Lakecaster Online

WOMEN & THE OUTDOORS
By: Sue Crochet

May is on the way and so is warmer weather; or should I say hotter weather? Whichever is the case, the spawn will be mostly over, except for maybe a few stragglers at the very southernmost ends of lakes Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn. Bass will be moving into deeper water and summer fishing patterns will come into play.

Until the surface water temperatures begin rising into the 80's, I'd say that your chances of catching bass on virtually any lure in your tackle arsenal are pretty decent. However, as water temps warm, lures that can achieve and maintain the various depths that bass move into during warmer weather will dictate lure selection.

Topwater lures will be very effective in the early morning and late evening hours, when the sun is not so penetrating. Bass will still move up shallow during these times, chasing after minnows and shad, as well as flying and swimming insects. I have a couple of preferences, such as the Zara Spook and soft jerk baits, such as the Reaction Wacky Worm. However, there are many types of topwater lures, so you should definitely fish what you are most comfortable with.

As the sun comes up, I will usually switch to some type of worm rig. If fishing near heavy grass, I prefer to use a Texas-rigged worm. I'll usually start with something at least 10 inches in length, but use a light slip sinker for a slower fall, then downsize the type and size of lure as the bite dictates. For instance, if the fish are not hitting the lure unless it's on bottom, then you might want to use a heavier weight in order to get the lure to bottom quicker. If you are getting bites, but can't seem to get a good hook-set, then you might want to try something with a smaller profile, such as a shorter worm, Centipede, or Gator Pup.

In areas where the grass is sparse, or on long, sloping points, I prefer to use a Carolina-rigged type of plastic. My preference is usually a ½-ounce weight and a couple of glass beads above my leader, using a Centipede in whatever color seems to be doing the best at that time. I like using a lighter weight if I'm fishing close to timber or other structure, as well as in shallower water, which allows a softer presentation and doesn't seem to get hung up as easily.

There are certain colors that seem to be more prevalent on both Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend than others. For instance, shades of brown and green (pumpkin, green/pumpkin, watermelon) with a little red thrown in now and then, seem to be more effective on Sam Rayburn. Whereas on Toledo Bend, shades of green and blue (watermelon, plumapple, plum), also with a little red thrown in now and then, are very effective. However, you just never know when some off-the-wall color will attract that lunker of a lifetime, so experiment a little!

It's time for me to get on my soapbox again, and it probably won't be the last time. Warmer weather means more sunburn and the possibility of heat-related illnesses and skin cancer. Without elaborating, I just wanted to remind you all that plenty of water in the boat, at the beach, anywhere you'll be in direct sunlight for several hours, is a must. Any time you're exerting yourself in the heat, you should hydrate yourself at least every 15 minutes the entire time. Just because you're not thirsty doesn't mean that your body does not need water.

Many sunscreen manufacturers claim that their products will stay on all day. However, experience has taught me that taking the time to reapply face, neck, ear, and lip protection often throughout the day is a must. When we sweat, we rub. We also lick our lips more often than we realize, which only adds to the sun's ability burn. Wearing a cap or some type of head covering that keeps the sun off these areas is helpful, as well. This also keeps the top of your head from burning.

If you've ever had any type of sun-related skin irritation (rash, cancer, blisters, etc.), keeping those areas covered at all times when in the sun is a must. First of all, how can you focus on your fishing if you're uncomfortable? Secondly, there is no amount of money in the world that can totally repair your skin once the damage is done.

Until next month, good fishing and God bless!

The Lake Area Lady Anglers will be holding their May 15th tournament at Lake Livingston. For more information, you may contact me at (337) 217-9283 or e-mail me at cbasskitten2@cs.com for more information. We'd love to have you!


LALA 2003 Top 4
Left to Right: Sarah Busby, Sandy Jeane, Liz Lewis, Tommie Domingue

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