This week we’re going to look at another open water option besides a jigging spoon. Now I’m not saying a spoon doesn’t work. It does. I’d hate to have to count all of the smallmouth I’ve caught on one of those things over the years. But recently I’ve discovered another way to catch them when they’re out, away from the bank.
It starts with some of the new Humminbird combos. They’re so fancy that it’s hard to believe. The stuff that was available just a few years ago is nothing when compared to them. In open water you can see the bottom, the sides, the baitfish and the smallmouth. It’s like looking at a TV screen.
They’re good anywhere. I wouldn’t trade mine no matter where I was fishing. They’re especially effective when you're in open water, however. One of the best features on them is that they’ll show you 240 feet of water on either side of the boat. Heck, that’s farther than most of us can cast!
In practical terms that means you can use your big motor to locate structure, baitfish and bass without ever going near them. You won’t scare them or alter their behavior in any way. That’s a huge advantage when you stop to think about it, and it sure beats running over the top of them with your trolling motor on high.
I’ve been using my new Humminbird lately to locate open water bass and then targeting them with a horizontal presentation using a Fish Head Spin by Swarming Hornet Lures. These baits have a small, minnow shaped body with a hook on the back and a small spinner hanging off the belly.
You can cast them a mile, even in a stiff wind, and bring them back with a horizontal presentation. You can also yo-yo them back. Sometimes that works better. No matter what technique you use, however, you can put them in the strike zone without disturbing the fish. They have no idea you’re there.
Now that I’ve said all this I have to admit that the new electronics I’m talking about aren’t cheap. They cost a pretty penny. But they will also make a huge difference in how many fish you catch. I’d have to say they’re worth the money. In my opinion you’d be better off saving up your money — buying fewer lures and other stuff — and investing in one of them.
Sometimes we have to remember to get back to basics. The pros will all tell you that you can’t catch them if they aren’t there. That’s common sense, but too many of us forget that it in our rush to find the perfect rod, reel, line or lure. Maybe we should find the fish first. The new Humminbird units will help us do that.
And after we find them we need to try to catch them without scaring or disturbing them. The new units will help us do that, too. Check them out.