4 Myths About Finesse Fishing | Bass Fishing

Finesse fishing is probably one of the most
misunderstood things, especially for a lotof the anglers in the southeast part of the
country. I think finesse fishing in a lotof parts of the world, in the West, up where
you are, over where I am in the Northeaston the East Coast, finesse fishing is important,
but in a lot of places guys grow up power-fishing,and especially in those power-fishing areas
of the world, I think there are a lot of mythsbased around finesse fishing. Here are probably four of the biggest. The first one is finesse fishing is no good
in dirty water. Man, I have to tell you, thatis such a super myth. I grew up over here
in New Jersey basically fishing the banksof the tidal Delaware River from when I was
a kid till now, and the Delaware River inits entirety is a pretty stained fishery,
in a lot of places muddy. I think one of thebig misconceptions is that when you see dirty,
muddy water, from brown mud all the way toorange chocolate YooHoo, that finesse fishing
is out of the picture, and that is false. Finesse fishing works equally as good in dirty
water as it does, obviously, in clear water,and I think the key is that you just have
to alter your finesse presentation a littlebit. Typically, the more stained the water,
the dirtier the water, the muddier the water,finesse fishing is still important in it,
but what I do is I really slow down and Ireally get more target-specific. One of the true things in dirty-water situations
is the fish will get tighter to cover. Theywill actually suck in closer to whatever they
are relating to, so in situations where youare finesse fishing, you just need to put
the bait tighter and leave it there for alonger period of time. The other modification that I will make is
in color. I think a lot of times in finessefishing, people assume that color of the finesse
baits are always translucent, or clear, orcolors that are almost see-through, so in
muddy water, the only modification I do isI go to colors that are brighter, that stand
out more, or have more contrast in that dirtywater. I can tell you one of my favorite finesse
colors when I am fishing dirty water is straightblack, and it is almost like the forgotten-about
color, but I love a little black shaky worm. I love a little black finesse jig, a black
finesse spinner bait, so I think one of thebiggest misconceptions is you absolutely can’t
finesse in dirty water. The second big misconception of finesse fishing
is finesse fishing does not catch big fish. It is only for little fish, and it is only
for numbers. Gosh, that is the biggest misconceptionin the world. I will give you two quick examples.
The biggest bass I ever caught in my lifeweighed fourteen pounds, one ounce. I caught
it from Lake Amistad, practicing for the firstElite event we ever fished there, and I caught
that fish on a spinning rod with ten-poundtest on a weightless soft stick bait. Second example: last year at the Texas Toyota
Bass Classic, Lake Conroe, I came in secondplace, and amassed–I cannot remember what
it is–over four days, but averaging overtwenty pounds a day, caught one fish over
seven pounds every day of the event, includingone that was almost ten, a nine-and-three-quarter,
and every one of those fish I weighed, allthose big ones, all came on a little shaky-head
worm on eight-pound fluorocarbon line, sofinesse fishing is absolutely a technique
where you can catch big giant fish. It isnot just for little fish. It is not just for
numbers. It can catch giants. Third misconception on finesse fishing is
finesse fishing only means fishing a littletiny worm and finesse fishing only means fishing
a little tiny whippy spinning rod. The’rebig misconceptions. I think one of the big
things in finesse fishing is that people lookat it and they see it as this one generic
type of fishing, but in finesse fishing, likein power-fishing, there is a broad range of
baits and there is a broad range of actionrods and techniques that we are going to use
to finesse fish. To give you a quick example, you know, I have
a book out all about finesse fishing, andwe have thirteen chapters and pretty much
every one of those chapters talks about adifferent finesse bait or a different finesse
technique. The thing to keep in mind withfinesse fishing is each bait, what you want
to think about, so to give you a quick run-downof some of those: a shaky worm, a dropshot,
a flick-shake, a tail-weighted French fry,a floating worm, a weightless stickbait or
a minnow bait–any of those–the thing thatI am thinking about is the action of the bait:
the fall or the movement of that bait. Whenyou look at them, when you break them down,
they are all different. So again, just like in power-fishing, just
like in spinnerbait fishing–you spinnerbaitfish, you are picking blade colors and you
are picking blade sizes. Do I use a willowfor flash, do I use an Indiana for in-between,
a Colorado for vibration? The same way wepick those power-fishing baits, we are going
to pick finesse baits, so finesse fishingis not just a little worm. It is a lot of
baits. The other thing is, it is not just a little
whippy rod. I can tell you that there arefour different actions of spinning rods that
I normally carry in my boat, and I will giveyou a run-down of them real quick. One is
a 6’6″ medium-heavy action spinning rod. Thatis the rod that I love to use when I am skipping
around docks, and it is the rod that I loveto use on jighead applications: a seven-foot
medium-heavy action rod, the best all-aroundrod there is, a little bit longer. It is perfect
for flick-shake. It is perfect for tail-weightedFrench fry, stickbait–it is the best all-around
rod. A 6’9″ straight medium spinning rod–that
is my dropshot rod–a lot more tip, a lotmore give to that rod, a lot more flexibility.
