Finesse fishing patterns are usually fished at a much slower rate as far as “pattern” or “technique” goes due mostly to the inactive bass during these periods. The biggest factor an angler should be aware of is that the bass’s metabolism slows way down in colder water temperatures thus making them very “in-active” or “Lethargic,” and a bass will not extend great amounts of energy during these colder water temperature periods. By nature, it seems that a bass will always extend the least amount of energy for the greatest amount of benefit, that’s why a bass is considered to be more of an ambush fish than a chaser.
There are a few tricks or as some would say a few “How-To’s” when fishing a Finesse pattern, and I will explain some of the techniques or patterns used for Finesse fishing that may help you to become a better angler when it comes to these “cold water” or “inactive” periods.
First....., lets talk about plastics. 4” Plastic baits such as “French Fries, also known as Centipedes,” “Grubs,” “Worms,” “Crawls,” “Tubes,” or any other smaller types of plastic baits are a good choice to use for Finesse fishing. The most successful techniques or patterns by using these small plastics would be;
A. rig these baits like a “Texas Rig” using a thin wire hook and by using the lightest weight possible (just light enough so that the plastic bait just barley falls through the water.), let the bait completely fall to the bottom, and just make a slow twitch, slowly reel the bait back in, then do it again.
B. If the water is more than 40’ deep, try to find any structure within this depth, a steep bank, rocks, or any irregular drops, positioning your boat in the deeper water, cast over these areas and let your bait pendulum fall (swing) itself back under the boat.
C. If you have underwater structure areas like tree-tops, old buildings, rocks, and underwater vegetation, a technique known as “doodling” can be successful at catching bass. When “doodling” a Finesse bait, let the bait go down to where it suspends just over these structure areas and just lightly twitch the bait and let it just hang. Repeat this over and over again leaving the bait in the water just above the structure and hold on!
D. Carolina Rigging can also be used for finesse fishing!, just use lighter hooks, weights, and baits.
E. One rig that has proven to be deadly is the “Double Rig.” Sometimes when you’re not sure what type of baits to use, this “double rig” allows an angler to use two baits at once. First, tie a Jig&Pig on your line, then tie a 2’ to 4’ leader off of the Jig&Pig, then tie a hook on the end of the leader (making sure that you use no weight) and rig a plastic bait on the hook. Work this pattern just as you would a Carolina Rig. Now, you have two choices for the bass to zero in on.
F. When fishing a Crankbait Pattern during these cold or in-active periods, and you can see by looking at your graph that the bass are in the 20’ to 40’ depth, and the shad or bait fish are only small in size how would you get a small crankbait to dive down to these depths? Easy!, tie a small crankbait on a Carolina Rig!
There are more techniques and patterns to use for finesse fishing, but these are a start for you to try! I teach several different patterns and techniques to my Bass School Students as well as use them when fishing with my Bass Guide Clients. Finesse Fishing can be fished “Year Round” and will bring success to you when nothing else seems to work. Try these methods and see!
I enjoy helping anglers learn to be more successful at catching bass! (Please always practice “Catch & Release). God Bless! and Good Fishin’