Summertime Favorites

I love fishing in the summer. There is something about targeting bass in deep water on ledges or brush piles and really gets my blood pumping.  So far, since the water has warmed up and the fish have pushed off shore, I have had some good tournaments.  In three FLW sanctioned events I have finished in third on Lake Eufaula, 18th on Lake Chickamauga, and seventh on Kentucky Lake. In these events I have used mostly my three favorite summertime off-shore baits.
Mister Twister Hang-10 Worm
It’s hard to be the versatility of a big worm. The Mister Twister Hang 10 is a ten inch worm with an extra wide ribbon tail. I fish the Hang 10 at every speed possible. I will rig it up on a 3/4 ounce Nichols Bulldozer wobble head and fish it everywhere from dead-sticked, hopping it along the bottom, or even swimming it like a swimbait. Sometimes I might fish it at all three speeds on the same cast.  The trick is to vary the presentation until the fish show you how they want it presented. I will drag it uphill, downhill or even parallel to a ledges that I know hold fish.
For the Hang 10 I use the aforementioned Bulldozer head and 15-pound YoZuri Hybrid Fluorcarbon all rigged on a Phenix Maxim 7’3” heavy action rod.
Nichols Magnum Spoon
The Nichols Ben Parker Magnum Spoon has definitely been a strong player on both major tours this year. I can’t say for certain, but I think it would be hard to find a professional angler who doesn’t have many in his boat, and at least one tied on this time of year especially on deep water ledge and brush pile types of fisheries.
At 8-inches the Magnum Spoon is big so it takes a stout rod to fish it effectively. I use a Phenix 7’6” Recon rod for the 2-ounce bait and 15 to 20-pound YoZuri Hybrid Fluorocarbon line.
I fish the Magnum Spoon with a flutter presentation, throwing it out and letting it flutter to the bottom. Then ripping it back up and letting it flutter back to the bottom again. I repeat the process all the way back to the boat.
YoZuri 3DB Deep Crank
Of course nobody should leave the dock without a deep diving crankbait this time of year. For me the choice is simple the YoZuri 3DB Deep Crank.  I use the deep crank to cover water and catch active fish. It’s an excellent alternative to the 10” worm and the Magnum Spoon – it digs deep and has wobbling-rolling action that generates reaction strikes. What sets the YoZuri apart is not only the wobbling-rolling action, but also the 3D Prism finish and Wave Motion Technology.
For the deep crank I use a 7’6” heavy action Phenix X13 composite crankbait rod with 12-pound YoZuri Hybrid Fluorocarbon line for the Deep Crank.
Added Tips
Don’t waste time fishing dead areas. I use my Garmin electronics to find fish grouped up before I ever make a cast. Once I’ve spotted the bass I will present each of the baits at different angles. The fish set up to feed in a particular direction and figuring that out is a key to success.  Fish the baits uphill, downhill, parallel to the ledge or brushpile and figure out how each group of fish wants the bait presented.
Once a particular bait’s effectiveness slows down, don’t move spots right away instead switch to one of the other techniques. A lot of times I will start with the flutter spoon and then switch to the deep crank, and finish it off with the 10” worm.  Other times I will start with the worm and once I get the school feeding I will switch to the deep crank or flutter spoon. The trick is every school can be different and sometimes the same school of fish can change overnight.
One other thing I will add – use scent. I like to use Bass Bomb spray on my baits. This year at Kentucky Lake I found that it made a big difference. I wasn’t applying it during the first day of practice and didn’t get many bites. On the second day I added the Bass Bomb scent and I couldn’t get them to stop eating it. I used it all tournament and went on to a 7th place finish, but it could have been even better if I didn’t lose a couple of key fish.
Here’s the thing about summertime ledge and brush pile fishing. Finding the fish is the easy part, especially with new age electronics like the ones I use from Garmin. The key to success is figuring out which bait and how to present it – that is the difference between fishing for them and blasting them. Start with the three techniques I outlined and figure out the best presentation for each school of fish you find, and summertime might be your favorite time to fish – like it is for me. Good Fishing Clent Davis

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