Lakecaster Online

Fishing & Hunting Texas
by Wade Middleton

The dog days of summer are upon us and without doubt this time of the year leaves many an angler scratching his or her heads. In fact many a fisherman doesn't even venture out on the water when the temperatures start to reach 100 degrees. Let's all face it when the locusts are singing in the trees the feeling of cold air blasting onto your face from your air conditioner is often much enticing than the thought of fishing all day without a bite. As for me personally I'll admit as well to not being much of a hot weather bass fisherman. More often than not when it comes to fishing during the dog days you'll typically you'll find me on the coast somewhere drowning shrimp or croakers chasing speckled trout. However over the past couple of years I've come to understand that by spending some time looking and not casting you can catch bass in big numbers during the dog days.

By looking I mean you have to find where the bass are to catch bass at any time of the year and in the summer that typically means looking deep. Now that being said I'm convinced that some fish live shallow all year long but in the summer I feel more live deep than do shallow. That being said lets look at how to turn the dog days of summer into the rod bending days of summer. First off you have to find where a location that is holding fish and since we are looking deep that means using electronics. I can recall day spent a couple years back in August fishing with touring pro Kelly Jordan where we didn't even make a cast until we'd visited several spots and idled over each of them while doing nothing but studying our electronics. Finally after finding a slight rise on the bottom that showed those tell tale arches of fish that were relating to the bottom we tossed out a marker and backed off a long cast away, what followed was a lesson in fishing in the summer that I haven't forgotten.

The temperature that day was over 100 and had been for many days in a row. The part of Texas we were fishing was in one of it's extended periods without rain and the locusts were the only thing moving. And to break conventual wisdom we didn't even unload the boat until it was mid day. The bottom line was we spent the next three hours catching fish after fish off our one tiny spot in the lake. How did we do this? First off as I mentioned earlier we had spent lots of time looking before we ever made a cast. What we found were fish that were relating to something different. In this case it was a slight rise in the bottom. The fish we found on our electronics were holding near the bottom along with large schools of shad. What does this mean? Well, to me that means these fish were active and in a feeding zone that Kelly and I could present baits properly to. During our search we had looked at several other spots that had fish nearby but those fish were either suspended off the key structure or above it where we could not properly present our baits. Our style of fishing that day was to first off toss a Carolina Rig out (that day we used 1 OZ weight with a bead and three foot leader using both a lizard and a fry) on occasion we'd also crank a deep diving crankbait over the same spot. The end result was 40 plus fish with quite a few doubles.

What do you need to do this? First off good electronics are a must! For those of you that have trouble seeing your electronics due to sun glare (which if it's 100 plus will happen) check out the new color Garmins I've been playing with a pair of them and you can see the screen in direct sunlight from anywhere on your boat. The first I have on my console and it's a combination GPS and depth finder so that when I find one of these off shore hot spots I can save it and find it again while looking at what's happening underneath the water. >From there I have a Garmin 320C up on the bow. It's an all color screen with multiple features one of which allows me to zoom in to the key depth area and get a feel for exactly what's going on below so that I can accurately position my boat nearby by bout not on top of the fish holding structure. Remember that during the dog days make yourself spend a couple of hours looking before you make a cast so that you can find new spots to compliment your old ones. That time spent looking will pay off with more fishing spots and soon you'll forget the sounds of the locusts in the trees and the fact the temperature is over a 100 because you'll be setting the hook again!

Wade Middleton is the host of Fishing and Hunting Texas that airs to over 20 million households weekly on a combination of networks to include FOX Sports, ABC, NBC, CBS, WB, UPN and others. For more information you can e-mail Wade at WadeMiddleton@aol.com.

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