by Jack Payne
I like summertime fishing. Patterns get set and the same technique can work on multiple species on different lakes. An example is a recent outing on a northern lake that holds both walleye and bass. Some days I come armed with a nice fat crawler but on this occasion we did not have any meat.
Instead we went with the Bass Stopper Worm from Stopper Lures. We used both the original worm and the Sidewinder. The Sidewinder comes with a single propeller blade. Both worms come with either two hooks or three hooks molded into the worm. The Bass Stopper worm is a scented worm with anise oil. Anise oil is a lifelong favorite scent of mine.
We started out at daybreak working the edge of the deepest cabbage weeds that we could find. Normally I would use one or two split shots but on this day we also experimented with the new Cast a Weight sinker that was designed for the Stopper pre-rigged worms. These weights slide through the weeds without fouling up and get to the bottom much faster.
Running the trolling motor on slow mode we looked for anything different on the weedline. A clump sticking out further, a small opening or a section of short grass bordering the cabbage weeds. Any change would potentially harbor a fish.
Cast out the rig, let it settle to the bottom and then slowly bounce it back in. We would raise up our rod tip and let the worm flutter down. Reel in the slack and repeat. Because the water temperatures are up there we moved along at decent pace. Early in the spring we move at a snail’s pace.
Once the sun came up we moved out to the points and deeper water. Many of our fish came in depths of 18-24 feet. We would work the shady side of the points first. Speaking of this, fish the points that will get the sunlight the earliest in the day. Get there before the sun gets to high and keep moving.
If we caught a fish we stayed on the point. Go 5-10 minutes without a bump we would pull up and hit the next deep water point. We ran this technique until the sun was shining on all of the points. The higher the sun went the deeper the fish dropped down.
Midday action was best over the mud flats and the small mid lake humps. By this time we had a small chop on the water. Fishing the deeper water we switched to the Sidewinder. The front blade created a bit of noise and improved our action.
Fishing deep water requires more weight and more patience. When we had enough wind we cast out two rods each and sat the rods into a rod holder. On my boat I have Driftmaster rod holders that I use for trolling and drifting.
The key was getting your worm to glide just over the bottom. We wanted the wave action to lift up our worm and then let it flutter down. When a fish hit it was normally hooked. These razor sharp small hooks really do the job.
A benefit using the plastic worms over a real crawler is that small perch and bluegill do not drive you crazy. We catch a few perch and gills with the plastic worms and the size is generally very pleasant to work with.
The plastic worms can be fished in many ways. Very few anglers give them a shot when fishing deeper than ten feet of water. Add a Cast a Weight and fish deeper. Play the sun and use the sun. The results will surprise you.
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