I have answered questions about why you would use a baitcaster
a million times. Once a person understands the true meaning of
accuracy, and what the strike zone means to them, the baitcasting
picture becomes very clear. You will never be the guy who catches
bass under all conditions, never getting skunked, if all you fish
is spinning tackle. The first thing a person must do when trying
to become a better bass angler, and master baitcasting tackle,
is get the idea of long casts out of their head. There are only
a couple of techniques in bass fishing where a long cast is needed.
The rest of the time, long casts do nothing but prevent you from
To understand this you must get the true meaning of accuracy.
Accuracy is putting a bait into a coffee cup on every single
presentation. This can neither be done from long distances or
with spinning tackle. Most bass are caught from very heavy cover.
When bass are extremely active, as in those days when you catch
50-100 bass in a day, they come out to the edges of the cover
where they are more accessible. How many days do you have like
this? I fish daily and I know how often this happens to me. Not
often! As the fishing becomes tougher, the bass move farther into
and under the cover where they live.
On the day when they were on the edges, you were able to simply
cast toward the edge and get a strike. Now, that produces
absolutely nothing. This would be considered a normal or average day.
You can either do something to catch these bass or go home skunked.
In fact, if you continue this same method of making long casts
to the edges of the cover, you may go home skunked everyday for
a few years. Bass are just not that easy very often. This is
where baitcasting tackle and the "strike zone" come into play.
What is the strike zone? This is the area around a bass that a bait
must be presented in order to get it to strike. On that easy day
the strike zone was very large. Possibly 2 feet in front and to
the side of the bass. This is why they were so easily caught.
As they become more inactive, normal, move deeper into cover,
the strike zone becomes much smaller. This means that on an
average day, you must present your bait deeper into the cover
in an effort to get the bait into the smaller strike zone of
the bass. Sitting 40 yards away and casting does nothing.
Even if you were lucky enough to get a bite, you would not
catch the bass. Why? Because you cannot set the hook from that
distance with baits like a plastic worm that is fished in
heavy cover. Long casts are simply a waste of time.
To prove this to someone, have them go into the yard and make
one of their long casts. Leave the bait where it lands. As
the person with the rod remains where he cast from, you walk
out and pick up the bait. Hold it between your thumb and
forefinger and tell the caster to set the hook. He will
not be able to take a hook away from your 2 fingers with his
hookset. His long cast is a waste of time. It's not accurate
enough to reach the bass, and if it did, you could not get
enough power to set the hook from this long distance.
So, how do the guys who always weigh in bass, regardless of
conditions, do it? It starts with a quality baitcasting reel
that will run you 100.00 and up. These reels are very easy to
use if you read the instructions and make the proper settings
with the brakes. If you don't follow instructions, you will be
in the same boat as the guy trying to learn how to use one of
the cheaper 50.00 reels. Follow instructions and you will be like
the kids in my neighborhood. I taught them all with no problems.
Now you practice putting a worm, jig, etc., into that coffee cup
from a distance of 30 feet and less. Once on the lake, you move
into the cover, where the bass live. You put your bait into those
tiny openings in the thickest spots in the cover. From this distance
you can cross the eyes of a bass with a sharp hookset. This can't
be done with spinning tackle. Again, it is not accurate enough.
When you launch a bait from a spinning outfit, it's gone. No
way to control the bait. When your cast misses and hangs up,
you just spooked every bass around. Your thumb on the spool
of a baitcaster controls where the bait stops and enters the
water. It's that simple. As the fishing becomes tougher,
usually due to weather changes, the strike zone becomes even smaller.
This means you must get even closer to the bass and make the bait
drop within a couple of inches of their mouth. I have seen bass
here in south Florida that I could hit on the head with a bait
and they would not move. This gives you an idea of how small
the strike zone becomes at times.
I would say that on one of my average days, when myself and a
client catch a total of 30 bass, the strike zone of the bass is
less than 12 inches. You will never stop getting skunked until
you stop sitting back and making those 30 yard casts. Get away
from the spinning stuff and go in where they live. Spinning tackle
is situational gear. It is used to cast small lightweight lures
on very light line. This is generally done in gin-clear waters
where the bass shy away from heavy line and large baits.
The first comment I get from my clients who have never fished
with a guide or a professional tournament angler is "I can't
believe how close you fish to your targets". This, along with
perfect casts is how it is done day after day, regardless of
conditions. Watch just about any of the pro tournaments on TV
. You will see the exact thing I explained here.
By Ranger Rob
Originally Posted by Ranger Rob