Most anglers night fish during the summer, but the best time to night-fish for really big bass is during the prespawn when bass are at their heaviest. Big-bass expert and lure designer Mitch Looper likes to be on the water by 4 a.m. in early spring when a strong moon phase is at its peak about the time the sun comes up, such as when a full moon hits either horizon at dawn. He uses a lure designed for big bass, too, a Booyah A-Jig if fishing grass or weeds and a Pigskin when working rocks. He likes a YUM F2 Money Craw as the trailer.
Late fall can mean only one thing to a bass fisherman. Feeding Frenzy! This is the time of the year when bass feed heavily before winter. There are several lures and techniques that can be used, but my favorite lure choices are the Heddon Zara Spook and the Rebel Pop-R. During fall, bass come out of the deep water summer pattern and head toward the coves to feed. Shallow timbered coves with a small creek channel running through are good starting places. If you do not have any luck next to the bank, position the boat in the middle of the pocket and fan cast until you find them.
Suspended bass can be some of the most difficult fish to catch — simply because when they’re suspended they’re usually in an inactive mood and don’t want to chase a lure. But if you can keep something appealing in the strike zone long enough, they’re much more apt to bite. Two of the most effective lures I’ve found for this situation is the Smithwick 4 1/2-inch Suspending Rogue and the Bomber Long A. The reasons these baits work so well is they have the ability to deliver an enticing "darting" action and they suspend well in between twitches on or just above the bass’s depth level. This is an unbeatable technique — but naturally you’ll have to experiment with different sizes and colors.
The YUM Dinger line of soft plastics have done more for my fishing than any other bait on the market. I rig a YUM Dinger wacky style during the postspawn. I use a spinning rod and skip the bait right under docks and overhanging trees.
Have you ever looked deep into the eyes of a Walleye? Compared to eyes of other fish, a walleye’s is a bit odd looking, kind of glassy like a marble. It gets even stranger at night, when they seem to glow. That’s because a walleye’s eye has a unique membrane, sort of like a cat’s eye, that allows them to capture every bit of available light and use it to see when other fish can’t. This explains why some of the very best walleye fishing happens at night. Because they are actively feeding, nighttime walleyes are often on the move, chasing schools of baitfish.
Lots of folks fish jigging spoons. Almost all fish them the same way. Find fish on the depth finder, drop a spoon on their heads and jig up and down. I prefer to stay to the side of fish, rather than on top of them. So, I have found a way to fish the Cotton Cordell C.C. Spoon without getting on top of the fish. Very simply, I cast it. It has been working for me, every summer and every winter, for over 15 years. And it works at times in spring and fall. Basically, it works anytime that bass are schooled up and feeding on shad.
Texan Will Kirkpatrick is a legend of sorts. From fishing bass tournaments in the 1970s to guiding on Lake Rayburn to administering yearly fishing schools, there are few who have accomplished as much as this friendly, helpful angler. He’s caught every freshwater fish there is except golden trout and arctic char. The fact that he’s been on the Rebel Lures Pro Staff for 40 years attests to his skill, knowledge and ability to catch fish.
The winter months are hard on anglers. Even on the “nice” days the prospect of slow fishing and cold toes is enough to keep a lot of folks inside. But it’s amazing how you forget your feet when the fish are biting, and the best option for most of us is to forget about bass, crappie and catfish and tackle a trout instead. They thrive in cold water all year long and the action can be fast and furious using fast-paced techniques like twitching a jerkbait or cranking a Teeny Wee Crawfish crankbait.
Below is a press release the Arizona Game & Fish Department on a new state record striper caught Monday on one of the best topwater baits of all time, the Heddon Super Spook. I received no answer when I phoned angler John Davis this morning but left a message asking him to return my call so I can provide more details on this great day on the water. And yes, that's John and his fish in the photo.