With these tips, hooking a bass double-header is easier than you think
What’s better than catching one nice smallmouth bass on a cast? Catching two, of course. That’s what we were doing yesterday, when we doubled up on at least 60 per cent of our fish. It’s typical, too, in the heat of summer when smallmouth are swimming in optimal water temperatures, feeding intensively and putting on somatic growth. But there is a catch. Doubling up isn’t hooking two fish on one lure, although that’s common as well right now. It’s keeping your hooked bass in the water as a decoy, not landing it quickly, while your partner catches one of the fish that are following underneath it.
Once, in the Kenora Bass International, my partner, Wayne Izumi and I, doubled up three separate times, back to back on a single cast and, in a matter of seconds, put a gorgeous limit of fish into the livewell. And the cool part about the tactic is that frequently, the following fish—the ones trailing the hooked bass—are bigger.
The reason why doubling up is so effective is that smallmouth bass regurgitate everything in their stomachs, so they can fight better. The other fish in the wolf pack instinctively know this and so, as your hooked bass spits out minnows, crayfish parts and whatever else it has recently eaten, the other fish swoop in and gobble it up.
Most of the time you can watch it all happen, so long as you keep your fish swimming in the water alongside the boat. But even if we don’t see any followers, we still routinely drop down a Ned rig, marabou jig or tube beside the hooked fish, and let it flutter unimpeded to the bottom. You’ll see your line suddenly zip away, or tighten when you lift it up, and bingo: two bass for the price of one.
Click on the following video and watch how we did it the other day, when we doubled up on more than half the fish we caught. It’s so much fun.