May/June/July 2001

Fayette County Fishing Report

May/June/June 2001

 

Well, the Spring rush is over, the fish are settling down as they begin to move into the summer pattern. May is a transitional month on Fayette while June and July are down right summer. Some people find this to be the toughest time of the year to catch fish on a power plant lake. While it may be tougher, it is not impossible and good days are to be had, if you approach the day correctly.

What can you expect in May? The answer…top water fishing! Now, everyone gets their heart a poundin’ when that big old bass hammers a bait on the surface. Early in the day, the bass will be using shallow cover to find an easy meal. The first fish I ever caught on Fayette was on a buzz bait fished over hydrilla (those were the days!). Remember, a trailer hook is a must! Bass hit a buzz bait out of anger and are either trying to kill or stun. Many times they will short strike and the trailer hook will save the day. I prefer a Gamakatsu 3/0 trailer on my buzz baits. If the fish misses both, simply put down your rod and throw a fluke or assassin in the boil and hold on! Remember on your hook sets that you must wait until you actually feel the fish before you set the hook. Many a good fish has been lost at the first sight of it busting the water.

This year, Bass Pro Shops introduced a new top water bait, the Top Knocker, and I love it. It is a relatively small but very chubby “slush” bait. You can walk the dog with it in a tight pattern or by pulling your rod tip down instead of sideways you can get it to dive and pop back up with a splash. And the rattles? It must have the largest and loudest rattle chamber in the business. The first time is used it on Fayette I caught four fish over 4 pounds in about 10 minutes. It is definitely worth a look. Other, more traditional, topwater baits will also produce: Chug Bugs and Pop Rs will do well when the water is calm.

Of course, after the sun is up in the sky, you need to look to your soft plastics. I like to throw a watermelon Zoom Fluke in the same areas I just fished with the tops. Then I move to the points and throw a Carolina rig with a watermelon red Baby Brush Hog.

Towards the end of the month the transition to summer will begin in earnest. The fish will be moving to the deeper humps and deep wood. There will still be some fish shallow but they will get hammered so hone your deep water fishing skills and your catch ratio should show it. Keep in mind that the sunfish and bluegills spawn around June in shallow sandy areas. Bass love a nice sunfish meal so find their beds and the look around for bass. Throw a spinnerbait or perch colored crankbait.

For you deep water enthusiasts, a Carolina rig is the place to start. Work the humps and deep breaks slowly. I use a Johnny Morris Carolina Rig rod spooled with 40# Spiderwire. My leader is 14# XPS fluorocarbon. In deep water, I believe the Spiderwire really pays off on the hook set. You need at least a ounce weight to get the bait down there quickly and because most days on Fayette you will have a south wind blowing off the damn.

As the month of June heats up, the top water bite will die a good bit. This is your clue to go deep and stay there.  Remember, fish caught in deep water have a hard time surviving the time it takes you to catch the fish, remove your hook, find your camera and pose for a few shots and kiss it good bye. Be gentle, work quickly and stress the fish as little as possible. Use your depth finder to locate schools of shad. Most of the shad on Fayette that “ball up” in the summer will hold at a particular depth regardless of where you find them so use your electronics to help you determine what depth to fish. Note their depth and then head for humps in that same depth. Once you have targeted a hump, use a marker as a frame of reference but do not throw it over your fish! Throw is off to the side. Its purpose not to mark where the fish are but to give you an idea of how to position your boat. Keep it out of your way while fishing these humps.

As June turns into July the bite really gets tough in the afternoon. Most people simply are not willing to tolerate the heat and the sun beating down for a few bites.  Concentrate on fishing the morning hours and then get out of the sun. Keep an eye out for schooling fish. They usually start over the creeks channels in the three major coves. I have been throwing 2 or 3 inch grubs on a 1/8 ounce jig head with good success. Remember, though it may be tough to do, you need to position your boat and cast into the wind. If you position your boat with the wind you will not have much control with your trolling motor and will, most likely, run right over the fish.

As the summer wears on, they will work themselves out to the main lake. Look for signs on the surface and remember, when the schooling stops, the fish have probably just gone deep but have remained in that area so be patient. I always have a wedge spoon tied for these cases. The schooling activity on Fayette has declined significantly over the last few years and much of that can be attributed to the increased boat traffic from recreational boaters. Remember, it is their lake too. While many of us can remember when it was “ours,” they have every right to run their boats and jet skis in the appropriate areas. Be a good neighbor.

Some folks like to night fish on Fayette. If you are a nocturnal fisherman, throw a Carolina rig, a big bladed spinner bait or a 10 inch worm. Me? I’ll be in bed and you can tell me about it in the morning!

Don’t forget a few things while fishing this time of year. WEAR SUNSCREEN! An SPF of 30 in an alcohol gel is the best way to go. Be sure to wash the scent off your hands when you are finished. Wear a hat to keep the sun off your face and good quality sunglasses. Remember, there is reflective light coming off the water and a hat will not protect you from that. Drink plenty of water, alcohol has no more place on a boat than it does in an automobile.

Well, that is about it for now. It was nice to see so many of you during the BPS Spring Fishing Classic at the Katy store. Don’t forget, I also teach bass classes at the store 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.

If you would like to book a trip to Fayette give me a call (281) 499-3799, email (FishingCoach@compassnet.com) and check out my website: www.compassnet.com/fishcoach.