I love crawfish, but a friend at work turned me on to a completely different way of fishing them. You rig it weedless still, but with no weight and then instead of bouncing it along the bottom, you run it top water over the mats. I have also used this method out here in open water since many of the bass seem to be pelagic feeders. It's hard to resist casting to jumping bass and why would you? The craw I have been using with great success, is a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss. I thought I had used my last one a couple of weeks ago, but was steeling (I mean borrowing) from my daughter's tackle box today, when I came across one slightly used loner. It was the last of the Mohicans and a sight for sore eyes. The bass fishing has been incredibly challenging the last few times, and the weather unpredictable. I have caught fish every time, even off the front and with blue bird skies, but nothing that came close to pulling drag. Well, I take that back, there were a few sushi rolls mixed in, you know the ones that are 5 pounds of weeds to every 1 pound of bass. I started by trying a different lure today since the water seemed a bit darker than normal and the sky was nicely overcast. There was a gentle breeze blowing in from the west, and all the makings of a great fishing story.
I started off trying something I hadn't used in here yet and I did manage 3 bass and 2 misses. It's a small worm so I have to assume the fish were also small if they couldn't keep it down, or they spit before I went to set. Very pretty though and they keep me interested. The fish seem to be cruising around a lot tonight and I tired of the worm. There were just too many fish crashing bait on the top, and the sun was starting to fall. So, I reached in my shirt pocket and pulled out my last craw. I got 3 short strikes in about 5 casts, and then everything went silent. Are you kidding me? Cast after cast and no response, but the bass seemed to be moving around a lot. I headed back to the other lake and got another short strike in open water. So I decided to move over to the mats that had been dead when I first came out. "Work the clock," I tell myself. I like to talk to myself when I'm fishing; I pretend that I am instructing one of my kids. Its how I work through it ok, its like self coaching. Anyway, I am dissecting this mat and a little trench that cuts through the middle of it when right at the edge of the mat, I get hammered. It looked like a Tsunami rolling over my Pit Boss. I pointe the rod to it, reeled and set the hook. Solid fish, and pulling some drag on my redfish outfit. I was using my Shimano Crucial, medium, fast action with a Shimano Spheros reel. That is a great combo for in shore and serves double duty as a worm rod at the lakes. I have been very happy with the feel of the rod and the reel has been quite reliable. They are about 2 years old and have been abused in both fresh and salt water.
Well, hats off to Wes Neal on that one. Maybe we should call it Wes coast style, but whatever you call it, it's another way to get them on top, and that's the best place.
Oh and thanks to beautiful couple, who stopped to watch me fish. They were kind enough to take the pictures, but a little depressed when I let it go. I don't think its wrong to eat bass but the smaller ones taste better and these are the breeders you want to leave in the lake. I'll give them a few keepers next time they come watch me. To give you a little perspective on the size of the fish, I am 8 feet tall, give or take a couple of feet.
Forty years old and still in awe of the outdoors.