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franklin county times

June bass fishing is hot

By By Mike Giles / outdoors writer
June 11, 2004
Shortly after daybreak Tony Boutwell, Justin Giles and I launched our boat in search of a few bass. Searching the shallows for a bass is always a favorite pastime of mine. It didn't take long before we started catching bass on our Venom and Bass Pro Shops soft stick baits. Boutwell had never fished these baits before, but he quickly got the hang of it. After a few strikes, he got his timing down and nailed his first bass. It was only the first of many more to come on that day.
The bass were cruising the shallows in search of any forage that they might find before the water heated up and forced them into deeper water or inactivity. As we worked the shorelines almost every bite came from wood structure. If you saw a piece of wood, just cast by it and bring that bass in! Now every strike didn't produce a fish, but the opportunity was there.
For the next two hours we caught bass after bass on the plastic baits, even producing numerous doubles. These same waters were home to some lunker bass a couple of months ago, but they were nowhere to be found on this morning.
The jig is up
By 10:30 the action had slowed down considerably and it was time for a change. I rigged up a small jig and was looking for a trailer when Justin offered a small piece of white pork, made by Uncle Josh of course. I don't know when I had last used one of the small pork trailers, but it was worth a try. On the first cast, a larger bass nailed the small crawfish imitation. It took about thirty seconds for Justin to rig up a jig also. In short order he caught a nice bass on the jig.
As we continued fishing we left the shoreline and started working the deeper water near the drop off areas. My young partner had a trick or two up his sleeve. He fished the jig in a swimming manner and it was really the ticket on this day. The bass were buried in the moss and as the jig swam overhead they would come out and strike hard! These bass were a little bigger than the shoreline bass that we had caught at the beginning of the day.
Ledges and structure
As we continued fishing we approached the deepest water in the lake and I picked up my favorite crankbait rod and began casting a deep diving shad colored bait. On my first cast a nice bass smashed the bait and buried up in some moss. Bass after bass hit the crankbait and it wasn't long before the others joined in on the action.
Switching to a small 200 series Bandit crankbait, Boutwell began catching bass after bass as well. In fact, he didn't cast many times without coming up with a strike. As long as the small lures stayed above the moss, the strikes would come. If they went too deep and got fouled with grass, then the bass wouldn't hit. The small Bandit crankbaits were really hard to beat. After switching to them, the action had picked up again and held constant until we quit around lunch.
Lunkers anyone?
Before we left, we worked the deepest water in the lake in search of a lunker. After I lost a good bass, Justin cast to the same spot and caught about a 4-pounder. Working the area thoroughly, he enticed another big bite, this time a hungry five pounder. Both of those bass fell victim to a parrot colored Bandit. We had finally found a pattern for the larger bass and we stayed with it.
Making one last loop before heading to the bank, I made a long cast and a bass stopped my bait in it's tracks and almost tore the rod from my hands as it zoomed away from us. I knew instantly that the bass was big and was what I had been looking for. Round and round the boat he went, turning us all the while. Without a net, I had to wear him out.
Each time he got to the boat, he would make another run for it. Finally, he wore down and Justin brought him aboard. This bass was in excess of nine pounds and was slam full of bait, as evidenced by his large belly. As I glanced at my watch, the time read 12:04. On this day the big bass bit during the middle of the day, instead of early and late, as conventional wisdom says.
It had really turned out to be a fine day, as we had caught and released many bass on a variety of lures while utilizing many different techniques and patterns. Some days you just can't buy a bite, but then some days you can do no wrong. This was truly a day of memories for three lucky anglers.

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