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John Janousek Opens Up On Catching Big Late Summer Bass Like This

Numbers of big bass just might be what the hokey pokey is all about.  By late summer rock solid patterns set up that produce not just numbers, but numbers of big fish that anglers in the know can cash in on and have some real fun with.  Deep is where a lot of the action is (maybe deeper than you think), any maybe not where you would guess. 
If you guessed the deep weed line youíre close.  If you guessed deep rocks youíre right on, but not just any rocks.  According to rabid bass angler and Team Crestliner member John Janousek of Nisswa,

Minnesota; ìRocks are the key, but there are specific areas that really load up and theyíre not always easy to find.  Some of best late summer hot spots are small rock piles hiding in the middle of a deep weed flat, or along the edge. Time on the water is one of the keys to finding small rock piles and flats but you can speed things up by cruising back and forth across a deep growing weed flat and watching your graph while looking for openings in the weeds, along with a double echo.  On my Humminbird 997c with its color readout the red double echo indicates hard bottom, specifically rock or gravel.  A small rock spot the size of a Silverado buried in a five acre weed flat can be stacked with twenty, thirty, or even more bass and can be a real honey hole.  Once Iíve found a spot like that Iíll mark it with the 997ís G.P.S. so I can come back later and find it anytime I want.   I also know that if the fish arenít going gangbusters right now theyíre going to at some point and time, and will definitely warrant more than one return trip.   Rock or gravel humps in the ten to fifteen foot range are another option (with or without any weed growth) and can hold big schools of heavy duty largemouth.  The big attraction to the rocks is the hundreds of crayfish that make all of the cracks and crevasses their home, as well as schools of bluegills that show up later in the season.î
One of Johnís favorite methods for sticking it to deep rock bound bass includes slowly crawling a jig like a 3/8 oz Northland Tackle Butt-Head Jig tipped with a Slurpies Brush Beaver across the bottom.  John on the retrieve; ìThe key is slow, just barely moving it across the bottom.  What youíre trying to do is imitate a crayfish and it wouldnít hurt to watch them in action if you ever get a chance.  Instead of using the reel to move the bait use the rod tip and ever so slowly raise the tip up to move the jig and try and envision whatís going on down there.  If you feel a thump or see the line moving off to the side itís time to reel down and set the hook.  If all you feel is slack line youíve got a fish that has picked up the lure and is running at you.  Again reel down until youíve got all the slack up and set the hook.   I like St. Croixís model LTBC73MHF Carolina Rig bait casting rod reel loaded with seventeen pound Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon line for working a jig mainly because the combination provides the utmost in feel, and deep bassiní is all about feel.  Another method Iíll use is the Carolina rig with a Slurpies Dipstick worm and a 3/8 or ? oz Slip Shot Sinker which allows me to quickly change sinker size and snell length.  You need to be able to feel the rocks as it crawls along the bottom and Iíll go with a heavier sinker whenever itís needed.  The crawl technique is the same youíd use with the jig and creature and is painstakingly slow and deliberate, but extremely effective.î

  Crankbaits round out the top picks for picking over deeper rocks and John likes the Rapala DT-16 series and will use a lure that will run deep enough to bang into the bottom. Heíll also use twelve pound Vanish because of the feel, and because it sinks which allows a deep diving crank to run even deeper.   

   Itís really hard to think about anything else when there are so many big bass out there and so little time, especially for Janousek.  The best of the late summer action will be here and gone before you know it, so what are you waiting for?  See you on the water. 

Ron Anlauf


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