The fun spring bite is gone. Now what do you do? There is still a good bite to be had even in the dog days of summer. You could go fish ledges or possibly find some offshore structure, but if you’re like me, you would rather have your flippin’ stick in your hand!
Most man-made reservoirs have some timber still standing. Some more than others. Such as my home lake Richard B. Russell which is a 27,000 acre impoundment that is loaded with standing timber located on the Savannah River splitting Georgia and South Carolina.
What you want to look for are the smaller concentrations of timber. Whether it be small protected pockets or short cuts along the main lake. You can catch fish in the big area’s of timber, but you will waste a lot of time between bites. Your best success will come on the edges of the timber. Usually the shallower trees. So start off there. Concentrating on the trees that are closest to the bank.
Be Mindful of Conditions
Fish in clear water will spook easier than if the water were stained, so you don’t want to be on and off with the trolling motor. I actually prefer to face the wind and fish the trees I can reach thoroughly before advancing on with the trolling motor. Pay attention as well to the sun. The sun will position fish on specific sides of the tree or limbs of the tree due to the way their eyes are designed to work. It’s not that a bass is sensitive to sunlight, but they can actually see prey better when looking from the dark shadow out in to the brighter areas.
Bass will most often face into the current or wind because it’s easier for them to hold their position, plus the current or wind will bring the bait to them, which suits them just fine as they are an ambush predator. Try your best not to cast a shadow on the area you are fishing. Once you alert the fish of your presence, the likelihood of them biting diminishes.
Gear Up to Get it Done
When pitching and flipping, it’s usually close combat fishing. Therefore a large portion of anglers call on braided line. I however fish clearer water and I sincerely feel as though braid cuts down on the amount of bites. I opt for Seaguar’s FLIPPIN’ line in 25lb test. It’s strong, abrasion resistant and it just plain gets the job done. Don’t be afraid to go up to a 30lb line either. You can use 20lb, but you will break it. Especially if you use a very heavy rod. I prefer a Duckett 7’6″ extra heavy. It has enough tip to work a bait, but plenty of backbone to move a fish out of the cover when you stick them. You’re going to need a fast reel like the Lew’s Tournament Pro in either a 7.5:1, or the blistering fast 8.3:1 to hook these fish, get their head coming your way and get them in the boat.
As far as bait choice goes, you can’t go wrong with NetBait’s B Bug or NetBait’s Mad Paca in a color to match conditions. Both are great fish catchers loaded with salt, scent and pork fat. I rig these baits on a VMC Heavy Duty Flippin Hook and a Tungsten Flippin Weight.
Tight lines and good fishing.