Below is a re-cap of our fans' conversation with Bill Dance in March, 2014.
Q: I fish a lot from shore, what size line should I use for crankbaits?
Bill: If you're using a spinning rod, I'd suggest 10 pound, and no more than 12 pound. If your using a baitcaster I'd say 15 pound.
Q: If you could use only two colors for crankbaits, what would they be?
Bill: A shad colored pattern would have to be one, and the past few years I've done exceptionally well on anything with reddish tones in it.
Q: Do you use swim jigs?
Bill: Yes, I have fished them and have had very good success!
Q: I know they are all the rage for largemouth, but have you heard of anyone using them while fishing for smallmouth?
Bill: The smaller versions, like the ones from Booyah, have done very well on smallmouth.
Q: What would you recommend for smallies on Boone Lake in northern Tennessee?
Bill: I've never fished there but I'd throw a 5" grub.
Q: What's the best color for lipless crankbaits in clear water?
Bill: You need to experiment, but sometimes too much flash can be bad, sometimes it's great. Tennessee shad is a good offering, and I've also done very well with Rayburn Red.
Q: You're the best Bill, I love your bloopers! Especially the ones with KVD!
Bill: Who's KVD?
Q: Have you ever fished in New Jersey?
Bill: Only once, the place was called Lake Greenwood. I think it was back in the 20's. :)
Q: How do you best work a jig?
Bill: Depends on the activity level of the fish. I mix it up. Sometimes I jig it, sometimes a sweep it and sometimes I swim it. Depends on how deep the fish are and the weight of the jig I'm fishing. If I'm fishing a 1/8 oz jig in 3-5 feet of water, I fish it slower than a would a 3/4 oz jig in 25 feet of water. This is something you have to experiment with.
Q: For the weekend fisherman that targets smallmouth in creeks with soft plastics on spinning gear, what weigh of line should be used?
Bill: I recommend 6-8 pound line.
Q: What's the best way to catch bass in a farm pond with no structure?
Bill: That depends on the time of the year, but if the water is semi-clear to clear, a plastic worm would be hard to beat, especially if the fish are on the bottom. Second choice would be a lipless crankbait. And if the fish were pretty active and water temps were warm enough, a buzzbait could be a real good choice in the shallows.
Q: Do you still get the same enjoyment when setting the hook on a fish as you did years ago?
Bill: Absolutely! I hope I never get too old for the thrill of a strike!
Q: What do you miss about the old trails, and what do you think about the new circuits today?
Bill: I don't miss the tournaments, I miss the people. I think today it's much more competitive and it doesn't seem to have the camaraderie it used to.
Q: What lure would you recommend to use in very dark colored water?
Bill: I've done well on gold colored lures in black waters.
Q: How do you get a bass to bite a spinnerbait in the heat of summer?
Bill: I do best with black spinnerbaits, at night, in the summer.
Q: Do you prefer smallmouth or largemouth bass?
Q: Do you ever just get out and fish for fun, without doing the shows??
Bill: I absolutely love to fish! My favorite time is spent with a pocket full of grubs and leadheads, a 6-fout spinning rod and wading in the creek!
Q: When pitching and flipping I like to use 65lb braid, should I use a leader? And if yes what weight?
Bill: The guys I know that are using 65lb braid are tipping that with 40 or 50lb fluorocarbon leader.
Q: If you had only one lure in your tackle box, what would it be, and why?
Bill: If I was on Survivor and had only one lure, it would be a black 3/8 ounce spinnerbait with a black #5 silver Colorado blade. Because 3/8 size is more universal than a 1/4 or 1/2 ounce, and black holds its identity better in low light conditions than any other shade or color even in muddy water or at night. The silver blade has more reflection than any other finish and the 5 size blade vibrates and has more water resistance than any other blade on that size bait. Plus this is what I've caught fish on the most consitently.
Q: Here in Ohio it can get pretty cold, what bait should I use for cold-water bass in ponds?
Bill: Black and blue is hard to beat on a jig and plastic combination. Try 3/16 to 1/4 ounce size and fish slow with repeated casts to good looking areas.
Q: What is your favorite rod and reel set up?
Bill: One that I use a lot is my 7' medium action Accurist PT rod and the Tour Mg 100 reel.
Q: So Bill, what's your favorite Bill Dance blooper?
Bill: None of them :)
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