I am a big fan of topwater, especially the “Skitterwalk” by Rapala. A while back, a friend asked what techniques I used other than changing the retrieve speed of walk-the-dog type lures. I immediately chimed in, “Don’t be scared to let it pause.”
For many kayak anglers around the country, water temps are quickly on the rise, and they have one thing on their minds - springtime bass! Most bass in the southern states have completed their spawn, and other northern states have just started to see them bed down. Here are eight lures that will help you catch those springtime bass.
This is likely to be the most controversial piece I have ever written. For whatever reason, proponents and opponents of bowfishing tend to be some of the most colorfully passionate people I run across. There are folks that want to completely shut down bowfishing, and I think that would be a major mistake.
Just like game fish, “rough” fish have favorite haunts and locations where they hang out at certain times. Finding these places is the difference between shooting fish or not. Like we talked about in the “when” segment, these can change due to water temperature or spawning season. The beauty is, what you learn about bowfishing for rough fish also benefits you for catching game fish with traditional gear.
The time to go bowfishing would be, “Whenever you can!” but there are certainly times when it is more successful (read “fun”) than others. For this piece the when will be broken down into winter, summer, spring and fall.
Laydowns are prime largemouth bass habitat year round. They provide shade, shelter, concealment for ambushing prey, and food in the form of crustaceans, insect larvae, fish fry and other animals that seek refuge. Normally laydowns are present in man-made reservoirs, but also to a lesser degree in natural lakes. Laydowns are sunken trees that died after flooding, that somehow were artificially located to provide cover, or were located on the shoreline and died or were cut down.
One thing you will learn about bowfishing: the species you are allowed to shoot will run from you, while the species you may not shoot will lay around like cord wood. I have had carp spook and run from fifty yards away while bass and crappie just cruise around without a care.
Soft stick baits - the original was the Yamamoto “Senko” - catch lots of bass. I will give some common rigging techniques, and discuss catching big bass with a stick bait. Using a stick bait during pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn has helped catch some monster bass the past several seasons.