Catching Schooling Bass

Next to catching that trophy of a lifetime, probably one of the most exciting times you will ever have on the water bass fishing is getting into a big bunch of schooling fish. These events are what memories are made of. 

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Summertime and in the fall of the year are when bass school most often. Warm water and a large amount of small bait fish drive bass into a feeding frenzy that is nothing short of awesome. Of course being in the right place at the right time is very important so that you can capitalize on the activity. They are easily spotted when they begin their surface feeding and one's first thought is to start the big motor and rush over to the spot they are feeding. That can be a big mistake that will cost you the thrill of a lifetime in a lot of cases. If the commotion of your big motor and boat spook the bait fish, the feeding bass will go down often not to come back up or if they do they may be a quarter of a mile away.  You should try to make that last 100 yard approach on your trolling motor and a quite speed if possible. Normally these massive feeding spells are on quite non-windy days so wind is usually not a problem when using the lower, quieter speeds of the trolling motor.

The next part of the game is once your boat is in  place, is deciding  what type tackle and lures to throw. You need a lure that will cast long distances if possible as that will keep you from getting too close and spooking the bait and the bass. Small topwater lures are excellent choices in this situation. My personal favorite is the Prime Prop 20, made by Spro Corp. It is one great topwater with outstanding hooks ( Gamkatsu EWG ) It has a beautiful finish and the prop is just the right size. It weighs enough that you can throw it a long distance, even on 15# test line on a baitcasting reel. There are a lot of small baits that come to mind in this category but this one is the best I have personally found. The lipless crankbait will draw a good number of strikes , but the highly active fish have a inclination to jump and throw the lure. If the fish go down I immediately grab a Crankbait 25 which is also made by Spro and throw it to the last place I saw the fish on the surface. It can be reeled at any speed and stays fairly shallow which is what you need most of the time.

The next time you are on the water keep your eyes peeled for surface activity and watch for birds diving into the water as a possible indication of schooling fish in the area. When you find them you will have enough action to tell stories about all next winter

by: Walt Reynolds, Touring Pro.






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