As water temps hit the 60 degree mark in the Chicago land area, big female bass start roaming the shallows searching for their spot to clear a nest to spawn on. Once on beds this is a great time to catch a true giant! Its simple fishing and we’ll discuss the gear and tactics it takes to catch these big spawning females.
The first and most crucial part of bed fishing is being able to see the beds as well as the bass. There is no greater tool in your arsenal this time of year than a pair of polarized sun glasses. On a cloudy day or at dawn and dusk we like to run a set of amber colored lenses. This color lets in the most light under low light conditions and cuts the glare to allow us to see into the water. On bright sunny days with mile high skies we will use the dark gray lenses. These dim the light and cut glare to allow us to see in the water.
Now, probably the most known and most publicized way of bed fishing is using heavier gear, such as a flipping stick and pitching a jig or a plastic of some type and dragging or hopping it on a bass bed. But today we want to talk about a more finesse approach. Leave the flipping sticks in the trucks, and pull out the spinning rod! It’s time to pitch a “Flick N’ Shimmy”
A Flick N’ Shimmy is a new twist on a finesse worm and a new twist on whacky worming. It’s a thin body worm with fatter heads on both ends of the worm. They come in 4.8”, 5.8” and 6.8” and a wide variety of colors. We rig them whacky style (Hooked one time right through the middle of the bait) with a Flick N’ Shimmy Head. They come in sizes of 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, and 3/16 and are available in 3 colors; unpainted, Black and Green Pumpkin.
We throw these baits on a ML spinning rod. Due to the short shank, wide gap hook, we want a little flex in the rod to keep from pulling that hook out of a bass’s mouth. One of my favorite rods for this is the Johnny Morris CarbonLite 6’8” Med Light spinning rod. It’s a very light rod to hold in your hand and easy to fish it all day long and unreal sensitivity to detect even the lightest bites. Can also double as a good drop shot rod.
We team that rod up with the Johnny Morris CarbonLite spinning reel in the 750 size. It’s light weight, durable and super smooth. Its wide spool design cuts down on line twists and wind knots even when throwing fluorocarbon line.
Speaking of fluorocarbon line, yep, you guessed it, that’s the line we are using for this tactic. Fluorocarbon line sinks so we get a better feel and is a tad smaller in diameter then mono and a little less stretch then mono. Its best quality is that it is nearly invisible in water. Bass Pro’s XPS fluorocarbon is smooth casting while still giving you some abrasion resistance to fish around cover. 8lb test gives us enough shock absorption on hook sets and enough tensile strength to handle just about any bedding bass.
To use these baits is simple. Pitch them out to the area’s we see that a bass has swept out with their tail or if you visibly see them sitting on the bed. We can drag this bait across the bed, hop it, shake it, or even dead stick it. When this baits at rest on the bottom, the two heads float up and can temp even the most disinterested bass into striking.
Be patient when fishing beds. It’s not always hot and heavy action but it can sure produce some of the biggest bass of the year! Good Luck and Tight Lines!
Bolingbrook’s Bass Pro Shops