Midwest finesse fishing and rattles

Mike Poe of Siler City, North Carolina, is a veteran Finesse News Network contributor, and he recently reported that his son-in-law, Preston Parks of Pittsboro, North Carolina, has added a new dimension to Midwest finesse presentations.

Poe says it is especially effective when it is employed at the stained waterways that he and Parks have to regularly contend with in North Carolina. According to Poe, the water clarity can exhibit less than one foot of visibility at some of the reservoirs that they fish.

One of the myths that reign in the piscatorial world is that finesse tactics for largemouth bass are best suited for plying crystal-clear waters. But Poe and scores of other Midwest finesse anglers have revealed that Midwest finesse tactics work as well in stained water as they do in crystalline waterways, and in fact, Midwest finesse anglers will inveigle largemouth bass in stained waterways more effectively than most power anglers can.

Since Poe's report circulated on the Finesse News Network in December, many Midwest finesse anglers all across the nation who fish either clear or stained waters are eager to use Parks' creation, which is inserting a nine-sixteenth of an inch tube of Bobby Garland Crappie Baits' Crappie Glass Rattles into a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's Fishing Products ZinkerZ. (Parks, Poe, and other Midwest anglers can also use Z-Man's Finesse T.R.D. and Z-Man's Hula StickZ.)


Parks inserts the tube of rattles into the head of the ZinkerZ, and it runs parallel to the shank of the hook on the 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig that he affixes to the ZinkerZ. After the tube of rattles is inside the ZinkerZ, he applies a touch of Gorilla Super Glue to seal the hole and keep the tube in place. And even after tangling with largemouth bass as big as five pounds and enticing 12 small ones within 15 minutes, he has never had a tube become jettisoned from the ZinkerZ. And when the ZinkerZ finally becomes so frayed from catching scores of largemouth bass that it is difficult to keep affixed to the jig, he removes the tube of rattles and inserts it into a new 2 1/2-inch  ZinkerZ.

The head of the tube of rattles is visible in this photograph of a 2 1/2-inch Z-Man's ZinkerZ and a 1/15-ounce Z-Man's Finesse ShroomZ jig. The  clatter that the rattle creates is quite audible to human ears.

Some Midwest finesse anglers might want to experiment with implanting and gluing the tube of rattles into the tail of the ZinkerZ — especially when they are rigging the ZinkerZ with the big and flat end rather than the narrow and pointed end at the tail. But Parks thinks that rigging the rattles into the tail would adversely affect the subtle action of  this extremely alluring soft-plastic-bait-and-jig combo.

Poe said Parks presents the rattling ZinkerZ with a steady shaking retrieve along flat shorelines that have less than a foot of clarity.

According to Poe, it is an extremely deadly tactic on farm ponds in North Carolina, and without a touch of hesitancy or hint of exaggeration, Poe says: "There is no better pond technique in the world."


Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, is a new contributor to the Finesse News Network. He is an ardent smallmouth bass angler who primarily plies the rivers and streams that meander through West Virginia. He reported on Jan. 15 that he inserts a rattle into Z-Man Scented Leech and a heavily customized Z-Man's seven-inch Finesse WormZ, as well as other Z-Man baits that Midwest finesse anglers use. Myers affixes his rattle-inserted baits to 1/32- and 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle Mushroom Head Jigs. He thinks these rattle baits should pay dividends to smallmouth bass anglers all across the nation — especially in the streams and rivers that flow across areas like the Ozarks.

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