It appears as though fall is quickly approaching here in the Midwest. It won’t be long before the bass start transitioning. When the bass start to roam one of the best ways to find and catch bass quickly is to sling a rattle trap type bait. A versatile bait like a trap allows you to make thousands of casts a day and work a variety of depths which makes covering a ton of water a breeze. One of the reasons why a trap works so good this time of the year is that you can get those reaction strikes out of fish that are not feeding. While just picking up a trap will get you some bites, there are a couple of tips I can give you to make your trap fishing much more successful.
When you get out on the lake one of the first things to look for is wind. You want to key in on the wind blown areas. When the wind blows it starts the whole food chain. The algae and plankton get blown in and the bait fish follow. Where there is bait there will usually be bass. When the shad start to move back you can pull up on a wind blown pocket or bank and sometimes throw out a trap and whack one on every cast. Wind really helps cover up your presence and noise so the bass usually are not as spooky. Making a wind milk run can be about being in the right spot at the right time but if your hopping around these high potential areas your going to come into contact with the bass sooner rather than later.
If your lakes have grass or other aquatic vegetation you are going to want to key in on these areas because where there is grass you will usually find bass. If you can find channels, depressions, or dropoffs on these grass flats and follow them you will usually come into contact with the fish. Remember that when bass are transiting they like to use these channels like we use highways. Don’t be afraid to get your trap hung up in the grass either on the retrieve. When it gets caught pop it out and hold on. Ripping the grass is one of the most productive techniques out there. I really like to take a trap and just burn it until I hit the grass and then just rip it clean. Spool up with a quality fluorocarbon like GAMMA’s Edge in 14lb test and you’ll be able to rip your lipless baits free to get those big bites.
After you come into contact with the fish use a variety of retrieves to maximize the spot. Try burning your traps and then try giving it a stop and go retrieve. If those don’t work let the bait sink to the bottom and then hop it like a jig. A lot of times bass don’t see these cranks that deep. Another great way to work a trap is to take the trap and throw it out there and then slow roll it ticking the bottom all the way back. Dont’ be afraid of hanging up. These lipless cranks are a lot more weedless than one might think.
One last tip is to keep a variety of traps in the boat. Some days the bass will prefer one over the other and it is best to experiment. One of the problems I’ve run into from experience with well known grassy trap fishing lakes like Coffeen Lake for instance is that everyone knows to throw traps in the grass. How I combat this problem is that I like to try and use a bait that not everyone is throwing. Smack Tackle is coming out with a new blade/trap bait called the Flitterbait. This bait is going to be awesome when it comes time to fish behind other people. The bait looks just like a gizzard shad and is the perfect size for high pressured bass. If you like to fish a trap your definitely going to want to pick up a couple to try. To check out the new Flitterbait visit www.smacktackle.com today.