Friday, June 1, 2012

Hoked on Lake Wedowee: June fishing advice

Hooked on

Lake Wedowee

by Reed Montgomery

Suddenly, the spring spawning season is over. Its summer and its getting hot! As the month of June emerges Lake Wedowee’s Trophy Bass Anglers take on a much different approach towards the advance of fooling their quarry, the largemouth bass.

Lake Wedowee’s largemouth bass have been shallow for months. But now spring is over. For the next three to four months of this summer season, these bass anglers know they have an inevitably hot summer of fishing just waiting ahead. The question many may ponder now is; Should they continue to fish shallow, fish deep water or fish at night?

The main question most anglers now ponder is; “Should I be fishing during the hot, daytime hours or should I be night fishing?” Considering the summer heat, many anglers will choose the latter of the two. By mid summer it can be 100 degrees at midday in Alabama!

Another consideration is, which choice of lures anglers will select. Both to use during the day and when fishing at night. What lure technique is best during the hot, daylight hours when plenty of company is always at hand? Or what lure should they choose to fish with at night? In a much more peaceful setting, with some solitude actually possible lake wide.

The later it gets into the night, the better your chances are for fooling a truly big, Lake Wedowee largemouth bass! At dawn, these same big bass are on the prowl and during the late evening hours, they begin their low-light period of feeding once again.

Fishing under the stars, when most recreational vehicles have left the lake, would be the first choice most summertime , “Trophy Bass Anglers” would consider for having a really good chance at fooling one of Lake Wedowee’s true, monster size bass.

Maybe a bass exceeding ten pounds. The kind of bass “Trophy Bass Anglers” are looking for during the summer months. The kind of bass most anglers never see on end of their line. Some anglers never fish at night.

You also have some daylight hours, when you actually plan a night fishing trip, with about a one – two hour opportunity at having a good chance at fooling a really big largemouth bass. One huge bass, that is feeding under low-light conditions during sundown and/or sunup.

So as you can see, commitment to about twelve hours of constant fishing should be included in your summertime game plan. That is, if you consider yourself a “Trophy Bass Angler.“

Do you have what it takes to fish for possibly just one bite, on an all day fishing trip in the hot summer sun, using lures most smaller bass would avoid?

Or can you hold up to fishing all night? Using only big, oversized offerings, fishing for at least twelve hours straight from sundown to sun up, with little or no rest or sleep?

If not, you can become one this summer season! Here’s how, and the five best lure types for both day and night fishing Lake Wedowee this summer season. For some truly big, largemouth bass…

Topwater Lures - Big, noisy topwater lures! My number one choice for big, largemouth bass on Lake Wedowee. Why? Because I’ve seen and caught dozens of huge largemouth bass on topwater lures, both during the day and at night, in the hot summer months on this lake for almost 30 years, since its impoundment in 1983.

Heddon’s Zara Super Spooks, black noisy type, clacker-model half-ounce buzz baits, Heddon’s black, broke-back Jitterbug and both solid body, one hook frogs and hollow-bodied, two-hook rubber imitation frogs. They all work very well both during the day and at night on Lake Wedowee, all summer long! Heavy line of 17-20 pound test is suggested with all of these lures.

With the buzz bait always add a trailer hook. On the zara super spook change the front and back treble hooks to a # 2 size Gamakatsu hook. With the broke-back jitterbug you can superglue glass worm rattles to the sides of the lower segment of these jointed-type topwater lures, for that extra enticing noise. Adding rattles to the hollow body of the frog is suggested too!

Worms – Big Worms! Whether you fishing during the day or night fish, offering these big largemouth bass a big name sake worm of 10-15 inches in length simulates a lot of slithering summertime meals these big bass feed on. Big Lizards too!

Sticking with darker colors during the night and selecting more translucent colors during the day, helps contribute more to the visual appeal of these bass. Adding scents and rattles to these worms may help appeal to their other keen senses of smell and hearing, for some very big and often very picky, summertime bass.

