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Midnight Bassin'

When the air temperatures begin averaging 90 degrees and wind is tough to come by we all start looking for shade and cool spots. A lot of anglers seem to forget about the night bite and the cooler temperatures that come with it. My favorite part about night fishing is not having to run through different baits and colors to figure out the pattern. A black and blue ChatterBait and a black and blue Project Z Football Jig are all that is out.

When bass are in muddy water or feeding at night they rely on their lateral line to locate prey and both baits take full advantage of this.

For the ChatterBait my preference is the Project Z Weedless version because your vision is limited and you are throwing it in areas you would normally avoid in the daytime and the weed guard is a big help avoiding hang ups. ChatterBaits will put off much more vibration than a big Colorado blade spinnerbait and your wrist and forearm will thank you the next day. I always slide a set of collared rattles behind the skirt and use a DieZel MinnowZ trailer to add a little more vibration. Some nights when the fish are short striking, a trailer hook addition will put them in the boat. For rod selection, a medium action or medium heavy with a slow tip works best. The fish will be coming from behind the bait trying to locate it so the slower action rods will allow them to completely take the bait before you are able to set the hook. At night you will want to fish it all the way back to the boat giving them plenty of opportunity to locate it with their lateral line.

The Project Z Football Jig has a heavily textured Z-Tex skirt that displaces a ton of water making it far easier for bass to locate using their lateral line. For added water displacement I always use it with either a BatwingZ or Boar HogZ trailer. Rod selection will be the same as you would use in the daytime. I typically fish an area with the ChatterBait first and go back through it with the jig to figure out which one they prefer that night or just alternate between the two depending on the structure. Either way you're far ahead of the daytime game having to also run through the sight baits.

I have used this combination all over Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas at night in deep rocky lakes, rivers, and shallow cypress lakes with consistent success. If you have never tried night fishing you are in for a treat, if you have, try this simple combination and you will not be disappointed and the big girls we haven't seen since the spawn are most likely to be caught at night.

Good luck and tight lines.

Z-Man pro Kelly Keith

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