It seems like I always have luck when I throw a wacky-rigged worm. If for some reason that's not working, a drop shot usually bails me out. I don't catch many bass on crankbaits or spinners, but I almost never throw them either because wacky rigging and drop shotting work so well!
A Plastic worm. It can be rigged so many different ways . weightless , swimming rig , wacky rig, drop shot, shaky rig, Carolina rig , Texas rig . Top to bottom , slow or fast. yes fast - Texas rig a weightless ripple tail worm and you can fish it just like a buzz bait .
I have to agree with most everyone who has already posted here. If I cast a shoreline or underwater hump with a crankbait, spinnerbait or topwater, and don't get bit, I'm not convinced the area is void of bass. It's only when I go back through the area and fish it (slower) with a jigworm or Texas-rigged worm that I feel confident about what's there.
..................................................................... Dave Maas NAHSenior Managing Editor Favorite hunting quote: "Blood is not dirty. It needs no apology." Gene Wensel
I have 3 things to go to. 1. Drop shot with a morning dawn Robo Worm. 2. Carolina Rigged ToadFrog Baits Snakehead lizard in watermelon/red flake. 3. Enrico Puglisi Pinfish saltwater fly on my 7 weight fly rod.
I personally think that it depends on 2 or 3 factors.
Are you fishing a lake? Water clarity and wind can definitely affect what you want to toss. Clear water with no wind has most folks downsize their lures AND either make their presentations super-slow...or else "speed burn" them. At the very least, stick with natural colors.
If you're fishing a reservoir, not only water clarity is in play, but since you are above the dam, the release rate at the dam below will change water movement / current ABOVE the dam, and will affect where fish are staging. Creek runoff can change this too, even more so after a rain. Fish the creek openings into the reservoir after a heavy rain / storm.
Size of the river...and the number of tributaries, has a LOT to do with what is happening with the fish, AND how to fish them. At slow moving waters normal levels / current you can try topwaters like a Pop-R or Skitterpop.
I could go on 'n on with this, but I guess the best thing I would say is don't be afraid to try a variety of lures on each spot.
What's the saying..."learn what the fish are telling you".
Depends on where I am. Here in Texas on clear water, I'll try an old, original, #11 4" gold Rapala, using it as a jerk bait on the surface. If the water is rippled, I usually tie on a Texas-rigged, 4" black worm with a 1/32 oz. slip sinker. If that doesn't work, if the water is deep, I wacky-rig it WITH the same slip sinker. If it's shallow, I fish that rig weightless. If the water is murky, I use a small buzz bait if it's calm or, if it's not, either a 6" Texas rigged worm or a bucktail jig with split-tail pork eel. If I'm fishing "up north," I often use a modified H&H spinnerbait (skirt reversed, ball bearing swivel, willow leaf blade; purple skirt with copper blade if cloudy or chartreuse/blue skirt with nickel blade if sunny) when the water is rippled by reeling it fast just under the surface so it makes a wake. When it's calm, I use either the same gold Rapala on top or a small Rattletrap underneath. If that doesn't work, I usually go to a wacky worm or a small swim bait. Hope this helps.
Keitech Swing Impact. Never lets me down. Yesterday I tried a few things that didn't work-not even a bite-jig, spider grub, rattle trap, crankbait. Once I switched to the Keitech I started catching fish-pickerel, bass, crappies. I love it when they smash it!
Here in southern Mass. I find a 1/8 -1/4 oz bullet weight with a Texas rigged brush hog green with red fleck does the trick it will get you thru heavy cover. My fishing partner and I pulled several really nice 5 + lb'ers in mid day hot sunny and also off sand bars on lake at river outlet
My go to is burning a spinner bait. I usually buy them and then tweak them once I get home. I almost always use a large willow blade and a small Colorado blade. Color depends on when, where, and what time of day you are fishing. My number one all-time creation was a 3/4 oz, very light yellow skirt with bright white head. I put a fire tiger willow blade at top and a gold Colorado blade on bottom. I used a blood red trailer hook. This bait NEVER failed to bring home a fish. However, I got cocky fishing it one evening and hooked a sunken tree and lost it. It doesn't matter much this year because my favorite lake to fish was killed off last year due to carp and weed infestations.
Mine seems to be way different from most others. Growing up on Lake Amistad in Del Rio Tx. My father and I would limit nearly every tournament with a 3" smoke / metal flake curl tail grub on a 1/4" ball head jighead.
To this day, I can still catch with them when everything else is failing.
Whether the water is clear or stained doesn't seem to matter on this particular bait.
kinda depends on the water temp and clarity, but I always have a small profile silent squarebill, a scrounger jig with baby white ice fluke trailer, a small (2 1/2-3 "" swimbait and a shakeyhead ready to go.
When i go fishing, i have a sort of mental system -
1. Cover water -- Lipless Crankbait, shallow running crankbait, spinner, chatterbait, or jerkbait
2. Once fish are found -- Cast in that area using those same baits and when they stop taking them move to a super fluke (shiny ones work best)
3. If neither of those work -- move to finesse fishing. Watermelon gold Zoom double ringer texas rigged, and 3/8 oz weight. Real slow bounced off bottom.
4. If none of that works -- Go home (if too tired), or if i'm determined or have nothing better to do, bring out the oddball lures like hula poppers (in all weather ive gotten TONS of fish on them lately. Good size too. Very surprising) or trick worms. If its hot I try really noisy baits to anger bass because they're probably not feeding.
Number one all time most successful lure: Zoom super fluke, baby bass color. 100+ bass last month alone. a few big ones. http://zoombait.com/wp-content/gallery/super-fluke /081106_cox__113.jpg