Shaky head fishing is hot right now! Take a 1/16 oz or heavier shaky head jig head (it is built to make the soft bait you attach to it stand up), add a crawfish, worm, or baitfish soft trailer, and work it slowly along the bottom, frequently stopping the bait completely. The bass just cannot leave this bait alone! Right now, with the surface temperature of both lakes still very warm, putting your boat in 35-40ft. of water, and casting toward the bank, then slowly working the shaky head out into the deeper water, is working. Try a skirted twin tail grub, in brown purple, smoke purple, or green pumpkin purple. This bait looks like a feeding craw fish, and, when you add a twitch or shake to the retrieve, it draws attention from cruising bass! Remember, work this bait slowly. Add scent, to allow more time for a hook set (the bait will remain in the mouth of the fish longer).
Try a drop shot rig. Find a line of trees or stumps not far off a bank with varied depth. The crawfish, shad, or pan fish the bass are after, will be moving among these trees, and suspended bass will be ready to ambush. As the surface temperature of the lake cools, look for suspended fish around underwater timber at all depths. Mark the depths where the most bait fish and bass are found, and find timber at that depth. Fish straight up and down to these suspended fish. Ask a fishing associate how to rig for this drop shot bite, and ask what the current best bait is. You can also fish this drop shot rig like a finesse Carolina rig, by casting it out and retrieving it the same way you would a Carolina rig.
There is an early morning top water bite on most of each lake. Top water lures, such as a Zara Spook, Chug Bug, etc., will work during this time, as will most of the wake baits. Beginning at dawn, look for fish rising on flats and points, and fish in these areas. Many times, the bite will end when the sun becomes visible, but, on occasion, this bite will go on for a few hours. The term “walking the dog,” refers to moving the bait like a wounded baitfish. A fishing associate will instruct you as to how to go about imparting this action to your bait.
Right after the top water bite stops, look for fish staged on the bottom, and try a jig or Carolina rig on any you find.
From late morning to early evening, jigs and tubes often work well, since black bass key on crawdads during this time. Try a ¼ to 1/2 oz. jig, with a craw trailer, on main lake and secondary cove points, and any transition bank or flat. It is important to add scent to all soft plastic, to maximize the time these fish hold the bait in their mouth. Try fishing around docks, pole cedar lined banks, chunk rock points and cove banks, with a jig, drop shot rig, Carolina rigged lizard, finesse worm, French fry, or a creature bait, also Carolina rigged. Don’t pass up any different feature, like an underwater hump, depression, ledge, chunk rock section, etc. Shallow to medium depth flats, near deep, main lake water, often produce nice fish.
Do not pass up any main lake point that looks good to you, during this time of the year, since water is often being pulled (generated) from each lake, and the resulting lake currents, cause shad to congregate off these points, and nearby main lake shore line. Early morning fishing, employing a finesse Carolina rig, jig and trailer, tube, square billed crank bait, or other bait which will work in the shallow to medium depth of a cove flat or secondary flat, will pay off, for a while, until the water gets warm enough for the available oxygen to begin depleting. As the water temperature goes up, dissolved oxygen level shrinks. So, fish move to deeper water, to find better oxygen levels. A big rain will add oxygen and bring fish back into the shallows!
Wind and rain offer an opportunity to change tactics. Wind will allow spinner baits and shallow running crank baits to work well, and rain can cause water clarity to get murky or muddy, allowing a jig or tube to work even better.
As we move into fall, the bass will begin to feed and store food for the winter.
This is a great time of the year to catch a big fish! They are out there waiting for you!!!
Good Luck and Good Fishing!