Sight fishing is one of the most exciting ways to catch a bass. Something about watching them attack gets even the most even-keeled anglers pretty fired up.
Sight fishing isn’t all about the spawn either. In northern lakes and any time there’s clear water you can sight fish all year – if you’ve got a good set of eyes and know where to look. For smallmouth, that may mean large grassy flats, rocky points, and along drop-offs. For largemouth, sight fishing all summer can be great around bedding bluegills, docks, and laydowns.
Here are two killer combos for when you lay your eyes on one.
The ultimate sight fishing setup, the VileCraw on a simple Texas rig is almost guaranteed to get bit if you plop it anywhere near a bass you see. The trick is to try and ensure that the bass sees the bait before it sees you; so long casts and good eyes are key.
Once a bass is spotted, cast or flip a VileCraw Texas rigged with a light (1/8 or 3/16 ounce) sinker up ahead of the bass and let it fall to the bottom. If the bass doesn’t respond instantly, shake it a couple times, then slowly crawl/swim it back to the boat. This is hugely important, as the wild action of the VileCraw’s claws while swimming is a major trigger – keep it moving. Some days you’ll get more strikes while swimming it than on the fall.
PlasmaTail on a Drop shot
If the bass is on a bed or stationary near structure, there’s nothing more effective than a PlasmaTail on a drop shot. Nose hook it with a light 3/16 ounce sinker and a short 8-10 inch leader. Flip it up next to the bed or cover, and just gently shake it while keeping the sinker in one place.
By doing keeping the weight stationary, the shaking causes the PlasmaTail’s club tail to jump around with an erratic action – which is something that bass can’t resist. The other advantage is that almost all PlasmaTail colors come with a contrasting brightly colored tail designed to help see when you’ve got a bite. This is especially key in dingier water or when the bass is far away.