Bill Dance Outdoors
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I’m Stumped

Posted: April 24th, 2013 by Bill Dance

Of all the objects in the water, none seems to arouse the confidence of a bass fisherman more than an exciting-looking stump. For some reason, we all associate largemouths with stumps. On the other hand, some stumps can be more productive than others. As an example, a stump that sits on the edge of a drop-off will usually be better than a stump way back up in the shallows, if the depth is correct. When I say usually better; I mean on a consistent basis rather than a single experience.

Remember that the shady side of an stump, or any object for that matter, is normally better than the brighter side. At one time, bass fishermen always tried to drop a lure right on an object they were fishing. If the object was a stump, they would try to hit the stump on the cast and let the lure fall alongside. By doing this, they passed up a lot of productive water behind and alongside the object, and the sound of a lure falling over the head of a bass could spook the fish into deep water.

I prefer to make my first cast on the side and beyond the stump or object. Sometimes a bass won’t be right on it, but near it. By casting in this manner, I can cover the back, side and front with a single cast. Once the lure passes the stump and is well on its way toward the boat, you might as well crank it in and cast again. Big bass will seldom follow a lure any distance. If they want your offering, they will hit it as it comes by.

You can fish a variety of lures around stumps. Topwaters, spinnerbaits, worms, jig-and-eels, swimming lures and diving lures can all be good choices. You are going to have to experiment to find out which ones are best for you. Keep in mind that you may have to vary the retrieve to catch fish. I have seen times when I can cast a spinnerbait past a stump and buzz it by quickly; a bass would nail it before it even reached the stump. The next day in the same area the bass wouldn’t hit a spinnerbait unless I buzzed it up to the stump, stopped the lure dead and let it fall. They would have it in their mouth before it dropped a foot.

The second cast around a stump should still be beyond it, but the lures should brush the object as it passes. There is no guarantee that a bass will hit your lure on the first or second cast, even if the fish is there. You may have to cast six or eight times before you get a strike, and change lures in the process. That is bass fishing and there is no shortcut to success.

As always, catch one for me!

Bill Dance


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