With the relatively slow bass fishing this year, I thought I'd take moment to turn you onto something that can catch bass under these tough conditions.
While the wacky worm has become a staple technique for locals (in part thanks to me) the shakey head has been largely overlooked as an option during a tough bite.
The shakey head rig is fairly simple. At its base level its nothing more than a leadhead jig with a plastic worm. Nothing new there. Its the design and the presentation that matter. Sahkey heads come in a variety of shapes and designs, and are typically tipped with a finessee or trick worm.
Shakey heads are designed to be presented on the bottom. Dragging a shakey head using the old "charlie brewer slider" approach is the most common way. The best way to describe this retrieve is "polish the rocks."
Throw the rig out, and with your rod tip help up at about the 10 oclock position, slowly drag the jig along the bottom until the rod reaches the 11 oclock position. As the bait crawls along (and its important to go slow) it will catch on various things along the bottom (rocks, twigs etc) when you feel it stop moving, "shake" your rod tip a few times. If its a fish that has picked up the bait, it'll swim off to one side or you'll feel it pull back on the lure. Either way, don't hesitate, give the rod a hard over the shoulder jerk and set the hook.
Long soft spinning rods (ML or even L action) with florocarbon are commonly used by pros for this setup. Some use small braided line with a florocarbon leader. Regardless of what you use, just remember this is a finessee technique so you can lead the 20lb mono for another lure set-up.
Three tips for using the shakey head:
1.) Use natural colored baits. The whole idea of this rig is to make something appear easy to eat so that lethargic fish will chase it down thinking its an easy meal. Green pumpkin, watermelon and watermelon red are my three favorites.
2.) Go Slow: A good rule of thumb I use when teaching clients how to use this rig is: when you are thinking you are going slow enough, its probably still twice as fast as you should be going. This isn't a run and gun technique, rather its a tool to fish methodoically in a high percentage area.
3.) Remember to keep contact with your jighead at all times. You'll miss fish if you don't keep slight, steady pressure between your line and the jig. Don't reel the bait in, move it with the rod tip, and use the reel to take up just enough line to recover how much you moved the bait.
Good Luck Out There,