By Todd Ceisner
Time is ticking down. The pattern that worked yesterday isn’t working today. It’s crunch time. There’s an hour left until the weigh-in starts or, in the case of the Bass Pro Tour, lines are out. Your nerves are starting to fray. What do you reach for when you absolutely need to generate bites?
We’ve been asking pro anglers from the various leagues that same question as a way to find out what their ultimate confidence baits are regardless of the situation, along with the reasoning behind their choices. As one might expect, the answers have run the gamut, from big-line, big-weight flipping to light-line finesse and from topwater to slow-dragging baits.
In Jeff Sprague’s world, a lot of bass live around grass or shallow cover. That’s why a swim jig has risen through the ranks of his gotta-get-a-bite baits. It’s versatile and subtle and has caught fish of all sizes for him.
After checking out the latest installment in the series, head over to our Feedback page and let us know what your go-to bait is and how you rig it.
> Angler: Jeff Sprague
> Confidence bait: 1/4-oz. Strike King Hack Attack swim jig (bream or white) paired with Gene Larew Lures Hammer Craw trailer (matching colors – Sooner run or pearl white)
> Gear used: 7’3” medium-heavy Team Lew's Custom Pro Series Magnum Hammer casting rod, Team Lew’s HyperMag Speed Spool SLP Series casting reel (7.5:1 ratio), 50-pound P-Line TCB braided line.
> Origin: “I usually start shallow and work my way out. I can fish this bait from sub surface almost like buzzbait out to 6 to 8 feet, ticking the top of the grass. It can be a search tool and a bite generator. It clues me in without having to go through a bunch of different rods or baits in a short period of time.”
> Why he trusts it: “It’s a subtle presentation that I can cover lot of water with at a lot of different depths. A lot of times at lakes that are pressured, it’s a bait they might not have seen a lot of. It has a natural presentation in the water. That combo sets it apart. ”
> One more thing: “With the high-speed reel, I can vary the speed by hand. They can push it toward you, but you can turn around and catch up with them much quicker.”