Here in central Arizona during the warmer months, the water temperatures in our big reservoirs can climb to the high 80’s by 6:00 a.m. We went out with Yamamoto Pro Marty Lawrence on Bartlett Lake to see if we could find some bass, and the water temperature was 88 degrees when we hit the water at dawn. Up the river it was 92. High temperatures like that make it harder for the water to hold oxygen because the molecules are farther apart when it’s warm. Colder water has a tighter structure with the molecules closer together, which makes it harder for the oxygen to escape.
You may have seen Yamamoto pro Tai Au fishing a Senko and not even realized it. He fishes it fast — faster than anyone I’ve ever seen. “The Senko is probably my number one money-maker bait, but when my non-boaters see how I fish it, they’re like ‘no way!’” says Au. “There is so much you can do with a Senko — I’ve never been on a lake that you couldn’t catch them on a Senko.”
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.
When I talked to Yamamoto Pro Tai Au about barometric pressure and how it can affect your fishing, he told me that he had once sworn he would never do a story about it because it’s sort of his secret weapon: using his knowledge of this subject he has won nearly $100,000 in the past three years. What is his secret? The barometer.
Perhaps one of the most interesting things about bass fishing is the fact that you never stop learning and the bass always seems to find ways to surprise you with their behavior.
For instance, years ago, I always considered topwater baits should be used exclusively for low light conditions such as early and late or cloudy summer days – highly effective times to throw a topwater, for sure.
By nature, we tournament anglers tend to be well prepared and safety-conscious on the water, maybe a little more so than others. But after the tragic loss of one of our own several weeks ago on Lake Okeechobee, we thought revisiting some water-safety tips would encourage us all to be even more vigilant out on the water.
“Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump
Bass fishing in the spring is a whole lot like that quintessential line from the legendary 1994 Tom Hanks movie. On any given day, on any given lake – you never know what you’re gonna get. In a single day, it’s very possible to encounter bass in all three phases of the spawn (pre-spawn, bedding fish, and post-spawners).
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.