John's Journal...


Bassing Steep Rocky Banks, And Finding Bass On Big Floods And In High 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 leading anglers for a number of years. A professional fishing guide on Georgia's Lake Lanier as well as a tackle representative, Craft Click to enlargetravels the country teaching fishing seminars and competing in bass fishing tournaments, and enjoys fishing high water.

When the water comes up, the bass move up on the rocks. They are going to follow the baitfish into the shallow – no matter what structure they have to go to while following the baitfish. When the bass move out of the deep water onto the rocks, my favorite bait still is the worm. However, a crankbait can be deadly also. I try and match the crankbait to the baitfish in color and size. But to get a strike, the lure has to do something the other baitfish are not doing. I run my lure into rocks, let it float up and lay on the water a few seconds. Then I start my retrieve again. I believe when the lure hits the rock it gets the bass's attention so that the fish looks for the bait. The bass may see the crankbait on the surface and usually will attack when the bait starts to Click to enlargeswim again. Another tactic that produces with the crankbait is a stop/start retrieve. When a bait is swimming, stops, and starts to float up, the bass often will strike, thinking it's found an easy way to catch a tasty hors d'oeuvre. If you are having to angle on a bright sunny day, and you can find rocks that are partially shaded, if you’ll cast into the shady area and work the crankbait into the sun, many times the bass will strike when the lure crosses the shadow. Often I want my bait to float up just as it comes out of the shade and into the sun. That's when the fish usually will explode on the bait.

Finding Bass On Big Floods And In High Water:

The problem is not how to catch the bass on a big flood but where to find the bass. Usually when the water is rising slowly, the backs of creeks in freshly flooded areas are best for locating bass. However, when an area has a major flood, the Click to enlargenumber-one thing to look for is clear water. Often you can find springs or small, clear branches running into a muddy lake. That clear water is like a magnet that draws bass. The fish will go to clearer water when they are quickly surrounded by muddy water. Once you find that clear water, you usually can catch bass on almost anything. A small crankbait or a top-water lure will pay off most of the time. Novice anglers often are afraid of not being able to catch bass when they get to a lake and see that a usually-beautiful body of water has turned into a clay hole. However, generally, rising water moves bass more shallow and closer to shore. When the water starts up, the bassing should get better. If I had my choice, I would rather fish rising water than any other water condition as long as the water doesn't come up too quickly and isn't too muddy.

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 5