Don’t get fancy with bait selection

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fisherman casting

Can you pitch a jig or Texas rig to this kind of secondary cover and expect to catch fish? Heck yea, you can. But the biggest issue with that approach is the lack of efficiency. It’ll take you two months to fish everything you found if you’re too slow about it. Instead, I love a 4- to 6-foot diving crankbait, a jerkbait and at times, even a walking topwater lure.

Whichever of these baits you choose or feel most comfortable with, I can’t publish this article without emphasizing the sheer importance of making repeated casts. The fish on this secondary cover can be stubborn and in my own redneck opinion, I believe it’s because those big female bass strongly prefer to “own” a particular piece of cover and they tend to have smaller and more strategic feeding windows than the smaller buck bass. So there might be one 7-pounder on that secondary stump and she’s not there to eat; she could very well be inactive and simply adjusting to a recent temperature change or weather front. Even if she’s totally inactive, however, you can tick her off with repeated casts to make her attack your lure out of pure aggression. The biggest fish I’ve ever caught on my home lake took about a dozen identical casts to the same exact piece of cover before she bit my crankbait. It’s crazy how they get like that and I wish I had a concrete answer for it but honestly, I think this is the one time of year when stubbornness can do you a lot of good as an angler.

If you’re tired of playing musical boats on the weekends with hundreds of your peers, I challenge you to spend a few days locating secondary cover. As I mentioned, I have no idea if that’s the correct term for it, so let’s just roll with it. Keep things simple and keep looking for cover that most bass boats are hovering on top of as they beat the banks.

I firmly believe if you dedicate enough time to this pattern, you’ll unleash an entire population of big bass that most folks will never even mess with.