John's Journal...

Bass - How to Catch 'Em in August and Early September with Mark Davis

Grass Lakes

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Arkansas, has made over $200,000 in 2007 in tournament fishing. He’s won one FLW $100,000 tournament and currently, he’s in third place on the B.A.S.S. Southern Open circuit. Davis is a veteran. He won the Bassmaster’s Classic in 1995, and he’s one of the nation’s top pros. This week, he’ll tell us how to catch bass in a wide variety of lakes, when the weather’s hot, and when most fishermen are drinking iced tea and sitting by the air conditioner indoors.

Question: Mark, how do you fish a lake full of grass at this time of year, when you have hot weather and often, drought conditions?
Davis: You can expect bass in grass lakes to do one of two things, depending on the depth and the type of grass in the lake. They’ll either be on the outside edge of the grass (the deep edge), or they’ll bury up in thClick to enlargee grass. If the bass are buried in the grass, this is the most-difficult way to try and catch bass in a grass lake at this time of year. The reason is to get your lure to the bass, you have to use a heavy weight to punch through the grass and get the lure down where the bass can see it. You generally have to use either a jig or some type of soft-plastic lure. Once you punch through that grass, the bass generally will be holding in what I call a cavern underneath the canopy. The bass are burying-up in the grass to dodge the heat and to get oxygen. Even though these bass are sitting almost on the bottom and for the most part are dormant, they can be caught. I like a 1-ounce Premier Elite Strike King jig in the bluegill-type colors – green pumpkin or pumpkin with green flakes. I like to put a green pumpkin 3X trailer behind my jig on 50-pound-test braided line or larger. I’ll drop the jig onto the top of the grass mat and shake the jig so it will fall down through the mat to reach the cavern where the bass are holding. I’ll repeat this process throughout the day and know that I won’t catch large numbers of bass. Click to enlargeHowever, the bass I do catch will be quality fish. I’ll be pitching more than flipping this jig.

Question: If you’re not fishing through the grass, how will you fish the edge of the grass?
Davis: I can fish the same jig on the edge of the grass that I fish through the grass, but more than likely, I’ll be fishing a plastic worm or a tube jig, depending on the depth of the grass. At this time of year, you may not be able to visually see the outside edge of the grass. You may have to find that edge with your depth finder, if the grass is in deep water. I like to fish a Strike King RibbonTail Worm with either a 1/4- or a 3/8-ounce sinker, and I’ll rig the worm Texas style on fluorocarbon line. I’ll cast the worm out, let it go all the way to the bottom and fish it slowly along the edge of the grass.

Click to enlargeQuestion: How do you make the decision to either fish the plastic worm or the tube?
Davis: That’s a good question. I’ll probably try both and let the bass tell me what they want to eat. The tube is more of a subtle type of jig. You’re more likely to catch bigger bass on the tube than the worm. However, you’ll get more bites on the worm than you will on the tube. You can pretty-well determine whether you want to catch bigger fish or more bass by either using the tube or the worm.

Question: What colors will you be fishing?
Davis: When I’m fishing the worm, my favorite colors in August and early September are plum or some variation of purple like tequila. If I’m fishing the tube, I prefer the bluegill color or smoke with red flakes or green pumpkin.

Tomorrow: How to Fish a Highland Reservoir Now

Check back each day this week for more about "Bass - How to Catch 'Em in August and Early September with Mark Davis"

Day 1: Power-Plant Lake
Day 2: Grass Lakes
Day 3: How to Fish a Highland Reservoir Now
Day 4: Down at the River
Day 5: Where the Salt Water Meets the Fresh


Entry 419, Day 2