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Fishing With Kenny | Old Tricks of the Trade

By Nathan Coker
In Fishing with Kenny
Jan 31st, 2024

article by Kenny Covington

Bass fishing is an ever-changing game.  Every year, there seems to be new lures, techniques, anything under the sun to help us catch more fish.  Sometimes it can be overwhelming and easy to get lost and confused by all the new ideas and products that seem to be continuously introduced.  Sometimes, so much we forget just how effective we were or are, fishing lures and techniques now thought to be old.

In this month’s Bayou Life “Fishing with Kenny” article, I want to revisit some older lures, techniques and tips that, to be honest, seem to have gone by the wayside.  I have said on many occasions, there is nothing really “new” in our sport, just some things are redeveloped and made to be better.  Or is this really the case?

My first example on the “old but still effective” list is the family of Bomber crankbaits.  I can remember when a 6A Bomber was a staple in any serious angler’s tackle box when fishing our area lakes, especially the Ouachita River and its tributaries.  The Bomber 4A was great for early springtime and the Flat A was deadly when the water temps got into the 40’s.  I few years ago I did well in a February tournament with a chartreuse colored 4A, slowly reeling it around seawalls.  I honestly believe I did well in that tournament because I was showing the fish a lure they had never seen before.

When was the last time you saw anyone throwing a Carolina rig?  With the introduction of the Drop Shot and Shakey Head, a lot of anglers don’t even consider a C-rig to be a viable option, even though it still catches a lot of fish.  It maintains its effectiveness by simply switching the soft plastic of choice to match the season.  In the wintertime, I like a Zoom Centipede or a 4-inch finesse worm.  In the early spring through the beginning of summer I wills switch to a 6-inch Lizard.  Once summer begins I will most likely go with a Zoom Baby Brush Hog.  In the fall, once the fish become baitfish oriented, I like to use a shad imitation like a Fluke.

When the Chatterbait was introduced several years ago, I looked at it as another variation of a spinnerbait.  I learned that due to the fish catching effectiveness of a Chatterbait, less fishermen are using a spinnerbait, especially the single blade models, which I believe are the most overlooked version of a spinnerbait.  My favorite times to fish the single Colorado blade models, is when the water is 55 degrees and below, and has a good stain to it.  Another version of a spinnerbait I can honestly tell you I have never seen another angler use is a single willowleaf version.  A single #4 willow leaf on a 3/8 ounce spinnerbait with a shad colored skirt is deadly around submerged grass from April through November.

Now that I think about it, when was the last time you Texas rigged your favorite plastic worm and simply “worm fished” an area.  With the number of soft plastic stick baits, creature baits and everything else in between, I can’t remember the last time I saw an actual plastic worm tied on in someone’s boat.  Guess what folks?  It still catches fish.  I have found it is especially effective on heavily pressured lakes, simply because they don’t see one very often.  Here is a good example of what I am talking about…

Years ago, while practicing for a tournament on Lake Darbonne, I saw an elderly gentleman methodically work an area covered by flooded willow bushes, swimming a weightless 12-inch worm through the cover.  I can still hear the windbreaking cast of his Lew’s Speed Stick and the whine of his Ambassdeur 5000, but I also hear the four-pound bass that exploded on his swimming worm.  What intrigued me the most was I had already fish through this area, believing I had left no stone unturned.  All it took was age, experience and open-mindedness to prove us wrong.

When I got close enough to have a conversation, I asked him if he minded explaining what he was doing.  With a chuckle, he said, “I catch them a lot bigger than that last one you saw me catch.  No one ever fishes this way and figure if I am just patient enough, I will catch and find fish no one else is fishing for.”  His logic has held a place in my tackle box ever since.

Do you own a grub or a Lil George for winter time fishing?  When was the last time you tied on a Norman Little N crankbait?  What size monofilament line do you spool up these days?  When was the last time you turned off the thousands of dollars of electronics on your boat and just went fishing?  Years ago, the sport of fishing was much less complicated and never give a second thought to what we might be missing.  As anglers, we were more in tune with the fish, their environment as well as our own.  My how things have changed.

Recently I began sorting through my lifetime collection of fishing tackle and much to my surprise, I have found a few “gems” from days gone by.  I found a box of floating Rapala’s I once religiously used in the springtime.  I found a large collection of Slug-Oh’s, still new in the packages, I had kept.  Also, much to my surprised, I found a zip lock bag full of Herb’s Dilly’s, one of the original buzzbaits from back in the early 1970’s.  All these lures will still catch fish, all I need to do is add water!

Well, it looks like we have run out of space for another month.  I hope we were able to share a few “out of the box” ideas that will help you put more fish in your boat on your next fishing trip.  Be careful out on the water and make sure you catch one for me!  See you next month!