I have been bass fishing for several decades now, and bass fishing has evolved over that time, to say the least. It isn’t just the equipment and tackle that changes with the years – the popularity of various techniques seems to wax and wane as well. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the bass themselves.
Many well-known regional fishermen around the country focus on specific techniques. In Texas, when the water is cold and there is grass, Dicky Newberry is in the mix. If the name isn’t familiar, you haven’t spent much time on Sam Rayburn, or Toledo Bend, and you probably haven’t fished many BFL or Costa level events.
The 2017 season was shaping up to be the worst of Tom Monsoor’s lengthy career on the FLW Tour, and the biggest body blow occurred on his home pools of the Mississippi River. The Wisconsin pro was expected to dominate the sixth event of the season, but rising water threw him off his game and he ended up a dismal 105th.
People tend to think of a Texas rig as a weed-proof worm with a bullet sinker, but actually the Texas rig part refers to the method of putting the hook in the worm to make it weedless. You can use Texas rigging for splitshotting, dropshot rigs, flipping, pitching, putting trailers on spinnerbaits and spoons, jigs – just about any technique that makes use of soft plastics can be rigged Texas. The whole point is to keep the point of the hook just under the surface of the bait so it doesn’t catch on every little piece of cover in the lake.
Right now we are being blessed with an abundance, even an over-abundance, of water out west. In Arizona, most of our central lakes are filled to the brim, and some are even going over the spillways. Our hope is that the powers that be will let the water stay up for the spawn. Meanwhile, fishing can be tough – all that inflow has muddied up the lakes, and most of the incoming water is cold. The spawn is still a ways off, but some fish are already starting to move up. This means that the best thing to use is something that you can fish fast or slow, shallow or deep; in other words, a jig.
Some people might argue that anyone who wants to fly at all these days is a glutton for punishment. That may be so, but I believe there are too many distant great places to visit to avoid it altogether. However, if you’re like me and you enjoy traveling long distances specifically to fish, at some point you’re probably going to want to trust your precious rods to the airlines. In that case, you may indeed be a masochist.
As far as I’m concerned, fall is the very best time year to fish. The weather is gorgeous and if there is a bit of a nip in the air all it does is discourage pleasure boaters and water skiers. Life is good. The water temperatures are cooling down as well, so that means that the fish are on the move and you can get on a really good bite. Often there is a crankbait or spinnerbait bite, and topwater is always worth a try, especially first thing in the morning. But sometimes a reaction bait just doesn’t do the trick. When that happens, a drop shot can save the day.