John's Journal...


What About Pesky Bass

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: You can have your cake and eat it too. Charlie Ingram, a bass fisherman on Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Alabama, on the Georgia/Alabama border, practices catch and release when he fishes for bass. But he also takes home a mess of crappie for the skillet on almost every outing. Ingram has developed a technique for bass fishing that allows him to catch big bass and large crappie at the same time. The bass go in his back livewell, and he shows them to his buddies at the marina before he releases them. He puts the crappie he catches in his front livewell and never opens it until he arrives at home. Then he takes the speckled sides out to fillet. While fishing a jigging Click to enlargespoon at almost any time of the year, Ingram catches crappie weighing 3/4-pound to 2-pounds each. Also when fishing a jigging spoon in these same places, Ingram takes bass weighing 2- to 10-pounds each.

Often my tastebuds dictate where I fish and for what I fish. If my tastebuds begin to tingle for a platter full of crappie fillets, this urge supersedes my desire to catch a largemouth bass. On one trip to Eufaula, I told Ingram, "I really need to catch a mess of crappie to take home for a fish fry on Friday night. Have you got some spots we can fish?" Ingram grinned like a cat that has a canary in its mouth when its owner looks down and asks, "Have you seen Tweety Bird?" and told me he had several places where we could catch crappie. "Many bass fishermen at Lake Eufaula sink brush on the ends of main river points that drop off into the Click to enlargemain river channels," Ingram mentioned. "These brush piles usually load up with crappie most of the year. We'll take our jigging spoons and catch a couple of nice-sized limits of big fish." True to Ingram's word, we fished about 15- or 20-underwater brush piles on the ends of main river points. We generally would catch four or five crappie off each brush pile while fishing the jigging spoon vertically through the brush before we caught one of those pesky bass. In one day of fishing, we took 53 crappie we put in Ingram's front livewell and caught and released 15 bass weighing from 1-1/2- to 4-pounds each.

When Ingram caught a fat, 3-pound, butterbean-shaped bass, one that any bass fisherman would feel proud to catch, he looked at the fish and Click to enlargesaid, "John, I'm sorry these pesky bass have disrupted our crappie-fishing trip. But I guess we'll just have to put up with them. They don't know we've put our jigging spoons down there to catch crappie and not bass." Ingram laughed as he released the bass and started fishing again.

And actually that's the one problem I've encountered with fishing the jigging spoon like Ingram does -- the lure doesn't discriminate between species. The jigging spoon has the ability to catch any fish on underwater cover when you lower it to that cover. But I've learned I can put up with catching pesky bass when I go crappie fishing and really don't mind taking home a mess of crappie for the skillet when I bass fish. You will too.


Check back each day this week for more about DOUBLE DIPPING SPOONS

Day 1: Where to Fish in the Summer
Day 2: How to Find Cover
Day 3: How to Fish the Jigging Spoon in Deep Structure
Day 4: How to Use a Satellite
Day 5: What About Pesky Bass



Entry 302, Day 5