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Finesse Fishing
by "The Bass Coach" Roger Lee Brown

Finesse fishing is a fancy term for nothing more than "downsizing" a particular type of bait or lure. When it comes to winter fishing, or times throughout the year that bass are considered to be relatively "inactive", then most anglers will find more success at catching bass by downsizing or finesse fishing. Finesse fishing patterns are usually fished at a much slower rate as far as "technique" goes due mostly to the inactivity of the bass during these periods. The biggest factor an angler should be aware of is that the bassís metabolism slows way down in colder water temperatures thus making them very inactive or lethargic, and a bass will not extend great amounts of energy during these colder water temperature periods. By nature, it seems that a bass will always expend the least amount of energy for the greatest amount of benefit - thatís why a bass is considered to be more of an ambusher than a chaser. There are a few tricks, or shall we say, a few "how to" tips when fishing a finesse pattern, and I will explain some of the techniques or patterns used for finesse fishing that may help you to become a better angler when it comes to these "cold water" or inactive periods for bass.

First, lets talk about soft plastics. 4" soft plastic baits such as french fries, centipedes, grubs, worms, craws, tubes, or any other smaller types of plastic baits are a good choice to use for finesse fishing. The most successful techniques or patterns for using these small plastics would be:

1) Rig these baits like a Texas Rig using a thin wire hook and by using the lightest weight possible (just light enough so that the plastic bait barely falls through the water, let the bait completely fall to the bottom, and just make a slow twitch, slowly reel the bait back in, then do it again.

2) If the water is more than 40í deep, try to find any structure within this depth, a steep bank, rocks, or any irregular drops, positioning your boat in the deeper water, cast over these areas and let your bait pendulum fall (swing) itself back under the boat.

3) If you have underwater structure areas like tree tops, old buildings, rocks, and underwater vegetation, a technique known as "doodling" can be successful at catching bass. When doodling a finesse bait, let the bait go down to where it suspends just over these structure areas. Just lightly twitch the bait and let it hang. Repeat this over and over again leaving the bait in the water just above the structure and hold on!

4) A Carolina Rig can also be used for finesse fishing. Just use lighter hooks, weights, and baits.

5) Another rig that has proven to be deadly is the "Double Rig." Sometimes when youíre not sure what type of baits to use, this "double rig" allows an angler to use two baits at once. First, tie a jig 'n pig on your line, Then tie a 2í to 4í leader off of the jig 'n pig. Tie a hook on the end of the leader (making sure that you use no weight) and rig a soft plastic bait on the hook. Work this pattern just as you would a Carolina Rig. Now, you have two choices for the bass to zero in on.

Also, when fishing a crankbait during these cold or inactive periods, and you can see by looking at your graph that the bass are in the 20í to 40í depths, and the shad or bait fish are only small in size how would you get a small crankbait to dive down to these depths? Easy! Tie a small crankbait on a Carolina Rig!

There are more techniques and patterns to use for finesse fishing, but these are a start for you to try! Finesse fishing can be fished in cold water or year round (whenever fish seem inactive), and will bring success to you when nothing else seems to work. Try these methods and see! Donít forget, any questions about finesse fishing, please email me at the address provided below. Until next time! God bless!

"The Bass Coach".... Roger Lee Brown

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