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TACKLE TIPS FOR LAKE HUITES' LUNKER BASS
Lake Huites is about as close to the mythical "dream bass lake" as
you'll ever experience. This lake affords anglers the opportunity
to use a variety of lures and fishing techniques.
If topwater fishing is your forte, you'll find excellent surface
action during most of the fishing season at Huites. And many of the
fish that explode on surface lures are true trophy bass. If you're
a spinnerbait afficionado, there are plenty of prime pieces of cover
for you to probe on this bass factory. Perhaps deep crankbaiting
is more to your liking. You'll find no better crankbait fishery in
the world than Huites. Maybe it's bumping a worm across a point that's
your preferred method for tempting lunker bass. Huites has been described
as a worm angler's dream lake. So, as you can clearly see, Lake
Huites will offer you tremendous opportunities for you to practice your
tried and true fishing techniques, as well as develop new techniques,
because one thing is for certain - you'll have plenty of rod bending
and drag screeching action!
The visual image of enticing a huge bass to take a lure on the surface
is one of the most exciting and challenging methods of fishing on
Huites. However, whether it's Lake Huites in Mexico you are fishing,
or a bass lake in Connecticut, the fact is that bass do not feed
on the surface all day long. Anglers, therefore, must recognize when
conditions are favorable to practice this method of fishing. In general,
early morning hours, late afternoon hours and during periods of cloud
cover find bass most susceptible to a topwater assault at Huites.
Typically, when the sun is high overhead and the temperature is hot
and sultry, Huites bass prefer the comfort of deeper water, so it
would be foolish to fish topwater baits under these conditions when
other patterns would be so much more productive.
Although a bass might hit a topwater lure in just about any location
you cast it, there are certain high percentage areas that will increase
your odds of tempting more bass on Huites. Concentrate your efforts
in windblown pockets and coves, standing timber, shoreline brush,
points and stumps. Bass tend to use cover and structure (such as
brush, stumps, points or standing timber) as ambush points. It is
always wise to either cast as close to these forms of cover and structure
as possible, or, alternatively, actually cast beyond them and work
the topwater baits right up to them, almost attempting to glance
the cover with your baits.
In some instances, the bass on Huites prefer a slow, deliberate
retrieve of topwater lures, while other moments find them desiring
a lure that is aggressively worked across the surface. Let the fish
tell you how to present your baits. The guides will also be helpful
in this regard as well.
Buzzbaits are basically a lure comprised of a durable wire frame and plastic
or rubber skirted material. It possesses a propeller that rotates
around the wire shaft and creates much surface commotion. Bass experts
simply cannot equate a buzzbait to anything in nature, however they
all agree that it is a bait that tends to attract a big fish. Buzzbaits can be worked very fast and aggressively across the surface or, alternatively,
you can slow the bait down during your retrieve and raise your rod
tip to work them just fast enough to keep the prop turning and the
bait on the surface. Huites bass will take them either way, so use
varying retrieves until the bass tell you how they want the buzzbait presented.
anglers will use a rod from 6 to 6-1/2 feet long and of medium/heavy
action. A slightly flexible tip will allow the bass to engulf the
buzzbait before your rapid hook set causes you to pull it out of
its mouth. A fast retrieve reel will allow you to work them more
effectively. Because you will typically be working these baits around
thicker cover and because bass tend to hit them very aggressively,
consider using line ranging from 17 to 20 lbs.
When possible, try to cast the buzzbait beyond the cover, such as
a stump or brushpile, then work the bait up to the cover and actually
try to glance off the cover with the bait. This caroming action off
the cover will often trigger a strike. When a fish strikes your bait,
try to resist the tendency to immediately set the hook. Although
easier said than done, wait to feel the weight of the fish before
setting the hook. Work the bait all the way back to the boat as,
in many cases, a fish may follow it from the cover and then strike
it just feet from the boat. If you are generating strikes, but missing
fish, consider adding a trailer or "stinger" hook that
extends out beyond the regular hook. In some instances, the buzzbait is made more enticing by adding a large grub, plastic twin-tail or
lizard as a trailer.
