June Bassmaster Weekend Series Tournament
The Hot Days of Summer!
There are a few things you can count on in Texas this time of year and the heat is at the top of the list. As we head over to East Texas this weekend the expected temperatures are going to be in the high 90’s. This tells me a few things I’m going to need to do to find some quality Bass.
1) I must be very effective during the early bite. Typically Bass will come into the shallow areas to feed, especially when the Blue Gill Perch are spawning. My plan will be to find some type of grass or lily pads in 2 to 5 feet of water and throw a hollow body frog and buzz frog as many times as possible. I recommend using at least 65 pound braid while doing this as it cuts through the grass better, floats and will increase your chances of getting a big one to the boat. I must be very focused for those few hours.
2) As the day gets hotter, I plan to keep easing out deeper. Those fish won’t stay in the shallows long when the sun comes up. They tend to find some structure and get up close to it so that they can ambush their prey in a little deeper water and the hotter it gets the deeper the big ones go. My plan here will be crank baits and the Carolina Rig.
With the post spawn and the heat against me, I must be focused on catching fish every time one hits the bait and staying hydrated. However, taking care of the fish in the live well needs to be on my mind as well. As conservationists, we always want the fish to be in excellent shape when they are returned to the water for other anglers to enjoy. There are many products on the market that can be added to the live well to help the fish during this time. You can also add ice, I would recommend saving old milk jugs, filling them up with water and freezing them as this is a great way to keep the water cool.
We are loaded up and about to head to Lake Sam Rayburn……. Let’s see how my plans work out!
….well, the June Bassmaster Weekend Series tournament is in the books and I was right about one thing….it was HOT!
My plan didn’t go as I was thinking it would. Since we got a late draw we were the 58th boat to launch and those frog fish were going to be there early, so we changed up a bit.
Since the bass are in their summertime patterns we went deep (19 to 30) feet of water and fished points with structure. I started off by throwing a Texas rigged Brush Hog and started catching fish immediately. I ended up catching a bunch of small fish, which is not good in a tournament, but they got me a 22nd place finish and I moved up from 10th to 8th place in the season points standings.
We did a great job of taking care of our fish once they were in the live well. I added ice and an additive to the live well water, as well as monitored the fish every hour or so. I’m happy to say that all of the fish I caught made it back into the lake alive and well.
Two more tournaments to go before Regional’s in Arkansas and hopefully the National Championship in Alabama!
Stephanie Vatalaro is vice president of communications for the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and its Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar campaigns where she works to recruit newcomers to recreational fishing and boating and increase awareness of aquatic conservation. Stephanie grew up in the Florida Keys as the daughter of a flats fishing guide. Outside of work, you can find her fishing and boating with her family on the Potomac River in the Northern Neck of Virginia.