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Summertime bass fishing tactics

By DICK MARTIN • Jul 15, 2017 at 2:00 PM

The Clearfork Valley Bassmasters held a bass tournament at Clearfork Reservoir last summer, and the day proved to be a good one with some excellent fish caught, weighed, and released to fight again.

The top teams used their favorite tactics to take home sizable checks, and Huron County bass hunters planning to fish this prime bass lake (or others) can learn from these winners, and improve their own catches. Read the words of these men and you'll see an obvious trend.

For example, the two anglers who won the tournament took a five fish limit that weighed 17.2 pounds.

"We took some on wood" one said, "but they were always near weeds and usually near deep water where they could move up to feed then move back deep. We used plastic worms in watermelon color with quarter ounce weights so they could punch through the weeds, and spinnerbaits with a trailer, single spins in white color. We did catch a couple with Carolina rigs in deeper water, and the bass didn't seem to have any particular favorites between worms and spinnerbaits. Our best fishing was before the cold front came through. It slacked off a bit after that."

The second place team did well too, with a five fish limit that topped out at 16.4 pounds, and they won the Big Bass category with a dandy 6.9 pound lunker. Like the others, they fished a rainy, overcast day, some of their favorite weather for bassing. "We started catching fish right off." the older fisherman said.

"We could have fished several different areas, but looked at water conditions, and obviously made a good choice, because the section we concentrated on paid off.

“We cast weed lines close to at least 6 feet of water with quick dropoffs and concentrated on plastic crankbaits and soft plastic worms in dark colors. The worms we fished weightless and right in the weeds, and had slow, but steady action most of the day with about a 3 hour slowdown around noon. Clearfork is definitely hot right now, the best I've ever seen it."

The third place team agreed. They filled their five fish limit in 45 minutes, and spent the rest of the day culling fish to sort out the largest. "We caught a lot of small bass," one said, "which we like to see, and caught most of them along weed edges close to deep water with the largest going 5.06 pounds. We used worms in green and black and crankbaits along the weed edges, though we did pick up a few on wood along shore. We even caught two muskies!"

My last interview was with the fourth place duo who came back to the weigh-in with 13.47 pounds. "It took a while they explained. "We got one here and there, almost all of them from weeds against deeper water. We used 3/8 ounce weedless jigs with rubber legs and a trailer, and fished them slow and close to the bottom. For some reason black and red worked best in the morning, and black and blue in the afternoon."

If you're planning to fish soon, just remember three words - deep water and weeds. That's the magic formula these days.

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HOOKS & BULLETS

• Being greedy can be a costly business as two men fishing the recent walleye run found out the hard way. A wildlife officer assigned to Sandusky County and a sheriff deputy responded to a report of people using nets to catch fish in the closed-to-fishing area of the Sandusky River near the Ballville Dam. Two men were identified as having taken fish from the river with cast nets and both were found to be in possession of more than the daily limit of walleyes. Each individual paid $490 in fines and court costs, were ordered to serve two years probation, and five days in jail that were suspended. Twenty-one walleye, six suckers, five carp, eight quillbacks, and two cast nets were forfeited to the Division of Wildlife as evidence.

• Many Ohio Indians considered freshwater mussels to be a major food source, and they are still to be found in Ohio waterways. For those interested in these fascinating invertebrates, a workshop will be held on Friday, Aug. 4 at Batelle Darby Creek Metro Park Nature Center located at 1775 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For a registration fee of $20 (includes lunch), researchers and education professionals will share mussel biology, identification, and threats to populations with hands-on opportunities. To register, visit wildohio.gov. 

• Bird watchers who like to share their hobby with others are invited to join two active and growing organizations, the Black Swamp Bird Observatory and the American Birding Association. The first is a northwest Ohio group who organizes interesting events and considers itself Northwest Ohio's premier bird conservation organization. To become a member, call 419-898-4070. The second is a national group with well over 7,000 members who promotes the welfare of birds and their environment. For information on the ABA, visit www.aba.org.

 

Dick Martin is a free-lance writer from Shelby. Reach him at richmart@neo.rr.com. You can also visit his blog at outdoors withmartin.com.

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