Over the past 9 months world famous Lake Jackson has had its ups and downs…literally. With abnormally large amounts of rainfall a year ago, water levels were pushed above normal pool even flooding new pasture that sent bass into unchartered territory. Once we got through spring, lack of rainfall dropped lake levels quickly exposing all the grass that had been growing underwater for the past few months. This made not just fishing but navigation near impossible in a fully rigged bass boat. Even the smaller tiller model boats struggled to cross hundreds of yards of hydrilla, lily pads and other non-native aquatic vegetation. Fast forward to now, and the lake is once again back to normal with only scattered vegetation, as mother nature does it’s yearly thing and helps kill off the excess grass and pads. This, combined with cooler temps, has bass biting very well and easy to get to. Many areas of the lake where bass and bait would thrive beneath a thick layer of green and purple grasses is now easy to get to and fish with a variety of baits. Here are a few tips and tactics for catching bass this month.
First let’s start with the morning bite. Even with water temps into the low 60’s upper 50’s bass will feed early and will likely hit a vibrating bait like a rattle trap or bladed jig. Get an early start as this bite doesn’t last very long…usually the first hour of the morning. Look for bait flickering on the surface or beneath with your graph.
Next, would be that time between the morning bite and when the water warms just a bit. Try flipping a small creature bait on lighter line into the scattered grass or lily pad edge in the same areas you just caught fish. Bass won’t migrate much they just move into more comfortable surroundings and here, that’s vegetation. Not only does it hold warmth, it also holds bait. If flipping doesn’t do the trick, try rigging a natural colored plastic worm weightless and casting to the edge of targets letting fall slowly through the water column, once it bottoms out give it just a little jiggle; if you get no bite, reel in and repeat.
As the water warms around noon, the next thing you’ll want to try is swimming a worm or paddle tail soft plastic near the surface. As the water warms, bass will be on the move just like the baitfish will. It’s amazing how the lake will come alive during this period. Later in the day as the sun starts to fall bait will pull back into the thicker grass and you should follow. Then right before dark you may see bait and bass feeding just because it’s what they do. Low light conditions create the perfect scenario for an ambush.
Remember, nothing beats time on the water.