Spring is a great time of the year to start chasing yellowbelly on our impoundments. The warming weather sees them on the move and there’s few better ways to catch them with a jighead rigged soft plastic, and a Bait Junkie 2.5” Grub is one of the standout out plastics to use.
Where Are You?
During spring you’ll find the yellowbelly hanging in and around flooded trees and a scope around with a sounder will help pinpoint which trees the fish are holding on and where in the column they’re sitting.
Once you’ve located where they are the technique is relatively straight forward with a few slight variances in the retrieve all that’s generally needed to get them to bite.
How to Work It
Rigging a Bait Junkie on a 1/4oz jighead then sinking it to the bottom and slow rolling it back to the surface is the easiest technique to try, and often enough to trigger a yellowbelly to bite.
If this draws a blank the next technique to try is to sink the lure to the bottom then slow roll it up to the depth the fish a sitting at. Stop the retrieve then gently and repeatedly bump the butt of the rod with your spare hand as you slowly lift the rod.
This will result in the lure shaking and moving erratically as it slowly rise in the water. This in-your-face shimmy is often all that’s needed to tempt fish that are hesitant to bite a slow rolling retrieve.
Living On the Edge
Fishing both of these retrieves deep in, and around the trees can be highly effective in spring, though the trees aren’t the only place that you’ll find fish this time of the year with the edges and banks happy hunting grounds as the weather starts to warm.
Here, just like in the trees, a variation of rolling and pause retrieves will tempt the yellowbelly to bite.
Casts to the edges, worked back to the boat with a series of twitches, pauses and slow rolls is just the thing to trigger a strike, with open banks, standing and laydown timber and weedbeds all prime locations to work this way with a 2.5” Bait Junkie Grub.
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO BELOW TO SEE HOW TO DO IT!