When bass are on their spawning beds, or buried in heavy cover because of a passing cold front or intense fishing pressure, Texas pro Kelly Jordon turns to a technique that he calls shaking. “The object is to make the lure quiver in place without actually moving it,” he says. “It’s an awesome way to trigger strikes from bass that aren’t in a feeding mode.” Here’s how it’s done:
Cast, pitch, or flip the lure to your target and let it sink to the bottom. Reel up any slack. Then, with the rod horizontal to the water or slightly higher, either jiggle the rod tip very gently or hold the rod dead still and squeeze the handle repeatedly to make the tip vibrate. “Done properly, the lure will quiver in one spot, which really ticks bass off,” Jordon says. “I often shake a bait 30 seconds or longer. Eventually, they nail it.”
For bedded bass, Jordon uses a medium-heavy 7-foot spinning rod with 10-pound-test fluorocarbon line. When the fish are in snag-prone cover, such as brushpiles, stumps, or weedbeds, he goes with a 7-foot heavy-action baitcasting rod and 30-pound fluorocarbon.
“Shaking doesn’t work well with a soft-action rod,” he says. “The tip needs to be stiff enough to transmit vibrations down the line to the lure.”
Jordon shakes a finesse jig with a crawdad trailer in early spring, then moves to finesse worms, tubes, lizards, and creatures rigged Texas-style as the water warms. Rattling baits with tails or other appendages work best in low-visibility conditions.