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John's Journal... Entry 58, Day 1

Lures and Tactics For Producing Big Bass

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: For 32 years, Jackie Thompson has fished and guided on Lake Eufaula along the Alabama/Georgia border. The impounding of the Chattahoochee River formed the lake in 1964, and it reached full pool in 1966 with 650 miles of shoreline, approximately 46,500 acres of water. Eufaula has an average depth of 22 feet, making it a fairly shallow lake.

"Eufaula is three lakes in one," Jackie Thompson says. "The south end of the lake is relatively deep and clear. The middle of the lake is more like a traditional lake, with many underwater channels that feed into a main-river channel. This area has huge flats on either side of the main-river channel. The northern end of the lake looks more like a river, with plenty of structure in it. You'll find a lot of grass beds, weed beds, sharp drop-offs and stump rows there.

"Eufaula consistently produces some really big bass. In three good days of fishing in the fall, weather permitting, an angler can expect to catch and release 60 to 75 bass, each with an average weight of 2 - to 3-pounds. The biggest bass may weigh 7 to 8 pounds, and at least eight to 10 bass should weigh about 5 pounds each.

click to enlargeThis week we'll look at the fall tactics Thompson uses to produce bass at Lake Eufaula that also should produce bass on the lakes where you fish.

Question: What do the big bass on Lake Eufaula and most other lakes around the country do at this time of year?
Answer: During the fall, the shad will school-up, and the bass will follow those schools of shad. As the weather cools down, the shad that have stayed in the deep-river channels throughout much of the summer months will now move into the mouths of creeks and up to the flats. At this time of the year, several different lures will produce bass on Lake Eufaula and other lakes throughout the nation.

Question: Let's look at some lures and tactics you'll use to catch bass at this time of year. What lure will you choose first?
Answer: My first choice will be a Berkley Frenzy Rattl'r lipless crankbait. I'll cast this crankbait out, reel it down to the bottom and then use a stop-and-go action. I want the bait to look like a wounded shad. The bass usually will take this bait when you stop the lure or when you crash it into cover.

click to enlargeQuestion: Why do you use a lipless crankbait?
Answer: When bass school-up during the fall of the year, they may feed on the surface, just under the surface, halfway to the bottom or right along the bottom. With a lipless crankbait like the Frenzy Rattl'r, I have a lure that imitates the shad. I can fish this crankbait in any water depth, regardless of where the bass are holding. If you use a crankbait with a lip, you have to fish that lure at the depth where it has been designed to work.

Question: Where do you expect to find bass with this lure at this time of year?
Answer: The bass generally will hold on the edge of the flats, just before the bottom drops off into a river channel or a creek channel. This fall pattern for finding and catching bass is pretty standard -- especially throughout the Southeast.

To learn more about Pure Fishing, including the Berkley Frenzy Rattl'r lipless crankbaits, call (800) BERKLEY or visit the Berkley website at: www.berkley-fishing.com.

To learn more about bass fishing in the fall or to fish on Lake Eufaula, contact Jackie Thompson at 110 Marina Drive, Eufaula, AL 36027, or call (334) 687-9595.

Tomorrow: Topwater Tactics For Fall's Schooling Bass




Check back each day this week for more about How And Where To Catch Big Bass In The Fall ...

Day 1 -Lures and Tactics For Producing Big Bass
Day 2 -Topwater Tactics For Fall's Schooling Bass
Day 3 -Carolina Rigging in the Fall
Day 4 -Big Spinner Baits For Big Bass in the Fall
Day 5 -Thompson's Fall Crankbait Tactics

John's Journal