When this site first started back in March 2012, Stan Fagerstrom became one of the early supporters of the site. A year later, during one of our frequent conversations on the phone, he asked how he could help. That conversation led to Stan’s monthly column, Let’s Look Back. Stan provided nearly 40 entries over that first iteration of the Bass Fishing Archives and I feel it only respectful we start putting some of those articles back out for all to enjoy. To read Part 5 of Stan’s column, click here.
It took awhile, but I finally worked out where and what I had to do with my NEBCO Flash Bait metal wobbler to get those Columbia River backwater bass to grab it.
In the beginning I just waded out into the shallows and cast out into deeper water. My hits using this procedure were few and far between. I decided to try a different approach. I went over to where the water was deeper along a fairly steep bank.
I was only able to wade out about three feet without going over the top of my boots. Once I was where I wanted to be I quit casting straight out into deeper water. Instead, I started casting parallel to the bank.
That was the first step. It didn’t take long to find bass were often holding where they could hug the bank and take advantage of the cover it offered. The second step was experimenting until I finally determined the exact retrieve I had to use to get the action I was after.
I didn’t just cast out there parallel to the bank and steadily reel back in. What did work – and work well – was a “drop & hop” routine. I’d make my cast down along the shoreline and let the wobbler start sinking. As soon as I felt it touch bottom, I hopped it up a foot or two and then let it sink again.
That was the answer. I wound up getting as many fish using this procedure with my metal wobblers as anything else I threw at those log-pond bass. And as I’ve pointed out before, it was always with that red and white Number 266 NEBCO Flash Bait with the copper underside that got the job done.
I should point out something else. These lures were sold with a single treble hook. I always snipped off the one point of the hook that hung down as the lure was being retrieved. That let me get away most of the time from the snags, vegetation and whatever else might be sticking up from the bottom.
I fished my Flash Baits most of the time with 10- to 12-pound line on a lightweight casting outfit. I found it easier to control the drop and hop routine exactly the way I wanted with the baitcasting outfit.
Will you be able to catch bass consistently with a similar approach on the waters you fish? It hasn’t done that much for me other than along the Columbia River backwaters but then I’ve not fished it anywhere near as much either.
And like I said in the beginning, if and when I do decide to throw a wobbler it’s going for darn sure to be one of those few little NEBCO Flash Baits I still have left.
For that matter, I’d like to know just why these fine little lures are no longer being made. They aren’t the first, or probably the last, good bass lures that seemingly disappear without reason. I wouldn’t begin to pretend to know anything about possible marketing problems, but I do know those wobblers could be darn effective when used in the proper fashion.
Maybe it was because a sufficient number of anglers never did learn what they had to do and sales weren’t sufficient to keep the Flash Baits on the market. I’ve also seen a few other excellent bass lures dropped by manufacturers that I could never understand.
I’ll be talking about a couple of these in future Let’s Look Back columns. Again, see if you can find a couple of the Flash Baits I’ve been talking about. Be certain they have that copper colored underside and a red and white outside finish. Also be certain they have the wording and the lure number engraved on the underside as I’ve described.
Then when you start catching bass someplace where you’ve been getting skunked in the past – let me hear about it. I’m just itchin’ to say “I told you so!”
Always enjoy Stan’s writing.