By KEN SAURET
I live in central California and fish primarily for bass - largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. Out here in California we have a lot of clear, deep reservoirs requiring the use of finesse tactics to consistently catch numbers of tournament keeper bass. In the heat of summer, the heart of winter or anywhere in-between for that matter, there are times when bass are not in a positive, aggressive mood. This is when it is important to downsize your baits to keep catching keeper bass.
It may be excessive fishing pressure, weather, boat traffic or a myriad of other influences that put bass off the "hot" bite we all like to experience. You may downsize to a 4-inch YUM Rib Worm or a 3-inch YUM Dinger on a dropshot rig, or go to a 1/4 oz. BOOYAH Boo Jig with a YUM Baby CrawBug trailer. Even a 3-inch YUM Wooly Hawgtail on a splitshot rig will entice a bite from lethargic bass all the way down to 40 feet out here in our clear lakes.
The presentation for tough to catch bass is important. But what I believe is even more important is what the bass do with the bait when they are coaxed into taking it into their mouths to see if it is something to eat or something to spit right back out. We've all probably seen the fishing videos where a bass will inhale a bait and immediately exhale the bait before the fisherman even knew he had a bite, missing the fish.
This is where LPT, Live Prey Technology, comes into its own. Live Prey Technology in all YUM and Riverside plastic baits replicates the enzymes released by baitfish when eaten or distressed. These enzymes in the water provoke a fleeing response from all baitfish in the area. At the same time this enzyme provokes a feeding response from any predator fish, like bass, also in the area. Therefore, when a bass takes a YUM bait with LPT, the urge to actually eat the bait is a real possibility in my experience. Bass just plain hold on to these baits longer, giving the angler more time to set the hook and catch each bass that bites.
In finesse situations when fish are neutral or negative this is a huge advantage. For example, while dropshotting recently in late October, the spotted bass in my local lake were still in a summer pattern with the 70 degree surface temperature. When I did get a bite the bass only nipped at the tail of the 4-inch worms I was using. After a few of these tugs on my worm I switched to a 3-inch Yum Dinger with LPT and started catching bass.
When the fish took the tail of the Dinger I continued to subtly shake the bait. It felt like the bass was chewing on the bait and then just loaded up and started swimming off with the Dinger in its mouth, allowing me to set the hook and catch the bass. After observing the way the spotted bass were responding to the YUM Dingers with LPT, I thought I would try the YUM spray attractant with LPT on those same 4-inch worms I had bites on earlier. The bass were only taking the tail of the worm so I put the YUM spray on the head of the worm only. Sure enough, the bass would take the worm all the way to the hook and hold on allowing me to hook more bass on the 4-inch worms that only moments before just held on to the tail of the worm. Since this process proved to catch more bass I upsized to the 5-inch YUM Dinger. Although I got less bites, the quality improved dramatically!
Ask your local tackle store to get some of the Smoke Pearl Laminate or the Watermelon Pearl Laminate Yum Dingers. Try these in clear water situations and you will be amazed at the effectiveness of these little baits on a dropshot rig when bass are primarily eating shad. First, find the activity level of the fish on your lake. Then find shad in contact with the bottom and fish at that level on steeper rocky banks. Just dance the weight on the bottom in little one or two inch hops and the Dinger positioned 6 to 12 inches above the weight will produce action when other more traditional baits fail.
If the fish are in a little more positive mood then the Yum Rib Worm with its ribs and curl tail will give a little more action that the bass will respond to. But when compared to other curl tail worms the Rib Worm with LPT will get bass to hold on longer and you will get more fish in the boat.
LPT with its fish catching taste and smell really imitates something "alive" and will catch you more fish in tough situations when a finesse presentation is required. In my experience LPT is the most important innovation in bass fishing since monofilament line. There are a lot of look-alike baits on the market that work some of the time. YUM has the bait configuration for every situation, from power fishing to finesse fishing, but the difference that sets YUM apart from the crowd is Live Prey Technology. Fish just hold on longer!
Ken Sauret is a bass pro from Paso Robles, Calif.