Fish During Low Light
The best times to fish are definitely early in the morning or late in the evening. Bass are low light predators and as such, they take advantage of these times of day to hunt. The low light gives them the element of surprise and makes it harder for their prey to see an attack coming. Also, as a fisherman, it makes it harder for the fish to determine whether or not your bait is real. I always try to take the advantage away from the fish. If I can remove sight from the equation, the fish will have a much harder time distinguishing my bait from the real thing. With fish hunting during these times, they move around a lot and so I use baits that move like spinner baits, crank baits, and top waters. I try to match the action I impart on the bait to their level of activity.
Use Green Baits
You can never go wrong using some type of green worm. Green pumpkin or watermelon red are definitely the best colors. Lots of creatures underwater contain some sort of green hue. Craw fish, although we normally think of them as red, are green for a large part of the year. Sunfish and bluegill contain plenty of green as well. Obviously, bass are green, and they will predate on juveniles after they hatch. So, you are casting a wide net by playing on color patterns of a variety of different prey species. The color tone of green is really determined by the water color and how dark or light it is outside. For clear water during high sun, I would prefer watermelon red. For less clear water or early and late in the day, I would tend more toward green pumpkin.
Use Clear Baits
Clear baits are good for mimicking bait fish. Natural color tones represent the color scheme of both thread fin and gizzard shad. There are times of the year when the fish are more focused on these bait fish rather than blue gill, baby bass, or craw fish. During these times, I’ll use swim baits, flukes, crank baits, and top waters that are mostly clear, silver, or a subtle white. I would say that the color progression from clear to white depends, once again, on ambient light and water color. For clear water during high sun, I use the clear bait. For less clear water early or late in the day, I’ll use the subtle white. The main idea, is to help the fish key in on the bait, while maintaining a natural appearance.
There are a ton of trees on Canyon Lake. In fact, with it being flooded years ago, it’s like an underwater forest in some areas. These trees provide excellent habitat for all species of fish. It’s not uncommon to catch multiple species out of one tree. I have caught small mouth, large mouth, and even catfish out of the same tree on a bass lure. When I catch multiple species like this, it tells me there’s a solid and diverse ecosystem close by. Not all trees are equal, however. I usually prefer small clumps that stand out from the rest. Also, I’ll look for subtleties like trees that have a thicker base, that are intermixed with sparse brush. Unique features attract fish so, rather than fish a vast dense underwater forest, I look for the groups trees that are different from the rest. When you are fishing trees, it’s definitely a good idea to go weedless. If I’m fishing plastic worms, I never fish with an exposed hook. Also, if I’m using jigs, I make sure it they have a good weed guard built in to deflect off of tree limbs. If I am using a moving bait like a crank bait, I’ll wind it very slow and when it comes in contact with a tree limb, I’ll pause and let it float up and over before resuming my retrieve.
Points can be an excellent starting place for finding fish. When fish travel, they usually have to pass by points, especially during the transition from the main lake, back into the creeks. So, they serve as a migratory route and stopping location. During the early morning and late evening fish travel up the point and during mid day they move out toward the deeper tip of the point. So you can fish multiple areas on a point throughout the day and continue catching fish as the hours progress. Of course the best points have some sort of cover on them. This can be trees and/or rocks. It really just depends on what part of the lake you’re on. A bed of big boulders provide a good hiding spot for bass and of course trees also provide an ambush point for them to use. Also, these types of cover provide shade for times that the sun is high in the sky. Fish have sensitive eyes and lack eyelids so they tend to do well in low light conditions. Thus I seek out shade when it’s super bright outside. If you can find a section of the point with a unique bottom contour change, this can be great for the success of your fishing trip. Fish will tend to move around the point and congregate in and around these subtleties.
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