If you are like most bass fisherman, we all have a soft spot for topwater fishing. There is something magical about seeing a big bass explode on your favorite lure.
A lot of topwater baits are fairly large. There is no argument that these lures can produce some of the biggest fish of the year. These baits are a staple in any angler’s box. With that being said, I’ve seen times where smaller bass will not strike at these large baits, but are more than willing to strike a smaller version of the same bait.
Often times in tournament situations you are looking for 5 keeper bites. Going with finesse topwater baits will help put some of those barely keeper-sized bass in the boat, whereas larger profile baits may have gone by them without a strike. Some anglers don’t realize that big bass love these smaller presentations as well.
I would really suggest you try some of these smaller lures and see how they work for you. It just may surprise you how many more topwater strikes you get. I think we all can agree that getting a ton of top water bites equals a great day on the water.
Saxony Lake & Beach in Fishers, Indiana is a very popular summer hang-out for people who want to spend some time outdoors. They have a large recreational area where you can play on the beach, walk around the lake on the paved trail, rent a kayak, or do some fishing. I prefer the latter.
The lake is about 20 acres and is stocked with the usual species you expect most lakes to have such as bass, bluegill, and catfish. I have fished this lake a handful of times this year and have been very surprised with how many bass are in Saxony.
The lake gets a ton of fishing activity. There are always numerous anglers walking the bank or fishing from a kayak. Saxony offers a large pier for fishing. However, I would suggest not spending too much time fishing around the pier. That is usually one of the most fished locations, so you might not have as much luck. Try it, but if you aren’t getting any bites, move to another area. There is a small portion by the clubhouse you cannot fish, but everything else is accessible by foot.
I have had good success on 7.5 inch Culprit worms and Senko style baits. I have caught multiple bass out of Saxony weighing up to five pounds, but most fish average around a pound. One thing I have noticed is the fish seem to spook very easily, so give the area some time to rest before fishing that spot after a previous fisherman has left.
The water clarity is very clear at Saxony. I would suggest using lighter weight line. Lighter line is harder for a fish to see and allows most baits to perform better, and look more natural.
If you are in the Indianapolis area and are looking for some bank fishing, Saxony may be a good option for you. I hope these tips and lures work for you there too.
Fishing structure in shallow water is one of my favorite ways to fish for bass. There are many lure options to choose from when fishing shallow. I personally like to fish fast and cover a lot of water, and the buzzbait is a perfect choice for this style of fishing.
When fishing a buzzbait you want to make sure to keep the bait in the strike zone as long as possible. Fish these lures parallel to the bank, grass lines, or any other visual structure. Often you will see a wake coming at your bait before the fish strikes.
I like to add a trailer hook to my buzzbaits to ensure when a fish strikes, they’re going to get hooked. Many times bass strike buzzbaits so aggressively that they miss the bait and miss getting hooked. Adding a trailer hook greatly increases your chances of catching a fish.
Do not spend much time in one spot when fishing a buzzbait. Keep moving and covering new water. If an active bass is around, it almost always strikes on the first cast. Buzzbaits are perfect when the water temperature is hot and the fish are shallow. A buzzbait is an excellent way to put fish in the boat.
Winter or early spring is the most challenging time to fish. When the water temperature is in the 30s to low 40s, there are only a few lures in your box that will work.
One of my favorite baits is the suspending jerkbait. These lures can be fished extremely slow and suspended right in front of the fish enticing a bite. Suspending jerkbaits come in all sizes and colors. They can be effectively fished in many different depths of the water column.
The key to selecting a size and color boils down to two things.
One, what depth range do you anticipate the fish to be holding in? The size of the bill dictates the lure’s depth. The bigger the bill the deeper it will dive. Even in very cold water, bass will come up to the lure. I would rather have a jerkbait above the fish than have one that dives under the fish. For example, if the fish are sitting in 10 feet of water, I would select a jerkbait that dives 6 to 8 feet. You can really play with your line size to help you get the depth you want out of your lure. The lighter the line the deeper the bait will go, and the heavier the line the shallower it will run.
Two, what forage are the fish feeding on? I like a shad color in clear water for the majority of my fishing, but if the water has some stain to it I will go with a chartreuse color. If you are fishing in a natural lake with perch, then a perch color lure may be the ticket.
This time of year bites may be few and far between, so tie a lure on you have confidence in and stick with it. I think you may be surprised how many fish a suspending jerkbait can put in the boat for you when nothing else will seem to work. Go buy some of these lures and give them a shot.
I spent about an hour this past weekend walking a local small creek to see what I could catch. Having never fished this creek before I wasn’t sure what to expect. The creek is no wider than a one lane highway and is very shallow. The deepest water I found was about 4 foot.
Like any other creek in Indiana, I quickly found out the creek has bluegill, bass, sunfish, and carp. I’m sure there are many other species living in this creek too, but these are the fish I caught in my short time.
This is a great way to introduce new fisherman to the sport. The fish may be small, but they are usually very aggressive and easy to catch.
I did a little DIY on one of my kayaks this weekend. I fish a little lake that is full of crappies and catfish and one of the best ways I know to catch these species in the summer is to drift fish. Trying to drift with no rod holders from a kayak is very challenging, not to mention it’s a good way to lose a rod when a big catfish strikes. They will literally pull your rod in the water. See what happened to me in the post here.
Here is how I went about it.
I mounted the rod holders to a Perception Swifty 9.5 DLX. Check out my post about purchasing a kayak here. This kayak has a flat surface that is an ideal mounting location for a rod holder or two. I decided to use the Cannon Exclusive 3-position Rod Holder. This holder is very versatile. It allows me to use bait casting or spinning tackle while having a base that swivels 360 degrees.
Mounting these were very easy. I put the bases where I thought they would work the best and used a drill bit to make a hole through the kayak. I decided to only use 2 bolts through the bases (using all 4 holes is recommended). I thought two provided enough support and I didn’t want to put more holes in the kayak than I had to. I suggest playing around with where you want to mount your rod holders first. You may want to stagger them more than I did. Do what works best for your fishing rods and style of fishing.
One other thing I like about these Cannon rod holders is the bases are fairly low and do not stick high up on the kayak. This way when I am not using rod holders and I’m casting, they will not get in my way.
I am excited to get out and try these. I know it is going to make my drift fishing much easier and hopefully will allow me to put a few more fish in the boat.
Tube jigs are a great smallmouth and largemouth lure. They can be rigged several different ways, and fished anywhere from open water to thick vegetation. One big problem with the tube jig is they can be prone to losing fish when Texas rigged. The hook can have a hard time penetrating through the thick plastic.
Here is how I tweak my hook to ensure I catch every fish that bites.
I rig the tube like I would with any other Texas rigged lure. See how here. Make sure to leave the eye of the hook exposed. Do not pull the tube all the way over the eye. Doing this will lead to the tube balling up and not allowing the hook to come through the plastic.
Once you have the tube rigged and are ready to skin hook on the other side, slightly bend the hook outward. Do not over bend it! This will lead to weakening the hook. You just want to slightly open the hook more than it was originally. This is the key; the hook will now easily hook in the fish’s mouth without the worry of it going back through all the plastic.
This little modification will really help you hook up when fishing the tube Texas rigged. Try it and you won’t be disappointed.