Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Tips presents free, seasonal how-to advice from Larry Whiteley, host of the award-winning Outdoor World Radio show. Each weekly tip offers practical advice to improve your skills.

Tips offered for May include Erratic Lure Presentation Key to Catching Big Bass. When I think back about big bass I’ve caught, one thing comes to mind and that’s lure presentation. An erratic retrieve, in most cases, has produced many of my biggest bass. Why is that? … because this retrieve most closely mimics live forage. When danger threatens, they are going to do something different, like speed up, retreat, go crazy, play possum or try to hide. In most cases though, they will move out like a late freight train. Lures such as plastic worms, jigs, spinnerbaits (slow-rolled), crankbaits (fished in a stop-and-go retrieve) and even topwater lures can be worked erratically to imitate a frightened baitfish. The best thing I can tell you is if you want to catch big bass, watch how baitfish react when a fish is after them, and then try to duplicate that reaction with whatever artificial bait you’re using.

The final tip for May is Strategies for Catching More Bluegill. Worms, crickets, and other live bait will always catch bluegill, but if you want to catch more bluegill, switch to jigs. Bug-like jigs are great imitations, and tiny is better than big. Tiny jigs can be more easily fished at the sluggish pace that sunfish prefer. These featherweight jigs snag less and can tempt fish that may not be hungry enough to chomp as a big bait. Also, enticing, erratic retrieves are possible with tiny offerings that can’t be duplicated with bigger jigs. When bluegill get picky, matching their diet with a jig imitation can bring more action. Also remember that they may smell the jig before deciding to eat, so a panfish attractor scent, or tipping it with a maggot or worm piece, could help a lot. Bluegills love eating bugs, and jigs that mimic these tiny creatures will help you catch more bluegills.