Dealing With Finicky Bass Or Gin-Clear Water? Throw The Right Line

by Mark Melotik

HuntStand Pro Contributor MORE FROM Mark

Tough fishing conditions? Bass got lockjaw? Everyone can relate. The answer just might lie in your fishing line; choosing the best one, even the right diameter, can mean a world of difference.

SeaguarFinesse1 900Most any bass angler loves to reach into the rod locker and pick up the big stick, spooled with a high-test super-braid or maybe some heavy fluorocarbon, and do battle with brutish largemouths in heavy, jungle-thick cover. But often, the bass won’t play that game. Quite frequently a lighter, more-tactile approach is needed; those difficult “lockjaw” conditions that can separate the great anglers from the wannabes, and the good days from the great. During times like these, having the right line and presentation can mean everything.

The Best Fluoro Line For Hauling Big Bass From Structure

What kinds of challenges do I mean? Well, they might be the result of increased fishing pressure, a recent change in the weather conditions, or maybe just extremely clear water. All can leave the local bass tight-lipped. Regardless of what it may be, anglers need to adapt their presentations and gear setups, sometimes dramatically, to stay in the game and keep their rods bent with hard-fighting bass.Finesse 900Let’s start with one of the most-revolutionary lines on the market that’s specially formulated for light presentations. Seaguar’s Finesse Fluorocarbon line is a double-structured fluoro (much like the company’s proven Tatsu) that combines two custom Seaguar-developed fluorocarbon resins to create a line that is available in smaller diameters, while still delivering superb knot and tensile strength. And trust me, that is a very big deal on the water.SeaguarFinesse3 900Since the introduction of fluoro lines, anglers have had issues with it coming off their spinning reels (standard gear for finesse fishing applications), primarily due to many “first-generation” fluoro lines possessing so much memory. Thankfully, fluoro specialist Seaguar has virtually eliminated this issue with new Finesse Fluorocarbon. This line is extremely soft and supple, with very low memory. And here’s another big difference: The standard pound-test scale for most fishing lines is round whole numbers; six, eight, 10, etc., but highly specialized Finesse comes in very specific pound tests: 5.2, 6.2, 7.3 and 8.4. That’s attention to detail and quality control that you won’t find in many other lines.

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Recently, on a spring trip to Minnesota’s famed Mille Lacs, the local smallmouths were just beginning to cruise the shallows prior to setting up on their beds. So these bass were extremely spooky to begin with; couple that with the gin-clear water of spring and you have the potential for a very difficult bite. And for most anglers, it was.SeaguarFinesse2 900Thankfully I had the right gear, and a solid plan. Rigging with whispy 7.3-pound Finesse Fluorocarbon allowed me to make the extra-long casts necessary—even with a light 1/8-ounce jighead rigged with a Zoom Swimmin’ Fluke Jr (see above)—to get in front of these spooky cruising bass. And just as important, the light rig still offered the knot and tensile strength to hold up to the local smallmouths’ amazing bull-dogging runs, and crazy adrenaline-fueled, high-jumping antics. Few fish fight like big smallies.

Catch More Pike & Muskies With Cutting-Edge Fluoro Leaders

Remember that as these bass progress along in their spawning cycle this spring and the local angling pressure increases, even typically aggressive bedded bass can still get tight-lipped and wise to lures being dropped in front of their faces. So you must fish smart.SeaguarFinesse4 900Again, being able to make long casts will allow you to stay away from bass beds and not alert the fish to your presence. The lighter Finesse lines also feature a progressively smaller diameter, allowing your bait to fall and come back through the water more naturally, than if using a higher pound test. This important quality, is often the difference-maker when getting the larger smallmouth to strike on their beds.SeaguarFinesse7 900Now, one may ask, what will I gain by downsizing from, say, 8.4-pound Finesse to the 7.3-pound line? Here again, it’s all about the smaller line diameter. As subtle as it may be, the smaller diameter will let your lure run just a bit deeper and sink a tad more rapidly. Here, even fractions can count big.

Boat More Topwater Bass With Super-Braid Lines

Returning to my recent Mille Lacs trip, I was fishing in shallow water, so using the 8.4-pound test was ideal, but if those bass were cruising in three to five feet of water and holding tight to the rocky bottom, then I knew from experience that by going to 7.3-pound test Finesse I would have found that extra depth needed to achieve proper presentation of my swimbait.

SeaguarFinesse5 900During the summer months when anglers turn to fishing a drop shot (see above) in deeper water, for offshore-dwelling smallmouth or largemouth, using a smaller-diameter line will allow your rig to sink more quickly to the bottom. This results in your bait spending more time in the strike zone, and offering a more natural presentation as it sits there and tantalizes those finicky structure-holding bass.

SeaguarFinesse6 900More favorite finesse-fishing applications where the Seaguar Finesse Fluorocarbon excels include fishing a wacky-rigged soft-plastic stickbait—such as the Zoom Fluke Stick Jr (see above)—around shallow-water targets that include boat docks. And on the weed-filled lakes in Minnesota, anglers target feeding bass by dragging a shakey head jig along the weedline; Finesse Flouro will ensure your bait rides in the strike zone for the longest amount of time possible.

DCIM100GOPROAre you looking to be prepared for the toughest conditions you may face this spring and summer? Start by doing what I do and check your ScoutLook Fishing app regularly, before (and during) your next fishing trip, to be aware of approaching storms and other scary-accurate weather forecast data that can change in a moment’s notice. And then spool up with Seaguar’s Finesse Flourocarbon. So rigged, you’ll be able to present your lure of choice more naturally and efficiently, and that’s a solid recipe for season-long bass-angling success.



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