Lakecaster Online

Of Bass & Gals
By: Sue Crochet

Happy Independence Day! Isn't it great to live in a country where we can do anything we want to do and be anything we want to be … within reason, of course? Please take a few minutes during this festive holiday to give thanks for this great country in which we live and pray for those who have given, and those who are still giving, their lives for our freedom. God bless America!

Independence Day means we're well into summer now and bass fishing will be pretty "iffy". By iffy, I mean that if you like to topwater fish and stay out of those 90-100° temperatures, you'll probably have your best luck during the early morning and late evening hours fishing in the shallows. If you like to jig fish, you're likely to have your best luck fishing deep drops (anywhere from 10 - 20 feet) next to the hydrilla. If you like crankbaits, I'd head north where the river narrows and you'll find shallow ledges next to very deep water. If you like worm fishing, you might find fish from early morning to late in the evening, fishing shallow, deep, or anywhere in between … from long points at the mouths of creeks, creek channels, main lake flats, and humps with deep water all around them … you name it.

See what I mean? There are a lot of ifs associated with bass fishing almost any time of the year, but summer bassing seems tougher because the weather conditions wreak havoc on your physical stamina. Sometimes bass will be chasing schools of shad or minnows … really BIG bass … in the middle of the day. If you're ill-prepared for the heat … not enough water to drink, no hat on your head, no sunscreen for those exposed areas of your body, and not enough clothing to keep you from being fried to a crisp … you're concentration just isn't what it should be.

I thought you might be interested in what the bass were eating at this time last year … the year before that … and the year before that. Since these statistics come primarily from tournament write-ups, you'll very seldom see anything about a topwater bite. That doesn't mean that fish weren't caught on topwater lures, but most often tournaments are won on the baits described here.

July, 2001
· 1-Oz. Camo & Black/Brown/Amber Jigs w/Green/Black or Watermelon/Chartreuse Craws
· Texas rigged Green/Pumpkin Craws & Black/Blue Tubes.
· Firetiger 30+ Crankbaits
(All of these were fished from 15-18 feet, primarily on the edges of the grass.)
· Carolina-rigged green/pumpkin lizards & redbug worms (on main lake flats).

July, 2000 (This is when the current lake record was caught - 15+ pounds!)
· 1-Oz. Camo, Black/Blue, Pumpkin/Chartreuse Jigs w/Watermelon, Black/Blue, or Green Pumpkin Craws.
· Texas-rigged Green Pumpkin Craws & Wacky-rigged Red/Black Fleck worms.
(All of these were fished from 15-18 feet, primarily on the edges of the grass.)
· Carolina-rigged 10" Tequila worms, Watermelon lizards, Black worms, Watermelon Brush Hogs, & Redbug Ring Fries.
· Crawfish Mudbugs, Tennessee Shad DD-22s.
(Most of these seem to have come from northlake ridge drops & creek points; 8 feet or deeper.)

July, 1999
· 1-Oz. Black/Blue & Black/Brown/Amber Jigs w/Black/Blue & Green Pumpkin Craws.
· Texas-rigged 8" & 10" Worms in Redbug, Watermelon/Red, & Plum.
· Texas-rigged Craws in Green Pumpkin & Watermelon.
· Tennessee Shad DD-22.
(All of these were fished from 10-15 feet deep on main lake grass edges or humps w/scattered grass.)

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is that these stats come from Toledo Bend only. I'm sure you noticed the pattern and I'll bet if we check records further back, they'll be pretty much the same. The fact is, if you're fishing a tournament during this time of the year, plastics and jigs are the predominant big-fish lures. In general, bass on Toledo Bend seem to relate to the grass, especially during the summer. Also, unless you stumble across a wad of good fish holding in a tight spot, the bites will be far and few between.

Tournament Anglers … The best advice I can give here is to cover lots of water. Concentrate on every cast and stay in contact with the lure. Keeping yourself cool … hydrated and sun off your face … helps a lot. When you catch a fish, be sure to cover that area thoroughly. More often than not, if you're fishing isolated clumps of grass or humps and catch a fish in a spot, there will be more.

Tackle Tip:
How and where do you store your hooks? If you're like me, they're in packages all over the boat or they're all jumbled together in one box. We recently discovered the "Hook Organizer" and it's wonderful! The cards adjust for all sizes of hooks, keeping them separated, and the labels allow you to organize your hooks for quick and accurate hook changes. If you'd like to give them a try, you can contact Hook-It Fishing Products @ 1-800-476-5940. Tell them Sue sent you!

· The Lake Area Lady Anglers are proud to announce the winner of their May 25th Rod & Reel Raffle drawing. Congratulations to Freddie Boswell from New Llano, LA! Thanks to everyone who participated in the raffle. Maybe you'll win next time!
· The Lady Anglers are also proud to announce that their 2001 Top 4 team finished in 4th place at the recent WBFA Affiliate Club Championship at Lake Fork, TX. Representing the club were Sue Crochet, Tommie Domingue, Liz Lewis, Sharron Stone, and Margaret West (Alternate). Good going girls!

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