I remember raising Discus fish as a young man, and since we made our own food, usually from a beef heart base, we were also able to experiment with other ingredients in the blend. One of those ingredients was garlic and it was sufficiently demonstrated to me, by other hobbyist, far more experienced and advance than myself, to aid in the reduction of internal parasites. Garlic has a very strong odor though, so I was curious to see how the fish would respond, and they attacked the food with vigor. So, as I open a bag of StankX Baits, and the garlic hits my nose, it is not at all a cause for concern, but a rather great way to cover human and or plastic and metal scent. "Oh, stank, I get it now.
I went with a 1/8 of an ounce bullet weight, a 3/0 worm hook and a .40 cal stick bait in Rebel Gill. The Rebel Gill looked like a perfect match for these waters, and the lake seems even clearer than usual. In my mind there are no magic lures, but if I was left with only one type of lure to fish, then I would probably choose a stick bait. It has a rather humble appearance, but it is hard to match its versatility. I often like to fish them in the same ways you would fish a craw, and at times it will out produce the craw. There are no appendages, the .40 cal is a sleek finish, and I was able to catch my city limit on a single bait. I rigged this way because I thought the bass would be in the pads, and because I also feel that presentation, i.e. the fall rate, and bait freedom are factors, especially on hard days, and in cleaner water. For example, I was following behind my brother, who was using the same bait but on a Florida rig, and I caught 3 of my bass in a place he had just worked and 2 in a spot he had been working prior to me. He didn't catch a fish until after he moved the weight. The Florida rig is like any good tool, and has its place depending on the job that needs to be done, but last night I preferred, or more importantly, the fish seemed to prefer the fall of the Texas rig. I linked the Florida rig to a video that shows one way of tying it, but the most important thing to note is how deep he starts the hook. This allows the hook freedom to travel during the hook set, and this is very important, as you can lose a lot of fish when the weight and worm are acting as one unit. The bass may clamp down on the weight or the weight may press up against the hard lip of the fish. Starting deeper allows the hook to travel, exit the worm and penetrate the fish's mouth. This is the opposite of how I rig it Texas style. I only start the hook deep enough to allow the eye to remain exposed at the top of the bait. I often fish it with a small plastic bead between the weight and hook, and the main purpose of the exposed eye is to keep the weight from directly contacting the worm. It helps the worm last longer and fall off the bend much less.
The lunar calendars called for a very slow night, and I always go regardless, but it does bare some consideration in your approach. It looked dead out there, and the wind was rather unforgiving as the cold air moved in, but we managed 6 fish none the less. I am very happy with these hand made lures, and since I fish some difficult waters I am going to place an order for some more Rebel Gill, Bluegilla, Yankee gill (to see how you guys do it up north), and Molting craw, for my clear water. The Aurora and June Gem look great for the chocolate milk, stained and night fishing in low lit areas of clear water lakes. Some lakes I know that have really good horizontal visibility, are also amiable to darker colors during the day. This may be in part to the bass's position in the water column and looking down at a dark, muddy bottom, where your worm is being worked. It may also be a color that isn't often thrown in these lakes.
Once my stick bait took too much of a beating from the fish, and the pads and rocks, I pulled it off the hook and bit off about a quarter inch. I then reinserted the hook and kept on fishing. The garlic flavor lingered in my mouth for quite some time, but I love garlic, so no complaints here.
I can't stress this enough though, I caught my first two fish back to back, and the second was duplicating the cast I got the first fish on. Always cast back to where you caught or missed a fish. Fishes 3, 4 and 5 were also on the same cast in another area of the lake, fishing the pads. Not all of the pads held bites, and I left the area to hit another side of the lake but returned to check back about an hour later and took my last 3 fish, in an area that I had fished earlier with no success. Oh, and some times you get two upsize on your follow up cast.
Forty years old and still in awe of the outdoors.