Trying to put a pattern together for last year's BASS Elite Series event on Lake Oneida, I was lucky enough to spot birds that were actively feeding on baitfish. I got close enough but not too close to see that they were stuffing themselves on juvenile yellow perch that were being pushed to the top of the water column through an opening in some aquatic grasses.
Wish you had a dollar for every time a cold front or a thunderstorm in your area caused your favorite lake's Florida-strain largemouth bass to develop lockjaw? By now we've realized that it happens because Florida-strain largemouth are more affected by weather changes and drops in water temperature than Northern-strain largemouth are even in summer. But in late spring/early summer, before the water temperature has stabilized, they can seem especially temperamental.
It's not unusual for people to equate bass fishing with the shallow-water flipping and pitching that goes on so many places throughout the country. True, largemouth bass, when they inhabit structure-filled watersheds, will be found regularly around the bank, near blown-down trees, hydrilla, lily pads and other places that provide them outstanding places to both forage and hide.
If you respool your reels as much as I do, I hope you stocked up on some extra fluorocarbon line recently because it's summer and you're going to need it.
Sometimes, you just don't know what's going to be on the other end of the line when you reel it in. On most days, that can be a pretty fun prospect especially in a place you don't fish a lot. It was that way when I was on Lake Erie, bobbing up and down on big wave after big wave, fishing for some of those giant smallmouth bass.
Whether I'm watching one of those med shows like or my experience is more firsthand, I'm always amazed at the number of tools surgeons need to work. From 15 different types of scalpels, to who knows how many needles, forceps, hemostats those guys run through a lot of equipment.
In a never-ending quest to catch more and bigger fish, anglers have learned to embrace a multitude of baits and techniques. Hard to believe, but at one point, even the beloved, tried-and-true Texas rig was cutting edge. We've learned to flip and pitch, cast monstrous swimbaits and even rig a drop shot. And though these fishing techniques began as foreign to most of us, eventually they found their way into the bass fishing vernacular.
After seeing what I have while fishing thousands of days in hundreds of tournaments across the country, I know that scented baits catch more fish. It's no secret, really, and nowadays pretty much every angler uses scented baits to his or her advantage.
For the second year, the Bassmaster Elite Series schedule takes the world's top bass anglers to Oklahoma's Grand Lake of the Cherokees. Located in the far northeast corner of the state, Grand Lake draws in visitors, vacationers as well as full- and part-time residents from several states. But in addition to being a popular spot for the pleasure boaters, anglers flock to Grand Lake for some the state's best fishing.
Having a curious mind can have its drawbacks. For me it's a particular nuisance when I'm fishing trying to focus on the task at hand. One minute I'll be casting to a log, intent on retrieving my lure, and before I know it the bait is sitting still while my mind races off reflecting on life's great mysteries.