Cast. Twitch, twitch,
twitch….pause. Fish on! Throwing
twitchbaits to bass can lead to some exciting days
on the water - and some big bass to boot.
Twitchbaits mimic the natural look and action of a
baitfish to a T, and therein lies the reason for
their incredible fish-catching abilities. Try your
hand at the following "twitch tactics," and reap the
rewards that the bass gods will shine down on you.
What Is a Twitchbait?
A twitchbait can be defined as a long, thin
minnow-shaped crankbait that possesses a short
stubby lip. The majority of twitchbaits run at
shallow depths (usually between 1 to5-feet below the
surface) and will come in either a "floater" version
or a "suspending" design. Suspending models will
"freeze" at the depth you are working, allowing the
angler to maintain the lure at a productive depth or
strike zone. Floaters will do as the name suggests -
float to the surface. Continuous twitches will
enable the lure to run at a uniform depth, with
longer pauses allowing the lure to float higher in
the water coloumn.
Suspending models work best if you are attempting to
target a certain depth and prefer the lure to run at
that constant level. They also excel if the fish are
in a negative mood and prefer an easy meal.
Floaters, on the other hand, are ideal if the target
area contains a lot of weed cover as you can work
you lure over the top more productively. They are
also ideal if the bass are in an active mood due to
the added movement in the water coloumn.
Twitchbaits mimic the natural prey of bass
perfectly. Whether they represent a dying baitfish
struggling to survive or a frightened minnow
separated from its school is up for debate, but
whatever the case, they seem to work wonders on the
Which to Choose?
When selecting twitchbaits, a number of criteria
should be followed for maximum results. Choose a
crank between 4 and 6-inches long that comes adorned
with high quality hooks. (Excallibur, Gamagatsu and
Mustad are three makes of trebles that rate high for
sharpness and hooking capabilities.) Choosing a
variety of baits in both floating and suspending
models will enable you to cover a wide range of
depths and structure. A few of my personal
favourites are Excallibur, Rebel and Bagley baits.
Try to choose lures both with, and without, rattles.
For active fish, rattles can be a key triggering
mechanism. However, on the days where the fish are
downright negative, a "silent" crank can be the best
bait to choose.
Colour is quite a straightforward decision. "Match
the hatch" comes into play with twitchbaits, with
natural colours being your best bets. If the
favoured prey of largemouth on your home lake is
shad, then go with a shad-coloured bait. The same
can be said if smallmouth feed heavily on crayfish -
a crayfish pattern will be the best to throw.
Where To Use
Twitchbaits can be used in a variety of locations on
a lake, with the deciding factor being whether you
are chasing bucketmouths or bronzebacks. For
largemouth, top areas to target are weed flats and
lines, docks and timber and shoreline structure.
Humps can also be worthwhile if weeds are present.