2009-02-19 / Sports

Take Your Kids Fishing

By Darick Brumbaugh

The Bassmaster Classic starts this week. The classic is being held at the Red River in Louisiana. This year there is a woman pro taking on the big boys for up to $1 million in cash and bonus money. Her name is Kim Bain. I hope she can get in there and mix it up with these guys. The classic is being televised on ESPN 2 Saturday and Sunday. So check it out.

I got to talk to some of the pros the past two months at sporting shows and seminars. Kevin VanDam and Dean Rojas think that it will be a power fishing event, which is the best way to have it. The flippers will look good in the beginning and slowly go away by the end of the classic, but that is common with this technique. They are predicting some pretty big weigh-in bags. I would love to be there.

Since we had the nice week of weather and the ice is about gone, let's think spring fishing. From ice out to water warming up to the mid-50-degree mark, jerk baits are about as good as it gets. Suspending jerk baits work best with bass moving up the water column to find the warmer water and think about spawning. Smithwick Rogues and Lucky Craft Pointers are about as good as they come. You want a variety of colors but still keep it simple. In clear water you want natural shade looking colors and stained water you can get away with a color called fire tiger. My personal favorite for both water conditions is called clown.

You want to fish points and flats. Points leading to spawning flats with deep water access and flats with deep water close by are prime. Fish water depths from five to 15 feet.

I think the hardest part of jerk bait fishing is finding the right cadence with the bait. Start out with 1 twitch-pause, then 2 twitches and pause and so on. Also try short snaps of the rod. Sometimes sweeping the rod to the side 3 to 4 feet is effective. In between the jerks, snaps and sweeps, pause the jerk bait for 10 to 30 seconds. Remember the cadence you catch your first fish on and repeat it. Most bites will be on the pause. Move the jerk bait on slack line and use your wrists not your arms on the jerks. Colder water softer bait movement as water warms gets more aggressive with the bait movement.

So, what if you don't have suspending jerk baits? Well, you can buy suspend strips and dots. They are sticky lead pieces you put on your bait. You want more weight to the front of the bait than the back. After that, cast along the boat, crank it down a little and stop. Bait should lay level and stay at that height or very slowly rise to the surface.

I like monofilament line for this. Mono stretches more than other lines, which is good because you want to play the fish. Lines that don't stretch will tear the hooks out of their mouths. Binns Bros medium to mediumheavy action rods around 6 feet to 6 feet to 7 feet are good. You want the fish to fight the rod. The medium action lets you do that.

So, when the ice is gone and you have a couple vacation days left, try these tips.

I had my daughter Mara ice fishing two weeks ago with my uncle Bill and me. As we were walking across the ice, she was asking about the tip-ups people were using and what we would be doing. Bill drilled the holes,we showed her what to do and she basically catches all the fish. So as soon as we get home, she runs in and tells her mom that she kicked my butt and tells any and everyone the same story. So, the grudge match has started between her and me. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. Remember, take a kid fishing. It could make for a great, big fish picture.

Brumbaugh is a resident of Fort Littleton and is a bass tourney fisherman.

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