BassWestUSA - July/August, 2009, Page 66

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Photo courtesy of Seigo Saito/BASS Communications

exploring tidal River Bass

fish the grass for more bites

GRANT GOLDBECk

tidaL

rivers can be explo- sive in the summer months, with fish bunching up and numbers generally not being a problem. Sure you can flip wood or even fish rock and catch some and do ok. Grass is the deal though if you want to put a lot of fish and potentially put giant after giant in the boat. Current, cover, bait, and oxygen are the key factors to consider to be success- ful. Tides can be tricky, constantly reposi- tioning the fish. Tides can also make things more predictable once you have figured it out. Tidal waters usually have some sort of vegetation that will produce oxygen in the

summer months. This is key because rivers are most often somewhat shallow and re- ally heat up in these months. A good starting point is to find the biggest spawning bays, creeks and flats. These areas generally hold the bigger num- bers of fish and they don’t go too far when they are done with the spawn. Flats at the mouths of these areas or nearby grass beds on the main river close to the mouths of these creeks and bays, tend to be where your bigger fish and num- bers of fish migrate. The main river means good current, oxygen and hopefully a degree or two cool- er than the creeks and bays. Some natural creeks do stay cool- er but the numbers of fish don’t come close to the main river. In locating these areas idling M I n d a L u r e s ’ L aT e s T s O f T P L a s T I c B a I T slowly in front of these grass beds • Completely new design to can save you some the fishing industry that time. There should produces a graceful eel- be bluegills, shad type swimming motion. and plenty of life • Bait produces more water popping at the sur- displacement and flash to face. I don’t like to trigger more strikes. stop and fish unless • Can be fished both parallel I see life visually and perpendicular to first. water surface, depending on how it’s rigged. Two things to also look for are a • Currently available in deeper edge on the 4”, 7” and 10”versions. 12 hot colors! outside of the grass for fish to pull off to 866-649-2941 at lower tides, or www.MindaLures.com grass that mats out Info@mindalures.com and forms canopies P.O. Box 1246, for the fish to get Kennedale, TX 76060 underneath. The best areas I have found contain mul- tiple types of veg- etation in one area. I think it just gives

Spear WormS

them options and also more types of bait and food will be around. Fluctuation of the tides is where the fish will become predictable. At higher tides the fish can scatter more in the grass having options. A lot of times they will move further back in the grass, to the once shallow water, because the bait is there. Once the tide begins to fall they will start to pull with it heading towards that deeper edge or to the grass that lies over and forms a canopy for shade and ambush. If the grass bed completely mats up, even better. This just means a larger group of fish can get under one roof. Look at this as an apart- ment verses a house. A smaller house can only hold so many people but a larger house with a bigger roof can hold a lot. If you really want to find a spot on a spot, and I mean the juice, start hunting in the winter to early spring months. I like to go out early like this when the grass is still premature. This time can be used to find hard bottom areas within these grass beds, which will be key areas the juice in the summer months. A little depression or small change in depth is worth finding, a great tool to find these hard bottom areas and ditches is a simple Carolina rig setup. I prefer a 1oz.Tru Tungsten weight with a double barrel swivel tied below it and Sun- line Bass Super PE 56lb.braided line. You can drag these grass flats fan casting the area or even just a slow steady reel with the rod tip up keeping bottom contact works quick and well. All you are doing is feeling for hard bottom and bottom change. I like the Tru Tungsten weight verses lead be- cause it really helps feel everything. I use the braided Sunline product because it’s so smooth for long casts and incredibly sensi- tive as well. That’s all you are doing is feel- ing for change in the bottom with no bait on just cover flats quick. Making a good mental note or a way- point when you find hard bottom will help you get more bites and understand why these little spots are so productive within the grass bed that summer. BW

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July/August 2009