Content Supplied By www.bassmaster.com, written by Stephen Headrick
I’ve been on vacation and not fishing for the past week. When I got back, though, I heard an interesting story I’m going to pass along. It may help us with this heat were facing.
A guy I know real well ran into a man who has been catching tons of big smallmouth this summer with a modified version of the float-and-fly technique. He’s using a slip bobber with a stop and a 1/8- or 3/16-ounce black hair jig. He’s setting it up to fish at about 20 feet here in Tennessee. Apparently he’s been doing this for years when it gets real hot in the summertime.
What he does is run around the lake watching his electronics. He’s looking for schools of baitfish with arches in them — or sometimes just above or just below them. He then tosses everything right into the middle of the school and waits for a bite. He says it’ll work at night or right in the middle of the day.
I’m going to try it this week and see what happens. I have a few questions about what he’s doing, but basically I think it’ll work. Let’s face it; we have to do something to get around this heat wave we’re experiencing.
One of the big questions I have is why he's using a black jig? That really doesn’t make sense to me. I’d think that something that looked more like a shad or an alewife would be better, more natural. My guess is that he’s using black because it’s his confidence color. But, like I said, I’ll know more after I do some fishing with it.
Another question I have is how I should present the jig. He’s saying that over, under or through the baitfish works differently on different days. That might be right, but I’ve always caught more smallmouth fishing slightly above the baitfish. That seems to get their interest better. And what about the retrieve?
In the winter, we just wiggle the float to make the jig shake a little, and I do mean a little. It would seem that might work during the summer, but remember the water’s really warm right now. Most everything in the lake will be swimming fast. So, I’d think that pulling the jig along at a pretty good clip and bouncing it hard would work best.
If a summertime float-and-fly really works, this is going to be great. One of the drawbacks about the traditional technique is that it’s only good in cold water. On top of that, it requires a very long rod which makes it illegal in most tournaments. Another thing is that with a fixed bobber on a long leader, the fish are hard to land without a net and experienced help. This new method solves those issues.
We might have something that works in 90- to 95-degree heat that’s easy to use and doesn’t cost a lot of money. I’ll let you know more when I know more.