Build Your Confidence In The Shallows
Updated: Mar 6, 2019
It’s fishing, it is supposed to be something we do to relax. Nevertheless, we all have ambitions- a competitive instinct. For some it is the desire to test one’s skills against other anglers. For others it is the test against mother nature that’s the drug. So, when it comes to the great outdoors, and specifically bass fishing, we want to be- as we say in the armed forces- “all we can be”.
So, where do you excel? Is it drop shotting? Fishing a spinner bait? Working deep ledges with a Texas rigged craw? When I take stock of my success, it has come working the shallows. This time of year when people think shallow they think beds. But more broadly, shallow water fishing means docks, shallow structure- brush, laydowns, points, weed edges, grass beds, and of course lily pads.
There is no question that when you chase lunkers in the shallows, you need a weedless approach. My favorite simple weedless presentation is a number 2 Gamakatsu weedless worm hook which I rig with a Zoom fluke or fluke jr. I swear by these plastics every time the going gets tough. Everyone needs a confidence bait and these never disappoint.
I like to use 15 pound Power Pro line with a 20 pound fluorocarbon leader. Some say that this is
too much, but it gives me both the strength and the lo-vis needed to battle fish through thick weeds, brush etc. Remember, if you want to excel, you need confidence, so why introduce any doubt when you need to get ready to battle your personal best? This set-up has gotten me my personal best largemouth of 8 lbs.- a monster here in the north. Again, it’s all about confidence, so if the fish can’t see it, and its strong enough to get them in the boat, I run with it.
When it comes to fishing lily pads, I throw the fluke as far as I can into the pads. This is when the weedless hook provides an edge. I like to slowly drag it- with my rod tip up- right to the edge where the pads meet open water. I let the bait sink right along the edge of the pads. A lot of the time they will hit it on the way down, so make sure you have a little slack so the bait can fall naturally and you can see the strike while it is sinking.
When it comes to fishing structure, rocks and docks as I like to call it, I position back away a minimum of 10-15 feet. Of course if you are new to flipping and pitching, you may have to adjust.
I pitch that lure as far under or close to that structure as I can. Once it hits the water, it is very important to LET IT SINK. If nothing has touched it on the drop, give it 2 to 3 jerks or twitches and repeat the process. Repetition is key when it comes to catching these bass because, depending on the time of year, you want to either intrigue them into thinking here’s an easy meal to ambush, or you want to make them mad enough to defend and attack.
If you like fishing the shallows and working structure, grab some of these hooks, and a couple packs of flukes that match the hatch of your particular body of water, and build that confidence. If you want to feed that ambition, then confidence is the key.
I hope I have enticed you enough to come off your “bed” and get on the attack with the Zoom
fluke rig. I would love to hear about your confidence rig so feel free to message us at iBass360.com, leave a comment to this blog, or message us on Instagram or facebook. It is all about confidence, you really have nothing to lose- other than the hook- and if you spool on some “confidence line” you will minimize that risk too. Whatever your rig, get out there, keep tight lines and Live the Passion.
iBass360 Pro Staff Joey Glaze serves our country in the US Army. Joey is originally from Sullivan County NY where he developed his fishing and hunting skills. This is Joey's first blog for the iBass360 web site and we deeply appreciate his sharing of his confidence techniques with the 360Nation.