There are thousands of powerful techniques to fool the various species of fish and make them react. Here is one that is really off the beaten track.
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Among the major American publications that have been offering very interesting texts for several decades now are Outdoor Life, Field and Stream and, my favorite, In-Fisherman.
Authors of the latter title, Ron and Al Lindner were innovative, avant-garde and incredibly talented anglers, not to mention that they were frequently assisted by scientists to corroborate their multiple theories full of common sense.
They are the ones who developed the famous Lindy Rig for walleye. I had all their books and magazines and listened to their In-Fisherman show which is still on air as Lindner’s Angling Edge.
In 2003, I was invited to participate in two of the greatest Canadian fishing tournaments of the time: the KBI Kenora Bass International at Lake of the Woods and the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship, both in Ontario.
I arrive at the first event and, to my amazement, all the Lindners are there and, after two days of competition, Jim and Bill Lindner win the KBI hands down. A few weeks later, with my partner in Fort Frances, we racked up 40.88lbs for our 15 biggest fish in three days and ranked 52e out of 136 teams.
Guess who finished first, with 55.46 lbs? It’s the Lindners again! The following year, at this same tournament, they won again the palm with 53.82 lbs. wow!
In the winter of 2005, the Lindners reveal to their many readers their winning technique, which they call moping.
They explain that they target smallmouth bass floating near the forage fish flocks and fish for them mid-water. They use a jig head and a flexible body in the shape of a mined.
They drop their presentation above the fish and they wait without making any motion. They don’t move. After a while, the targeted fighters can’t take it anymore as these attractive, immobile intruders invade their field of attack.
Jeff Gustafson, also known as Gussy, 41, fished with the Lindners several times and learned a lot from them. So much so that in 2021, this Canadian won the Bassmaster Elite at Tennessee River with the famous moping that many now call the Damiki rig, with a jig dressed in a 4-inch Z-Man Scented Jerk ShadZ.
On March 26, at the Bassmaster Classic World Championship, Gussy triumphed again with the same approach and the same lure. It did, however, have 1⁄4 and 3/8 ounce jigheads that mimicked the face of a minnow perfectly.
The use of the new real-time sonars helps enormously for this technique in order to know the exact position of the bass.
If you want to replicate an identical effect, make sure your jig has a straight 90 degree eyelet to allow you to present everything perfectly horizontal.
Soft offerings like the Yum Break’N Shad, Houdini Shad, Yum FF Sonar Minnow, Z-Man Jerk ShadZ, PowerBait The Champ Minnow, Strike King 3X Baby Z-Too Soft Jerkbait, KVD Perfect Plastics Caffeine Shad Soft Jerkbait 4 and others of the genre offer great potential.
The prolific Ontario columnist for Outdoor Canada magazine, Gord Pyzer, recently presented a very interesting article on the famous moping, but this time, with elongated crankbaits that remain motionless horizontally, in suspension.
With a mid-water suspension model that stalls 2-4 meters deep, such as a Smithwick Perfect 10 Rogue, Bandit Suspending Minnow, Bomber Suspending Pro Long A, Down Deep Husky Jerk, X-Rap Deep, KVD Jerkbait 200, a Cotton Cordell Suspending Ripplin’ Red Fin, etc., make a really long cast.
Make 4 or 5 quick turns of the handle with your reel to get the devon to quickly dive to its maximum depth, then stop and let it linger and goof around for several seconds, as if to brave nearby bass.
With such a swim, less active predators will approach it again and again, then when they realize that it is not trying to escape, they will not be able to resist it. The pause can be as long as you want, as long as you have confidence in the place you are mining.
Then take up the slack that has been created in the line, apply one or two jerks, then stop again and so on until you reach the boat.
In many cases, it is during the breaks that the attack will occur.
No need to specify that you will have your wrists rolled, as some followers say, when you reactivate the offering following its forced rest. Fish that can come from depths of up to 7 to 10 meters will dart out with their mouths wide open.
Photo provided by Patrick Campeau
No need to specify that sonars with a Livescope Panoptix probe, which allow you to see ahead of you if there are fish, are an undeniable advantage. You will even have a front row seat to watch them leave the abyss and rush to your presentation.
A medium stiff 6.6 to 7 foot heavy or light casting type rod will do. Fill your reel with a thin, manageable braid like the P-Line X-Braid 15lb/test with a 10lb fluorocarbon leader.
When you see minnows jumping to the surface, they are being chased by a predator and they have no place to go. This inevitably alerts you to the presence of a possible assailant. Throw a devon into the center of the action and let it freeze, as if it couldn’t care less about other provocative specimens and isn’t afraid of them. Reactions should be forthcoming.
Now imagine in the fall when the fish come together and become much more active and reckless!
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