Trip to area lake produces plenty of action
June 22, 2001
Shortly after launching our boat late one afternoon last week, local tournament angler Hank Perkins went to work dissecting the shallow waters of a local lake. Perkins is currently in third place on the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing Trail in the Mississippi division. After spending an afternoon on the water with this expert bass angler, it doesn't take long to realize why he is successful on the state and regional levels.
As we trolled down the shoreline, Perkins cast a shad colored Bandit crank bait around any shallow structure he could locate. On the third cast he boated a nice bass on the Bandit. After going another 40 or 50 yards he had already caught 3 or 4 more bass on the crank bait.
Without missing a beat he picked up one of the half dozen or so rods that he had pre-rigged. This rod was rigged with a hard-bodied jerk bait. After missing a short bass, Perkins hooked up with yet another bass. Although this writer was fishing in the same boat, Perkins had already landed 6 or 8 bass before I got a strike.
Shallow water produces
Perkins is a shallow water expert and normally he'll take what the lake will give him. In hot weather, fishermen usually don't get a lot of strikes in the shallows, but they will get quality bites if the bait is presented in the right spot. In a recent tournament on Okatibbee, this angler showed his shallow water prowess by catching several lunker bass in water less than 2 feet deep, when almost everybody else thought the bass would be deep.
On this cloudy afternoon the bass went into a feeding mode as dusk approached. As Perkins worked the shallow shoreline, he quickly opened the rod box and pulled out yet another rod rigged with a clear Tiny Torpedo. They are usually deadly on small bass this time of year and that day proved no exception.
Just when I thought the fishing could not get any better, Perkins put it in high gear and started catching bass after bass on the Tiny Torpedo. It seemed like he was getting bites almost every cast. Not wanting to miss out on the topwater action, I switched to one of the clear Tiny Torpedoes. On my second cast with the bait I scored as well.
For the next hour we caught and released bass after bass with the diminutive baits. On several occasions we scored doubles while hooking up at the same time. Nothing beats topwater fishing when the bass are really on surface baits and they were surely keying on them on this day. As Perkins continued working the shoreline, he continually had bass knock the bait out of the water, sometimes 2 and 3 times on one cast. They would attack the bait several times before hooking up.
Torpedoes catch lunkers too
Although most of the bass were in the pound to pound and a half range, we did catch one lunker bass. As the Torpedo was being retrieved across the surface, a large sow bass swirled and swatted at the bait as if to kill it. About 3 feet later, the big hawg literally sucked the bait in. Once the hook was set, the bass put on an aerial display that would have made the Blue Angels proud.
After several acrobatic jumps and a couple of dives directly under the boat, we finally boated the bass. It must have been at least 6 pounds or better. The bass was long and skinny, with virtually no stomach. Evidently it had not yet recovered from the spawn. Most likely the bass would have pushed 8 pounds or better before laying her eggs.
Nothing can beat spending an afternoon on the water catching bass with one of the best fishermen around. After catching 30 plus bass with one lunker in the bunch, I was reminded just how rewarding shallow water bass fishing can be. Although the bigger topwater baits usually produce the bigger bass, small baits such as the Tiny Torpedo will produce both quantity and quality. It's still not too late to head for the shallows to catch a few bass, you just need to go early or late to catch the dawn and dusk prime times. Call a friend or take a child and head to the waters for some of the finest fishing of the year. You'll be glad you did, I guarantee!