believe that walking baits are the most underutilized baits in the
arsenal of the bass angler. These baits typically require the most
work (not strength) in terms of getting the best action, and anglers,
typically novice ones, shy away from them because of this. These
types of lures are extremely effective when you impart the famous "walk
the dog" retrieve, basically a coordinated series of wrist snaps
that cause the bait to zigzag across the water and resembles an injured
or disoriented baitfish . The gold standard of walking baits is the
Zara Spook, although others are very productive as well, such as
the Gilmore Oddball and MirroLure Top Dog. The key to these lures
is that they emit a lot of action, but stay in the strike zone for
long periods of time. Cast these lures beyond the target or over
a point and "walk the dog" so that you allow the lure to
almost come in contact with cover.
Huites' bass have a strong affinity to slam popping plugs. These concave
mouthed lures bite the water and then spit or push it forward, creating
a tantalizing sound and site similar to bass feeding on the surface.
These lures, such as the Rebel Pop-R, Storm Chug Bug, Gilmore
Hoodler, Mann's Chug-N-Spit and Yo-Zuri Popper, come in an array of sizes
and colors and you will need to experiment to see which they prefer.
These baits can be worked very slow and deliberate, or can be worked
fast and erratic. As with all baits, let the fish tell you if they
want it fast or deliberate. Again, these baits are most effective
when casted beyond cover or structure and retrieved very close to
Propeller Ripping Baits
plastic or wooden lures have rotating propellers that allow you to
rip the baits across the surface and displace water and create visible
and audible commotion. These baits are best used when the fish are
really aggressive and attacking topwater lures with a fury. Some
of the very best on Huites include the Gilmore
Jumper, Gilmore Go Getter, Hedden Baby Torpedo, Smithwick Devil's
Horse and ½-ounce
Luhr-Jensen Wood Chopper. When bass do not seem to be aggressively
chasing baits, these prop lures are best worked slow and deliberate,
allowing a pause between each twitch of the wrist to move these baits.
When the fish are chasing bait, you can work them more aggressively
with a faster ripping cadence. In some instances, props on the nose
and tail end of the baits produce better, while other situations
finding that bass only prefer baits with props in their tail section.
Soft Plastic Jerkbaits and Worms
baits like the Lunker City Slug-Go, Bass Assassin Shad Assassin and
Zoom Fluke, as well as other variations of this lure, can best be
described as soft plastic jerk baits. These baits are most noted
for their ability to entice shallow oriented bass, or those feeding
or schooling near the surface.
"Baits like the Slug-Go are so effective because
of their unpredictable or random action," points out professional
a frequent visitor to Huites. "This is one
of the primary reasons why they consistently catch fish when other
lures fail to do so.
Most of the wood or hard plastic baits we use are very mechanical
in their action, certainly the opposite of the hapless, erratic action
that one observes of an injured or fleeing baitfish. When bass are
actively feeding, just about any lure will tempt them. However, when
they are negative or neutral, I want a bait that offers a more realistic
action. That's when I turn to a soft plastic jerk bait like the Slug-Go."
Very few baits come in such an outrageous array of colors as the
soft plastic jerk baits. These bright colors do not appear to repulse
fish and serve the purpose of allowing anglers to carefully observe
the baits during a retrieve. In clear water, many anglers, however,
do prefer natural shad type colors. In off colored water, anglers
might want to consider a bright color such as merthiolate, hot pink
or highway stripe yellow.
"I believe that the key to the success of these soft plastic
jerk baits," offers Dave Masterson, "is that they can be
worked across the surface, or allowed to descend or suspend a foot
or two below the surface, a depth where may shallow water oriented
bass tend to cruise, especially during the spring and fall months. "On
many occasions, I have observed bass honing in on a floating hard
plastic or wood topwater bait, only to nudge it, but never aggressively
strike it. For some reason, bass can be hesitant about breaking the
surface to strike a floating bait. When working the soft plastic
jerk baits you can alter your speed or retrieval depth to reflect
the mood of the fish."
The most common retrieve is to keep the rod tip pointing towards
the water. This serves to keep the line out of the wind and allows
you to work the bait unimpeded by slack line. Use six inch sharp
snaps of the wrists to retrieve the bait. When the fish are aggressively
attacking the bait on or near the surface, you'll be astonished of
how many strikes you'll observe, so keep the bait within site during
the entire retrieve.
