Favorite subsurface Bass patterns

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
Don't have time to dig one out, but my fav is tied on a short-shank, wide-gap hook, all black . . . zonker tail, black marabou, a bit of spun deer hair for bulk, & finished with long wrapped saddle hackle. Works very well as it slowly sinks with an occasional twitch, too.
i tie unweighted bucktail streamers in baby bass, trout fry, and panfish colors. fishing them on long leaders and floating line they sink slow and can be stripped right over the top of weed beds in most ponds i fish.
I agree, the unweighted flies catch fish and are castable with 4-6 weight.


jersey, thanks for the link. That's the only weed guard style I care for. I've been known to cut off the mono weed guides when I keep missing bass with a popper... I started calling them "fish guards".

The "worm" type patterns work well and I have caught some bass with the patterns but I'm learning more toward a baitfish style. I have two boxes of the patterns meant to imitate plastic worms but they are difficult to cast from a pontoon boat. I think they would would better for me if I was casting from a boat.

Stonefish, I know where your patterns would work great... and within the next couple of months.

One of the lakes that hold the largest bass in the NW (maybe the entire West) is one that I have only fished once for bass. It is Davis Lake in Oregon. Most likely the LMB have grown so large because it is restricted to flyfishing only. The LMB were illegally introduced from Crane (were the bass were also illegally introduced) and wiped out a trophy trout fishery. I'm sure the bass guys would love to gain access to Davis with their bass boats, but many of us old fly guys will show up on the door step of the ODF&W HQ with pitch forks and torches if they try to remove the flyfishing only regulation.

The damned bass are not supposed to be there and I don't care how large they've grown!

So, if any of you who like to use the worm style patterns would like to catch huge LMB and kill them... and you can kill as many as you can. I will tell you exactly where to fish at Davis so you can catch 5 pound plus LMB... please do but you must kill the bass you catch.

Use the large worm style patterns with a lot of weight. There is vegetation on the eastern side of the lake. There is a boat ramp at the north eastern end of Davis. Launch from that ramp.

The LMB will be on their spawning beds. Cast the worm patterns into the open areas in the vegetation. Jig the patterns. Work along the weed beds while heading south. Once you find the spawning beds, you'll find the huge bass. They prefer the worm patterns. If I had a map, I'd post it with the exact locations... that is how much I hate the bass in Davis.

Obviously, I like catching bass but not at the expense of a trophy trout fishery that once held large populations of steelhead size rainbow. The bass magazines have acknowledged the size of the bass in Davis so I'm sure there will be a push to remove the flyfishing only regulation. I'll be damned if I let that happen. I will not reward Johnny Bass Seed.

So please, if you want to catch huge LMB and help rid the lake of the illegally introduced LMB, go to Davis the minute the hwy is open and free from snow. You'll need to drag the bass out of the weeds so heavy leader and tippets are required. Davis Lake is located on Century Drive in the Oregon Cascades outside of Bend.

Shawn West

Active Member
It looks like I did not have to go digging through my tying gear to find the diameter guitar string to use for weed guards. The link Jersey provided gives the information needed. I did find my wire; it is .38mm. The package I have is labeled PL015. Hope this information helps.



While I'm not a fan of the worm style patterns, that doesn't mean I don't carry them with me. These are the patterns that the guys us at Davis to catch the LMB:


I'm really more interested to see if they experimental baitfish patterns will work. I found a new bass pond today on the farm where I have access. I didn't know it was there! So.... a new place to try the experimental patterns.

I'm hoping these guys might induce some strikes:



livin' the dream

Look up slinky muddlers, not too hard to tie. Weight can be added and you can tie different sizes. colors, etc..They do work. Good profile, good action, and they push water.

Been tinkering around with baitfish pattern idea similar to the slinky muddler, but using intruder-style body instead of the EP fibers. Not there yet, but got a few ideas from trial and error.


Last summer, when I first started my project to come up with a baitfish pattern I could use all day, I tied some patterns using the Ultrasuede Magic Tails (from the some folks who sell the Sculpin Helmets and the Fish Skulls) and the clipped CCT Body Fur. Before I started using the computer to color my cartoons, I used colored markers. So I have a lot of colored markers.

I grabbed some markers and colored the patterns and headed to the bass pond.

Well..... at first I was getting strike after strike... I figured the fish were hitting the tail. Then the strikes stopped. I retrieved the pattern to change to another and it was completely white! The felt pens I used to color the patterns were not waterproof so the color was completely gone.

I've since purchased waterproof colored markers. I could have swore all my marking pens were waterproof.. guess not.

I think the Thunder Creek style (for lack of any other description) of baitfish pattern I'm working on has the most potential. During my last trip to the bass lake I caught this guy with one of the patterns without the lip:

Then again, I caught this large crappie (the largest I've caught in The Willamette Valley) with one of the patterns with the lip... so both styles have good potential. Last year, I ran out of warm weather before I could give the experimental patterns a good test.



Notice the eyes are gone. This was before I started using CA glue to hold them in place and relied on the self adhesive factor for the eyes... mistake. The CA glue keeps them from coming off.
Gene...If I recall right, you were also having issues with your pattern getting chewed up. I am either going to coat the front portion of your pattern with epoxy or Softex. I am leaning towards the latter of the two. I do not trust CA glue to keep the eyes on the fly. Either coating I use should protect the front portion of the fly as well as secure the eyes. Time will tell.



Shawn, I bought some of that expensive UV clear coat. Guys say it works as well as epoxy and dries clear. I'm going to give that a try. Actually, the gel type CA has kept the eyes on my poppers so it may be okay... otherwise, Sportsman's Goop is also known to keep the eyes in place. Whatever the case, I'll get the suckers to stay on one way or the other :)



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