Freshwater Influence

By June 2, 2023Blog

Bass angles do not get enough credit for their pioneering impact on the inshore marine angling space. As dramatically different as freshwater ponds, lakes and rivers are to coastal bays and estuaries, there has been more innovation in baits, gear and techniques that have come from largemouth bass anglers to coastal bay systems than likely any other place, including from inshore coastal anglers.

For speckled trout and redfish anglers, we in particular owe it to them for some of the most useful and exciting parts of our modern angling techniques. Think about it. Bass fishermen were regularly using topwater baits when most trout fishermen at that time thought a rattling cork over a live bait was innovative, or a red bead added to some terminal tackle was the X factor for getting bites. They used jerkworms in numerous applications before saltwater anglers ever thought to stick a Slug-O on a jighead and were born into the era of Bass Assassins, Down South and a host of other jerkworms. The list actually goes on: lipped crankbaits, floater-divers, scented baits, spinnerbaits, and even trolling motors. You get the point. Bass anglers and their innovations in tackle and techniques have always led and likely always will lead the saltwater space.

So why do we not look to that arena regularly for new saltwater fishing ideas and techniques? Years ago, I was at a Bassmaster Classic and watched some portion of the weigh-in. As various teams hit new plateaus in tournament weights, they were often queried on the stage about what bait and technique they were using. I was struck that in over an hour of listening to a multitude of bass pros, I recognized only two baits. It was a great reminder that I am not paying enough attention to their vision and foresight.

Clearly, it would be foolish to blindly start throwing the newest hot bass lure, but it is reasonable to make sure you wander over to the freshwater hard and soft bait aisles during your next tackle run. Scan a website or two, follow a few bass pros on social media and maybe….just maybe….buy the next bass fishing magazine you see. Check out what is working and more importantly, why and how they are doing it. Think about the crossover potential and how it could improve some of your current approaches. Finally, take a bass technique and use it to pioneer an entirely new pattern. Maybe flipping a jig along a steep bank or running a spinnerbait or swimming bait along some boat docks or pier piling. If history is an indicator, bass fishermen are likely using our next great bait right now. We just don’t know it yet.

Leave a Reply