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by Ken White
Hot! That is the way to describe Lake Walter F. George during
August. The fishing is hot and the weather is hotter as we are
entering the dog days of summer. This is the time to fish early
and late as a general rule for most anglers. For those that are
willing to accept the challenge, the middle of the day may be just
the best time to be on the lake. When the sun gets on top and the
temperatures are hovering close to the hundred degree range, the
bass go deep. This is the time to head to the river ledges and
get ready for some action.
presents a challenge to the angler but it is a month that can see
some really heavy stringers brought to the ramp. A lot depends on
what has been happening with the weather, however. In a normal
summer, with little of the heavy rains typically associated with
the spring, the lake will really clear up. This allows light
penetration to greater depths and this, in association with higher
water temperatures near the surface, will force the baitfish to go
deeper. The game fish will follow so it becomes imperative for
the angler to key on the baitfish for success. This is the time
to rely on the Humminbird, or whatever your personal preference
might be, to provide underwater information. Most anglers use the
depth sounder for just that-to tell them how deep the water is
where they are located. Summer time is where understanding the
readout of a depth sounder is critical. It can show you the depth
of baitfish, bottom contour and hardness and any structure which
is along or within the area you are researching. This is a great
aid when it comes to locating summertime bass on the ledges.
be found with several lure combinations but four stands out
immediately in my mind. The first is the Carolina-rigged soft
plastics. It is hard to beat a Carolina-rig when fishing the
deeper waters. The heavier weight gets the bait down and the
leader line allows a freer motion of the attached bait. This is
the time to be using the “monster” worms. Most of the successful
anglers will be tossing worms at least eight inches long with most
tossing ten and twelve inch worms. Colors will vary with the
water color but junebug, black grapes and the darker shades of
blue seem to work very well. Of course, the old basic black is
tough to beat as well.
crankbaits are a sure-fire fish catcher on the lake during this
time of year. The Mann’s 20-Plus, Norman’s DD-22 and those other
plugs that reach the 18-22 feet levels are tools of the trade that
really pay off this time of year. One thing that I suggest is to
key on the depth of the baitfish when starting your search for the
bass. The depth baitfish are holding will be the key depth as the
bass will work this same depth range in search of food. Determine
the depth and then look for ledges that drop at or close to this
level. Search the ledges for the structure at this depth range
and keep in mind that structure plus baitfish equals gamefish.
One method of
attacking the deeper water ledges is utilizing the new heavyweight
spinnerbaits. These spinnerbaits feature a heavier body and are
designed to specifically probe the deeper haunts of the gamefish.
Weights of these baits can vary from one to two-and-a-half ounces
and they are available in a wide range of color
combinations. “Slow-rolling” these baits can lead to some
wrist-snapping strikes. Not only will the largemouth and spots
attack these baits as it is not unusual to hear an angling tale of
a huge hybrid almost jerking the rod out of an angler’s grip.
StrikeZone Lures is a spinnerbait company that actually
specializes in these deep-water spinnerbaits and the name
LedgeBuster has become synonymous with these baits. Other
companies, such as Mann’s Bait Company, have developed these
specialized spinnerbaits as well. These baits can be worked in
various ways and allow the angler to experiment during the fishing
day to find the secret of success. You can bet that the savvy
summertime angler on Walter F. George does not leave home without
at least a couple of these baits included in his or her tackle
box arsenal. Another successful angling technique is one that is
not widely used on Lake Walter F. George by the casual bass
angler. Jigging a spoon can bring some real action, not only from
the largemouth and spots but from the hybrids and crappie as
well. I prefer to fish the Mann’s one-ounce Mann-o-Lure for this
type of fishing. It can actually be bent to give it a little
different action and change the fall rate of the lure to some
degree. Where this lure can really be deadly is when the fish are
suspending away from the structure. Lake Walter F. George has
many ledges which have treetops that actually hang over and away
from the actual dropoff. This allows the fish to suspend as much
as twenty to thirty feet off the actual drop but remain within the
cover of the limbs. Here again is where the Humminbird can really
tell the story. Find the bass in this situation with baitfish
working in the area and you could literally find a bass bonanza.
Break out the
sunscreen, add a couple of more bottles of water to the cooler,
grab a good hat and the sunshades and hit the water. Have a good
time and keep an out for that occasional summertime thunderstorm
and get ready to catch a few of those deep-water Walter F. George
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