It’s coming up on that time of year when the bass will be setting up on beds. Some of you that reside in Southern states may already be experiencing this annual occurrence. There’s always other fish to target during the spawn, but many times under the right conditions, big bedding bass are the ones to go after. That’s not to say the process is easy as it looks. Some of these fish can be very tough to trigger. So, what works to get a picky bedding bass to bite? Sometimes there is no exact answer, but experience has proven to me that showing them contrast in both size and color consecutively, will make many of those reluctant bass finally bite.
So which sequence is it, big and bright to small and natural? How about big and natural to small and bright? Or even big and bright to small and bright? I feel it’s some random combination of all of the above. But it’s your job to figure out the attitude of the particular fish. Bed fishing really is an art, more than the casual fishermen recognizes. A tough fish could exercise patience beyond a great fisherman’s tolerance. But if you systematically do your part as an angler to provide a tough bass the contrast procedure I’m talking about, your chances for a catch should go up. Sure, the identification of the “specific spot” on the bed, and the particular stage of the spawn cycle the bass is in, all play a part in your destiny as it pertains to catching the particular bass. But contrast will ultimately identify the bulk of a bass’s temperament.
Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about. Let’s say your large choice bait with several appendages is the 4 inch Incredi-Craw, then rig one in both white and watermelon/red flake(a great bed fishing color). And let’s say your small compact bait of choice is a small jig with a Culprit DW1 trailer (my favorite compact bait). Then do the same and rig one in a bright white pattern, and another in a natural pattern like green pumpkin (as seen in the picture). Have all the rods spread out on the deck of your boat, and simply alternate from one to the other. As you are trying different sequences, pay close attention to the reactions of the bass as you change and present the baits differently. You’ll be able to identify little clues to what sequence is working or what is not by how the bass is reacting. Once you nail down a particular method that seems to fire the bass up, then it’s “Checkmate” time. Take what the bass is telling and then re-energize your focus on a strategically precise sequence just like that bass has already identified for you. More often than not it’s game over from there, and the finicky bass on the bed becomes a trophy picture in your fishing log.