Power Fishing a Tube
By TOM BRAATEN
Docks are one of the most common places that anglers try their luck for big bass. Rarely will you see me finesse fishing a dock. When I fish tournaments I usually try to avoid them because of the heavy pressure they receive from both tournament anglers and every day fishermen.
However, when the time is right for those big bass to be in shallow cover, I'm headed for the docks. My first choice will always be my seven and a half foot flipping rod, with a 4-inch Yum Mega Tube. That's right... power fishing a tube. For myself, I am more confident pitching and flipping this big bite tube into the exact places big bass hide than skipping something under the dock hoping that my bait lands in a potentially good spot.
The Mega Tube is loaded with heavy grain salt to give it a lot of bulk, but it still maintains a slim profile to coax those leery lunkers. The Mega Tube also has Yum scent with Live Prey Technology. This technology triggers the feeding response in bass. And, because bass think its real they hold onto the bait longer.
Let me explain how I rig my Mega Tube. First of all, I spool up with 20 lb Silver Thread Excalibur, or in clear water, 17 lb Silver Thread Fluorocarbon. Excalibur Tg tungsten weights are a must! Conditions vary, so choose the smallest size allowable to maintain good contact with the bottom. I then tie on a 4/0 Tx3 Wide Gap hook. The tube is Texas Rigged, and the hook point is skin hooked for solid hook sets. Be sure to peg the weight about 1/4 inch above the tube. This allows you to stay in contact with the bait and still allows the lure to present itself naturally. Remember, this presentation requires accurate and soft entries to the targeted spot. Practice makes perfect. Poles, ladders and even the sides of moored boats are potential hot spots.
Solid hook sets are critical. You have to control the fish to avoid them wrapping you up in the dock. Pay attention to details. Water depths, bottom content and weather conditions will determine where the bass position on the dock. I always say, "The first one is luck, second one is a pattern."
When you figure out a dock pattern the bites will come very easy. You can almost call your next bite when power fishing the Yum Mega Tube in the docks.
Hang on, I got a bite!
Tom Braaten, of Lakeville, Minn., is one of the most respected professional bass anglers in the upper Midwest.