WarMouth Not Just For Spring
When you talk about the Big Bite WarMouth much of the talk that revolves around this bait has to do with springtime bass. In fact if you broke that talk down even more it would revolve around spawning bass, allot of times when the bass are on the beds. You could almost put this bait in the same class as the tube, for many years bass fishermen would get out their tube baits when the bass hit the beds only to put them away right after the spawn was done.
Some of this thinking may be fueled by Rojas’s win or near wins with the Warmouth. In 2010 Dean rode an early proto-type of the Warmouth to a 3rd place finish at Smith Mountain Lake then followed that up with a win on Toledo Bend in 2012 just as Big Bite was launching the new bait. But as the season goes on you do not hear much about the fish catching power of the WarMouth, well that is all about to change. Just as the tube bait has become a bait to use all year long the WarMouth should stay in your box and on the end of your line all season long as well.
Texas Rigged WarMouth (Flat)
This is how the WarMouth is fished by Big Bite Pro Dean Rojas most of the time when he is using the bait. This bait offering excels in the springtime like we have talked about. Some of this is fueled by the fact that Warmouth or bluegill (as they are called in the north), are natural predators of the bass nest if the nest is left unattended. Warmouth will turn on their sides and flap with their tail to get the bass eggs to break free from the nest then turn around and eat them. So when a bass see’s the warmouth or bluegill turn on their sides it is kind of like fighting words to them and they will strike them if they are not even intending to attack the nest. This is a nut shell will get you more bites from this bait even if the bass are not eating, they will strike the bait out of anger.
When rigging the Warmouth on its side, I use a 4/0 Gamakatsu EWG Worm hook and generally use a tungsten weight that is pegged to the bait. Weight of the sinker, I will let the conditions I am fishing in dictate that, but the majority of the time I am fishing a 3/16oz to 3/8oz sinker. The reason for pegging the weight is I want to keep the offering together, it is easier to pitch the whole bait into the nest and keep it there instead of the weight landing in the nest and the bait not.
Most of the time I will fish my spring offering on a 7’6″ flipping stick, teamed with a matching baitcaster reel that is spooled with Sunline FX-2 braided line in the 50lb class. If I am worried about the bass seeing the braided line I will spool up my baitcaster with 20-25lb Sunline Shooter then.
When the early part of the season is done it is not time to put the WarMouth away. The WarMouth then becomes a good flippin bait to use around cover like lay-downs and around docks. Bluegills are a natural around docks; in fact most of the time what the bass are feeding on around docks are the Warmouth and/or bluegills. I generally use the same setup that I use in the spring, have the WarMouth rigged on its side but I have also been playing with the Warmouth rigged in a natural swimming position.
I have been using this rigging more during the year with allot of success. As the bait falls it has more action to it then when rigged on its side. I also think the bait has more attraction to it when it is fished this way.
If I am fishing is heavy cover I will stay with my flipping setup to make sure that I can get the bass out of the cover but if I am pitching this WarMouth offering around docks and on the edge of the pads or cover I will opt to use a 7ft heavy action baitcaster, teamed with a reel that is spooled with either 20lb-25lb Sunline Shooter. When fishing in clearer water conditions I will use the Shooter line option.
When rigging the WarMouth in a swimming position you have a few different options, to start I take a 3/0 or 4/0 30-degree jig hook and on the eye I attach a HitchHiker trailer keeper. I take this and screw it into the nose of the WarMouth and then tread the hook through the tail and skin hook the hook in the back of the WarMouth (Please see photo).
I then weight the Warmouth as to how I am going to fish it. If I want to flip the bait I will use a 3/16oz to 3/8oz tungsten sinker pegged to the bait. If I want to swim the bait I will use a 1/16 to 1/8 pegged tungsten sinker, by pegging the sinker I can fish this on a lift and drop retrieve to drop the bait in on key cover that I am trying to trigger a strike from. Also a good substitute hook to use if you are going to swim the bait is a weighted swim hook once again in 1/16oz-1/8oz 3/0 or 4/0 hook.
I have also started to use the Warmouth on the back of a jig as a trailer in some pitching presentations this make a great bait to use around docks and sparse cover that the bluegills hang around.
