Well, guys, summer is upon us and you know what that means as far as the bass.
They move up to feed and back down to suspend in the heat of the day. Often the bass will move up at night and feed and then start to move out and down the higher the sun gets in the mornings.
If you have never tried night fishing you do not know what you are missing. There is NOTHING more exciting than throwing a top water at night when everything is peaceful and quiet and all of a sudden there is a huge crash of water as a big old bass hits the top water about 4 or 5 feet from the boat. It will literally put your heart in your mouth.
For night fishing, I like to use a bait that makes a lot of noise when you work it and then goes silent when you stop it.
Generally, most of your hits will come on the stop so be ready for it.
I prefer either a Rebel Pop R or an old school Creek Chub. The colors at night really don’t seem to matter as much as the displacement of water when you work it.
The moon also plays its part. If it’s full and there’s a lot of light, I go with darker colors. If it’s a new moon then a use lighter color, but as I said, color really doesn’t matter that much, it’s the noise that counts.
If the poppers are not producing as well as I think they should, then I change over to a spook and walk it back to the boat ever so slowly.
When I cast and it hits the water, let it sit a minute or so before you begin your retrieve. Walk it about 3 feet and let it sit. Then begin to walk it another 3 or so feet and sit.
Another deadly bait when they will not hit the poppers is the tail spinner top waters, again because of the water displacement.
On these, I fish them much as I described for the spook, but when I begin to retrieve, I give the rod tip a couple of hard wrist jerks and let it sit and the retrieve about 5 to 6 feet and let sit again and repeat it until I get to the boat.
Several times I had them hit right beside the boat as I’m getting ready to lift it out of the water. Man, that will really wake you up.
These techniques work best over the feeding flats adjacent to DEEP water. Especially if the flats have some submerged grass or cover for the bass.
OK, then the sun is rising — now what?
As the sun starts up move into the shoreline structure, and continue to use your top water that has produced on the flats. Fish parallel to the shoreline structure.
The longer you keep your top water in the strike zone the better your chance of a hookup. Here you also want to alternate top water and a square bill crank bait until you come up with what the bass really want.
If they aren’t really aggressive on either of those, change to either a Texas rigged creature or Carolina rigged lizard and work it literally on top of, and through the structure. That’s why you set it up weed less to begin with.
OK, now the sun’s higher and it really getting hot. Well, by this time the bass are migrating back to their daytime haunts that provide them cooler temps and some shade from the blistering sun. Darn, I envy their coolness by this time of day.
By now I have already dipped my cooling towel several times and placed it around my neck. The wonders of modern technology.
OK, you might as well leave the shallows. Sure you may catch a straggler here and there but they are going to be few and far between. Now is the time to look for that off-shore structure where there is deep water and preferably a current.
Tight bends in the channel will provide places where washed up timber will pile up and provide shade for the fish. Use your depth finder to find these and look closely for the fish.
If you don’t see them, move on to the next. Why waste time probing the structure that you don’t see any fish on?
If you haven’t really learned the new technology in the newer depth finders that’s a big lick on you. Learn it — it will improve your catches.
So you find a deeper structure that shows the fish. Now what? I can say only two things. First, work it over with a crank that will get down and bounce off the structure. Throw in from multiple angles on the structure. Move the boat quietly around the structure and cast from every angle, 360 degrees.
If that doesn’t produce anything, then dig out that Carolina rig and go to work slowly covering the whole structure, again from every angle. Work slow because they are suspended and not really excited about chasing anything. You are almost going to have to hit them in the head to get a reaction bite.
OK, now that you have caught your limit, kiss each of them and put them back into the lake and go get some sleep.
I hope this information gives you some idea what it’s like to fish Central Texas lakes in the summer time. It’s tough and takes a lot of patience and persistence.
If you are successful, send me the photos with a blurb about the catch to firstname.lastname@example.org and you may see your pic in a future article.
Have a nice nap, then get up and go catch a big ’un.
Jasper Johnson is the Copperas Cove Bass Club secretary. To contact him about the club or for any questions, call 318-218-0358 or email Hook_up@yahoo.com.