Sight fishing alternatives

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Some fisheries are simply not great for sight fishing spawning bass. Elite Series pro Jason Christie has a solution (or four) for this problem.

It’s a cool but clear March day on Lake Tenkiller, and Jason Christie is sitting in his boat tying on lures for a day he wants to spend chasing spawning bass. He’s already put a 1/­­­2-ounce spinnerbait on one rod, a Christie Critter on his flipping stick, a shaky head worm on a third rod and a Rogue on still another. Clearly, he’s not going sight fishing with a mixed arsenal like that.

“There are a lot of different ways to catch spawning bass if you don’t want to look for them specifically on beds, or if you can’t actually see them,” he explains. “Here on Tenkiller where I live, I know I won’t see any fish on beds today because of the water clarity and water temperature, but I’ll still catch them with one of these lures.

“Every lake is different, but at the same time, nearly every lake is similar. Bass usually spawn first on the upper end of a lake because the water warms faster there. If that water is dingy and off-colored, as it often is, the first fish that move in will spawn very shallow near the bank, because their eggs need sunlight. Later, when the water is clearer and also warmer on the lower end at Tenkiller, they spawn in 3, 4, 5 and even 6 feet of water.”