Posts Tagged ‘wiggle warts’

One of my greatest pleasures in life is to be standing on the front of my Champion bass boat while heading down a bank in search of lunker largemouth bass. Unfortunately, many of us are not lucky enough to have their own bass boat and have to fish with someone else who DOES own their own boat. When this happens, you are stuck fishing from the back deck of their boat.

There are many advantages to fishing from the front of the boat. For example, you get to run the trolling motor…which means YOU get to make the decisions of where exactly to fish (depth, structure, location, etc.). You also get to decide on the speed of the boat as it heads down a bank which means you get to decide if it’s going to be a Wiggle Wart day or a Chomper’s day. To put it bluntly…you are in control.

For those of us who get to fish from the back deck of the bass boat, don’t despair! Even though I own my own boat, I often fish with my father-in-law in his boat since his boat is already in the water on a lift in his stall. This means that I don’t have to haul my boat five hours and spend a bunch of money on gas just getting to the lake. He always runs the trolling motor which leaves me on the back deck…and there have been many times where I have caught more fish than him!

There are ways you can improve your odds fishing from the back deck and catch more fish. Following these suggestions will allow you to keep some control over your fishing experience.

First, if your partner is catching fish, you get the advantage of watching exactly what he is doing with his lure. You get to analyze his cast (is he flipping, pitching…is the lure hitting the water softly…landing on the shady side of a stump, etc.). By identifying what he is doing, you can mimic his approach which will help you land more fish.

Second, don’t fall into the repetitive cast-and-retrieve without thinking about lure placement. Break the water up into small sections. Watch where your partner casts, then cast to an adjacent section. Dividing the water up will allow you to fish “new” water even though it might only be four to five feet away from where your partner placed his lure. Sometimes, a few feet will be the answer to a fish deciding to strike a lure.

Third, change the cadence of your lure. If you are both fishing a grub, and he’s hopping it on the bottom like a jig-n-pig, then you can try swimming it or dragging it like a Carolina rig. By switching up the cadence, you have better odds of finding out how the fish want the bait presented. This technique is especially helpful in tournament situations.

Lastly, when the driver of the boat shuts off the big motor and climbs up to the front deck, reach over and turn the steering wheel so that the back end of the boat is turning toward the bank. This technique is extremely effective when you are paralleling a bank with a spinnerbait or crankbait. Having the back end swing in allows you to increase your casting area and gives you better access to the bank. It also allows your bait to be retrieved at a slightly different angle than that of the person on the front deck.

Don’t let the fact that you are fishing from the back deck of a bass boat discourage you. The secret is to use it to your advantage and follow the tips mentioned in this blog. Keep in mind that on windy days and when the lake is busy with a lot of boats that NOT running the trolling motor has its advantages and your back will thank you…


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Have you ever gone to your favorite tackle shop in search for a particular bait only to find out that they are sold out? If that lure is sold out, then chances are, everyone who purchased that bait is throwing it on the nearest lake.

Fish get familiar with lures that are constantly barraging them. After a while, they equate that bait with a steel hook in their head…and they quit hitting it altogether. One way fishermen are increasing their chances at landing fish is to custom paint their own lures. Custom painting lures is a great way to set your baits above the rest and show the fish something a bit different than what everyone else is throwing.

Painting your own baits is fairly simple. The items you need to get started are a small air compressor, an airbrush, paint and clear coat to protect the paint job.

Custom Painted Bass Lures

Custom painted wiggle wart

Small air compressors are not that expensive and can be purchased from any hardware store like Home Depot or Lowe’s. You can also use them for other jobs around the house like topping off the tires on your truck, cleaning off your work bench or keeping the kid’s soccer ball full.

The simplest airbrushes work with a single action mechanism where the depression of a single “trigger” results in paint and air flowing into the airbrush body and the atomized paint being expelled onto the target surface. Cheaper airbrushes and spray guns tend to be of this type.

Paasche Airbrush

Typical airbrush used to paint lures

Dual action or double action airbrushes separate the function for air and paint flow so that the user can control the volume of airflow and the concentration of paintflow through two independent mechanisms. This allows for greater control and a wider variety of artistic effects. This type of airbrush is more complicated in design than single action airbrushes which tend to be reflected in its cost.

Buying paint is the fun part. You can find paint at hobby shops or online. These colors you purchase should be the colors that reflect the food supply in your lake (if it’s a clear-water situation) or bold colors like orange, chartreuse and blue if you are in stained- or muddy-water situations.

Prepping the bait consists of removing the existing paint with sand paper, paint thinner or with a sand-blasting machine. Make sure all the original paint is gone and that you are starting with a smooth, clean surface. Then remove the hooks and O-rings and tape the bill with masking tape to keep the bill clean and free of over spray.

The key to painting lures is to start with spraying small amounts of paint a time AND to keep your hand moving across the bait. If you stop, your spray will not be evenly distributed across the length of the lure.

Perhaps the most important part of the entire process is the clear coat. This coat seals and protects the paint job and gives your bait a coat of armor.

When you are done painting the lure, hang it with a piece of wire for at least a day until the clear coat does not feel tacky.

For more information about custom painted baits, drop me a comment on this blog.

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