Hot and Cold Aggressive Baits
is easiest to talk about because we can use the
example of the matador and the bull. As the story goes, the color
of the red cape is used to stimulate an aggressive reaction from
the bull! Who knows why? I surely don't, but supposedly the bull
knows something and I suppose that's all that matters to the
Now onto fish. Like red for
bulls, I believe chartreuse is an example of an aggressive
color for bass. You can use 4" and 5" Yamamoto single
tail grubs in natural smokes, pumpkins, greens, blacks, whites.
Just swim them along in a natural presentation... then slip on a
chartreuse grub and I think you've just upgraded to an
aggressive-colored bait even though you continue to reel in
slowly the same as before. Red is another color called
which I consider to be another aggressive color. Other things
being equal, you can quietly flip a red pepper spider grub into a
laydown log, and it will be more aggressive than if you put a
drab-colored brown or green spider grub in there.
thing with spinnerbaits or buzzbaits. You can slowly
roll them along wearing skirts like white, black, pumpkins,
watermelons...but slip on a fire tiger skirt, and you've
just upgraded a spinnerbait or buzzbait to a more aggressive
color even though you may continue to retrieve them so slowly.
Water Temperature. I like to use
color best (i.e., chartreuse, red, fire tiger, bubblegum) as an
aggressive bait in cool water during spring and fall.
I use speed, more of it, as an
aggressive tactic in hot water. With jigs at high noon on hot
summer days, a faster drop (due to a heavier leadhead, for
example) can evoke more instinctive hits whereas a slower fall
with a lighter leadhead may go painfully untouched in the heat of
Quick snaps can trigger aggressive
reactions. Have you ever noticed that you retrieve a
lure very slowly over a nice-looking spot, only to reel in
rapidly at the end to make another cast...and BANG!...you get
nailed as you're reeling in rapidly after you
"finished" your slow and thoughtful presentation? Ever
pick up some weeds during the retrieve and you snap the rod tip
violently a few times to shed them...and BANG! Clues the fish are
giving you to become more aggressive with your bait.
Unaggressive fish? I've casted to
schools of fish laying in shallow water...I've worked a tubebait
slowly and enticingly only inches in front of their noses without
any reaction. Cast out again and start that tubebait streaking
across the surface...and WHAM!...fish that were disinterested
before are suddenly fighting each other for the bait!
This tubebait example happens every so often to me. It is good
to show that these fish were not acting aggressively at all. In
fact, they were laying listlessly just doing nothing. Not
feeding, not swimming, just suspended and apparently in a
semi-stupor. Hardly aggressive behavior for a fish! A slow
"natural" presentation went unbothered, but that
streaking bait triggered their instincts to pursue and pounce on
it. In such cases, it is purely the speed that causes these
semi-dormant fish to react to it.
Splash. Regardless of what lure I
use, I make a splash on the first cast, and it doesn't usually
scare them on the very first cast. In fact it is a great way to
stimulate their sensory systems and make them receptive to the
lure before they even see it. A bass doesn't differentiate (like
you and I do) whether he saw or heard or felt something. He just
gets interested in whatever happens around him...a natural
noise...a bump or splash...and he gets commited to investigating
it - out of curiosity or out of hunger - without ever seeing it.
So, you are starting off with your foot in the door when you
stimulate the senses in a positive way with a splash. On a silent
entry, the bass has to see the lure to get truly stimulated...not
so on the splashy entry.
People ask me: "I fish water
that is quite clear. Would this make a difference?" Clear
water doesn't matter...things still splash and thrash around just
as loudly in clear water as in murky! People always say bass use
more sight in clear water and use more hearing in murky
water...that's what you & I would do, not bass. Bass do not
distinguish or even know they have eyes and ears. A stimulation
is the same to them...sight, sound, vibration...it's all good,
clear or murky.
Are there times when too much splash is over doing it? Only on
the second or subsequent casts when I mute down to a silent,
In summary, to me it can be color
(like the matador's cape) or speed (like running from a bear
instead of "playing dead") or that first splash (that
won't go unnoticed) that evokes instinctive reactions from
animals, including bass that may otherwise not be as interested.
Color in cool water and haste in hot. Plus
the splashy intro. Just three examples of what I do to make baits