Bass don’t have hands, so how do they determine the feel of an object?
They use their face.
Largemouth bass determine how something feels, by inspecting it with their eyes and their mouth.
(We’ve already covered what colors largemouth bass can see, how their eyes work, whether or not they can see us from underwater, along with how they hear, smell & taste. All of these articles can be seen on this page: Learn How to Catch Largemouth Bass.)
Bass will grab something if they are curious, and sample the flavor and texture – how it tastes & feels.
Most of the time bass will hang onto an object longer if it is squishy or soft, as opposed to hard. Obviously, squishy baits like a Zoom Zlinky, or a Strike King Super Finesse Worm will hold their attention for a bit. These baits are soft and contain salt & scent – like food. This is what allows you more time to set into the fish with an EWG (Extra Wide Gap) hook. Hard baits, like those contained in the Rebel Small Crankbait Collection, contain “sticky” treble hooks. Baits with treble hooks are harder to spit out after a largemouth has a taste, but they are also much more difficult to use around weeds and muck.
Swim jigs are hard as well, but they usually only contain a single, strong hook. But this works, because you’re (usually) reeling the swim jig at a constant speed, and when a bass strikes, they almost hook themselves – or you can get them on a reel set.
We’ve written extensively about swim jigs in the past. They are a killer option in many situations.
The plastic trailers added to swim jigs can really enhance them, so think about this when you’re making your selection. Don’t just grab a big plastic tail that smells like motor oil, look for a trailer that will add scent and taste, so that after a big bass hammers your offering they get more than lead.
They work. Here are the 5 best swim jig trailers.
Bass can feel with their body as well. In fact, their sense of feel helps them efficiently move through rocks, weeds and woody cover.
All of their senses seem to work at relatively close range. Senses like sight and what they can feel and hear with their lateral line work out further than taste and smell. But these close range senses play a major role when you’re trying to catch fish. The close senses form a little sphere around their face, which we commonly refer to as the strike zone. This is the area that we should be most concerned with… however, we would be fools to ignore what a bass can see and feel further out from their body.
The most effective anglers will be mindful of all of these senses.
Largemouth bass are capable hunters. They are not prisoners within their environment, and while they are best known as ambush predators – they are extremely versatile. Shooting up 10 feet to hit a topwater, or swimming after a swim jig for a ways before deciding to strike – these are common occurrences in the world of bass fishing.
Be mindful, and always strive to give yourself the best possible chance when you are selecting baits for largemouth bass.
Tight Lines & Godspeed, Patriots.