How to catch a 10 pound bass (in Alabama (or anywhere for that matter)
Well first off there are certain techniques to use for a giant. In my mind at least the best five are:
- 1. Jig
- 2. Alabama rig
- 3. 12″ worm
- 4. 10XD
- 5. 6″ swimbait.
These don’t always catch numbers but they catch size. First lets explain why I chose each lure. Ok we all know that the average jig fish is at least a pound bigger than the lake average. So in theory a jig will assume many state records as it is very popular and very potent against a big fish’s instincts. We have all heard the fads about The Alabama Rig. Well frankly, it lives up to the rumors. That’s enough said for me. Just go to a local tackle shop and ask about some of the fish caught off of The Alabama Rig. It’s almost as if fishing 5 jigs at once in mind with the quality of fish caught.
My personal best (a giant 11.5 largemouth) was caught from the bank with a 12″ worm on Pickwick lake. As I said earlier, ‘Nuff said. Now onto my all time favorite summer bait for TVA lakes *drumroll please* the Strike King 10XD. From the moment I first saw it on Strike King TV on Falcon Lake with Mark Rose catching 7-8 pound hawgs I was in love. Just be prepared to use a 7′ 11″ Heavy rod with 14-15 pound test. Lastly a 5-6″ swimbait is potent in the summer and fall. It can get the same bites as a big crankbait. Since it has a more subtle action than a crankbait it generally gets a bigger bite.
Now the best way to fish these is during peak performance time. Let’s go over that. For the jig my ideal day would be 70 degrees 5 mph winds in late May. That’s when those big post spawn females leave the spawning bays and flats in the stump fields in the backs of the creeks. They then move out to the mouth of the creek, a bluff wall, or a point at the mouth of the creek. They will relate to normal cover suck as brush or rockpiles.
For The Alabama Rig the ideal day is 60 degrees with a 5-10 mph wind in late September to early October. I would look for a point with lots of riprap and slow roll it, head to the back of a creek and throw at shore cover, or fish below a dam still slow rolling the rig with all five hooks rigged with 6″ swimbaits.
Now on to the 12″ worm, my perfect day would be the last week of May or the first week of June, 80-85 degrees and wind doesn’t matter but I would focus on fishing an overcast day. I would focus on fishing deep points, shell mounds, or ledges. Since the water is warmer large hops are great when bass are a few feet off the bottom. If they are hugging the bottom, small hops or dragging the worm produce best.
Ok first off a Strike King 10XD is pretty much foolproof. Find a rockpile or brushpile on a deep point or ledge with a school of shad and expect some giant fish. The peak time of year can happen twice, once in late May after those post spawn females go to the secondary points. The second time is when bass get lethargic and dont want to expel much energy to get a big meal. Starting to sound about right? Well it should. As to working it, don’t even ask me. A straight reel is the best, it’s the meat and potatoes of crankbaits, so trust it and use it. And if none of those catch a 10 pound bass this one will.
The 6″ swimbait is a trusted top-to-bottom bait depending on the weight used. Slow rolling works the best for me as it just looks more natural. The best kind of swimbait is of course a hollow belly (just wanted to share that info) as they are more natural looking. Another plus about this bait is that it works around all types of cover and structure. So as to catching that fish of a lifetime on this bait, frankly throw it and throw it a lot. Now that I have passed on my knowledge to you go ahead and catch that giant fish.