A fisherman’s dream

I’ll tell you what, now’s the time to go fishing. Isaac is over but the cool and freshwater he dumped into many of our rivers and lakes has really turned the fish on. This is the beginning of the fall feeding frenzy.

Before I get started, though, I want to say that the Lane family’s hearts and prayers go out to the people in the Gulf Coast who were hurt by this storm. As a former Florida resident, I know how destructive a hurricane can be and how long it takes to recover. And, for those of you who don’t know, it isn’t all about the money they cost you or the property they destroy. There’s more to it than that.

There’s something about seeing the power of Mother Nature that gets your attention. Once you seen it, you’ll never again think you’re in charge and you’ll forever know that everything you have in a material sense can be taken away from you in just a few minutes. Things you thought were important don’t matter. It’s family, friends and neighbors that you think about.

For the rest of our country, though, the rains brought some much needed relief from the drought and the heat. It had a big effect on the fishing, too. It started by making the baitfish school and move towards the shallower grass. Naturally the bass weren’t far behind.

When something like this happens, it’s a fisherman’s dream. The bass are feeding in a crazy and uncontrolled frenzy. They don’t pay much attention to what they eat or how they catch it. All they want to do is kill it and eat it. That means almost anything in our tackleboxes will work. You can catch them on top with frogs, walking sticks or poppers. They’ll also hit shallow crankbaits, spinnerbaits and worms. Pick your favorite bait and throw it with confidence.

The only thing that really matters is size. I’d recommend you stay as close to the local forage as possible if you want to catch numbers. Bass seem to have a sense for that. But if you’re looking for a hawg, don’t be shy about grabbing something big. You might not catch as many fish with it but the ones you do catch will definitely get your attention.

Don’t worry too much about color. It doesn’t matter. Throw what you have.

There is one problem that you might have to face — muddy water. Some lakes and rivers will get pretty dark and messy when this much rain hits them. If you’re dealing with that I’d throw something that looks good below the surface. Spinnerbaits and worms are two of my favorites. Avoid topwater plugs. They don’t seem to have much appeal to the bass in muddy water.

These conditions should last for a while. This year has gone by really fast. It’s September already. Before we know it, we’ll look up and it’ll be really cold in many parts of the country. Go for it!

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