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The Bass are always biting somewhere in a lake. The key to catching them consistently is versatility with different lures and techniques. You can catch bass any day of the year on some Berkley lure.
Docks and boat houses are important cover for bass, particularly when shoreline development has depleted natural cover. High-percentage spots depend on water depth and cover options. To tempt bites, flip or pitch jigs or softbaits like tubes, soft stickbaits, worms, or craws by pilings and into boat stalls.
Within a specific range of sizes and actions, plastic worms are the most versatile and most effective tools to use for smallmouths in lakes. The right worm is 4 to 5 inches long and relatively thin.
Smallmouths often suspend over relatively deep water in reservoirs and natural lakes in summer, when baitfish populations peak. In reservoirs, they tend to follow shad or shiners. A 4- to 5-inch grub worked horizontally on a jig head can work wonders.
During springtime, stocked trout in lakes and reservoirs can be found fairly shallow, feeding in the upper 10 to 15 feet of the water column. An effective technique to catch spring trout is to troll with crankbaits, either longlining directly behind the boat or with planer boards. Troll with 10 to 20 feet of line out at a speed around 2 mph.
Staging bass move toward the bank as spawn-time approaches. When reservoir flats have warmed into the upper 50oF range, look for bass among flooded stumps, brushpiles, and along the inside corners of points within feeder creeks.
As lakes warm in the spring, largemouth bass move into shallow cover in coves, canals, and harbors. They seek warming water offered by these spots that also provide plentiful baitfish. Bass are eager to feed, but not yet aggressive in the cool water.
Flash lures are one of the most popular jigging lures for ice fishing. Potential jigging sequences are limited only by your imagination and your interpretation of how fish are reacting. Yet, just as no secret lures exist, neither does a secret jigging sequence.
One of the hottest tactics on the pro bass trail is working deep structure with jigworms, sometimes called shaky-head worming. Once it gets cold, largemouths favor steep rocky banks along the main body of the reservoir.