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Tackling the pads for bass

Justin Hoffman July 2003

Seasoned bass anglers know lily pads and largemouth are a match made in fishing heaven. This straightforward stem-and-oval cover gives bass a wide range of sights: forage, shade, consolation, and an ambush level.

However, how on earth do you fish these giant expanses of greenery?

Lily pads will be present in most waterbodies throughout Ontario, in lots of locations masking shallow areas so far as the attention can see. Separating productive beds from undesirables is the important thing to their bass.

Discovering wholesome inexperienced pads is first on the agenda. These oxygen-rich vegetation appeal to and extra readily maintain baitfish, offering bass free entry to a digital underwater cafeteria. Keep away from useless and decaying lilies, as bas flip up their noses at these uninviting spots.

Water depth is one other prime consideration. The rule of thumb is, the deeper the water, the extra engaging the pads can be to bass. One to 3 toes of water beneath the foliage appears to be optimum. You may find bass lurking below pads in lower than a foot of water, however not as steadily as you’ll be able to in deeper water.

Largemouth choose pad beds which have lead-in cowl, be it weeds or brush. It permits them to journey in relative security and concealment to and from different areas. Bass choose to spend the least period of time attainable being a weak goal on open water.

With a purpose to be on the high of the attraction scale, the pad mattress also needs to have a wide range of cowl and construction, akin to sand, wooden, slop, and different weeds. Throw in deep-water entry factors that fish can use as escape routes. The extra variables you uncover when out scouting, the larger the prospect for pad-bed success.

One last item I think about is remoted pad beds. They conceal giant loner fish. High bets embrace small clusters of pads away from fundamental beds, and solitary beds positioned on barren shorelines.

The primary plan of assault when you’ve positioned a productive-looking pad is the right way to strategy it. Quietness is vital in these shallow spots, so use an electrical motor or a push pole for a stealthy presentation. Set your motor on low and hold noise to a naked minimal. By no means rush straight as much as a pad mattress, as you possibly can be lacking out on fish roaming adjoining areas.

One other good go-slow strategy is to make use of a float tube and flippers. It takes a while to get snug with this method, however it may be a whole lot of enjoyable on a heat summer season afternoon. And, the place there’s a hard-packed backside and the water is summer season heat, a pair of trainers to guard your toes can present all of the mobility you’ll want in a single to three-foot depths.

Justin Hoffman in an inner tube, fishing among lily pads

Throwing a wide range of lures, together with spinnerbaits and top-waters, across the outer fringe of pads can imply an additional fish or two for the diligent angler. High selections embrace buzzbaits, Zara Spooks, soft-plastic jerkbaits, and willowleaf spinnerbaits. Focus on a 25-foot radius surrounding the pad patch and work your bait proper as much as the sting.

When you’ve combed the outer ring, gird for battle within the core of the mattress. I begin with floor baits that appeal to curious hidden largemouth and supply visible thrills for the angler. The principle issue is selecting a weedless presentation. My favorite lure has predominantly been the Heddon Moss Boss, though the Scum Frog, Rat, and different weedless baits all do the trick.

Focus on dragging your lure slowly and methodically throughout the cover. Pausing briefly over openings can elicit thunderous strikes, as can a do-nothing strategy adopted by a sudden motion. Work each nook and cranny of the lilies, as largemouth could possibly be hiding anyplace all through the maze of stems and leaves.

Tossing a top-water lure first permits energetic fish to take a swipe at your presentation, working to your benefit, even in the event you miss the fish. In the event you hook it, the one concern is getting it to the boat. Hold the largemouth’s head on the floor and hoist it over and throughout the highest of the pads. Sport over. Nonetheless, in the event you give an inch and the fish digs in, you is perhaps left cursing all the way in which to the following patch of pads.

In the event you miss a placing fish on a top-water bait, you continue to may come out on high. Though you did not hook the show-off bass, it did commit the cardinal sin of giving freely its location. Understanding {that a} scorching fish is lurking below the pads leaves one avenue for fulfillment, a tried-and-true follow-up presentation.

Frequent baits to throw at floor boils or strikes are Texas-rigged worms, lizards, and craws, in addition to a jig n’ pig. Toss one in all these choices to the exact spot of the floor swirl, and 9 instances out of ten that fish will take the bait immediately. These lures are additionally dynamite for negative-moos bass, particularly on days when you’ll be able to’t purchase a chew on high.

When coping with lily pads, stout sort out and gear os the way in which to go. A flipping follow adequate spine, coupled with at the least 25-pound-test mono, is a mainstay in my boat.

Justin Hoffman is an out of doors author, photographer, and YouTuber primarily based within the Ottawa space.
You will discover his trove of path digicam compilations and nature movies right here.

Shallow Cranks for Largies

Initially printed within the July 2003 subject of Ontario OUT of DOORS journal.

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