It’s that time of year again; time to head shallow for largemouth. Shad start to move shallow in late summer and the big bass will be right behind them. There are three ways that always seem to produce for me this time of year; fishing docks, flipping laydowns and fishing a topwater near grass. Let’s flesh these out.
After an exhaustive week of competition on the St. Lawrence River, I made the drive to Lake Champlain — site of our seventh Elite Series event.
Arriving in the village of Plattsburgh, NY shortly after sunset, I caught up with fellow Florida pro Cliff Prince and his family. They had booked a room for me at a low budget motel on the outskirts of town, and though it was rough, it would serve as interim lodging until we could move into our lakeside cabin for the remainder of the week.
Each year on the Bassmaster Elite Series we travel to some of the best smallmouth bass fisheries in the world. This year we went to the St. Lawrence River and Lake Champlain. Both have excellent smallmouth fishing and I love going to those places, but maybe not for the reasons you would expect, I like to chase northern largemouth. These waters are excellent for largemouth and they often receive far less pressure than the smallmouth. I have had success and failure this year chasing the green fish, but it is how I like to fish when I head north.
The Tour’s sixth stop was The Mississippi River (pools 7, 8 and 9) out of La Crosse, WI. The Mississippi is well known for its plentiful cover such as wood, wing dams, vegetation, backwater pools and docks. Our first day of practice found Jimmy and me with no bites, so we decided to make a run. We quickly found ourselves on a sand bar, stuck high and dry. Luckily, fellow Yamamoto pro Darrel Robertson happened by and pulled us out. (Thanks, Darrel!)
Lake Rayburn is big — 114,500 surface acres big! It’s the largest manmade lake in Texas and it’s full of bass, both numbers and size. Although I’ve fished there many times, it had been years and I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this event. The only thing I was certain of was that I needed a strong finish … to have any hope of making a run at the Bassmaster Classic.