* Stealth is very important day or night to expect any degree of success.

They bite better if it smells good, tastes good, looks good, and they can home in on it and hear it better. If it has an added noise like worm rattles, that appeals to their hearing and lateral line senses, they are more likely to attack! If these big bass do not know your there, they often let their guard down as well.

Fish these over sized worms and lizards on a long 6-7 foot rod, with a big 4/0 to 6/0 size Gamakatsu round bend or offset bend worm hook and always use as heavy a line as possible. There are a lot of rocks and wood cover that can damage lighter line causing it to break, usually at a very inopportune time. Like when a trophy bass is on the line! Heavy test monofilament line, fluorocarbon line of 20 pound test or braided line in the 30-50 pound test is best for success!

* Leave the light stuff at home.

Jig Combos - Big Jigs with Over sized Trailers For Big Bass!  You may wonder why would I select a jig combo for bottom fishing during the day or night, when I’ve already included plastics like a big worm or lizard in this top five lure line up for summer? Simple. A jig combo is a big bass meal, just like a big worm or lizard!

Just like a big plastic worm, jigs and jig combos have been around for years. Both lure types have proven through the test of time, they are big bass lures that work in aiding an angler in fooling a big bass into biting, during any season. Especially the summer months when bass eat a lot of both snakes, lizards and crayfish..

When these big bass are not actively feeding on worms, snakes, eels, lizards and other slithering meals, they go after crayfish. A much slower and easier to catch meal loaded with nutrition. Jig combos simulate crayfish and to a big ol’ Lake Wedowee monster size largemouth bass, the bigger the crayfish, the better!

Select ½ ounce to ¾ ounce jig combos for deeper water situations. Try ¼ ounce to 3/8 ounce jigs if fishing shallow water. The trailer is the big bass appeal. Trophy bass anglers add over sized soft plastics as jig trailers, for that added big bass appeal. Like the crayfish your imitating with your jig combos, the bigger the trailer the better!

There are loads of jig trailers to consider. Like anytime, experimenting with several lure trailer choices will help you determine the best jig trailer selection on any particular fishing trip, day or night.

An angler, especially a trophy bass angler, should never be afraid of selecting too big of a jig trailer, even the biggest, most outlandish of big jig trailers! If it can be added to the jig…try it! That’s why they call them largemouth bass.

In all my forty plus years of fishing Alabama’s lakes, I’ve spent dozens of those years fishing Lake Wedowee since the first year it was opened to the public. I have fished with a lot of anglers and I’ve seen jigs adorned with the biggest of trailers, huge jig combos, that even surprised me when that huge bass hit such a monstrosity!

I’ve seen big trophy bass hit jigs adorned with added worms of all sizes, including big lizards, creature baits, beavers, plastic crayfish, twin tailed grubs, plastic shad imitations and oversized chunks of real pork.

Its that visual appeal of a “full course meal” that attracts the bigger bass bites!

Spinnerbaits – The Bigger and More Added Flash and Vibration, the Better! Whether you fish during the day or at night, a trophy bass angler always has an oversized spinnerbait tied on a long rod, coupled with heavy line. Why? You may ask. Because through the sheer test of time, spinnerbaits have proven, they can fool a big trophy bass!

With Lake Wedowee’s often clear water situation during the summer months, your spinnerbait color and blade selection may vary. Like jigs, spinnerbaits can be adorned with an added plastic trailer or at times they can be fished with none.

If fishing deep water during the day, like when dropping or slow rolling spinnerbaits you may want to select heavier, half ounce to one ounce model spinnerbaits and keep the blades on the smaller size, with a selection of #3 to #5 size silver willow leaf blades.

These smaller size blades on a heavier model spinnerbait, are for helping these heavier spinnerbaits fall faster, getting them down deeper faster. Adding a grub or other type of plastic trailer may help slow the lure’s fall, while adding a little bit of extra enticement and an added lure color.

