John's Journal...


Paul Elias 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.

Click to enlargePaul Elias of Laurel, Mississippi, won the Bass Masters Classic in 1982 and still actively fishes the pro-bass-fishermen circuits. Living in Mississippi and having fished numbers of swamps and oxbow lakes in the river delta areas, Elias is well-acquainted with finding bass during floods. "I key in on flooded fields when the rivers get out of their banks," Elias says. "I look for little drainage ditches, small streams and low spots that run through Click to enlargeagricultural fields. I've learned that bass will use these ditches as highways to the newly impounded water because they want to be in that warm, shallow water to feed and to spawn. But if the water begins to recede out of these fields, the fish want to have deep-water access close by."

Like Grigsby and Klein, Elias also will depend on a spinner bait and the pig and jig to catch these bass in the edges of these ditches. If Elias can't find fields and ditches, his second choice for catching bass when the water's rising is points coming off Click to enlargenewly-inundated land. "But one of my favorite, high-water fishing patterns is to fish sweetgum trees," Elias reports. "Although I don't know why bass seem to prefer to hold next to sweetgum trees, I've noticed when I fish under high-water conditions and can locate sweetgum trees in forests that just have been flooded, I consistently catch more bass around those sweetgums more than I do any other type of tree." Elias believes that some of the biggest and best bass caught during the spring of the year will be taken by anglers willing to risk scratching their boats to go into newly-flooded areas and fish the rough cover where the big bass hold.


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 3