Hot and ready August bass on Rayburn
With surface water temperatures on East Texas lakes holding steady in the mid to upper 80s, one thing is certain – bass are going to be feeding deep. Three of the best lures to catch deep bass are crankbaits, worms and jigs.
A few days ago I was fishing with Dennis Lala, who has been catching bass on Texas lakes for over 60 years.
“As the water heats up on our big lakes, bass will move to a deep-water pattern,” says Lala. “This is when I’ll use either a crankbait or a big worm. Some of the best deep water structure will be pond dams, stumps and creek channels. I especially like to work a Bomber 7A crank (below) along creek channels. That’s a lure that’ll run 6 to 8 feet deep. It’s a bass killer. On lakes like Rayburn and Toledo Bend a good color pattern is the fire tiger or red crawfish.”
While fishing the other day, Lala tied on a green-pumpkin colored 12-inch Berkley Power worm to fish around a bunch of stumps and old standing hardwood timber.
“On a hot day like this one, bass will be holding on the shady side of these stumps, and they are looking for a full meal deal,” he explained. “That’s why this big worm will catch bass right about now.”
Sam Rayburn guide Will Kirkpatrick says that even though it’s August and it’s sweltering hot, bass can still be caught early and late on topwater lures and spinnerbaits.
“The early and late bite won’t last long, but it’s good for at least a few bass,” says Kirkpatrick. “After that you’ll do best by fishing a crankbait off main lake points and creeks. One that I use right about now is a Fat Free Shad (below). It’ll fish 6 to 8 feet deep. The best color is some sort of shad pattern.”
One of my favorite ways to catch bass during August is to pitch jigs to holes in the hydrilla. A jig and craw worm is an excellent combination. Several years back, I fished on Rayburn with bass pro Lonnie Stanley. It was a hot summer day and the spinnerbait bite we had going that morning played out after about an hour or so. We headed out to some big beds of matted hydrilla armed with black and blue jigs. Within a couple of hours, we had caught several bass up to five pounds. The trick was to pitch the jigs to holes in the grass where the bass were holding in the shaded cooler water.
Another way to catch bass during the dog days of summer is to go nocturnal. Kirkpatrick says that fishing spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and topwater lures over and along the edge of hydrilla and pepper grass is an excellent option on summer nights. It’s usually best under a full moon. You’ve got more light, and bass will be active during that moon phase.
“First of all, it’s a lot cooler at night, and you’ve got practically no boat traffic,” says Kirkpatrick. “A buzzbait is especially effective over the grass. If I’m fishing an open area, I’ll tie on a big Super Spook. The topwater bite at night is big time fun.”
Outlaw boaters get free ride to jail
A Henderson County game warden was patrolling Cedar Creek Lake when he came in contact with a boat that had expired registration and a non-serviceable fire extinguisher. After further investigation, it was determined the owner of the boat had an active warrant for his arrest. He was handcuffed and taken to jail. As the warden continued his water safety patrol, he saw a ski boat driving recklessly near residential boat docks. After several attempts, he was able to get the boat to stop. He noticed the driver and passenger “huddling” as if they were trying to get their story straight. During the contact he saw that the operator of the boat seemed very uneasy and didn’t know where any of his water safety equipment was located. Upon further investigation, it was determined the vessel had been stolen back in April. The driver and the passenger were both arrested and hauled off to jail for unauthorized use of a boat. The operator also had several outstanding warrants in several different counties.
Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.