Lakecaster Online

Of Bass & Gals
By: Sue Crochet

Second only to spring, this is my absolute favorite time of year to be outdoors. Cooler temperatures make strenuous activity a lot more comfortable and all of nature gets pretty frisky. Although I've already taken two deer since rifle season opened, the rut has just started here and I'm looking forward to sitting on my stand in the next few weeks, waiting for a big buck to make his move.

Bass fishing on Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn has picked up quite a bit, as well. Toledo Bend is approximately 7 feet low and has been pretty low for a couple of months now. Creek channels, drains, and humps/ridges close to deep water have been the pattern and this shouldn't change much. On Sam Rayburn, current reports indicate that the bass are beginning to position themselves in these same types of areas. The key is to find where the baitfish are located.

On my last fishing trip on Toledo Bend, the spinner bait proved to be more productive than it had been in a very long time for me. I positioned my boat on points of the grass beds at Indian Mounds in approximately 10 - 15 feet of water. I would throw my spinner bait close to the visible edges of the grass, wind my reel quickly for a couple of turns, them slow the lure down so that it "slow rolled" all the way to the boat.

Granted, I get excited every time a fish hits any lure that I'm using, but I can't remember the last time I had so much fun catching fish on a spinner bait. The challenge was that sometimes they'd hit it so hard you thought you had a monster, and the next time they'd just grab it and swim along, so that the bite was barely detectable. The key at these times was to be aware that your spinners were no longer turning. What fun!

Another great lure at this time of the year is the crank bait. This could be anything from a lipless Rat-L-Trap to a deep-diving lure. However, I would start with shallow to medium-running lures, since the fish are not really deep just yet. Recently, Rick Clunn won a Bassmaster's event on Sam Rayburn and he reported that he was using a spinner bait and crank bait to catch most of his fish. He also reported that he was catching his fish in and near the mouth of a major creek channel. Imagine that!

One important thing to remember when heading to the lake during the winter months is that you can never have enough clothes with you. As I've said before, it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. There's nothing more frustrating than to be uncomfortable while you're fishing, and this will definitely affect the way you fish. This is especially true in a tournament situation when you want to be in your absolute best form.

Ladies … our husbands/significant others (in general) don't get as cold as we do. So don't let them talk you out of taking enough clothes. You may go out to fish mid-afternoon and temperatures are mild, but as the sun starts setting, things chill rather quickly on the water. Bass boats these days have plenty of storage, so take whatever you feel you need to make sure you're comfortable for that late-evening boat run.

Just because the temperatures are cooler doesn't mean the sun cannot be damaging to your skin, and cold wind makes matters worse. Be sure to protect your face, first with a good sunscreen and moisturizer, then with some sort of facemask when running the boat. Good sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays and the wind are a must. I keep a tube of lip balm in my pocket and replenish it throughout the day. Guys … forget the macho man attitude and remember that dry skin and blistered lips are just as unattractive on you as it is on a woman!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and that your Christmas is equally as blessed. Until 2003, God bless and good fishin'.

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