Catch Winter Bass with Dual-Purpose Minnow Plastics

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Wired2fish’s Kobie Koenig was an early adopter of forward-facing sonar to hone his offshore deep-water smallmouth bass skills. In this video, he shares a unique presentation approach that combines aspects of Damiki rigging and paddle tail swimbaits to enhance versatility and catch more fish on clear and pressured lakes.

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Koenig demonstrates the effectiveness of using a straight-tail minnow-style bait, the DUO Realis Finder Shad. With its subtle appendages, the Finder Shad offers a blend of action and subtlety. Unlike typical paddle tail baits, Koenig shows how this bait can be dropped straight down and fished vertically or cast out and fished like Jeff Gustafson’s moping technique.

While smallmouths commonly roam open water and structure as they hunt, this video highlights the importance of finding isolated cover elements like wood or rock clusters. Koenig explains how these structural elements serve as focal points for smallmouth bass, particularly on relatively featurless sand, gravel, and grass humps. He efficiently targets smallmouth bass by locating these fish-holding magnets with MEGA 360 and forward-facing sonar.

Koenig also discusses his gear preferences, including a longer rod for better handling and casting and a braided mainline to fluorocarbon leader. The no-stretch braid delivers sensitivity and drives hooks home on the set, while fluorocarbon provides stealth through reduced visibility. He stresses the significance of using a heavy jig head to keep the bait in the strike zone in deeper waters.

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