First Day Bass June 13
Inside the Outdoors, June 12
, 2015

It’s hard to believe it’s June already. Bass anglers have been waiting for Saturday, June 13, to arrive. One gent told me he would rather fish for bass than trout. All one had to do was mention the name of the fish and his eyes would light up. He so much as ordered artificial plastic worms and other imitations so he would be ready for the big season.

I applaud his eagerness. We need more anglers with the passion he has.

In addition, he told me something else to prompt him to order imitations that may not do the trick in area basins. He advised me he had watched television shows concerning catching big bass and he ordered the lures the professional anglers were using.

One has to be careful in making such a move, I believe.

Area lakes are not comparable to the larger basins where bass are found to be much larger. That’s not saying we don’t have big bass, for example, in our lakes and streams. But if one wishes to catch big bass, start with the smaller stuff and work up to bigger items.

An example to tie into this concerns a conversation I had with a gentleman in downtown Latrobe recently. He said he had been fishing in the Loyalhanna Creek and tagged onto some big smallmouth bass. One could tell he was excited by the smile on his face. His bait preference? Worms, smaller than nightcrawlers but bigger than garden worms.

Going back the person to whom I spoke of earlier, he had purchased seven and one-half-inch plastic imitations.

So one may ask, which one is better? One may say the bigger the better. I’m not saying the larger of the two won’t work, all I’m trying to convey is that when fish are used to seeing a certain sized morsel in their territory, then something twice the size may not work as well.

On the other hand, some really big bass have been pulled out of Keystone State Park Lake using large plastic imitations. The gent, of whom I spoke above, pulled out a whopper of a largemouth using his secret plastic worm that has been handed down through family ties.

As I have mentioned in other columns, bass are very territorial and do not want anything to disturb the peace and quiet of its domain. When something turns up the water such as Leland’s Crank Bait with its wiggle action imitating a small fish, how can a bass resist such an imitation? I have to believe two things are going through the minds of these lunkers laying low. “I think I see a meal coming,” and “Something’s disturbing my peace and quiet.”

Anything that is properly presented will catch a bass’ attention and most likely will be nailed.

Before I learned of Leland Crank Lures, I used to use two other lures almost exclusively for bigger fish, including bass. That was the Rapala 7S and 9S. The latter was jointed for additional action. Those were two great lures. For dusk or dawn fishing, one can’t go wrong with Arbogast lures particularly the Jitterbugs, both one piece or jointed.

Another great lure for bass are spinner baits, topped off by the Death Shimmer. Its vibration is far greater than the ones seen regularly in sports shops. The design in the arm of the lure is like no other in as much as it has bends in it like nothing anyone has seen before. Richard Lau who designed it this way wanted to create a lure that had extreme vibration to it and he did just that. In addition, as James Williamson, owner of Law Lure Company, stated, “This incredible action sends out a myriad of signals to the bass lateral line enabling the Death Shimmer to be tracked down and attracted far before it is ever seen.”

This statement falls right in line with what I said earlier. When bass hear something that is causing a slight bit of raucous within its territory, it give note to the fact that dinner may be arriving and it is time to go on alert.

Actually, there are numerous companies that make some outstanding bass lures, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that I’m the type of person that sticks to something if I know it works. Of consequence trying various other type lures are yet to be used for said purposes.

One good tip to remember is to do a little scouting before venturing out into the unknown. If one hears evidence of frogs, imitations of those creatures will get one a nice trophy bass. If one lifts up a rock and sees a crawfish scurry away, there’s another clue. Or shiners are seen in the shallows, catch ‘em and use ‘em. They will produce.

Bon appetite!


- Paul J. Volkmann
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