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Thinking bass, think frogs

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Curtis Butler

The Ellis County Press

As water temperatures warm up and the bass begin their spawn cycle, many bass anglers are throwing at the bedding fish. While this can work and provide a lot of success, many forget the fish in the heavy grass cover. This area can provide either satisfaction or frustration depending on the weather and water clarity. Warmer days with cloud cover can provide a solid top water bite. Cloudless skies can force you to rethink your plan. While grass provides some cover it will not provide enough to give consistent top water bite.

On semi or total overcast warm days, throw a weed less frog, such as a Spro or Stanley, over the grass. Any pocket even just a few centimeters wide can hold bass looking for an easy meal. Also look for lay downs and submerged logs to cast to. Any thing at or near the shoreline can be a place you want your frog to cover.

On bright sunny days try to find a shaded shoreline with breaks in the shadows so that direct sunlight hit’s the water close to the structure you are throwing to. Alternatively, change to a spinner bait or lip crank bait and fish the edges of the grass line. I strongly recommend throwing swim bait in this area as it can cover a large area of water quickly.

With the addition of a spinner blade can be very effective at catching large bass. While I hear of the next greatest lure coming in from parts unknown all the time I have seen the old tried and true methods out fish them. I still chose a frog when the conditions allow. If they do not I chose a jig or spinner bait. It all comes down to conditions.

Targeting bedding fish can have its own rewards this time of year. Throwing a shaky head worm or Texas rigged lizard can provide the strong bite. Male bass will attack anything that approaches the nest. If it looks like it will eat the eggs or fry the males will pound it. If the larger females have not moved to the beds then target them in 10 to 20 feet of water adjacent to the spawning areas. If they have spawned, look to areas with deep-water escape or travel routes holding in five to 10 feet of water. This will allow the larger bass to move in and out of feeding areas easily.

If you go and target bedding fish, remember to release the larger fish. They are the females. In addition, the preservation of any lake or pond is the reproduction of the fish. Lake Athens is the last lake I fished. The bass are not on the beds yet but the big fish are cruising the deeper points looking to move up. The smaller bass are starting to move up but have yet to establish solid bedding areas. There are bass being taken off of boat docks and casting decks. Black plastic worms with red tails are said to be the most effective lures.

Shad colored crank baits are working for the fish on deeper points.

The water color has been off color due to recent rains. If we get another snap of cold weather the fishing will stagnate on the lakes and if the bass have not spawned yet it could push the spawn back to the next lunar cycle. Lets hope for warm weather and west winds.

I will consider a question and answer session from readers to appear in my last article of the month depending on the support this column gets. So send me an email with your question to k5cwb@hotmail.com.


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