Wakebaits In The Fall – The Forgotten Lure
Take any year and walk down the isles of ICAST, a Bass Pro Shops, or your local tackle shop. What do you see? All kinds of lures you can buy in different shapes, sizes, and colors.
Many of these lures follow the trend of the year, and rightfully so. This year: the Ned Rig. In previous years there were the stickbaits, Alabama Rig, and the Chatterbait. These lures caught fish and continue to catch fish in many different fishing situations; however, the older, more proven baits of the past are continuously passed over.
This article is about one of those forgotten lures: the mighty wakebait and three reasons why you should tie one on during y our next Fall fishing adventure.
REASON ONE: It Wakes Up The Bass
I remember on one fishing trip the bass were chasing tiny baitfish on the surface. I would cast surface bait after surface bait with no success. It wasn’t long before I realized I could pinpoint where the next blowup would happen based on when the baitfish started to swim closer (and more sporadic) to the surface and create that tale tail V-wake.
After tying on a wakebait, I would cast it out and reel it back to me slowly with random speedups. It was during each speed up the bass would attack. After a while, I would catch bass on just about every cast until the early morning bite stopped.
There is something about that V wake that attracts fish. Whether it is imitating a fleeing fish or dying bait, the bass will annihilate it. Whatever it is, bass love it!
Your local bass are continuously looking up to see a walk-the-dog lure or frog overhead. Give the fish a different presentation with a wake bait.
REASON TWO: It’s More Than Just A Topwater Bait
We call every lure that is fished a foot or less under the surface a topwater bait. But that can be misleading. The wakebait is indeed a topwater bait that is able to be worked below the surface of the water, but it can also do much more.
I wasn’t sure of this myself until I saw a fishing buddy of mine do the impossible. He was fishing a wakebait through lilypads. Let me explain. This angler would fish the wakebait along the edge of a group of lilypads. There were areas where the pads would extend out past the edge directly in the path of his wakebait.
My buddy would reel the wakebait faster, allowing it to dive a few inches more underwater beneath the pads. The wakebait’s wobble deflected any grass underneath the pads, and when the wakebait emerged on the opposite side, he would slow it back down. What made this impressive was that he caught fish almost every time this happened.
Here is what he told me. He believed the bass were ‘following’ the wakebait as he retrieved it. Not particularly interested in it, but still a bit curious. Once the wakebait dove under the pads, the bass instincts took over, which resulted in a hooked bass. He was able to utilize the wakebait’s diving abilities to elicit a bite from fish who weren’t wholly committing to a topwater.
Moral of the story? Wakebaits can go places other topwaters cannot. You may enjoy your frog or walk-the-dog style topwater, but they fall short when it comes to versatility. Throw a wakebait through sparse grass, around stumps, and under lilypads and you won’t be disappointed.
REASON THREE: Wow! Did you see that blow up?
Now you know that a wakebait ‘wakes up the bass’ and that it is more versatile than your average topwater lure. Are you convinced yet?
If not, let me remind you of this. The wakebait is a topwater lure. Meaning you will still be able to get that fantastic explosion of happiness every time a bass takes your bait.
When you combine the versatility of the wakebait with its fish calling ability, and visual topwater blowups it should be enough for you to cast one out the next time the topwater bite is active.
Don’t let the lures of fishing past be forgotten forever. Put down the Ned Rig and tie on a wakebait. You won’t regret it.