Still catching bass

Published 2:33 pm Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Six months and one in the year 2010 is where we are and well on the way to the completion of the eighth month.

The heat has been intense over the past several weeks, and it seems that we will see intense heat for the next month or more.

Fishing has slowed quite a bit during the last two or three weeks because of the heat, but that doesn’t mean the fish have quit biting. For the folks that can stand to be out in the heat, the fish will give them a reason for going. Maybe not every time, but enough times to keep the freezer full of fish.

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I have seen a few good catches of panfish this week and believe it or not several good bass. Not a good stringer of bass, but folks catching one big bass on a trip. Women folks, kids and men catching bass up to 12 pounds. A 12-pounder is a big fish and very few folks have ever caught a bass of that size or larger. But the only way to catch one of 10 pounds or better is to put in the hours, especially if you want to catch one with artificial bait.

It seems to be easier if you use a big shiner, but even then you can come home without getting a bite. These fish I have seen this week have not been caught on live bait, but worms and plugs. Worms are more fun as you have to start the retrieve from the bottom of the area usually, unless the bass hits the worm as it falls. When you get one in 15 feet of water and fight her all the way up not knowing what size it is until the last minute, it can make your heart beat extra fast.

Regardless of the type of bait a big bass when hung will usually head to deep water. As a rule they don’t hang around in shallow water and if there they have come in from deeper water and will head back when they decide they are hung. Many times that is when the bass and the fisherman are separated from each other. On that initial surge to get away from what has it, the fish will break the line and especially so if the drag is a little tight. We as fishermen tend to have the drag too tight most times and a big fish has a chance to get away because of that oversight. It is a lot easier to tighten the drag when fighting a fish than it is loosen the drag. Keep that in mind and you may save the next big fish that gets on your line.

It has been my experience that the last half of July and the month of August is an excellent time to catch a big bass. They lie down there in deep water and don’t move around much due to the hot water. They also don’t have to eat much, but will hardly ever give up an easily caught meal.

If you will bump a worm along the bottom close by where that big bass is waiting for an easily caught meal, she will most probably take your offering. I’ll bet you will hardly feel the strike and it will fell like something is just holding your bait impeding its progress. If you so much as detect that feeling, wind down pulling the slack from your line and set the hook. The worst thing that could happen is you will get hung on a root and lose your worm, hook and lead. The best thing that could happen is you will hook into a big bass, and even if it is not a really big fish, you have caught a good bass and are keeping sharp.

It is when you have fished all day without so much as a strike that you find that you are not sharp and will let a fish hit your lure and fail to realize it and let the fish feel you and turn your bait loose. This can easily happen when you have fish since daylight and finally get your first strike around four o’clock in the afternoon.

If that is the signal that the fish are finally turning on, great, but it just might be the only hit of the day. I definitely would go back the next day. Only I would just fish the afternoon. If that is when the fish wanted to bite, then I would just offer her the bait at that time.