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Summer Greens and Browns

By Russ Bassdozer

What do all these recent tournament winners have in common?

June 26,1999 - Lake St. Clair, MI - Pete Thliveros, a well-known pro from Jacksonville, Florida, wins the Forrest Wood Open on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, held on Lake St  Clair. Thliveros reporting winning with a Zoom tube (green/pumpkin) fished in 12 feet of water.

June 23-25,1999 - Kentucky Lake, TN - Rickie Harp, from Cottondale, Alabama wins the B.A.S.S. National Federation Southern Divisional on Kentucky Lake in Tennessee. Harp reports he spent three days flipping jigs into man-made crappie stake beds. The winning combo is a 1/4 ounce Pro Vibe jig (green/pumpkin) sweetened with a Zoom Super Chunk (green/pumpkin) trailer.

June 19, 1999- Mississippi River - Mike Baldwin, from Mohave Valley, Arizona, wins Operation Bass' 16th annual Red Man All-American Bass Fishing Championship held on the Mississippi River. Baldwin is reported as jigging up his catch off a rock pile. He used a 1/4 ounce Yamamoto Hula Grub, a skirted twin tail spider jig (watermelon/red flake).

June 12, 1999 - Kentucky River, KY - The team of Kinney Noe and Ronnie Graves win the Fisher's of Men Kentucky Division. Noe reports the pattern for success was to fish watermelon-colored worms and craws in submerged treetops.

All these anglers were fishing soft plastics in early summer shades of browns and greens. This is a phenomena I have observed in my own fishing for many years now, and extends right through the end of summer in August.

When the days are at their longest, brown and green lures are at their best for bass. I start relying on darker-colored watermelon pepper/red flake lures in late June, and I phase into lighter-colored translucent pumpkins with gold flake by early July, and continue heavily with green and/or brown colors through August.

Doesn't matter what kind of bait either - single tail grub, spider grub, worm, tube, crayfish, zipper, lizard, jig/chunk or whatever.

This "green and brown bait" pattern is reliable for me year after year. I haven't figured out why this is so, but several possible reasons may include:

1) Days are longer now. So there is more light, causing underwater critters to lighten up their colorations.

2) Any lingering effects of spring rains and run-off have ended now, leading to lighter-colored waters with better visibility, therefore less need for dark, contrasting lures

3) It's a veritable "green scene" right now with all the aquatic veggies at the peak of bloom. Therefore, most critters that hide in the water weeds should take on a greener hue now than at any other time of the year.

Don't believe it? Try it yourself and see! Or better yet, trick your partner into trying it! And if he starts whipping your butt with greens and browns, don't ask questions...just do the green and brown scene this summer!

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