Getting started with search baits for largemouth bass fishing

Using strategy to quickly validate a potential hotspot

Search baits

We’ve gone through all this info and we are not even on the water yet! Some people just don't understand the intricacies of fishing. The next step in this process is to have a plan on how you are going to use the lures and rigs that you have strategically picked out. 

If you are like me, your fishing time is very precious because it doesn't come often enough. Sure we’re looking forward to a time when fishing is something we can do everyday but most of us are not there yet. So it's good to have a plan of attack when you start hitting these researched spots with your lure selections. 

There are many ways of getting started and if you have that gut feeling, or are just super confident with a particular lure, by all means that’s what you should go for. But I’m here to give you ideas and offer a system. 

For me that is this...have a selection of search baits to get started with.

What is a search bait?

It’s simply a lure you can use to work your target area quickly and easily to search for the bass bite. These lures most often include spinnerbaits and crankbaits.

Spinnerbaits as search baits

With these lures you can quickly “fan cast” an area at different speeds and verify that there are bass holding in that area. By fan casting I simply mean start casting to one side of the area and work your cast toward the opposite side each time you cast.  If you get a strike you know you can sit and keep fishing.

Now if you don't get a strike this does not mean there is nothing there but you can at least approach your next lures with some sort of limitation, whether it be time or cast or presentations. 

“When I go X amount, I’ll stop and move on to my next target area.” 

This is strategy and will put you ahead of the game when it comes to having a more successful bass fishing day.

Have a selection of spinnerbaits, crankbaits and even some softbody swimbaits with jigheads. Use colors appropriate to the situation as discussed in the last section. As for size, again, dependent on the conditions and what pattern the bass are in you want something that is going to represent the forage that is available to them at that time. A ⅜ to ¾ oz or 2 - 3 inch lure should cover most situations.

Using search baits will help you identify hot or cold areas quickly which will ultimately lead to more quality fishing time. Try this method and then work to adjust to your body of water and conditions as you start to find those bass.

Learn more about Largemouth bass fishing.

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