Wilderness Systems Pro Staff Team member, JD Desrosiers, shares with us his tried and true techniques for landing largemouth bass by letting the cat out of the bag. With these tested techniques, you’re sure to be landing bucket mouths before long!
Letting the Cat Out of the Bag
I have found over the last several years, especially the last year that there are two significant techniques that have lead to my success at landing consistent numbers of LMB. I have spent countless hours perfecting these two styles of fishing, and now today I can say that I am very enthusiastic about my results. Do not get me wrong my comfort level and results took limitless hours on the water with little to no results. But being very persistent I kept plugging away, and made small changes until I achieved the desired results.
The two approaches or skills that I have been working at over the last two years are Top Water Fishing with Soft Plastic, and Finesse fishing with a Shakey Head jig. Hands down I have landed more fish off these two styles than ever before. Patients, perspective, perseverance, and innumerable hours have helped me conquer these tactics.
Let’s start out with Top Water fishing with Soft Plastics. Last year I wrote an article called “Tripping the Lights Fancy,” explaining a few of my crafty ways to landing fish on Top Water. I did talk about this style of fishing a little, but today I going to really break it down. This is probably one of the best ways to get after the fish, it is aggressive, explosive, and really can get your heart racing.
This may surprise a good many of folks, but hands down my go-to hook is Strike King Pork O’s Lightn’in Strike Hook. That right you read it correctly a Pork O Lightn’in Strike Hook! This baby is weedless, super affordable, and tough as nails. One of my favorite features about hook is the Weed Guard is bullet proof, and can withstand a tremendous amount of abuse. My second favorite feature is Rubber Sleeve that is located right under the eyelet, on the shank. This Rubber Sleeve helps aid in keeping the Weed Guard in place, and it will never unravel like some of the competitor’s hooks. The Rubber Guard also will help keep that Soft Plastic in place strike after strike. My bread and butter set-up is a 13 Fishing 7’1” Med matched with a Ardent C-Force.
The next time you are at your local tackle shop be sure to look for the Strike King Pork O’s Lightn’in Strike Hooks. These come in a pack of 5, and are only $2.89 per 5 pack. This is great for all of us fisherman, and makes it super affordable for us to stock up on these insane little hooks. I have two dedicated areas in my terminal tackle Plano box just for these beauties. Trust me you will not be disappointed.
Next up to “letting the cat out of the bag” is my approach to Finesse fishing with a Shakey Head jig. I chose to use the VMC Ike Approved Wacky Weedless Jig Head in 1/8oz. I always have one of two Soft Plastics matched up with this deadly jig head, Zoom Finesse Worm or a Grande Bass soft plastic. The color, shape and size of the lure are depended upon the water conditions and location. By using the Wacky Weedless style Jig Head, I can fish it two different ways, either Wacky Rigged or my typical way, with the lure rigged weedless. My # 1 set-up is for Finesse Fishing is a 13 Fishing Black Omen 2 7’2” Med Light matched with an Ardent C-Force reel. These Jig Heads are an absolute go-to for me and I have this set-up tied on all year long, and it flat out produces.
In the winter of 2015/2016 I spent the entire winter season fishing only this technique. I studied under my very close friend Kris Moran this style, and I have now honed my skills into a lethal tactic. One of the most valuable lessons I learned during this time frame was patients, and more patients. Every winter I spend all season perfecting one style fishing, and boy am I every glad I learned this one. With this ability to have this in your arsenal you can help turn your LMB fishing in an artistry.
About the Author
JD Desrosiers currently paddles for the Wilderness Systems Kayaks, Adventure Technology, and Astral Pro Staffs, and is truly honored to be able to represent all these amazing teams. JD enjoys paddling smaller waters, rivers, swamps in South Carolina and intercoastal creeks of the Southeast. JD has a strong passion for writing, photography, conservation, and teaching others about the outdoors. Hope to see you on the water and stay safe.