OLD LURE FOR NEW BASS
Aaron Lawrence stood on the deck of his bass boat, rod in hand and surveyed the stretch of shoreline we were currently fishing.“I can’t tell much as far as any new hydrilla growth so far,” he remarked, “but all of this new lay down grass provides enough cover to keep the bass shallow all day long.”
Two casts later, as if affirming his earlier assessment, he buried the hook of his spinnerbait in the jaw of another solid bass.“These are the kind of bass that make Toledo Bend special,” said Lawrence while admiring the thick shoulders of his fish. “Most everyone is locked into chasing a double digit bass, but it’s the ease of catching these two to three pound bass that sells waterfront lots and camps!” “It has been a while since I have seen the lake this low,” he added.“This level makes launching a little more difficult and muddies up the front of your property, but it provides a realistic safety net for folks living anywhere near the river south of the dam.” I don’t know how many keeper bass we caught and released before taking a lunch break, but it was a bunch.Very nearly every bass we caught was wrapped in strands of dead grass by the time we got it to the boat.We never caught a fish that would eclipse the five pound mark, but we also never made more than a dozen casts without a shot at another fish. “I have never liked fishing deep structure,” said Lawrence, “so this bite just fits me perfectly.I probably have three dozen watermelon colored Fuzzy Wuzzy spinnerbaits left from our tournament days in the early 80’s and they will last me until I make my last cast.They are perfect for this type fishing and every strike on a Fuzzy is a happening!” The body of the unique spinnerbait is little more than a jig head adorned with a bucktail collar and a four inch grub. A light safety pin shaped wire harness is attached to the eye of the jig and finished off with a single blade. The perfect blade is dealer’s choice, but the decision has always pretty much been nothing more than deciding on either a Colorado or Willow leaf blade. As far as size, a #3 or #4 has always been non-negotiable and some anglers also drill a small hole in the center of their Colorado blade.Waking it just beneath the surface creating an alluring vee is just too much for any bass in the vicinity.Because it is constantly on the move, they don’t have time to inspect it before intercepting what appears to be an easy meal.There are no subtle strikes when fishing this lure! Over the years I had the opportunity to fish with and observe some of the best fishermen to ever tie a Fuzzy on their line and to the man, most of them were far more concerned with the target than varying the retrieve.Some would occasionally allow the blade to break the surface, but they always cast well past their target in order to clear the blade before approaching the anticipated strike zone. When fishing over submerged hydrilla on the three to five foot flats, retrieve was everything as the strike could come from any direction.A light chop on the water made the bite that much better as it minimalized your presence.I cannot even venture a guess as to how many more bass we would have been able to catch had our boats been equipped with Talons or Power Poles that eliminated drifting over the fish. Partially because the lure was created and gained its notoriety in this area, a world of local anglers still fish it on the river and in the bayous.The bonus for these bass fishermen is that redfish like it as much as the bass.When the bite is a little slow, replacing the plastic body with a GULP swimming mullet can make a huge difference. A slower retrieve is usually preferred when targeting hard structure like pilings and cypress knees.Fishing it on monofilament versus braid will also result in a higher number of solid hook-ups as the added stretch gives the fish a split second longer to inhale the lure. Regardless of your choice of lures, this is a great time of the year to fish Toledo Bend or right here at home. I wouldn’t fish either venue without a Fuzzy in the box!