Soft Swimbait Retrieves
There are many retrieves. You can and will get hit on any of these at one time or another. Depending on where the fish are in the water column and what speed it takes to get it done can mean a lot.Burning “L” Turns
A fun retrieve is to burn the 8" Hudd to make "L" turns. You can do this with a slower retrieve with the ROF 5 or faster with the ROF 12. Although it’s fun, it also can be more work period - casting more, reeling faster. It's the only way to make a Hudd change direction without hitting cover. You do this by waking the bait and make it bust the surface. With a bit of slack, after it busts the surface, it will make the "L" turn. You will have to keep your rod tip higher to achieve this. Most times the hits you get with this retrieve are like a Peacock Bass, very explosive! During a trip with a friend, I had back to back 8's. My friend said, “I have been bass fishing a long time and never saw anything like that before" LOL! In most cases the fish that have hit the FAST busting surface retrieves have been LESS than 10 lbs but still exciting and fun none the less. But from what I have seen, you can never reel faster than a real trout getting chased. Here are the two 8’s.Suspended Fish
You can fish mid column also. Many times you will be keyed into this presentation by getting hit on the fall. Again, always pay attention and be ready as soon as the bait hits the water. This bite can have a fast pace. Let’s say you are using a ROF 5 to have a slower fall and slower retrieve all together. If hit on the fall. Pick up and toss an ROF 12 or 16 for an even faster fall/retrieve. Switching to the heavier bait will get you down to that depth you got hit faster. Hits are always a hint as to what may be going on. Count your Hudd down to the right depth and start your retrieve. Many times the window to get numbers in the boat is small. The faster you can get that bait to the hungry fish the better your chances of loading a few nice or trophy fish in the boat. This may not always be the case and they may just want everything slow. But if they will take it faster, you will get more in the boat quicker if you’re not waiting for a bait to sink.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5vcuLMOS2w Suspended fish that hit on the fall. Casting to the Bank
Casting to the bank works in many cases too. Because you are fishing from shallow to deep, you must reel VERY slowly. The bait falls away from the bottom quickly so pause to let it sink. An ROF 16 is excellent for this. Its weight will help to keep it in contact with the bottom. NEVER think (even when cold out) that fish won’t be very shallow because they can and will be from time to time. When cast to the bank, the ROF 5 will give you that slow fall just like a TX rigged worm would.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oBKwxlz2lE Fishing Parallel with the Bank
This is a great retrieve when fish seem to be holding on a break or drop edge. It is also a great way to search.Fishing Up Hill
Fishing up hill, is by far my favorite retrieve. This is when you are on the high side of a hump or tucked up to the bank and casting out to deeper water. Most casts for me end up starting in 40’ to 60' deep (making long casts). Fan casting a flat would also fall into this retrieve.
When crawling your bait along the bottom, the rod will load and release as it pops or slides over the bottom and through cover. Every kind of cover LOADS the rod tip; hits are a THUMP or even a TICK at times. So if the rod is loading, most likely it’s the bottom or cover. If you feel a thump or a tick set the hook! I fish this way SLOW. I mean SLOWLY! What is slow? Well if you turn your reel and count turns 0-1, 0-2, 0-3, 0-4 seconds you may think that's pretty slow. However, you just made your lure move almost 8'. I believe Matt N just touched on this in his 68 article. Turning what you think is slow may not be slow enough. Because most reels used have a retrieve speed of about 2' per turn of the handle. You have to train yourself to go slower. How? Don't think about how fast you turn the handle. Watch your SPOOL turn. Now that you are watching your spool turn SLOWLY you will see it's almost painful to turn the handle that slow LOL! But if you get a THUMP that pain goes away really quick ☺. This retrieve works great for the trophy fish, especially when you already know they are there. It’s hard to fish slowly when you aren’t sure if they are there because it takes so long to fish this way.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDaCNBA5rCk
Now that you are retrieving slowly think of this....... Your rod is your ARM, your line is your FINGER, and the lure is your FINGER TIP. Now FEEL the bottom! This will get you THUMPED! Set the hook hard and quick. If you miss, don’t slap your rod on the water and get upset and reel in for another cast. Get right back to your bait and retrieve. Sometimes you hook up after many hits.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTOoWOwuC20 Never give up on a cast.
I understand some people fish in heavy weeds and can’t bottom crawl. You will ALWAYS have to adjust to the cover. Be it fishing off the bottom, ticking weeds, or using a Weedless Hudd when and if necessary. There are many ways to retrieve a Hudd. These are a few that work well for me - for fun fish or trophy fish. Fish smart and with an open mind, if it works, it's not wrong. Remember you have to get hit to ever stand a chance of setting the hook.
Good luck, Good skill and Good fishing to you.
Now go Get EM!!