The Change Up

The Change Up

As we reach the end of summer our bass are going through the later stages of heavy fishing and pleasure boating pressure and most of these fish have seen their fair share of standard lures and techniques. Its time to change things up. Over the past few years, the bass fishing community has seen several new crazy-looking techniques and lures that just flat out catch-em. In this blog we will be exploring some of these lures and techniques that you can try out with and are likely to already have these gear items in your tackle box.


This technique won Jacob Wheeler $100,000 at Lake Guntersville MLF tournament. Hover-strolling is a technique that uses a jighead or 90-degree hook with a nail weight with a baitfish profile soft plastic of your choice.

The hover-strolling retrieve involves the consistent shaking of a rod, usually a spinning rod, combined with a slow retrieve of the reel. This allows you to dictate where in the water column the bait can be fished and target right where the fish are.

Hover strolling excels for suspended bass and works exceptionally well when watching fish on your electronics, primarily forward-facing sonar as you watch fish in front of your boat. You can rig up with a few items or buy jigheads designed for the technique.

Free rig

A free rig is a cross between a Carolina and Texas rig, where the weight can slide up and down the line through a hole near the top of the weight.

It is important to let your bait fall on a slack line, this allows the bait more freedom of movement, and the lure's spiraling action triggers bites. The weight will hit the bottom first, and your bait will fall slower and unpredictably toward the bottom.

You can use any bait, but bulkier creature baits and worms have a more pronounced falling action on the free rig. Also, using buoyant plastics are great because of the slower fall, leading to even more bites. When at rest, these plastics will rise slowly if the hook isn't too big, giving the fish another chance to eat the bait.

Jika rig

The Jika rig is a Texas-rigged soft plastic, but the weight is attached to the eye of the hook with a split ring. This gives the bait a different fall and keeps the package nice and compact.

You can use it as it's generally a standard extra wide gap hook for the rig, and you can use any of your favourite soft plastics. Craws, creatures, and beaver-style baits do well because this rig excels for flipping, pitching, and casting to shallow water targets.

Tokyo Rig

Similar to the Jika Rig, the Tokyo Rig is a compact package that allows you to fish a Texas-rigged soft plastic. The rig is also like a drop-shot, with the weight at the bottom and the bait above.

This rig can be fished in many ways and has been proven around shallow grass and cover, but with the added benefit of the look of a drop-shot with bulkier tackle. It's also perfect for fishing swimbaits and creature baits, fishing it by reeling it slowly along the bottom.

Small Heavy Weight Bait

There's no other way to say it, but a handful of new lures look like s*!t. Popularized by baits like the Deps Cover Scat, Fish Arrow Heavy Poop and Yamamoto Yamatanuki, these little baits have now taken bass fishing by storm.

These baits do not look like anything like the natural forage in our dams, but the natural action and profile appeal to bass. The dense plastic has more than enough weight to make long casts, even on baitcasting gear and heavier lines.

When fishing them, one key is the fall. Cast and let the bait fall on a semi-slack line, like you would a soft stickbait, and let the bait do its thing. The limited action and unintimidating profile do all the work, and many bites will occur as the bait falls. Also, when pitching to shallow cover, the heavily weighed tail section will allow the bait to glide backwards, giving the fish a different look as the bait flows into the cover to where they hide.


Give these techniques a try and they may help you land some nice fish when the bite gets tough due to pressure or even convince your next PB to bite.