"Initially, try letting the baits flip across the surface
like a wounded shad," says Dave Masterson, "especially
if you are fishing a school of feeding bass or shad fleeing at the
surface. If the fish are hesitant about taking the bait on the surface,
work it about one to three feet deep, a depth where you can still
visualize the bait. I find this to be the most effective retrieve
and depth range. I don't do anything fancy, I just snap the wrist
and pause, snap the wrist and pause. The only real alteration is
the speed in which I retrieve the bait. Sometimes they want to chase
it, other times call for you to work it slowly, literally tantalizing
the fish with the erratic action."
When initially learning how to fish floating unweighted worms, such
as the Zoom Trick Worm, it probably is best to rig it Texas
As one becomes proficient with the floating worm, you may want to
experiment with various rigging modifications, including fishing
it wacky style by hooking it through the egg sac or center of the
always recommend fishing the floating worm on spinning gear," says
Dave Masterson. "It will afford you greater distances on the
cast, so you can avoid spooking shallow fish. According to Masterson,
probably the number one problem novice anglers have when working
floating worms is that they set the hook as soon a they feel the
strike or see the fish take the baits. He advises hesitating a few
seconds to allow the fish to inhale the bait and start swimming away
If the fish are deeper, you may elect to fish the stern weighted
hooks from Mustad or the Lunker City insert weights. The inserts
are either pierced across the body of the bait and then clipped so
that no portion of the insert remains outside the baits or inserted
near the bend of the hook to make them stern weighted.
Plastic Worms and Lizards
no other lure has been responsible for landing as many Mexican bass
as the plastic worm. It is probably so productive because it can
probe the mid to deep water haunts of Huites' bass more efficiently
than just about any other lure. The most popular and productive way
to rig worms for the bass of Huites is via the Texas
The Texas rig allows you to fish the worm in a weedless manner, as
the hook point is not exposed to snag into various forms of cover,
but rather is buried into the body of the worm. When fishing shallow
water and thicker cover, worms in the five to seven inch category
are most effective, as they will not tend to get hung up in the cover
as longer versions. When fishing shallow water, consider a pegged
slip sinker that is between 1/8 and ¼-ounce in weight. Pegging
will not allow the worm to be disassociated from the weight and will
make it more streamlined when going through cover like brush or trees.
One of the best methods for catching a true Huites trophy bass is
to fish plastic worms within and across deep structure, such as humps,
points, old road beds and submerged standing timber. For this deep
structure approach, consider using plastic worms from 7 to 11 inches
in length and up the weight of your slip sinker to between ¼ and ½ ounce
so that you can effectively feel the worm and weight carom across
lizards are also very appealing to Huites' bass. The lizard offers
the same lifelike action of a plastic worm, however
might have a slightly larger profile. The lizard is rigged in the
same manner as the plastic worm.
When worm fishing, consider rods from 6-1/2 to 7 feet in length.
Rely on line weight between 14 and 20 lbs. Keep in mind that deep
Huites bass have an affinity to head for cover once hooked on a plastic
worm, so you've got to really horse them once hooked. The heavier
line will allow you to do so more efficiently. Productive colors
of worms and lizards on Huites include: pumpkinseed, pumpkinseed
with chartreuse tail, Tequila Sunrise, grape, red shad and blue shad.
Of course, always consider fishing the style and color worms you
have confidence in as the bass on Huites are not very finicky.
Crankbaits are basically wood or hard plastic fish
imitating treble hook laden lures. They are usually categorized into
three depth ranges
- shallow, medium and deep. Typically, shallow running crankbaits possess
either no lip or a small one. The deeper running lures tend to be
heavier, with elongated lips. Crankbaits are a must
for any angler visiting Huites, especially if he or she is in search
a trophy bass.
