John's Journal...


Gary Klein on Flood-Water Bass

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Editor’s Note: Some people think that the only time to have a good day of bass fishing is when the lake is down and clear. Well, this is just not true for the bass fishing pros with whom I’ve talked. This week they’ll tell us why they love to fish in flood waters from Florida all the way to Texas. Here are some new tricks to find the big bass.

Gary Klein of Weatherford, Texas, has been a professional bass fisherman since he was 17-years old. Klein is one of the true masters of this sport. Like Grigsby, Klein likes to fish flood waters because of the excitement associated with angling unexplored water. "To find the best bass fishing when a lake or a river gets out of its banks, you must be willing to maneuver your boat through thick, heavy timber and back into the bushes Click to enlargewhere few other anglers will go," Klein explains. "The fisherman who catches the most bass when the rivers and lakes are flooding will be the one with the most limbs in his boat at the end of the day. Sometimes when I've pulled and drug my boat through some of the heaviest timber you've ever seen and arrived at the backside of that timber in the shallow water where I know the bass are holding, I'll often find another tournament fisherman there. Perhaps weekend anglers don't catch big bass under flooding conditions because they're not willing to push, drag and squeeze their boats through that just inundated timber to reach where the bass are."

Klein, like Grigsby, tries to fish the newest water, which is the water that's just beginning to Click to enlargeflood the land and is closest to the bank. "That new water has more nutrients and more cover," Klein reports. "If you'll study old bass-tournament records, you'll see that most bass tournaments that are won under flooding conditions are won by anglers who fish the new water. When a lake floods, the bass holding on underwater structure will come up off that structure and suspend in deep water. As most anglers know, a suspended bass is the most difficult fish to catch. Rather than fish for these hard-to- take bass, try for the shallow water bass, this will follow the rising water toward the bank. They'll be looking at the shore and feeding on the baitfish and the new plant and animal life coming in to the lake."

Klein believes the more water he covers, the more bass he'll catch. His bait of choice for flood waters is the spinner bait and the pig and jig. "The spinner bait allows me to cover water quickly and locate bass," Klein comments. "The pig and jig lets me fish visible, thick cover quickly and efficiently. If I pinpoint a concentration of bass in a particular area with my spinner bait, then I'll Click to enlargestart flipping a pig and jig in the visible cover in that region. Or, if the water temperature is cool in the early spring or fall, I'll lean more heavily on my pig and jig to produce bass."

Klein has learned that water temperature is the key to the baits he flips under flood water conditions. If the water temperature is cool, he flips the pig and jig. However, if the water temperature is warm, Klein believes that fishing the Texas-rigged plastic worm is more effective. When the bass are out in the bushes and the water's high and rising, Gary Klein will be headed toward that rising water and newly-inundated banks like early settlers drove their mules and wagons through the dense forest when the Indians were attacking. "Back in the bushes is where you'll find the bass when the water's rising," Klein advises.


Check back each day this week for more about THE PROS' TACTICS TO TAKING FLOOD WATER BASS

Day 1: Shaw Grigsby
Day 2: Gary Klein on Flood-Water Bass
Day 3: Paul Elias on Flood-Water Bass
Day 4: Bill Dance on Flood-Water Bass
Day 5: More Bill Dance on Flood-Water Bass



Entry 308, Day 2