Listen To What The Bass Tell You

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Every angler has no doubt heard it before, but it’s a tip that bears repeating again and again, brand ambassador and competitive fisherman Josh Jetter said. “You have to pay attention, not just to the weather and water conditions, but to the fish themselves,” he said. “That, more than anything, will guide you to a great day on the water.” And on a recent trip to Lake Whitney, the fact was reinforced.

Whitney is a flood-control reservoir about a two-hour drive from Jetter’s Texas home. He’d never fished the lake before, but had agreed to accompany a few friends who wanted to test the waters.

“When I got there, I was thinking that most bass were probably spawning, so I headed upriver looking for feeder creeks,” he explained. “I motored into one that seemed to be a likely bedding area, but didn’t connect with anything. “

As he was backing out of the creek, Jetter noticed a pile of logs that had accumulated at the creek’s mouth—and flipped a jig-and-plastic into the jam.

“It got hit right away — and I mean immediately — by a good bass,” he said. “When I got her to the boat, I quickly saw that she was spawned out — the belly was skinny and her tail was red from being on the bed.”

That was the “click” moment for Jetter on this trip. It told him that most bass had probably shifted to post-spawn mode and that they would likely be in slack-water areas where they could rest. The aggressiveness of the strike also indicated that they were hungry.

“I remembered seeing 5 or 6 logjams at the mouths of feeder creeks my way up the river, “ he said, “so I set up a milk-run. I’d move from one logjam to the next, flipping a Booyah Boo Jig and YUM Chunk. I’d put it across a log then pull it up and over, letting it flutter straight down. That’s when the strike would come. The combo is one of my favorites for early-season fishing. It’s not too big and it acts very much like a real crawfish. Bass love it.”

Each logjam would get about 30 to 45 minutes rest as he fished his circuit. “That would be enough time for things to settle down and I could catch another fish or two,” he explained. By the time he was done fishing, he’d caught 40-plus bass, 25 of which were keeper-class fish. Of those, he said, a double handful were “real good” bass, and the largest weighed more than 7 pounds.

Jetter had a stellar day on Whitney because of his ability to put 2-and-2 together when he caught that first fish. Take the time to consider why and how a bass bites, especially if it’s the first of the day, he advised, and it will lead to further success.

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