When bass are relating to the bottom – it’s important to strike a balance between maximizing fish catching appeal, and efficiency. Burn something over their heads and you won’t even pique their interest. Spend too long combing one area, though, and you could miss the fish altogether. Pulling bass off the bottom is tricky business.
To strike that balance, try the following 1-2-3 punch for targeting bottom-oriented bass.
Step 1: Something fast and efficient to locate bass and catch them off the bottom.
This is usually a big crankbait that digs the bottom, but it could also be a wobble head or scrounger. The key is to make sure you’re in frequent contact with the bottom. These baits are way more effective when they’re deflecting off of the bottom. In a perfect world, you’ll start catching bass off the bottom and never need to put it down. However, if the bite wanes or if you can’t get bit, move on to step 2.
Step 2: Something slower but with a big enough profile to keep them biting.
Depending on your preference, an ideal choice here would be a Carolina rig, or a football jig. Other presentations to “keep the bite going” could be a flutter spoon or swimbait dragged along the bottom. These rigs offer the fish a realistic profile, and big-fish appeal. They can frequently drum a few more strikes up off the bottom, or wake a school back up when the bite’s slowed.
Step 3: Something finesse to pull in any stragglers or lure-shy remaining bass.
This is what you pick up to make a few last casts off the bottom once the bite dies off – with the intent to pick up one or two more key fish that didn’t respond to the first couple presentations. It’s also a last ditch effort if nothing bit the first two presentations. Ideal finesse presentations for bottom bass include: a drop shot, neko rig, or even a big shakey head.