ED GILBERT: Bass fishing coming on

By Ed Gilbert • Last Updated 2:09 pm on Monday, May 21, 2012

Ed Gilbert | Woods and Waters

Although I prefer to fish for trout, I also enjoy tackling a bass or two now and then. And bass season in Michigan is right on our doorstep, so I know many of you are anxiously awaiting to cast away, as am I.

But today, I believe I’ll discuss a little different method to catch bass, along with some other fishing thoughts.

Now, for example, any bass fisherman who ignores daylight fishing along shorelines and in the lily pads could be missing some real excitement. It’s one of the best times and one of the liveliest spots on a lake. Particularly for those llunker or ‘haug’ bass.

Fish tend to hang out beneath those lilly pads, where they’re out of the direct sunlight, plus there’s a lot of protection from many anglers.

So here’s the game…You’ll need a fairly heavy and stiff rod along with heavy line and you can be fishing from a boat or even wading. In either case, be careful and quiet as you move or approach an area to fish.

Use a heavy jig, or even a nightcrawler or minnow and a heavy sinker, and carefully lower the bait into the spaces between the lilly pads or weed beds. Now, the heavy tackle comes in when a bass strikes, because you need to horse that lure or bait right up immediately after the hit, hopefully with a lunker bass on line. If you don’t act immediately the bass will surely get you tangled up in the pads and weeds, and probably escape.

Yeah, I know it’s a little off the wall, but over the years I’ve managed to land some fine ‘haugs’ by this method. And yes, it doesn’t give you the playing action that comes with hooking a fish in clearer water, and it most certainly isn’t at all like fly fishing. Ah, but it can put some dandy meals on the table.

Sure, I know that those of you who’ve fished bass since knee-high to a grasshopper have techniques all your own. Those techniques, for those who don’t fish often, include early-morning or evening hours. Top water lures seem to work best in early morning, when fish are searching for food and are aggressive, then as the day wears on the jerk baits and jigs come into play, particularly in deeper water.

Another idea, having nothing to do with the bait or hardware one uses, is to take a kid or kids along with you when fishing. And don’t forget that it isn’t so much the size of a fish a kid lands but the fact that they actually catch one, or even several. If they have some success at first they will be likely to want to fish again. At least that’s been my experience with my own kids and grandkids. Ah, but they’re all getting older now, and soon they’ll be wanting to take me fishing rather than the other way around. At least I hope so.

So yes, although I’m still whipping the waters up with my fly rod, with trout being the hopeful catch of the day, I’m looking forward to some real bass fishing. Maybe you are, too.

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