Fayette County Fishing Report

May/June/July 2003


            Happy summer everyone! As I sit down to write these I always worry about writing the same thing year after year, after all, summer patterns are summer patterns. Last year our spring lasted far longer than expected. Well into June the fish were still shallow and we threw a Lucky Craft LV-500 all day. Those lipless baits can really catch fish. I prefer to use the American Shad or Aurora Shad patterns. Will that work this year? I plan on playing that tune hard until the fish move deep. If I could tell you exactly when that would be…well, I could win a lot of tournaments.

            All summer long I will start fishing with a white buzzbait or a Yellow Magic popping bait on the secondary points. I have found great success there until the sun hits the water. I am working them over top of about 3-5 feet. Which one I choose usually depends on the wind. If it is chopping the water up then I throw the buzzbait. When it is calmer I work the popping bait very slowly.

            After the sun comes up, I will stick around a bit throwing a wacky worm or Bass Pro Shops Stick-O. Watermelon/red works well in both cases. The past few months June bug has also produced. Finally before I head deeper, I will throw Rapala DT-10 in the Shad colors and see if a few on them are still hanging around in about 10 feet. The DT-10 (and the 16 for that matter) goes straight to the bottom and will stay there through most of the retrieve. Most other baits pendulum down and back and are only in the strike zone for a few seconds. The lake has stayed high this spring and if it continues that way (totally at the whim of the LCRA) the grass should begin to grow fairly well. It usually goes not much deeper than 10 feet for some reason but if you can find some grass, you will find some fish.

            Last summer, I spent 90% of my time fishing in about 15 feet of water on the offshore humps. You can locate these on a good map of the lake. Many are along the marker buoy line. I usually start with a Rapala DT-16 on XPS fluorocarbon 10-pound line. If the fish are biting aggressively you will get bit quickly. Remember, if you feel it hitting the bottom slow down even more. Make sure you are using a long rod and a reel that has a slow retrieve. I use an American Rodsmith HGCM7. It is a 7-foot medium cranking rod. Extremely light so if you get into them, the rod will not wear you out.

            If the fish do not respond to that, it is time for the Carolina rig. I have found that numerous colors work this time of year and that you need to experiment. I throw a Baby Brush Hog in watermelon/red, or a Chompers Salty Sinker in Salt and Pepper. Some other baits have also produced: a Zoom Trick Worm in watermelon/red, a Zoom Centipede in Chartreuse/Pepper and a new Bass Pro Shops creature bait, the Hairy Hogg  in watermelon/red. Last year’s experiences told me to fish the rig VERY slowly. The bites usually came when I was going over top of what little cover/structure there is down there.

            One final technique to consider: fishing the deep trees. I picked this up from some of the folks on Fork. Throwing a Carolina rig over top of the trees that top out in just about 15 feet can produce some vicious strikes. Same baits, except I eliminate the Brush Hog and Hairy Hogg as I worry they can get hung easier. Make sure to use a scent on your bait. Even if you don’t put stock in them as fish catching factor, it will oil up your bait and help it move through the limbs in an easier manner.

Remember to apply sunscreen before you hit the lake. I use Coppertone Shade in the alcohol gel, SPF 30. Just make sure you wash your hands! A hat is a must along with light colored, lose fitting clothing. Drink plenty of water and know your limits. A life jacket is also mandatory. No one is immune to an accident. Wear SOSpenders, they are light and easy to wear. A friend of mine had his life saved by one of these when he went into the water and it brought him right up!

Don’t forget I teach bass classes at the Bass Pro Shops on alternate Sunday mornings. If you are interested in attending, call the store to get a schedule (281) 644-2200. The classes range from Basic Bass fishing and Advanced Bassin’ to Summer Bass and even some that are on specific lakes and how to fish them.