By: Larry W. Walthall
This week in all the rain, heat, humidity, high water and frontal systems people were still catching fish. Had a few pictures with some young boys catching fish on Lake Sardis and Lake Wister using Booyah boo bug. They were catching them fairly shallow. Lake Quachita is still producing good catches of bass, bream, bluegills, stripers and walleye. A lot of Kentucky bass are being caught on top water.
Now that summer is upon us lets look at how the sunlight will affect our fishing strategy.
An old saying is when the sun is low, fish on top.
Some of the lure selections might be a Zara Spook, Pop R, Tiny Torpedo or Buzz bait. These can be thrown a long way, especially over points and along creek channels. Two basic retrieves are useful for top water. Anglers can use a simple series of short hops and twitches, or a traditional “walk the dog” type retrieve. The key to a good top water fisherman is patience. This will bring more successful strikes than anything. I’ve been known to cast my lure out, set my rod down to get a drink only to come back, pick my rod up and that will make a small twitch on the lure and bang what a strike. Top water strikes are exciting and very vigorous. By being patient, and waiting until you feel the fish on the line, you will be driving the hooks home. You still may not land all of the fish that bite, but your hooking percentage will increase dramatically if you pause briefly before setting the hook. Many anglers have started using braided line for top water as it will not stretch and provides excellent hook setting qualities.
Then when the sun is high, fish down deep
A bright sun or when the sun is directly above you, fish tend to go deeper to get out of the sunrays. Now how deep is deep. I remember fishing a tournament in Arizona and on practice day a local angler told me the fish were shallow. So I started around structure 3 to 5 ft. It was rough getting a bite. I ran into the same angler at the local tackle store and we discussed his suggestion of fishing shallow. I told him I had found some good structure at 3 to 5 feet. He politely told me that shallow in that part of the country was anywhere from 20 to 25 feet. It depends on your terminology of shallow. In Arkansas 20 to 30 feet is a normal depth for deep. Lures here can vary from plastic worms, jigs and crank baits. Picking a color is dependent on many things. A few things to determine would be water clarity forge fish, and the type of surrounding structure. Hopefully you have a way to know the water temperature. A good fish locator with a built in temperature indicator would be recommended for locating this type of structure below. Learn how to use a locator and it is like money in the bank.
Another way for fish to move out of sunlight is heavy cover. This means fallen timber, good grass beds, rocks (boulders) boat docks or bridges. You have to be flexible. No matter which one of these you choose, you better have some good line. Dragging a fish out of one of these structures can be real tuff so your line needs to be tuff also. Use a powerful rod that will withstand the extracting of a nice fish out of heavy cover.
In the heat of summer choosing a spot is not where it makes you comfortable but where the fish can be located and caught.
A summer safety tip would be to make sure you have plenty of water, sunscreen and use a hat for shade. Hopefully we have given you some information that will be helpful in your summertime fishing trips. Whether you fish up on top or down below, you can have some outstanding summer bass opportunities.
We would like to see some pictures so if you have a picture that you would like to share, you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, call (479) 252-6351, and let them know you have a picture to submit or drop by 38 Town Square, Greenwood, AR. 72936 to drop it off.
Always Be Safe and enjoy OUTDOORS ARKANSAS