If you do not own some of these heavier model spinnerbaits you can make one by adding a pegged bullet weight to your spinnerbait. Simply slid the bullet weight up on the fishing line before you tie on the spinnerbait.

Then peg the bullet weight tight to the spinnerbait by breaking off a toothpick in the bullet weight. Adding a half ounce bullet worm weight to a half ounce spinnerbait makes it then a one ounce spinnerbait!

During the daylight hours try fishing  a 1/2 ounce spinnerbait, sporting a white skirt with double silver willow leaf blades and an added white grub on 15-17 pound test line.

At night I suggest a black and red skirt on a 1/2 ounce spinnerbait with a single #5 to #6 size Colorado blade. Adding a single grub in contrasting colors may entice extra bites from curious bass holding down deep.

Heavy line of 17-20 pound test is suggested for night fishing with spinnerbaits. There are a lot of lure hanging trees, stumps, rocks and bluffs and re-tying your spinnerbait often may be needed.

Deep Diving Crankbaits (and Swim Baits) -

OK I’ve added Swim Baits to the Crankbait category because with both lures you just cast them out and reel them in and both lures can be fished either during the day or at night on Lake Wedowee for some big, summertime bass.

Yes, crankbaits at night! To many anglers, this technique is odd. But if you think about it shad get eaten at night and both crankbaits and swim baits simulate shad and they very much look like a shad when retrieved! There are just some places on Lake Wedowee you just do not cast a crankbait at night and expect to get it back…like standing timber!

Swim baits are medium size to big, soft plastic shad imitations rigged on a single hook, either on a jig head or Texas-rigged with a bullet weight and big hook. Or some are hard bodied swim baits, featuring a jointed, segmented-type body. Swim baits are excellent lure choices for big largemouth bass hanging around the lake’s miles and miles of standing timber, that was left here when the lake was impounded.

At night during the summer months a lot of big largemouth bass suspend just beneath the surface of the water, but they may be holding in standing timber that is 50 feet deep or more! Many anglers fail to even cast for these bass.

During the day in the summer, constant boat traffic may cause these same bass to hold a little deeper in this standing timber. The use of your electronics will reveal what depth these bass are holding at both during the day and at night.

With both types of lures, big deep diving crankbaits and swim baits (some swim baits are from 6 inches to almost one foot in length), the use of a long 7-8 foot rod is highly suggested.

Crankbaits can be coupled with a high speed, wide-spool reel and long rods loaded with medium to heavy monofilament line (or fluorocarbon line), of the 15-20 pound test category, or heavier line, especially at night.

If fishing during the daylight hours and you want to get a deep diving crankbait to go deeper, the use of lighter monofilament or fluorocarbon line in the 8-10 pound test category will be needed. Use braided line, only on the swim bait.

Long casts are suggested for both fishing with deep diving  crankbaits and for getting swim baits long distances! Including very sharp hooks! Experiment with deep diving crankbaits, with various colors, different styles and various types like flat bodies, round bodies and short bodies, verses long-bodied crankbaits.

Try crankbaits with rattles and try fishing with some (Like Rapala’s Shad Raps) with no rattles, and always pay close attention to what your crankbait was doing -- like how deep it was, or what direction you were retrieving the lure, and in what relation to any nearby cover the bass revealed -- when you do get it to bite!

These are just five types of lures for targeting big, trophy bass on Alabama’s youngest, man made impoundment, Lake Wedowee, during the summer season. A lake that will be 30 years young by next year! Maybe you have some of your own!

There are smaller offerings that can fool big bass as well! Experiment! Always pre-rig as many rods as possible! Never give up. That next cast you make could entice that big bass of a lifetime!

Please practice Catch and Release.

Let these bass go to live and fight another day. That’s the only way we will always have trophy bass and trophy bass anglers on Lake Wedowee! Be safe and courteous to other boaters and anglers during the summer season (or any time), on our often very crowded lakes. It’s all ‘our” water.


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