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5 Great Ways to Fish a YUM Pulse for Bass

Don’t get in a rut with swimbait presentations. Utilizing various rigs and techniques can help you catch fish in a vast range of situations.

The YUM Pulse has emerged as one of the most popular swimbaits on the planet for bass. That should be no surprise. Its slender, natural baitfish profile screams “easy meal,” while a subtle roll and pulsing tail combine for an action that’s undeniably enticing. Add a ribbed body to push extra water and hook slot to ensure straight rigging and maximize hook-up percentages, and the Pulse has much in its favor.

The YUM Pulse comes in two sizes, 3.5 and 4.5 inches, and a broad range of colors, making it an excellent fit for many situations. It is also diverse in the ways it can be fished. Anglers too often typecast baits, treating any given one as a one-trick (or maybe, two-trick) pony. To do that with the Pulse is a major mistake because this bait is exceptionally effective when presented with several types of rigs. We’ll look at five of the best.

1) YUMbrella Rig

With water temperatures cooling all over the country, it makes sense to start with a castable umbrella rig, such as a YUMbrella Rig. Whether you choose a Flash Mob Jr., popular for its smaller frame and flashy blades, or a different variety of YUMbrella, these rigs suggest schools of shad or other baitfish and are extremely effective through the cool months, when bass and their forage tend to suspend, and the bass relate to huge schools of bait.

Fish a YUMbrella anywhere baitfish and bass suspend and close to rocky banks. Tops of points and humps, transition banks along river bends, creek mouths and 45-degree banks are good options. Keep the presentation simple. Cast, allow the rig to sink to where you expect fish to be, reel steadily at a moderate pace, and be ready to lean back into fish that bite!

With standard five hook type umbrella rigs, fish tend to hit the center bait, which is set back slightly. A good way to maximize benefit and catch bigger fish is to use 3.5-inch Pulses on all the outside wires and a 4.5-inch version as your center bait.

2) Open Jighead

Jimmy Mason with swimbait bassJimmy Mason with swimbait bass

The simplest YUM Pulse rigging is often the best. String the bait on an open jighead, with the hook going in through the bait’s nose and the out the center of the back, for a very natural swimming action and an exposed hook point for high hook-up ratios.

Open jighead swimbait hooking is actually a broad category and could be the subject of an entire article – or series of articles – and the technique varies dramatically based on the waters and the specific jighead and Pulse used.

A 3.5-inch Summer Gill Pulse fished on a 1/8-ounce roundhead jig with a light-wire hook might be fished on spinning tackle and worked shallow in clear water, for a true finesse approach. For a big fertile, hard flowing tailwater, you might throw the 4.5-inch Sinful Shad Pulse on a 1-ounce shad-style jighead with a stout 5/O hook. Most situations and the jigheads used fall somewhere in between.

No matter the specifics, the basic approach is to cast and reel, possibly adding twitches or lifts of the rod tip to break up the action and trigger strikes.

3) Texas Rig/ Weighted Hook

Although a Texas rig with a sliding worm weight and a weighted swimbait hook are different in ways, we’ll look at them together because they offer the same important added value for fishing a YUM Pulse. Either rigging option conceals the point of the hook, allowing you to work through vegetation, wood and other kinds of cover.

A Texas rig can also be hopped along the bottom, like a plastic worm. However, the most common application is to swim the Pulse like a traditional swimbait, but through cover. Weedless rigging is ideal for swimming a Pulse through scattered grass along the edges of thicker stands, just over vegetation that doesn’t’ quite reach the surface, through submerged timber and among the outer branches of laydowns. Depending on the amount of weight, it can be fished slowly or quicky and near the surface and well down in the water column

A belly-weighted swimbait hook moderates a YUM Pulse’s rolling action for when you want straighter swimming. It also levels the bait, keeping the nose and tail at the same level. A Texas rig allows for more lifting and dropping of the nose to trigger strikes and works nicely for swimming through vegetation and allowing it to dive into holes in the grass.

4) Under Spin

War Eagle Under Spin and YUM PulseWar Eagle Under Spin and YUM Pulse

An under-spin style jighead, such as a War Eagle Under Spin, provides an element of flash and a bit of extra vibration. Compared to a traditional jighead of the same size, the fall is slowed slightly because of the blade’s extra resistance, and the Pulse’s natural roll is moderated slightly when the bait is being pulled. It still rocks slightly, though, as the tail performs its signature pulsating dance.

An under spin works nicely for working deeper structure, where the blade’s flash and vibration can help fish key on the bait. Effective presentations include slow steady reeling, with the bait swimming just up from the bottom, and lift and drop retrieves, where the bait finds bottom between lifts.

Speaking of lifting and dropping, a YUM Pulse on an under-spin head also works well for vertical jigging when fish are on top of specific structural features. A gentle upward sweep causes the bait to swim upward with the blade flashing hard. Most fish hit on the fall, when it is fluttering nose first toward the bottom.

5) Trailer

Pulse swimbaits as trailersPulse swimbaits as trailers

Admittedly, this one’s a bit broad and encompasses multiple bass fishing techniques. There’s good reason for that, though. A YUM Pulse makes an outstanding trailer for a variety of other lures, including swim jigs, bladed jigs and spinnerbaits.

It was actually a spinnerbait application that put the YUM Pulse on the map. Jason Christies used a prototype Pulse on the back of a single Colorado blade BOOYAH spinnerbait to produce big bags and a second-place finish in the 2016 Bassmaster Classic on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. The pulsating tail action was important to complement the thumping spinnerbait blade and attract bass in the muddy water.

Although a YUM Pulse is much more commonly thought about as a bait to fish on its own, it works wonderfully as a trailer anytime you want to suggest a baitfish, add length to your primary lure and/or add a swimming motion.

Beyond Bass

Paradise Popper rigParadise Popper rig

The Pulse is best known as a bass lure, but every fish that ever eats a 3 ½- to 4 ½ inch baitfish is likely to grab one if presented in the right place and the best way.

  • Speckled Trout – Especially the 3.5-inch version, fished under a Paradise Popper X-treme
  • Redfish – Either size, same presentation, especially around marsh edges and over oyster bars.
  • Stripers & Hybrids – Outstanding in tailwaters when swam in the current on a large jighead.
  • Bluefish – In the surf and in bays, cast into blitzes and burned back.
  • Walleyes – Light Texas rig, swam slowly near wing dams and other river structure.
YUMbrella rig with Pulse swimbaitsYUMbrella rig with Pulse swimbaits