Bass Fishing Technique for the Strong Heart...Pulling

This is my favorite Florida bass fishing technique for catching shallow water bass. It requires good boat control and a strong heart.

Lake Tohopekaglia, Florida

Pulling is free lining the shiner behind the boat with or without using a float. This bass fishing technique is deadly when pulled along a grass line like kissimmee grass. This is one of those times you must use a hook with a weed guard. DO NOT jerk when you feel the shiner starting to get wrapped around the grass. This will only result in opening the weed guard and then you are hung. Just keep steady pressure on the line until he pops free. If he continues to get hung up, check the guard, it probably came open.

On all Florida lakes you’ll find kissimmee grass in the shallow water areas and sometimes in deeper water on clear lakes. The idea is to keep the boat moving slowly parallel to the grass edge close enough to keep the shiner swimming naturally along its edge. Boat control is very important because you don’t want to brush up against the grass and spook the fish. Use the outboard steering to help control the direction of the boat. If fishing the grass line from left to right, turn the outboard to the left like you’re making a left hand turn. This kicks the back of the boat out and keeps it from brushing up against the grass and spooking the fish. This also gives your partner, in the back of the boat, room to fish.

Pulling along Kissimmee grass edge

When you’re fishing 2 or more people in the boat, always stagger your lines. The person operating the trolling motor should trail his shiner about 15 to 20 feet behind the transom. The second person should be about 5 to 7 feet behind him and the third person another 5 to 7 behind the second. You can also use a float on the third line making it easer to judge the distance to the furthest line back.

If anyone gets snagged and you need to go back to free it, make sure the other lines get reeled up to the boat to avoid a real mess. Also leave the shiners in the water but make sure the reel is disengaged with the clicker on if the rod is left unattended while trying to free the snag. This is a perfect opportunity for a brave fish to snatch your shiner while it sets unattended…rod overboard!

Tips for Florida Bass Fishing Techniques:

  • Put the outboard in gear to keep the prop from turning while moving the boat with the trolling motor. I’ve seen some real twisted messes because someone wasn’t paying attention and their line became entangled in prop…who me?

  • If your shiner insist on swimming away from the grass line simply reach your rod tip out and set your line down inside a stalk of grass. This will steer the shiner back to the edge of the grass line.

This is a Florida bass fishing technique that can be used along an inshore weed line such as cattails, reeds or any kind of grass line. In open water you would use it to work a line of hydrilla, over deeper hydrilla beds or in pockets of open water between grass beds i.e. pepper grass, eel grass, maiden cane, hydrilla etc.

There will be days when you start out drifting and then the wind dies down. If you were catching fish drifting, you simply put the trolling motor down and continue fishing the same area. And of course if you start off pulling, in open water, and the wind picks up you do just the reverse. If you keep an open mind and can make these simple adjustments, you can continue to catch fish all day.

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