Bass Tidbit .15
On a bit less controversial note...
All of us that have fished bass lakes that have shad in them have seen the bass 'busting' or 'schooling' shad. These topwater displays can put your hear in your throat when the bass are good sized.
Problem is, mostly by the time you 'get' there, the bass are gone. They either show up someplace else a few hunded yards away, or they just went down and stayed there.
What is actually happening is the interaction between two diffferent 'types' of fish. Shad are what we call 'pelagic' fish. They have to continually swim to breathe. Bass are not, they are 'structure' or 'cover' oriented fish.
So, in most cases, when you see a group of bass busting shad, then stop, it's because the shad have moved far enough away from the bass 'structure' or 'comfort zone' that they are no longer willing to follow the shad school. The next erruption you see is normally a different bunch of bass.
This does let you know where the fish are, in a general sense, though, even if you get there 'late'.
You see, when bass hit a shcool of shad like that, many of the shad get hurt by the shear violence of the bass' atack. The bass know this, and will continue to eat these 'cripples' after the school has passed. You can often see this happening if you look closely. Usually you will see a fast moving small 'wake' indicating a fleeing shad just under the surface. These wakes usually end in the boil of a hungry bass.
If you can imitate this action, you can often bring up bass from the area long after the shad school has passed.
There is a technique that has worked well for me in this instance.
It involves using a floating fly that has some kind of bullet or rounded head, so that it doesn't 'pop' or 'dive' when worked. I use a modified (simpified) version of Whitlock's 'waker' sheep shad, but you can use any bullet shaped foam or deer hair bug. You want somethng streamlined that will slip through the water easily.
Make a comfortable distance cast. Now just start making a series of roll casts. No 'retrieve' just keep roll casting. Try to get the roll casts to go a bit sideways, if you can (hold the rod accross your body, not off to the side). Occasionlly you'll want to take up some slack, or feed more line, depending on the conditions and your roll casting abilities. It doesn't matter if the fly actually leaves the water and 'casts' on each roll, just as long as the fly follows the line and moves.
This causes the fly to run fast accross the water in varying directions. The fly sometimes leaves the water and relands with a 'splat' before taking off again.
This is neccessarily a slack line technique, but if you are using deer hair or soft foam for the fly, the bass will hold it long enough for you to take up the slack and set the hook.
This is one of those presentations where you can sometimes get several bass 'competing' for the fly. The strikes themselves will be a little different.
Lots of fun to do.
It Just Doesn't Matter....