Heddon Rod

Can you tell a bass' mood by the way it strikes a lure?

It's a silly question, I know, but it was just something that popped into my head yesterday while me and my dad were fishing at Casitas. We each caught three, his was after dark.

Anyway...

My first fish was about 4 1/2 pounds caught on a Heddon Mystic Spook (I gotta look this one up on eBay, by the way). It came up out of the water and hit the Spook.

My second fish was caught on a Strike King Rage Tail Toad. I casted it out into the wind and backlashed my Ambassadeur. But as I was reeling in the frog, a bass slurped it up from below without making a sound as the frog got up to churning speed and got close to a mat of grass.

My third and last fish hit a Rebel P70 Pop-R about 5 minutes after several bass were feeding on a school of shad. This fish came up and blasted the popper.

So... were any of these fish in any type of "moods"?
By the WAY it strikes, not why.
All three were caught in less than two feet of water.

moods. let me think a sec.
emotionally, no.
bass have no emotions the way a human might. you would have to refer to a bass' mood as a feeding pattern. on one of those dr office happy face pain scales l would think. something similar except maybe one to five with five being most active.

1) l don't know what to call this behavior. when they're just suspended in the open and ignore everything that is thrown at them. out there in the open, visible to predators and everybody.

2) guarding a nest. not feeding. will pick up a foreign object to remove it from the nest. sometimes these objects have a hook in them which make spawning season such a great fishing time but still not actively feeding. will chase critters from the nest when it would be easier to just eat it. you usually don't feel much of a bite. just a tap from bumping it with the nose. if you can see from a boat, you have better odds. if fishing from the bank, you need extremely sensitive tackle to feel the slightest movement.

3) bright sunny days. when they seem difficult to find. usually buried in the shade in the thickest cover or way back under a dock. flippin & pitchin time. takes a well presented lure right under the fish's nose. he's not planning to go anywhere. a gentle mouthing and strike. not particularly aggro. is that word still used? aggro? easier to type than aggressive.

4) cruising, feeding on craws, fish, plastic worms and crankbaits. this seems to be the most common "mood" of the bass. days when fish are in this mood offer good fishing. find the spot where they take a break, creek channel, lily pads, chunk rock, and you can have a good day. a good firm bite that signifies he's hungry. easy plastic hookset.

5) aggressive/active, when these guys gang up and go prowling open water, actively searching out schools of shad or bluegills. l think these last two are what you ran into. this is what's been happening to me lately. you're standing there minding your business working a plastic worm when all of a sudden the lake surface erupts with feeding bass and fleeing baitfish 100 feet down the shoreline. you trip over yourself heading for the car to grab a rod that is hopefully already rigged with a topwater that might work. by time you get back, the damage is done, bass are gone, and a few shad scales drift slowly downward to strains from "Jaws". they come back. they always do. as soon as the bait school reorganizes itself, the scene plays all over again.
l have had them leap clear of the water and come down on my lure in an aerial attack.
many of these are foul hooked, lots throw the hook because you didn't have time for a good hookset, or because the water was too shallow, you can't get all the slack out of your line fast enough. in shallow water, they are unable to sound, sometimes turning toward you. multiple strikes from different fish, if you miss the first one. times like this, it's possible to catch two on the same cast as more than one may zero in on your lure. a heddon zara spook is absolutely tops in these conditions but it may help to keep fish on by changing your hooks to triple grips or the ones with the offset point (kirbed) from l think VMC. xcalibur uses some of these on some lures as do several other mfgr's.

these are just my own personal observations. others may have completely different experience or ideas. this works for me.

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admin posted at 2011-6-12 Category: Fishing Tackle