During the pre-spawn, my bait of choice is a jerkbait and during the post-spawn, I love to throw topwater. This is nothing out of the ordinary as just about every bass angler uses these techniques during those times of the year, but one thing I like to mix in during both of these periods is a soft plastic jerkbait like the Yamamoto D-Shad. I fish it as a complement to my hard jerkbaits and walking topwater baits.
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.
Our fourth stop on this year’s FLW Tour was Lake Cumberland in Burnside, KY. Cumberland is a huge, clear water reservoir and the main lake is over a 100 miles long.
There are multitudes of creeks with bushes and standing trees as well as main lake areas with big rock and standing trees. It’s pretty easy on the eyes, too. The lake is very vertical with few flat areas. All three species of bass can be found here but there are minimums to take into account: an 18" minimum for smallmouth, 15" for largemouth and 12" for spotted bass. The fish were fat and in pre-spawn but with the smallmouth requiring an 18" minimum length, you sometimes ended up toss back a fish that weighs 3 pounds or more. Ouch!
When B.A.S.S. announced a dual-lake competition on reservoirs Norfork and Bull Shoals, reactions were mixed. Some of the Elite Series pros liked the idea, others did not. I wasn’t sure.
B.A.S.S. decided the competition days should be divided equally between the two bodies of water, but with a hitch: The entire field would start on Norfork, then move to Bull Shoals for day two. After the top-50 competitors were determined, those anglers would fish Bull Shoals once more. The surviving twelve would then move back to Norfolk for the finale.