BassWestUSA - May/June 2009, Page 73

one color is not always the best due to differing light condi- tions. When my partner and I are looking for fish we will wear two different lens colors as experience has shown to us at times, one works better than the other.

3. Looking for bass is relatively easy when they are suspended under a dock or lazily cruising just under the surface. The game changes when you are peering into 4 to 10 feet of water or cover. Sometimes you will see the whole fish (bonus), sometimes a part of the fish is moving, or maybe just the shadow of the fish on the bottom. Last but not least is you may just see a dark spot or a light spot, not a fish, but a spot on the bottom that is a different color than the rest of the bottom. You will be surprised by how many times a cast to a spot produces a fish that you did not see.

know, the down side of swim baits is the annoying habit of bass following. If bass are following your bait when you are looking for them, then you have turned a negative into a positive. A bait that runs shallow in the water column works best for this such as an Osprey or BBZ. Mark your mental map or waypoint and return later from a distance confident that you are fishing in an area that fish are using. These are not the only ways to find them when they are tough to see but at least it might get you thinking differ- ently about those swirls and follows in this season.

My observations of some of the most successful com- petitive anglers on Clear Lake include the fact that they rely on two things during this time of year, their ability to see bass and a great set of trolling motor batteries. What I have learned during this season is that if you are fishing you are not covering water, really covering water. Go to an area of the lake where you believe bass spawn. Put the trolling mo- tor down, crank up the knob to 60 or 70 per cent and start looking. Fishing at this point just slows down the process. I mess this part up all the time because I really like to catch fish! I will get into an area with a lot of visible fish and guess what, I just have to pick off one, then it is two, then it is three and now I just forgot the objective of the mission, to locate areas with good concentrations for a trip with a client or a practice session for a tournament. This time of year you will notice a number of exceptional anglers covering huge amounts of water in a relatively short time just looking.

coVer Water to Find Fish

To locate fish in some of our sloughs and back water ar- eas where the water is not as clear, we can locate fish with frogs. We keep it simple, Snag Proof’s Bobby’s Perfect Frog or River2Seas’ Bully Wa 65 in Scott Greene’s black with a yellow head or basic white. Males es- pecially will come up and either swirl at or eat frogs that are too close to the area they are pro- tecting. If you are new to a lake or on a piece of a lake you are unfamiliar with, you can pretty much figure out some concen- trated areas by watching bass react to the overhead annoy- ance. Another way to find fish in water that is not clear enough to see the bottom is to fish a swim bait around the cover. As we all

coVering Water YoU can’t see throUgh

When approaching backwater areas and dead end sloughs especially, pay attention to the details. Fish one slough from the mouth to the very end. Chances are that you will get most of your bites in one section of the water. Divide the stretch of water into 3 lengths, front third, middle third, and back third. If all of your bites came in the first third of the slough and the water depth was consistent, jump to the next slough and spend your time in the first third of it. Sure, you may miss a few opportunities in the middle and back third but you are probably spending most of your time in the most productive water that day. Just remember that depending on the season, and sometimes just the time of the day, the most productive third may change. This year it looks like the spawning season on Clear Lake could easily stretch out through July. Last year it did, and this year seems to be running about 2 to 3 weeks be- hind to a normal year. Hopefully I have given you some tips to run with and another aspect of your fishing toolbox to work on this sea- son. If you ever have any questions or comments, feel free to drop me an email at or check out our website, Keep an eye out for those little green fish! BW

Using YoUr time eFFectiVelY

May/June 2009