Early morning and late afternoon are the best angling opportunities on busy lakes

By Don Ingram
   When pleasure boaters and personal watercraft occupy the lakes during the day, concentrate your angling efforts during the early morning and late afternoon. The best angling opportunities during July and August are the first two hours after daylight and last two hours before dark. The low light levels during this time offer an opportunity for anglers to catch several fish and beat the heat and congestion found on most reservoirs during July and August.
   One of the best techniques to use during early morning and late afternoon is casting a small, topwater bait around main lake points and channel banks near deepwater. Pop-r’s, chug bugs, Zara Spooks, and buzzbaits are excellent choices. Bass will position near deep water which offers security and comfort during the hot summer months.
   Boat position is extremely important for this technique. Because the water is usually extremely clear, the boat needs to be positioned away from the bank so the angler can make long cast and not spook the fish. All fish in clear water are extremely spooky and notice shadows cast across the water.
   Bass in clear water will feed by sight and sound and will travel several feet to reach a lure on the surface. The proper equipment is essential with this technique. I use a 6’6 medium action, G-Loomis NRX rod, and Shimano reel rigged with 10 to 12 pound P-Line flourocarbon line. The line is virtually invisible in the water and has little stretch when setting the hook after a strike. If I purchase a topwater lure and it has shiny treble hooks, I’ll replace the hooks with black nickle, Mustad triple grip hooks to eliminate the light reflection of the shiny nickle hooks as it’s worked in the water.
   Whether I’m fishing a lake, river, or creek, topwater is my first choice during July and August. If you follow a few simple tips and concentrate your angling efforts during the early morning and late afternoon, I guarantee you can catch a few more fish.

Don Ingram publishes an outdoor article entitled “Outdoors with Don Ingram” that is printed in various publications throughout Kentucky. He is a two-time All-American qualifier. Don has been very successful competing in tournaments in Kentucky and Tennessee. He has appeared on numerous outdoor television programs like, “Kentucky Afield,” Walmart’s “Great Outdoors,” and “Outdoors with Dave Shuffett,” aired on the Outdoor Life Network and the Outdoor Channel. Don is a Pro Staffer for the following companies: Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Shimano G-Loomis Rods, Bandit Bait Company, Prowler Soft Plastics, Mustad, Optima Batteries, Lunker Lure, and P-Line.

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