Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle


Information Page


Bass will take a wide range of artificial baits. Spoons, flies, spinners, plugs and rubber baits are all effective at times. However, by far the most useful all round lures for bass fishing are buoyant, shallow diving plugs. These lures look and behave like swimming fish and they can be cast reasonable distances (up to about 40m). After they have hit the water buoyant plugs float so there is no rush to bring over the bale arm or to begin retrieving. As mentioned in "Part 7" there is a wide range of similar floating/sub-surface lures differing slightly in the depth to which they will dive, the nature and quality of the materials from which they are made and the colour and durability of the 'paintwork'. Most of the types available will 'work' to some extent and I'll say a bit more about the relative merits for fishing at a later date.

Often the fish will come up in the water to take a near surface lure or can be attracted near enough for you to reach them. Sometimes this is not the case and you will want to fish deeper down or further from the shore than you can reach with the usual plugs. To do this you will either need a denser, heavier or larger lure and/or one with a vane set to take it further down in the water. The other alternative which is to add weight to the line ahead of the lure simply complicates fishing and is rarely an option (except from a boat where there is no need to cast).

Dense heavy lures will certainly provide casting distance but this is generally at the expense of 'action'. Lightweight lures tend to move in a more 'fishy' looking manner (sometimes but not always best for attracting fish) and are easier to feel vibrating through the rod and line. If the lures are so heavy that they sink, they lose the benefits of popping back to the surface and riding up over snags. Countdown plugs are sinkers with a lip shaped to stop them diving even deeper once you start to retrieve. They can be fished just sub surface if you begin to wind as soon as they hit the water. If you stop winding THEY WILL SINK TO THE BOTTOM.

Of course it is possible to obtain deep diving lures which will float on the surface. These are fine if the water is deep enough or if the sea bed is snag free. However, if the water is ten feet deep and the plug dives to eleven feet it may be an expensive way to catch fish. With these deep divers it needs a great deal of skill (and knowledge of the sea bed) to retrieve them at a speed which will keep them just off the bottom.

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - docladle@hotmail.com


Spinning from the shore.


Nils Masster Invincible.

A shallow diving floater which, despite the awful colour, caught lots of bass.  Notice the rusty hooks.  I had to dig this one out of a box as it has not been used for years.

A schoolie taken on a Nils Masster.

These plugs come in several sizes and are very strongly made.

Storm Jointed Thunderstick.

The lip is moulded into the body in this buoyant shallow diver.

This is a Rapala J11 Count Down.

A good, long casting plug but if there are snags - don't stop reeling!.

A deep diving floater.

Excellent choice but only in deep water with a clean sea bed.