Do you know how to whip a school of bass into a feeding frenzy? Veteran bass pro Dion Hibdon of Stover, Missouri does. "If I can get the first bass to bite, it turns on the rest of them," he says.
Hibdon uses one lure to spark the intitial strike and switches to a different bait to keep the bass chomping. For example, when fishing a bridge piling in a clear reservoir, his first casts are with a 1/4-ounce ball head jig dressed with a 3-inch Luck "E" Strike Swirl Tail Grub. "I count the jig down and swim it at the depth the bass are schooled," Hibdon says. "Sometimes you have to snatch the bait up 5 or 6 feet through them and let it fall to make one bite."
When he hooks a bass, he quickly follows up with a jerkbait while the bass are still wound up. The key is getting a lure back to the fish to keep the frenzy going. Once the bite is over, the game's up.
The lures needed depend on where you're fsihing. When bass pro Matt Reed of Maidsonville, Texas, fished a Bassmaster Elite tournament at Kentucky Lake, he relied on a Booyah 3/4-ounce Football Jig dressed with a 4-inch Yum twin-tail grub to get the first bite.
Reed dragged and hopped the jig over shell beds on river ledges that dorpped from 14 to 25 feet. After catching the first bass, he switched to a Bomber No. 7 Fat Free Shad and burned it through the bass to keep them fired up.
When he vertically jigs submerged hydrilla, Reed keeps 6 flippin' rods ready on deck. He begins by pitching a 1-ounce Booyah jig dressed with a 3 3/4-inch Yum Craw Papi.
When he hooks a bass, Reed horses it into the boat, grabs one of the other rods, rigged with a 1 1/4-ounce jig, and pitches it to the same spot.
"If you take the time to put the bass into your livewell, they'll stop biting," he says. "I've fished six hours without a bite many times and suddenly had 25 pounds of bass flopping on the floor in 90 seconds."