The Ultimate Follow-up Bait

By Pete Gluszek, FLW Tournament Pro, SFT Pro-Staff October 5, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

One of the most important things to remember when fishing for shallow smallmouth bass is to be always be prepared with a follow-up bait. Often times I find that when using spinnerbaits or jerkbaits the bass will track your baits to the boat and turn off at the last second. This is probably one of the most exciting aspects of fishing, followed of course by a frustrating letdown.

The Real Key to Success

If you want to stop this cycle from hindering your catch, then it’s time to embrace the follow-up bait. I like to have a spinning rod rigged with light line and some type of soft plastic. I position this rod across the front of my bow up by the trolling motor. I keep it there so I can access it immediately when I see a bass tracking my baits.

Typically, I usually use a tube for this application, But had a fellow tournament angler clue me in on using the Gary Yamamoto 4” Senco so I put it to work out on the flats of Lake Ontario. I had to adjust my rigging a few times until I got it right, but there is no doubt the smallmouths jumped on the bait as soon as they saw it. On several occasions the bass came up out of ten feet of water to engulf the lure as it fell. I rig the bait with Zappu Inchi Whacky Drop Shot Jig Head in 3/32 oz. I used 6 pound test Gamma Fluorocarbon on spinning tackle.

Getting Your Technique Right

One of the keys to working this type of pattern is to respond as quickly as you can. Typically, you have a window of about five to twenty seconds to get your bait in front of the following fish. The fish is activated when he is following your lure to the boat and will stay in the active state for only a short time before he spooks and takes off. Your job is to get this bait into the fish’s strike zone as efficiently and quietly as possible. If you can execute this properly and in a timely fashion you can expect to catch a number of fish that would have otherwise been missed. Give it a try and with enough practice you’ll be catching that smallmouth with your follow-up bait in no time!

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