By: Michelle Armstrong
Our world has changed. I used to have the great outdoors mostly, all to myself. But there’s a new virus in town, and it’s caused all kinds of “insiders” to become “outsiders”. Though phrases like “social distancing” are now part of our everyday vocabulary, I’ve had to learn to share my wide open spaces. These “newcomers” don’t know or understand “our” out of doors rules. We just have to be patient with one another and hope that this too shall pass. In the meantime, I’m practicing patience with humans and an attempt at loving mankind. I hope that most are quick learners and open to kind suggestions of just how things out here are done. So, for now, I am practicing social distance (S.D.) times 100.
Luckily, Bass haven’t heard about the pandemic so they are carrying on “business as usual.” Though it is August and it seems the fish are social distancing, they merely just need a little extra enticement.
Typically, this is the time of year one has to learn patience, persistence, and to slow down. Until now, the Bass have been crazy busy, prespawning, spawning, and post spawning. Now, they are tired and need a cool break. They head for shade and protection in forms of brush piles, docks, and the deep side of a point. The reaction itself can be slow but the bite is fast and furious. Often times so fast you didn’t even have time to react. So be at the ready, for the “bump” but more so, for the ever so subtle, twitch of your line.
The most versatile bait for these situations is a jig. More specifically, a Higher Power 1/2oz jig with a Bizz Bait Killer Kraw trailer. Your best bet will be to stick with a natural colored jig skirt like green pumpkin with a green pumpkin candy trailer for a little flair. If you find yourself around North Carolina’s infamous red clay banks, rest assured there are orange/red crawfish lurking around. A quick change in your Kutter Kraw traiker using the color Embers and Ash, and voila, you are matching the hatch.
Be decisive in your casts. Bass are often hunkered down tight in brush, or shade and are not going to chase food very far. Slow and steady hops and twitches are key to getting Bass to react. Stay in contact with your bait. Keep a tight line as the jig is falling. Most times you’ll not even feel a bite, you’ll just notice the line dart or stop and move away. This is your clue to set the hook. Keep in mind, if you find schooling bass they will stay in this same area for a few weeks. You can use your same jig and swim it through the school with the same results of other moving baits.
I prefer to set the hook using a Powell Endurance 734 with 20lb Bass Pro Shops Excel Flouro line spooled on a Pro Qualifier reel. This set up gives me the backbone and confidence of landing quality summer fish.
Let’s face it, our times right now are unpredictable. Mr. Bass often is, too. But we can predict that time on the water is good for one’s soul. So, get out there often, cleanse your soul… Welcome the newcomers, wash your hands, keep your distance, be kind to others and go catch fish.