simply fancasting the water and attempting to locate fish, few lures
will produce as well as the lipless crankbait, basically a moulded
plastic crankbait that has an internal sound chamber with shot or
BB's to produce an attracting rattling noise on the retrieve. These
baits produce a tight wobble and can be casted great distances. Although
anglers have had very good success using a yo-yo (rise-and-fall)
retrieve, the majority of these anglers cast these lures and retrieve
them straight back to the boat using a medium to fast retrieve. Very
effective lipless crankbaits include the Bill
Lewis Rat-L-Trap, Cordell Hot Spot and Rapala Rattlin'
Rap. The ½-ounce size range seems
to work best on Huites.
should rely on a lipped crankbait when you want to get lures to deeper
water, say from 6 to 20 feet or when you want the lure to carom off
submerged objects with less chance of getting hung up. Cast shallow
running crankbaits to banks, shallow points and ridges. Don't be
afraid to cast near cover, but not directly into it. Bring an array
of shallow oriented baits such as the Rapala Shad Rap, Bill
Dance Fat Free Shad in the 2 inch, 3/8-ounce size, Bomber
model 6A and 7A, Bill Norman Deep Little N and Rapala
question, the most popular, as well as most productive, medium to
deep running crankbait on Huites is the Bill
Dance Fat Free Shad.
Although Huites' bass will take other large crankbait offerings,
the Fat Free Shad continues to outcatch anything else. Two must sizes
of this bait to bring on your trip to Huites are the 2-1/2 inch, ½-ounce
model and the 3-inch, ¾-ounce model. Must colors include the
threadfin shad, pearl white, pearl body with red back, firetiger,
citrus shad and blue shad. Fish these baits on ridges, bars, points
and humps. A medium to fast retrieve seems to be the most productive
method to entice Huites' bass. Huites bass tend to school, so if
you land a lunker fish on a deep diving crankbait, keep these fish "hot" and
active by continuing to saturate the water with these baits. These
baits will trigger a bite unlike any other lure on Huites.
Spinnerbaits are extremely effective lures, as they can be fished in a variety
of ways. They basically resemble a safety pin in design. A lead head
of varying weight is combined with a wire framework, sharp hook and
one or more flashing spinner blades which may range from an oval
shape to a long slender willowleaf shape. A soft-rubber, plastic,
silicone or "lumaflex" skirt is added to cover the hook
and to add color and bulk to entice bass.
A few basic rules apply when fishing spinnerbaits, however these
are not set in stone and a savvy angler will let the fish dictate
what bait to use and not simply follow the guidelines set down by
other anglers. In general, however, you should consider a white or
baitfish colored skirted spinnerbait in clear water. In off colored
or dingy water, consider a chartreuse or dark colored skirted spinnerbait.
If you are fishing in clear water, the flash of a spinnerbait is
more important then when you are fishing in dingy water (where sound
and vibration might be more important), so consider a bait that offers
willowleaf blades. These blades are known for their flash. In off-colored
water, consider a Colorado or Indiana blade, as they give off more
vibration. In clearer water, you should initially try chrome, gold
or white colored spinnerbait blades, while in off-colored water,
consider chartreuse, gold, black or copper colored blades.
Huites is such a deep lake, consider a heavier headed spinnerbait (at least a half ounce), so that you can get the baits down quicker
to cover that might be in 3 to 5 feet of water. You don't necessarily
have to use a super-large bodied bait, just a heavier head. Bring
a selection of spinnerbaits ranging from ¼ to ¾ ounces
and with a variety of colored skirts and blades and with a good selection
of the various shapes of blades. Experiment with single bladed spinnerbaits as well as tandem bladed baits.
When fishing shallow water cover, cast past the cover and work the
spinnerbait up to the cover and bump it before continuing the retrieve.
You may want to also consider "killing" the bait after
it bumps the objects before continuing the retrieve. In deeper water,
consider using single bladed baits and use a yo-yo or rise and fall
retrieve or a slow crawl retrieve. If the fish are not holding tight
to shallow water cover, consider backing out and working the spinnerbait around submerged cover in 4 to 8 feet of water. The fish will let
you now just how fast to retrieve these baits and whether they want
a steady or stop and start retrieve.
Consider using a rod that has a flexible tip, as too many anglers
using stout worm type rods and do not give the fish a chance to inhale
the bait before setting the hook and pulling it away from them. Typically,
with spinnerbaits, you should rely on line ranging from 14 to 25
lb test on Huites.