Lakecaster Online

Tournament Pathfinder
By John Presley

Summertime is not typically known for the best time of the year for catching big bass. But big bass can still be caught in the summer. This time of the year, bigger is better because using bigger lures will catch bigger fish. Smaller lures will catch big fish too, just not as consistently. Big bass are less effected by the sound of a big bait hitting the water than one might expect . These fish are more aggressive than the smaller fish. They don't like to miss a chance at one good meal. In the summertime cover is very important. And where the cover is close to deep water is the best. Big fish will move deeper when they feel threatened. On Sam Rayburn I like to work weedlines that are near creek channels or ditches. Some other good places are main lake humps. Big bass will feed on these humps that have deep water all around them and will hold big fish all year long. I like to also fish tapering main lake points these points usually have lots of under water stumps and grass beds growing around them. Also remember to fish the deep side of points and ridges because a lot of time fishing pressure and boat traffic will make big bass move to the deep side. I like to start out early fishing topwater some of the best big bass baits are the Zara spook in black chrome, clear, baby bass, and bull frog. Another big bass topwater bait to use is a buzz bait. When the water temp gets in the mid 80's to upper 90's this bait can produce some big fish. Also try a black buzz bait on cloudy days and a white on clear days. If you want some really hot action try the Yellow Magic which is a popping bait made by Buddha Bait Company out of California. My favorite big bass bait is a Texas rig worm, a jig and craw. Work the edges of the grass with a Texas rig worm, using a Ring Rascal 7" or 8" bandit tail worm, a Zoom Mag II or a Zoom Big Dead Ringer worms. The colors to use in the summer are plum, red bug, june bug and watermelon. During the summer our fish also like just a straight florida rig crawworm using ½ and ¾ ounce Gambler weight. The Gene Larreu 6 inch hawg craw colors to use are texas smoke with green & orange flake, plum, pumpkin green flake green claw and watermelon blue flake. Another new color that's working well is sour grape every one remembers how good this color was in a wacky worm this spring. When fishing your worms work them slow. Make sure if you catch a fish to throw in the same spot because where you catch one big fish there may be more. It is very possible to catch several trophy bass off the same spot over a period of 2-3 days and remember big bass eat all the time to get big and to stay big A trophy bass has to eat more often and more efficiently than other fish. The hybrid bass have also been schooling near the dam. We have had several good days with several fish up to 10 pounds. The hybrid bass love to put up a good fight, so get out some chrome rattletraps and clear boy howdy's. If the rattletraps don't work, try a chrome jigging spoon. Also, the crappie fishing has been good over the grass using black and chartreuse 1/16 oz jigs and road runners.

Also during these hot summer days start taking care of your fish from the time they are put in your livewell until the time you release them. Remember larger fish will die faster than smaller fish. The warmer the water in your livewell the less oxygen it can retain and uncirculated water allows toxins such as carbon dioxide and ammonia to build up inside their systems. Both these conditions contribute to death by stress and infections. One way to help prevent this is by having plenty of ice to cool the water in your livewells and to practice and use catch and release methods to help reduce stress and death.

In my next article, I will give you the results from the final BASS Central Invitational at the Red River in Shreveport Louisiana. And for all the little tournament fishermen don't forget about the first Little Buddies tournament of the season, June 10th on Sam Rayburn.

By the way , when I am not fishing tournaments I am a full-time fishing guide on Lake Sam Rayburn. If you would like to book a trip please call me at 409-698-9713 or Ann's Tackle Shop at 409-384-7685. Or e-mail me at JOHNPRESLEY@HOTMAIL.COM

Good Luck and Good Fishing.

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