So if you are looking to jump start your spring fishing this season grab a few packs of Big Bites Warmouth and try a few of the riggings we have talked about, but remember one thing the Warmouth is a bait to fish all season. Do not think you have to put the WarMouth away when the shallow spring bite is done. To see all of the WarMouth colors please log onto www.bigbitebaits.com
It’s Squirrel Tail Time
Can you remember the first time you saw or heard about the Big Bite Squirrel Tail? For me it was on a BASS On the Water segment, during that segment I also got my first glimpse of the new Shaky Head Jig and from that day going forward I have always associated them together on and off the water. Let’s take a closer look at the Shaky Head, Squirrel Tail combo and also cover a new way to fish the Squirrel Tail that some of you may not have heard of before.
Shaky Head Squirrel Tail
From the first day that I saw Big Bite Pro Jeff Kriet fishing his Squirrel Tail Shaky Head combo on an early spring day and was very successful at catching fish during his taping of On the Water show, this was a combination that I was very quick to add to my fishing arsenal. Over the last few years though I have made some changes in how I fish this combination and where I fish it.
For me this is a combo that I fish the majority of the time on a spinning setup, 7ft to
7 1/2ft medium-light or medium action spinning setup, teamed with a matching spinning reel. One of the switches that I have made last year is to start fishing my Squirrel -Shaky combo on braided line. My choice of braid is the newest offering from Sunline called SX-1 in 10lb test. If I am fishing in super clear water I will use a fluorocarbon leader on my offering (Sunline 7lb FCSniper), and if I am fishing in dirty water I generally will just tie my Shaky Head directly to the SX-1. If I am worried about the fish seeing my braid or if I am fishing in super tough conditions I may opt to spool my reel with 7lb FCSniper line. Under real tough conditions this is the line that I have the confidence in and will turn towards to get more bites when it comes down to it.
Make your cast and let your Squirrel – Shaky offering settle to the bottom, just by moving your rod slowly drag the S&S combo along the bottom. If you feel the bait pull up to a rock work the bait right in place. Try to get your offering to stay in place but stand up trying to get the bass attention. If not move the bait along the bottom to the next rock and try again to get a bite. I have also gotten a little more aggressive in the way I fish the S&S combo if the bass are aggressive you can use a faster pull or even give the bait a few hops along the way.
For those of you that are scratching your head right now and have not heard about a Neko Rig you will soon know what this rig is sooner than later. I do have to confess this was my go to rig last year when I needed a final bite to finish off a limit or was looking for a kicker bass for my tournament bag.
Take a Squirrel Tail worm to start with, in the nose of the Squirrel Tail insert a weight. For your weight option you have a few different options, for me I have been using a sheet metal screw as my weight choice. One, it is easy to carry a few different sizes to help me adjust what weight is needed on the water and two the cost is minimal. Other weights for the nose can be a 1/16oz screw in sinker or a lead nail that you can insert into the worm, you make the choice. When it comes to hooks I use one of two different options, one hook choice is a Gamakatsu 1/0 drop shot hook, or I will use a 1/0 weedless wacky Gamakatsu hook. If I am fishing close to the weeds I will opt to use the weedless hook option, if I am fishing in open water I will use the drop shot hook.
For this presentation I fish this offering on a spinning setup, once again 7ft to 7 1/2ft medium-light to medium action rod. For line I will use either 10lb SX-1 braided line with a fluorocarbon leader or 7lb FCSniper line. Water clarity and wind conditions will help me make my line choice for me, if faced with stiff wind conditions I will opt for the braided line option to get a better feel for what my bait is doing if I am fishing in neutral conditions I will use the FCSniper option.
Tie your hook onto the line, holding the Squirrel Tail nose down take your hook and put the hook into the worm so your hook point is facing the tail of the worm. Now when holding the offering by the line the nose will be down and the tail will be up, this is how the bait will sit on the bottom in the water. Your retrieve is key with this offering, make your cast and let the bait settle to the bottom you do not want to put a lot of action into your retrieve you just want to put a little pressure on the worm and lightly shake the worm. This will take a little to get used to but as the nose is sitting on the bottom the tail will be shaking back and forth and combine this with the floating tail of the Squirrel Tail, this is the look and the action that the bass cannot stand.
I have found this presentation to excel in two different conditions one is deepwater open rock areas. Bass many times see football jigs and Carolina rigs day in and day out but I can bet not many have seen the Neko rig yet. Second place I have been fishing this presentation with good success is on the outside edge of the weeds that have rock located just outside of the weeds. These two places have been prime locations to use the Neko rigged Squirrel Tail and I can add with great success.
So when you hit the water this spring do not forget your Squirrel Tails. Either rigged on a Shaky Head or Neko rigged you will soon come to know that the Squirrel Tail worm will earn a place in your plastics box. To see all the Jeff Kriet signature Squirrel Tail line of bait log onto www.bigbitebaits.com.