(This story about Guntersville-based Major League Fishing pro Chris Lane first appeared on the Internet fishing site wired2fish and is reprinted here with permission.)
The searing heat of summertime may dissuade some bass anglers from hitting the water but not Power-Pole ambassador Chris Lane. Lane plies his waters of the Tennessee River throughout the lazy, hazy days of summer and imparts a three-prong strategy focusing on times of day to successfully target largemouth bass.
“Morning hours are prime time,” says Lane. “Not only is it cooler out for the angler, but bass feel that comfortable cooling period and feed with more aggression.”
Lane sets up on grass flats in 1 to 2 foot of water during sunup hours, pushing the Power Pole down in the shallows and working the surface with topwater poppers.
“I use the River 2 Sea Whopper Popper and Lane Changer, casting over the grass flats and chugging the lure across the surface at a slow to moderate pace. Big fish feed during the morning hours in summer so I expect to get the largest of the bass during that time.”
Once the sun is high in the sky, Lane goes deeper to find schooling fish.
“Usually the Tennessee River starts flowing in the afternoon as people start using their air conditioners which pulls water for energy. That’s when the fish push out to the ledges in about 12 to 20 feet of water. I put the Pole down just outside the ledge and start working down deep along the slopes with crankbaits, Lucky Strike football jigs or worms in plum, mud bug and black and blue colorings.”
Lane slows his retrieve down, allowing for bass to key in on the lures in the sluggish temps. “I’ll keep casting to the same spots once I find a hit as bass are schooling up during the day. Where you find one fish, you’re bound to find a few more.”
As the sun begins to drop, Lane reverts back to tossing topwaters. “Sunset fishing means creating commotion again on the surface. At dusk, bass are pushing and pinning baitfish up to the top. Any lures showing off blurping, spitting action will get a strike as fish will be busting on top crashing bait schools.”
Throughout the summer, from sunup to sundown, Lane advises to adapt tactics from shallow to deeper waters to find bucketmouth bass on the feed.