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