July 12, 2012 11:34:00 AM
The summer heat is here.
These are times to devise a game plan to catch fish. More than one rod is the best way for a weekend angler to enjoy his or her time on the water without spending the day cutting off lures and tying on several others.
The sunny conditions drive fish deep to find shade. The baitfish have moved into the main channel areas, which force fish to follow so they have a food source close by.
Lures for catching these finicky fish can change by the hour. An angler might start off catching the fish on a crankbait in the morning, but as the sun rises and the heat sets in, the slower approach will be the thing to catch fish.
Baitfish are active at the beginning of the day, so crankbaits will be your ticket. Once the fish pull off to deeper water, an angler should have a Texas-rigged plastic worm or lizard on one rod, a finesse worm on another rod, and a jig for working grass and cover.
A finesse worm presentation is better used on a spinning outfit that most of us call a shakey head. This is a spinning combination rigged with light monofilament or fluorocarbon line in the 10-pound range with a lead head jig. Zoom makes two worms for this. One is the finesse worm that is approximately four inches long and comes in an array of colors. The other is a trick worm and comes in the same colors. It is six inches long and, like the finesse worm, is straight-tailed without any action. The only action to the lure is from the drop of the weight of the lead head jig and the action the angler gives it.
There are many ways to use the shakey head lure. Remember fish are finicky in the heat, so the slower the better. I have a friend who drags a shakey head lure so slow it could take a couple of minutes to finish one cast. I hardly work the bait without shaking the rod tip to make the tail of the bait wave a little to the fish as it passes. This was how the lure was first introduced to the sport on the Coosa River in Alabama. The drag and shake approach has caught many spotted bass on the river, and once the pro's caught on, the approach has been used across the country.
I don't think there is a wrong way to fish the shakey head lure, but I know one day you will find fish will want the lure shaken. Other days, they won't touch it unless it is crawled past them.
n Thirty-six boats participated last week in the Thursday Night tournaments, directed by Tony Parson. Chase Harris and Brad Cooper took first place with 8.27 pounds. Blake Koenigsberger and Robby Tilley finished second (6.83), Stephen Williams and Mike Ayers took third (6.76), Ricky Brock and Larry Gardner were (6.72), and Bradley Sartain took fifth with one fish that weighed 5.03 pounds. The fish also won the Big Bass pot.
Robert Jacobs and Josh Bigham rounded out the top six with 5 pounds.
All are welcome to participate in the weekly tournament. For more information, contact Parson at 386-9629.