John's Journal...


Tantalizing The Bass On Top, And Fishing Slow-Rising Cold Water

EDITOR'S NOTE: This week we’ll look at fishing high water with all the floods in the Gulf Coast area due to Hurricane Katrina and the rain dumped along the Eastern Seaboard by Hurricane Ophelia. Cliff Craft of Sugar Hill, Georgia, has been one of the country's Click to enlargeleading anglers for a number of years. A professional fishing guide on Georgia's Lake Lanier as well as a tackle representative, Craft travels the country teaching fishing seminars and competing in bass fishing tournaments, and enjoys fishing high water.

A tactic that some anglers overlook in the late spring and early summer is top-water fishing. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon flooded water often will move out of shallow water and hold right on the edge of a tree line or brush line. By casting a surface lure like the Bang-A-Lure or a Walking Mann to the edge of he brush line, letting it sit there for several seconds and then beginning to twitch it, you often can trigger a strike. I have found that by trying to tease a bass out of the bushes with a crippled, top-water, minnow-type lure, oftentimes you Click to enlargedon't have to fight the fish through the cover to get it to the boat. Early and late top-water fishing can be excellent under these conditions.

Fishing Slow-Rising Cold Water:

When the water begins to rise, you must know whether the water coming into the lake is cold water or warm water. Usually this can be determined by taking a water temperature at the mouths of feeder creeks and then by taking another water temperature in the back of deep coves where no new water can come. In the fall and early spring when a lake has four or five days of cold rain and the water comes up slowly, bass can be tough to catch. Unless the water next to the bank is warm, the bass most often will stay where they have been before the Click to enlargewater has started to rise. Unless you know where the bass have been before the cold water comes into the lake, you can have a hard day of fishing.

Rising water that is colder than the pre-existing water is a rare happening. I only have had that condition happen a couple of times in my fishing career. Most of the time when you are angling rising water, the water coming into the lake will be warmer and will draw the bass from deep water to the shallow water around the bank. However, on rare occasions, you will find the bass where they have been before the water has started moving up. On days like that, I believe you are better off to stay home by the fire anyway.


Check back each day this week for more about "HOW TO FISH WHEN THE WATER IS UP WITH CLIFF CRAFT"

Day 1: Spinner Baiting High Water
Day 2: Worming The Timber
Day 3: Tantalizing The Bass On Top, And Fishing Slow-Rising Cold Water
Day 4: Angling Flooded Grass
Day 5: Bassing Steep Rocky Banks, And Finding Bass On Big Floods And In High Water



Entry 318, Day 3