The ways Icaught bass in the Top Six might help you this spring. Mid April in Georgia has been somewhat weird this year, with much warmer weather then normal in March and colder now. The water temperature the first weekend in March at Clark's Hill was 58 - 64 degrees, exactly what I found in the tournament April 14 - 18!
Many bass bedded in mid-March on the full moon and they were on a post spawn pattern during the tournament. Many more bass went on the bed during our tournament since there was a full moon on April 18th. A lot of folks sight fished for them, but had limited luck in the high winds and cloudy water.
Friday and Saturday it was cold, rainy and windy, with wind mostly out of the east, and unusual direction here. Sunday was foggy half a day and then sunny and hot. Monday was sunny and warm but with high winds, mostly out of the west, as normal. Tuesday morning was sunny with strong wind out of the west, and the wind increased and shifted to north before noon. All the weather changes made bass difficult to pattern, or at least gave us a good excuse!
I caught three of my 8 bass in the tournament on a #8 natural colored Shadrap. I find the #8 a good choice on many lakes like Clark's Hill and Eufaula since it is a little bigger, digs a little deeper and offers the bigger bass a larger meal. I fish the natural color in clear water, black and silver in water that has a little color, and go to the crawfish color if the water is stained or I am fishing rocks or clay where crawfish hide.
When I fish a crankbait, I never cast it out and reel it in. I use a start and stop retrieve with many jerks of the rod tip to make the lure flare and dart around. I think this makes it look like an easy meal to a bass.
I fished a Zoom 6 inch lizard during practice, and had limited luck. I rigged it on a half-ounce lead above a swivel and two beads, then tied a three foot leader with a 2.0 hook at the end. I dipped the tail of the lizards in either chartruese or red dye. I have been using JJ's Magic, a dip and dye wiith a strong garlic smell, that is made locally. I dipped watermelon and green pumpkin lizards in the chartruese and pumpkinseed in the red. He also makes blue, which means you can get any color you want by mixing those three colors. He also makes a clear dip that only adds the garlic smell.
Sunday night everybody was talking about green pumpkin, so I was digging thru my worms looking for more of them when I came across some green pumpkin Baby Brush Hogs made by Zoom. I decided to rig one on my lighter Carolina rig rod and leave the lizard on the second, heavier outfit.
The Baby Brush Hog is a strange looking critter. It has a round head like a worm but with two lizard-like legs about an inch back. An inch behind the little curly legs are two flat paddle legs about a half inch wide and an inch long. Between them the two curly tails extend back about three inches. When you move it, the legs and tails wiggle and the paddles flare. When it sinks, the paddles give it a more eratic action. I was dipping the tips of the tails in chartruese JJ's Magic.
Both days my partners asked for some of those baits, and I shared them. They seemed to work a little better, and one reason might have been they were a little different from what most people were using. I gave away a half dozen last week in my trivia contest, and that will be the prize starting Monday in a new contest.
The first bass I caught Monday and the fist two Tuesday hit the shadrap on shallow humps that broke the surface with the low water level. The second two Monday and the last four Tuesday all hit the Brush Hog in water around five feet deep. Wind blowing on points or islands seemed to help.
The details on my boat problem are less nice. There are two small bilge pumps that attach to tubes right at the transom of boat. They pump outside water into the live well when turned on. Soon aftet I got my Statos 295 in 1998, one of the tubes leaving the pump going to the livewell broke off. This allows outside water to run thru the pump into the boat. Last Monday the other one broke off. That sounds like poor design or equipment to me. Both times it happened in a Top Six and both times I was able to plug the intake hole in the transom.and still use the boat, but one livewell could not work at top efficiency.
Last year in the Top Six I finished 17th, and at Lake Seminole I caught most of my bass on a Shadrap. Two years ago at Eufaula I finished 28th, and that year I caught all my keepers on - a Shadrap! Guess I will always have one tied on!
Do you club fish? Go to the state tournament. Tell me about it. Do you have any comments to offer? You can also post information about it for others on my message board - you must register to post but can read the board as a guest. Also, if you have thoughts you want to share about this topic, let me know about it at email@example.com. for a "Fishtale" . Tell others what you like.
ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK -04/19/99 - Georgia Bass Federation Top Six
From despair to delight to disappointment in this tournament.
TWO YEARS AGO THIS WEEK - 04/20/98 - Bedding Bass
Bass can be caught while they are on the bed, but it is tough!
THREE YEARS AGO THIS WEEK! 04/21/97 - It's Time for Topwater
Tie on a topwater lure and get ready for some heart racing thrills. Bass, bream, stripers, and hybrids all will addict you to fishing on top.
Check out Coming Next Week - Next week's column topic, contest prize and new additions to the resources lists.