Match the right lure, technique and conditions, and you will catch fish

By Don Ingram  
   Whether fishing a reservoir or river and stream, topwater action is at its best during this time of year.
   Bass are positioned near the flats but adjacent to deep water. They still use the shallow areas to feed but will be adjacent to deep water for convenience, comfort and security.
   An angler can increase their chances of catching fish by following a few simple tips.
   I always start the day with a topwater lure like a spook, pop-r, sammy, or buzzbait. Some of the biggest bites of the day will be on a topwater bait during the first two hours of daylight.
   When the weather has been stable for a few days or just before a weather front, bass will actively feed the entire day. Continue working a topwater bait through the day until the fish stop biting.
   If the bass stop coming to the surface, then change from a topwater bait to a Bandit crankbait or Lunker Lure spinnerbait. Colors are not as important to the bass as they are the fisherman this time of year.
   I use a 30-minute rule during the fall. If I haven’t caught a fish on a lure in 30 minutes, I change the lure. The average fisherman casts the same one or two lures the entire day and at the end of the day claims the fish aren’t biting.
   Fish are creatures of habit and opportunity and will always feed under certain conditions. Match the right lure and technique with the right conditions and you’ll catch fish.
   If I do not receive a strike on a crankbait or spinnerbait after an hour, I’ll slow down and cast a 1/2 ounce Lunker jig tipped with a Prowler trailer or a Texas rigged worm. I’ll look for isolated pieces of wood or cover next to deeper water. Bass will chase shad on shallow flats and can be caught on crankbaits and fast moving lures when they are active.
   When the fish are inactive, they’ll position around the first available cover near the flats or they’ll relocate to the first substantial depth change. A depth change is where the bottom contour changes several feet quickly.
   Bass tend to group together or school during July. Basically what this statement means is there will be several fish together using an area. If you fish down a bank or across a ledge or drop and catch one or two good fish, chances are there are several fish using the area. Slow down, use several different techniques and lures, and determine which lure produces the most strike.

Don Ingram publishes an outdoor article titled “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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