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bass fishing resource tackle tips

bass fishing resource tackle tips

 

The First Cast

By Nic DiGravio

We all know very well that our first cast into prime Bass structure is the most important.  Stealth, accuracy, and a perfect execution are paramount.  But a lot of Bass anglers miss the most important part of bait placement, and that is slack line!

By being accurate on the waters surface doesn’t mean it will be accurate under the surface, especially when we engage the reel too quickly.  For example, if we have a weed pocket, say the width of a basketball in circumference, without that slack line the bait will not go straight down the column, rather, it will get hung up on the sides of the pocket.

Most of the time we cannot see from a distance exactly what our bait is doing, but without the proper amount of slack line I guarantee you that bait is not getting its full Bass catching potential.  The same bait, rod, reel, structure etc. with the proper slack line in the equation is a deadly combo.

Slack line will catch Bass!  Think about it!  The Bass angler who allows his or her bait to fall naturally without restrictions during a cast will, no doubt, out fish other anglers not incorporating this technique.  The Bass under a thick weed canopy in three to six feet of water, lurking on the bottom will more likely smack a bait with a direct vertical flutter rather than a horizontal ruckus.  Now there are times when the horizontal approach will work by using top water baits.  But on a hot sunny day thick weed cover with few available pockets warrants this method of fishing, in my opinion.  That is where the Bass will be so that is where my bait will be!  Those anglers that make a proper slack line presentation in a remote pocket will most often be rewarded for their efforts.

We all have our different ways of achieving this slack line feat in our casts.  My way definitely turns heads with wonder, but it is quickly forgotten when the Bass leaps into the air!

My slack line approach is quite simple really.  Whether I am casting overhand, underhand, pitching, you name it, I use this technique.  Normally the rod will be between ten and twelve o’clock in front of an angler when the bait is on its flight path to its target.  During the last few feet to the waters surface I quickly, with the reel disengaged, of course, bring my rod back in behind me achieving extra slack line the instant the bait hits the water.  At this point the rod is back to the ten o’clock position and the reel can then be engaged without affecting bait performance.  Obviously the deeper the water the further back I bring the rod.  By doing this, I am providing an abundance of line for the baits fall so that it will fall vertically to the bottom, sure as day!

Sounds weird doesn’t it!  The number of Bass that my method has put in my live well has far surpassed the looks I get.  It has become second nature to me and is automatic.  I strongly believe that the more natural characteristics the bait incorporates the wider the Bass’ mouth opens!

Something else to consider; if one doesn’t provide slack line and engages the reel too quickly then they will have a bad case of ‘unnatural’ bait!  Picture it dangling there in the Bass’ canopy rather than under it. 

By using my unorthodox method of achieving slack line bait presentation it accomplishes two major things.  First, it helps the bait perform natural qualities and second and more importantly, when the Bass takes the bait no restrictions means a second and third chew!  It gives us more time to set the hook hard and get ready for the battle! 

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