June bugs, toad frogs, and bass in the fall
By By Mike Giles / outdoors writer
Oct. 11, 2002
Most fishermen have hung up their rods and gotten out their bows or guns by this time of year. Not Dwight Callens, however. Although he does his share of hunting both with a bow and a gun, he still enjoys catching a bass or two. The early October fishing invitation was just too hard to pass up. Callens supposedly had found a few bass in a secret honey hole.
With the hours of the day getting shorter and shorter, we only had a couple of hours fishing time after work. Following a short trip to the lake, Callens launched his boat and we were on our way. Although the bass have been on the points and ledges throughout September, with the cooling water temperature, he had a hunch where else a few bass would be.
On this afternoon it didn't take long to get to the lake and to our first spot. And what a hot spot it turned out to be. Shortly after we cut off the big motor, Callens had on a nice bass. "They really like this June bug in clear water," exclaimed Callens. In this case a June bug was really a June bug colored, six-inch Zoom worm.
By now it was evident that my guide was on to something. On my second cast Callens asked me to unhook his other rods. As soon as I took care of that situation, I turned back just in time to see my line taking off. Alas, I was too late as the bass had indeed stolen my June bug worm. All I had to show for it was a bare hook.
After a short cast under an overhanging limb, Callens bowed up on a nice fish that was intent on staying down deep. As the feisty fish finally broke the surface we were astonished at the two-pound plus crappie that wallowed on the surface. The big slab had sucked in the 6-inch worm.
Working our way along the waters edge we came upon some duckweed, water grass and lily pads. Just as a fish swirled in the edge of the grass, I cast a Toad back into the "water salad." As the Toad made its way to the edge of the greenery, a nice bass savagely crushed it! Seconds later the bass literally tail walked back to the boat.
Now some people call em frogs, rats, or toads. In this case I was using a bass rat and toad. It doesn't matter what name you call these frog imitators. They are deadly when the bass are active in the late spring and early fall once the water cools off. For some reason they attack a frog more ferociously than any other top water type of bait.
As we continued fishing down the bank we continued to pick up bass on the toads and worms. This was my second trip of the fall that found the bass keying in on the rats, toads and frogs.
As the sun started to set, we stopped at one last point on the edge of a channel. For the next twelve to fifteen casts we alternately caught bass after bass on the Zoom worms. If your bait landed into one spot about 2 feet wide, you were going to get a bite.
With only minutes of daylight left I picked up my rat and cast it across the point where I had detected a slight movement. As soon as the rat cleared the vegetation, another bass smashed it and headed for parts unknown. Once the slack was taken out of my line, I lowered the boom and turned him towards the boat. In short order I had caught and released my last bass of the day. Not to be outdone, Callens caught one last bass and another beautiful fall day was done.