There are many different ways to catch October bass in the north country. One of my favorite tactics for both largemouths and smallmouths this time of year is vertically jigging a swimming jig like the Rapala Snap Rap.
Sporting a weight-forward head with a gliding tail, the bait was new in 2013 and is very similar to the iconic Jigging Rap. Snapping it up and down gives it an erratic swimming and darting action that triggers reaction strikes from bass that are difficult to catch with other techniques.
Gearing up is, well, a snap. I use 14- to 17-pound-test Sufix Invisiline fluorocarbon mainline and a 12- to 18-inch leader of 12- to 14-pound fluoro. I connect the two lines with a small, ball-bearing swivel, which eliminates line twist. Snap Raps come in two sizes, 6 and 8, which respectively weigh 5/16- and 7/8-ounces. Depth and activity level of the fish dictates jig size.
This is a simple and fun way to target bass that have moved out of the shallows and set up along points near rocks and clumps of hardy green weeds such as coontail. Typically the fish are in 12 to 18 feet of water, though depths vary from lake to lake.
You’re basically jigging the lure up and down so it swims back and forth on the fall. Just pitch it out and let it sink to bottom. Lift the rodtip so the bait bounces back up, and then let it glide back down. Keep tapping bottom and raising the jig.
You’ll know the bite right away. When a bass grabs onto the jig, you feel a heavy weight on the line. Simply give it a solid pull and keep reeling slowly until the bass is at boatside. Good news is, when you get into a school of bass and trip their triggers, you get plenty of chances to perfect your strike-detection skills!
Bonus Video: Big Bass On Cranks