You are not driving the hook home; you arejust kind of sweep-setting the hook. Then,
finally, a really long spinning rod: a 7’4″ spinning rod with a little bit more heavy
action. It is a medium-heavy, but it is almostcloser to a heavy action rod, and that is
for applications like those bigger baits–along-cast weightless minnow bait, a big weightless
stickbait thrown into the bushes–some ofthose applications are used in braid on a
spinning rod, so it is not just about a littlewhippy rod. There are other rods, so that
is the third one. Finally, I would say the biggest misconception
in finesse fishing is that I do not finessefish because I always get birds’ nests in
the spinning reel, and birds’ nests, or thatline twist has to be a part of finesse fishing,
and I wanted to end it with that one becausethat is a big one for me. You do not have
to get line twists, you know. Have I had linetwists in the past?Absolutely, and I think everybody has dealt
with it at one time. They have seen it, butthere are ways to finesse fish and use a spinning
reel and use light line without getting linetwists, and real quick, I am going to give
you the four techniques I use to stop linetwists on a spinning reel when you are finesse
fishing. The first one is when you are putting on the
line. You go to your favorite store and youpick up a spool of line. You buy some Berkley
Trilene fluorocarbon. The first thing youwant to do is as that line is coming off the
filler spool, you want to make sure that theline is coming off counterclockwise, because
as you reel that line in on your spinningreel, it is putting the line on clockwise,
so you always want that line coming off ofthat filler spool counterclockwise. The second thing I do as I am bringing that
line in–so now, it is coming off of thatfiller spool counterclockwise, and I am trucking
it in, I am reeling it in–before I reel itin, I am going to use a silicone spray, and
I do not spray the line, but I spray a cloth. I will get a really soft cloth, something
like you wax your car with, and I will spraya silicone spray into that cloth. There are a lot of good silicone sprays on
the market that are geared toward fishing. There is Reel Line Magic. Kevin has one. I
will be honest with you: I use generic siliconespray. You can go to a Lowe’s or a Home Depot,
and you can buy just regular 3M silicone spray. I will spray that into the cloth, and I will
reel the line through that cloth as I am bringingit into the reel, and what that does is helps
a little bit with that memory, gets a littlebit of that machine chalk off the line, so
that is number two. Number three
is never, never, never overfill your spinning
reel. My general rule of thumb is when I ambringing that line in, I like to leave, at
a minimum, an eighth of an inch of the rimof that spinning spool showing. I see way
too many guys that buy this great expensivefluorocarbon line. They get so excited. They
are filling up the reel. They will fill thereel too much, and you never even see any
of the rim of the spool. At a minimum, leavean eighth of an inch of that spool empty:
in most cases, almost a quarter of an inch,so do not overfill your spinning reel. Finally, number four–and this is the big
one, this is the kicker–is never close thatbale on your spinning reel by turning the
reel handle. It is funny, because in Pro-Amevents especially, I will be up in the front
and I will have a co-angler in the back andwe are finesse fishing, and I hear him make
a cast, and I can hear that “clink” of histurning the handle and the handle making the
bail click back, and I cringe. It is likefingernails on a chalkboard, you know. I am
thinking, “Ahhhhh. ” I turn around and say,”Stop that. “If you look, when you do that, if you use
the reel handle to close that bail, it throwsin a really little amount of slack into the
spool, and so after 10 casts, after 50 casts,after a hundred casts, before you know it,
you have a big amount of slack, and that isthe beginning to a birds’ nest. My last rule, number four, simple rule is
get in the habit that every time you castyour spinning reel, click the bail back by
hand, so you are using your hand to clickthe bail back, and then make sure the line
is under the roller, and you are ready tofish. If you do those two things, it becomes
second nature after a long time, so make yourcast, click the bail over by hand, make sure
the line is under the roller, and you areready to fish. If you do those four things, I guarantee you
that you will not get bird nests in your spinningreel, and you will not be afraid to finesse
fish.

About the author