John's Journal...

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

How to Fish a Highland Reservoir Now

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, if you had to fish a highland reservoir in hot weather, under drought conditions, how would you fish it?Click to enlarge
Davis: If the area you’re fishing has hot weather, clear skies and clear water, you’ve got a bad fishing condition. This will be the toughesttime of the year to try and catch bass out of a highland lake. However, they can be caught. In most cases, you can expect your bass to be suspended, and they’ll be hard to catch. But even in these conditions, you still can find some shallow-water fish anywhere you locate shad in shallow water. If you use that Series 1 crankbait, you can catch these fish, or you can use a lipless crankbait like the Diamond Shad.

I like the chrome, blue back, sliver side Diamond Shad for trying to catch these shallow-water bass in these deep, clear lakes. You’ll catch bass on this lure, on flats aClick to enlargend back in creeks. But another more-dependable way to catch bass will be to fish the Carolina rig on main-lakepoints and humps and along the thermocline. Locating the thermocline will be a major key to finding bass at this time of the year. The thermocline is where the water changes temperatures. At this time of year, the bass will be holding on structure right along the edge of that thermocline. On most highland lakes, the thermocline will be 25-feet deep or deeper. So, you may find bass from 20- to 40-feet deep.

The other tactic I’ll use on this type of lake will be vertical fishing with a drop-shot rig. On my drop-shot, I like a Strike King finesse worm in either green pumpkin or watermelon colors. I’ll basically be fishing bottom contours and tClick to enlargerying to see bass on myelectronics before I either drop-shot to those fish or send my Carolina rig down to them. Both the drop-shot and the Carolina rig will probably be your best bet for deep-water bass in these highland reservoirs.

Question: What line will you be using?
Davis: I’ll have fluorocarbon line on both my drop-shot and my Carolina rig. On the Carolina rig, I’ll be using 15-pound-test line on a casting rod for both my main line and my leader. I’ll have a 3/4-ounce weight on my Carolina rig. On my drop-shot rig, I’ll be using 8-pound-test line on spinning tackle and have a 1/4-ounce weight on the bottom of my drop-shot rig.

Tomorrow: Down at the River

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