Surface Baits for Bait Casting
Surface Baits for Bait Casting
Some of the best of sport in bait-casting is to be had when the bass are lying in the shallows and will followed by a fight always close to the surface and usually with several strenuous jumps in close succession, place this branch of bait-casting in a class by itself. In a way it has the charm of fly-casting — the visible strike of the quarry. But the accustomed fly-caster, habituated to the delicate lures of his craft, will require some time to become reconciled to the size and appearance of the most successful floating baits for bass. However, the success and sport which, under favorable conditions — under favorable conditions, too many writers have made it appear that the method is at all times infallible — are such that the angler can well afford to forego too strict conservatism.
The wooden minnows mentioned above are also made for surface fishing; but in this form they are rather large and make too much fuss in the water for very successful use in civilized waters. In addition to these there are three well-known surface baits. The first of these is an imitation made of cork and felt of one of the favorite pork-rind baits of the Western bait-caster. The body is made of white enameled cork with small side wings of red felt and it has a tail of red feathers. Its imitative purpose is two-fold, to represent a large insect while in the air (on the theory, a true one, that a bass sometimes starts for a bait while it is still in the air) and a minnow when in the water. Whether the bait actually fills this rather versatile bill is a question; there is no question, however, about its catching bass. This bait, too, is practically weed less, more so than any other surface bait, and, consequently is a good one to use when the bass are lying close in-shore among weeds and rushes. It is a single-hook lure but is generally used with an auxiliary trailer-hook, in which form it is most successful, three out of five bass being taken on the trailer.
Another surface bait is what has been called "plug shaped," is principally white in coloration, and derives its bass-attractive motion from a metal collar placed well forward. This bait is universally and very successfully used by the devotees of surface bass fishing. Of all surface baits this one is, perhaps, the best calculated to arouse the well-known pugnacious instincts of a black bass, and his fighting blood will often cause him to rise to it when a smaller or less conspicuous lure would receive scant attention.
One of the first top-water baits to receive the approbation of the black bass is variously known as the Yellow Kid, Jersey Queen, and by other names. It is furnished by all the tackle dealers. Consultation of a general tackle catalogue will identify the above baits without difficulty. There are many others, some perhaps quite as good, and others of no use whatever.
The bait-caster should have in his tackle box a small screw-driver, pliers, and a "one-drop" oiler screw-driver will come in very handy. The pliers will be needed quite often for tinkering trolling spoons and other casting baits. Occasionally the reel will need oil when you are fishing — when the oiler will save you from finishing out the day with a dry reel the same being good for neither reel nor angler.
Camp, Samuel Granger. Fishing Kits and Equipment,. New York: Outing Pub., 1910. Print.
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