Bass anglers are enjoying a lively bite on jumbo minnows. The morning hours are still producing the best bite, but anglers are having success into the early part of the afternoon hours.
Fish shallow water in the morning, move to the cover of docks as the sun comes overhead, then out to the deeper water and rock piles later in the day. Look for shelves and drop offs, too.
Angler Ross Christensen made an astute observation this week – he noticed that the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of baby bass that were in shallow water lately have done a disappearing act. I believe that signals another change as we get further into our fall bite. Be it part of the maturing process or due to the colder weather, they’ve gone deeper like the larger of their kind.
Artificial lures are still a tough sell for largemouth bass. Typical lures and techniques this year are lipless cranks, jerk baits – both hard and soft, drop shot rigs and jigs. Look also to some of your smaller hand-poured swim baits.
Crappie hunters have found some nice fish at Kono Tayee and Shag Rock. Action is on-again, off-again as the schools move through the area. Find the school and you’ll find the bite. For best results go with a live minnow on 4-pound test under a slip bobber.
Pay attention to what other anglers are doing, often the school is so concentrated that one angler on the boat is on it while others, just a few feet away, are not.
Catfish are taking jumbo minnows, shad and mackerel readily these days. Drifting live bait at night has been the trick for several of my dedicated anglers. Bass Alley and Rattlesnake Island have been good producers for us.
Bob Rider owns Lakeshore Bait and Tackle, 14913-D Lakeshore Drive, Clearlake, telephone 707-994-FISH (3474). Visit him online at www.994Fish.com.