Small Waters Strategies – Shaky head & finesse

Small Waters Strategies – Shaky head & finesse

Jul 31, 2012

Dust off the Shaky Head and Finesse Gear for Post-Spawn, Pre-Summer Bass

By Mike Pehanich

Summer is coming quickly. No doubt you have the crankbait and jig tackle ready and maybe your frogging and topwater gear prepared as well.

But don’t forget the finesse tackle.

Exclusive video with Mike Iaconelli “Gearing up for Shaky Head Fishing” on this post

Finesse techniques are as close to reliable as you can get with unreliable, hard-to-pattern post-spawn fish. They will also come in extremely handy during cold front days throughout the summer as well as on deep, clear lakes where conventional tactics just can’t reach them.

“Don’t ever count out finesse techniques during the post-spawn period,” says Bassmaster Elite star Mike Iaconelli. “Even in dirty water, even in places with a lot of cover where you think ‘surely I won’t be using a spinning rod!,’  finesse techniques will help you out.”


Finesse can get hairy, too!

Shaky head fishing is a “go-to” finesse technique for post-spawn bass and generally tough conditions throughout the summer and fall, too. But Flick Shake, Wacky-rigged stickworms, French fry worm, and dropshot techniques are part of his arsenal as well.

Ike and Boyd Duckett —  Bassmaster Classic winners —  each selected a shaky head when we fished at VIP Adventures in Summerville, SC, last season during the post-spawn period.

Iaconelli took this recovering post-spawn bass on a Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper worm rigged on a prototype shaky head jig designed for Rapala/VMC and set for 2013 release.

“Another finesse bait I like is a 1/16- to 1/8-ounce hair jig,” says Ike. “I use a 7-4 rod (Abu Garcia Veritas) rod and a light superline like Spiderwire Fluorobraid, Nanofil or Fireline. You can throw it a mile.”

He adds a fluorocarbon leader, using a double-uni or nail knot in clear water conditions. “But if the water is tannic or muddy, I tie direct!”

Note: Throwing marabou and hair jigs on ultralight tackle has been a secret of Minnesota and Canadian anglers for years. Look for more on this technique in upcoming posts and videos on “Mike Pehanich’s Small Waters Fishing” website!

For more videos and features on post-spawn finesse and sand pit fishing at VIP Adventures with Mike Iaconelli & Boyd Duckett, see Post-Spawn Sand Pit Bass


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