Conditions such as clear water, fishing pressure, and cold fronts often force fish to shy away from the common heavy-handed fishing techniques. When this happens, finesse fishing becomes a more ideal option.
Finesse bass fishing usually requires lighter tackle than the power fishing methods most bass anglers are used to – the technique is perfect in conditions where the heavy-action gear isn’t working. In this article, we help you understand how you can catch loads of bass using the finesse bass fishing techniques.
Picking the Right Finesse Fishing Gear
To successfully hook and land fish using the finesse tactics, using the right tackle is paramount. You need to match the line size and the rod action to keep your fish from breaking off during the hook set and the fight.
An 8- to 10-pound test fishing line can offer good results for finesse tactics. However, to get the best results, scaling down to a 6-pound test fishing line is usually a good idea.
Consider spooling your reel with a mainline of 20- to 30-pound braid fishing line and approximately an eight-foot leader of a 6- to 10-pound fluorocarbon fishing line. In addition to offering increased sensitivity, this combination prevents bird’s nests and line twists that usually occur when you spool the fluorocarbon line on the bass spinning reel.
The best rod choices for finesse bass fishing range from 6-foot to 6-foot, 9-inch spinning rods featuring medium-light to medium action. Spinning reels in the 2500 to 3000 size spools are usually ideal since the line usually flies off the spool more easily and usually twists less than it usually does on the smaller spools.
Some of the best lures for use with finesse tactics include 3- to 4-inch tube baits, stick worms, and finesse worms. The tube baits work best when you attach them to the jigheads. You can use the finesse worms on shaky head jigs.
Note: The lighter the line weight and sinker weight, the higher your chances of landing more fish. This is because you will be able to make quieter casts – the minimal the noise, the lower the chances of spooking the target fish. However, you need to keep in mind that the conditions you are fishing in and the type of cover may determine how light you will have to go.
The Best Finesse Fishing Tactics
When you are trying to catch finicky bass in clear waters, the 4 finesse tactics described below should come in handy:
1. Shaky Heads
This technique is ideal during the post-spawn and spawns periods. When the bass is cruising in the shallows or on nests after the spawn, you can use a 4-inch finesse worm to tempt them. A watermelon/red flake or a green pumpkin finesse worm combined with a 1/8- or 1/16-ounce ball jighead should offer you ideal results.
Simply pitch the finesse worm past the bed or a couple of feet in front of the cruising bass and allow it to sink to the bottom. For the cruising bass, allow the lure to sit until the target bass closes in on it and then start shaking your bass fishing rod with a slackline – this should impart a subtle action to your lure. For bedding bass, drag the finesse worm into the bass’ nest slowly and then shake the worm vigorously in front of the target bass until it inhales the bait.
2. Skipping Tubes
This technique is effective in the springtime when the bass fish is spawning behind the docks. This is because skipping your tube under the dock cable will allow you to reach bass nesting around the walkways of the docks. A skipping bait across the surface will look like a fleeing minnow – this should trigger a strike when the lure lands near the bedding bass.
For skipping tubes for use under the cables, a camouflage or green pumpkin tube bait rigged on a 1/32- or 1/16-ounce jighead offers great results. The light jighead will make it possible for the skipping tube to skim across more easily, unlike the heavier jigheads that usually plow and sink too quickly making the skipping presentation impossible.
3. Wacky Rigs
Wacky rigging is another ideal finesse tactic for both cruising and nesting bass. For the best results, use a green or white pumpkin stick worm with a 1/8- or 1/16-ounce Wacky head. Be sure to impale your hook slightly before the egg sack on your worm.
When you twitch the rod, the ends of your wacky-rigged worm will flex back and forth. This will create an action that is irresistible to bass.
4. Drop Shot Rigs
This finesse fishing tactic is ideal for vertical fishing for the deep bass. It is also ideal for bedding bass. When using this tactic, you will need to nose-hook a four-inch finesse worm using a #1 drop shot hook set approximately 18 inches above a 1/8-ounce weight.
This setup will make it possible for you to stir up the bass’ nest with the drop shot weight while keeping the finesse worm off the bottom. Shaking the drop shot rig right in front of the target bass should trigger a strike, helping you land the fish.
Q: What Is A Finesse Hook?
Finesse hooks are characterized by an extra sharp needlepoint and light-weight. Finesse hooks are often thinner than the normal hooks – this reduces the chances of spooking fish when you are out finesse bass fishing. Often forged for extra strength, the fishing hooks enhance the natural presentation of bait in clear waters.
Q: What Is A Finesse Worm?
Finesse worms are small lures featuring a bulb-tail and a slender body. Most finesse worms feature an average length of 3 to 4.5 inches and are usually available in a variety of fish-catching patterns. They respond with exaggerated action to even the slightest rod tip movement.
Perfect lures for bass, finesse worms are simple and clean lures that consistently put fish in your boat, even in conditions when it seems as if the target fish is not willing to bite. Their natural undulations and subtle action attract bass anywhere they swim or nest.
Q: How Do You Rig A Finesse Worm?
Finesse worms can be rigged in a variety of ways, including the drop shot rig, unweighted Texas rig, the wacky rig, and the shaky head rig. Of these rigging options, the shaky head rig is usually more preferred by both experienced and beginning fishermen – for this reason, we will show you how to rig the finesse worm using the shaky head option.
For the shaky head rig to offer you great results, you will need to rig the finesse worm straight so that the lure tends to drift upwards, away from the shaky head weight. Simply shake the rig around a little bit and lift off the bottom occasionally – this should trigger a strike.
The rig is good in areas featuring a hard bottom and relatively clean water. Be sure to keep the shaky head rig away from heavy grass and brush since it will hang.
Q: How Do You Fish Finesse for Bass?
To finesse fish for bass, you will need to put the bait on an ideal hook and then use the rod you have a 6- to 10-pound test fishing line on. If you are in an area featuring a grass bed, you will need to cast to the outer grass line edge and allow your bait and weight to sink.
Count to 20 slowly and then twitch your rod tip slightly and then wait. Count to 20 again and twitch your rod tip again and then reel the line back to your boat slowly. Sometimes bass may inhale the bait as it originally floats down into the grass edge after the cast. Other times, the bass may follow and inhale it as it moves in a swimming/shopping motion back to the boat.
Globo Surf Overview
When finesse fishing, you will need to concentrate on learning how to fish lighter tackle. You will also need to understand the area where you intend to go finesse bass fishing. Understanding things like the water depth, docks, reeds, stumps, grass, and water clarity will help you choose the right gear.
In stumpy and deeper areas, a heavier fishing line may help you land fish. However, in shallower and clearer water, using the lightest possible fishing line will boost your chances of succeeding. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of different rigging methods varies depending on the conditions – be sure to use the right rigging option for the conditions you are anticipating.