Bass Fishing Hacks

Simple Hacks and Tips to Catch More Bass

What is finesse bass fishing?

Finesse bass fishing is a technique that bass fishermen use when they have to downsize their baits and go to much lighter tackle than they would normally use. Lot’s of times when the bass just are not biting the normal lure offerings, then finesse fishing techniques can get you those bites.

We have all had those days out on the lake when all of our old faithful bass fishing techniques just are not working. You pitch your crankbait until your arm is ready to fall off with no success. Then you pitch your spinnerbaits and your frogs with no results. You even pitch your lucky jig for a while without any bites. It might be time to go with some finesse techniques.

I am a Bass Fishing Charter Guide on the Treasure Coast of Florida. I have been fishing the canals, lakes and ponds around Florida for more than 40 years. In the article below, I will teach you everything that I have learned over the years about finesse bass fishing techniques and lures.

Let’s get started.

Watch the video below and catch more bass with finesse techniques in the Winter.

What is the best finesse fishing rod and reel combo?

Most bass fishermen are tossing lures with big heavy duty rods and bait casting reels most of the year. They might have a 50 pound braided line and use big worms, top water lures, jerk baits, frogs or whatever. That is considered power bass fishing.

They are going after those easy bites from those bass that will react to those types of fishing lures and techniques but sometimes that bass are not going to bite those in your face types of lures. That is when you have to break out your finesse tackle.

Let’s start with your rod and reel choices. You have to use a spinning reel to successfully use finesse lures and techniques. The lures are smaller and the bass will see your lines unless you go really light.

I use a 2500 series spinning reel and a 7 foot medium power rod for pitching finesse baits. That rod has a 10 pound braided line on it but I will use a mono filament leader that is only 8 pounds when the bass are being real finicky. Many people use fluorocarbon leaders but the mono filament works just fine for me.

I like the 10 pound braided line because it casts so much further than a 10 pound mono filament or fluorocarbon main line does.

Is finesse fishing best in clear water?

Super clear water is one of those scenarios when you should consider using finesse bass fishing tactics if your normal fishing techniques are not producing for you. A more subtle fishing approach might be necessary in this scenario.

The wacky rig is my first choice when it comes to catching bass in super clear water. There is no easier bass fishing technique that I can think of. You simply cast your worm out and let it sink to the bottom. That is it.

If you don’t get a bite, then you reel it back in and cast it somewhere else. Can it get any more simple than that. The bass will usually hit the bait as it is falling so you have to be diligent and pay attention to your line. You might not feel that hit so you will have to watch your line like a hawk. If it starts to move one way or the other, then it is time to set that hook.

A wacky rig is usually a senko worm with a hook in the middle of it. It flutters down to the bottom slowly after you cast it. Bass love this presentation and I would try that technique first if I were you.

Is finesse fishing best after a cold front?

A cold front can shut down that bass bite very quickly. This is another scenario when you might have to use a finesse technique when the bite shuts down. The bass don’t always shut completely down after a cold front but if it is a strong one they usually do stop hitting the normal lures.

This scenario might the best one for using a drop shot rig. A drop shot worm rig is another stellar performer when it comes to finesse fishing. This is a rig where the worm is tied directly to the line 12 inches or more above a weight.

This allows that worm to undulate in the water column above the bottom so that it gets noticed by the bass in the area. This type of rig works great in cold and deep water scenarios when the bass just are not hitting anything else.

The technique is simple. You cast out your drop shot rig and let it sink to the bottom. Twitch it a few times than move it a few feet and repeat the process. Drop shot worms are usually 4 inches long. The smaller worms usually work best for this type of fishing.

My theory is that the bass just want a little snack instead of sitting down to a 3 course meal. The smaller baits will often get the bass to eat where a big bait will get ignored.

Is finesse fishing best in highly pressured fishing areas?

There are some bodies of water that get fished pretty hard. There comes a point when the bass have seen just about every lure in a fisherman’s tackle box. These high pressure fishing areas often require finesse bass fishing techniques.

When the bass are not into hitting top water lures, buzz baits, crank baits, spinner baits or any of the common bass fishing lures, then it is time to go with a finesse presentation. The next time that you are in this situation try out a shaky head jig with a 4 inch straight tail worm.

This rig is a good one to use anytime you are confronted with water that is relatively clean and there is a hard bottom. This is the perfect scenario for a shaky head with a straight tail worm. Do not use this around brush or grass because it will get hung up.

You can even use a Carolina rigged worm in a high pressured fishing spot to great effect. Just make sure to downsize everything from the weight, to the leader, to the worm. This smaller presentation will often get you a strike when a normal sized presentation will not.

This will often get rid of the lockjaw that the bass are suffering from. Just remember to go small in those lakes, ponds and rivers that get fished very hard. Your bass catching ratios will skyrocket.

What are the best finesse fishing worm colors?

In my opinion, the best fishing worm colors for finesse tactics are the usual suspects. Get a watermelon, green pumpkin and a black colored bag of worms and you are good to go. The watermelon works the best in clear water. The green pumpkin works that best in stained water and the black worms work the best in dirty water. Those are the only 3 colors that you need to have on your boat, if you ask me.

What are the best finesse fishing hooks?

The best finesse fishing hook are light wire ones. The whole idea of finesse bass fishing with worms is to downsize everything. That means that you will want to downsize the hooks too. A light wire hook will still catch a big bass so don’t worry about that.

Finesse worm fishing in the winter

Winter is a great time to try finesse worm fishing for bass. The bass are lazy and lethargic and the last thing that they want to do is expend any energy chasing down some prey item. Finesse bass fishing is perfect for this scenario.

The whole idea of finesse bass fishing is subtlety. The presentation is subtle, the technique is subtle, the hook, line, rod and reel are subtle too. It is all about a slow and small presentation when you are dealing with bass that are cold and really don’t want to do anything.

In the winter, the bass are usually down deep so a drop shot rig can be an amazing bass fishing rig when the bass are cold and deep. The drop shot rig can be fished in very deep water that is 30 or 40 feet deep. That is about as deep as any bass fishing that I have ever heard of.

Spoons for winter finesse bass fishing

A small spoon is another great finesse bait for lazy bass in the winter. You are just vertical jigging the spoon within 6 or 8 inches of the bottom. Just barely lift the spoon off of the bottom and the bass will hear the spoon hit the rocks or hard bottoms if that is the underwater topography where you are fishing. If you don’t have a hard bottom, then the action and the flutter of the spoon will attract the bites when the bass are cold and slow.

What is a ned rig?

The ned rig is just a small piece of soft plastic rigged onto a light 1/16 or 1/8 ounce jig head. The soft plastic can be a tube or a stick bait type of worm. It can be a small creature bait or a small crawdad……. You get the idea. It is a very simple rig and technique to catch finicky bass.

The technique is very simple too. Just pitch the ned rig to where you think that the bass are hanging out and watch your line carefully as it sinks to the bottom. You have to keep a slack line for this technique to be effective.

Your hits will occur on the drop, so when you see your line start to move you will want to set that hook carefully. The light hooks that you will use for the ned rig will straighten so set the hook with just enough power to get it stick in the bass’ mouth.

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