Knowing what type of lure to throw — and where to throw it — are critical keys to catching largemouth bass. But to achieve consistent day-in-day-out success, you have to know how to throw the lure as well. And that requires playing the angles, according to brand ambassador Josh Jetter.

Figuring out the best approach to make, and what will be the most productive casting angle, is something the tournament angler from Garland, Texas, takes very seriously. “I don’t roll up on a spot and just start casting,” he said. “I map out the structure and pinpoint fish location with my electronics, then try to determine the best angle of attack before making a cast.”

While this mental exercise often pays off quickly, it can also require a bit of trial-and-error experimentation—as was the case when Jetter was practicing for a recent Fishers of Men tournament on Lake of the Pines. Bass were in prespawn, he explained and foraging on crawfish along the bends of the river channel in this rock- and stump-filled reservoir.

“The normal approach is to slow-roll a lure down the ledge,” he said, “but during practice I discovered that I caught many more fish grinding the lure up the ledge. On top of that, the lure had to come up perpendicular to the drop-off. Any cast that wasn’t 90 degrees to the lip wouldn’t get touched.”

Jetter positioned his boat about 25 yards from the drop-off, sometimes in as little as 2 feet of water, and cast a watermelon/red flake YUM Wooly Hawgcraw — its claw tips dyed with JJ’s Magic Menthylate Dippin’ Dye — straight out into the channel. He’d let the ¼-ounce jig head sink to bottom and crawl the bait all the way to the top of the lip. “When it neared the top, in 4 to 5 feet of water, it’d usually hit a rock or stump and a bass would eat it.”

If the soft plastic bite slowed, Jetter switched to a Rayburn Red BOOYAH One Knocker and started catching fish once more. “Here again, you had to grind the lipless crank along the bottom,” he said. “I even wore the paint completely off the nose of one lure.”

This tactic led Jetter to numbers of 3 ½- to 4½-pound largemouths and a Top 10 finish in the tournament. The only thing that kept him from rising higher on the leader board was the lack of a kicker fish. “I’d watch other anglers catch a bass here and there as they retrieved lures down the slope,” he said, “while I caught 6 or 7 fish at every spot I fished. And I’m convinced it’s because the angle I took just gave them something different to look at.”

Playing the angles wherever you find bass — whether it’s a channel ledge, submerged point, stump field or a patch of lily pads — is guaranteed to put more bass in the livewell, according to Jetter. “Sometimes the fish just react more aggressively to a lure approaching from a particular direction; other times it’s because you’re presenting something they haven’t seen before,” he says. “Either way, you’ll be more successful if you pay attention to the angle of attack.”