Jacksonville Daily Progress
Right now my deadliest deep water lure is the Yumbrella rig. It’s called a Yumbrella ™ Flash Mob™ Junior with willow blades. Flash Mob Junior is a 5-wire downsized Yumbrella rig with four spinning blades positioned midway down its outer arm. It weighs 1 oz.
This is a spinoff of the popular Umbrella rig that often weighs up to 3 oz. or more and requires a longer rod and heavier braided line.
I fish the Yumbrella rig often with 17 or 20 lb. fluorocarbon line very successfully. Other fishermen, like Frank Lusk, like to use the 65-pound braid line. The one I buy has five small white grubs with lead headed hooks that can be attached to this rig. I like to take off the lure positioned on the bottom wire and attach a Crème white 3” swim bait. This lure will stand out from the four other grub baits which attracts most of the fish. Bass almost always go for the one lure that is different. The Crème lure has a much better hook and this increases your catch ratio.
Yum advertises this bait as the most effective after the bait fish spawn. While that may be true, it is also very deadly in the dead of winter. The Yumbrella Jr. rig can be slow trolled deep (approximately 35 feet) on Lake Jacksonville using only your trolling motor. I simply put the rig on the water’s surface, next to my boat, hit the free spool and watch it drop to the bottom on my depth finder. Once it reaches the desired depth I begin trolling with my trolling motor. This will cause the bait to rise up. You can control the depth of your bait by letting out more line and by adjusting the speed of your trolling motor. Turning your trolling motor on and off will also help you control your depth.
You really have to experiment with this until you become efficient. A lot of the deep bass range from about 32 feet deep down to 40 feet. Keep an eye on your depth finder and when you spot a brush pile either speed up or veer off to the left or right. Occasionally you will hang up, but with this light rig I have no problem getting it unstuck from brush. Simply go back the direction you were trolling from and pull the lure in the opposite direction. Once you are past the brush give the rig a hard pull. It should pop free. The grub hooks are small and usually will bend and come free of the limb.
It’s not unusual to catch 20, 40 or more bass per trip once you locate the bass. Most of the bass are holding over 40-42 feet depths and are usually suspended below 32 feet. Most of the bass are in the middle of the lake. We’ve caught bass just out from the concession stand, but most of the bass now seem to be located out in mid-lake from Cat Creek going towards the dam. The bait fish move around a lot and the bass follow them. You will mostly find the bass scattered throughout this area.
It takes a little experimenting with the Yumbrella rig to get the technique down that I described. This technique will work on other lakes also. You simply have to locate the deep area of the lake that is holding the most shad.
Before we discovered the Yumbrella rig we were catching a lot of bass on a Nichols’ Mojo 1/2 ounce spoon and a Lake Fork four-inch spoon. If you spot a lot of bass bunched up in one area you may want to fish a spoon. Lately the bass have been more scattered making the Yumbrella rig a lot more effective. With this rig you can cover a lot more water in a short time increasing your odds of catching more bass.
While we were trolling on Lake Jacksonville we also caught a few 2-1/2 pound sand bass and a few really big crappie.
Winter fishing isn’t for everybody. But if you dress properly you should have no problem staying warm and catching a lot of bass.
Happy New Year!
Jerry Miller can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org