Summertime Bassin' on Richland-Chambers
Although mild in nature
compared to last years scorcher, summertime is upon us here in
North Central Texas. We have yet to see the thermometer blast
through the 100-degree mark, even though it has been close a time
or two. The days are long and hot, but the fish don't seem to
mind too much. Several local anglers continue to catch fish,
despite the uncomfortable summertime conditions.
by Tom Lester
Recently, one of my fishing partners, Benji Hohenberger, and I
fished a couple of evenings out on our home lake,
Richland-Chambers reservoir. Benji's boat was down, so we took my
Ranger 461. We headed out of the ramp in search of a few bass
hanging around some "humps and bumps" on the lake. This
time of year, we usually catch larger fish rather than larger
Benji had been catching fish in 15'-20' of water on carolina-rigged
lizards and crankbaits near old submerged pond dams and humps.
Since it had been a while since I had been fishing, we went to
some of his spots. The bites were few and far between, but we
managed to boat a few decent fish ranging from 5 pounds and less.
This is the most popular and successful type of pattern on this
lake during the hot summer months.
The fish seem to hang out in deep water most of the day and
cruise in to these areas to feed. There is no magic time of day.
The fishing is sometimes slow and redundant, but for those
anglers with patience, it can pay off. You might throw the same
bait on the same hump two dozen times without so much as a thump,
and on the next cast you might hook up with a double-digit fish.
You just never know. The key is patience. Find a spot, look for
baitfish to show up on your electronics and fish a while. Again,
the key is patience.
Most of our fish came on carolina-rigged lizards. I caught my
fish using the 7 inch pumpkin seed lizard by Kalin's. Even though
the Kalin's lizards has scent and flavor enhancers built in, I
like to dip the tail in chartreuse Spike-It for an extra flare of
color and the garlic scent. Our fish on R-C seem to really go for
the garlic scents, if you use them.
When carolina-rigging, I like to use a 6'8" carolina
honey from Castaway Rods in a medium action rigged with Abu
Garcia's new TP3000C reel. This high speed reel allows me to take
up slack quickly, after a strike has been detected in order to
get the hook set before the fish drops the bait. I also like to
smoothness of the reel allowing me a great deal of distance when
casting. Spooled with 20# P Line, it makes for a lethal
combination when carolina-rigging. I like to use 15# P Line
fluorocarbon leader during the summertime, since it is virtually
invisible underwater, thus generating more strikes. If the water
is super-clear, I will even go to 12# P Line. The high breaking
point of P Line offers me the advantage of a high strength line,
in smaller than normal sizes for carolina-rigging on this lake.
This is a real plus for wary fish.
Another great option for these summertime bass are large
crankbaits. I like to use Norman Lures DD22 or DD14. These are
Norman's deep diving baits and they come in a variety of colors.
I generally use the shad colored baits this time of year on a
7'7" fiberglass rod. Using a slow speed reel, I will use 10#
or 12# P Line. I use the smaller diameter lines to help the bait
gain as much depth as possible. I have also found it better to
"dig" the bait down deep in the water and then slow
down and vary the retrieve. Start - stop retrieves work really
well, once the bait is down several feet in the water.
Lastly, if you are fishing dams and humps with cover on top of
it, such as trees or brush, I like to use a large grub, like the
Mogambo grub or a 10" worm. It may require several cast at
the same target in order to trigger a bite. Often times, it is
necessary to "doodle sock" a piece of cover to get bit.
Doodle socking means to position the boat directly over a section
of cover, lower the bait to the desired depth and just sit there
moving it up and down. I know it doesn't sound like much, but
believe me, sometimes it is the only way to get a fish to bite. I
think it just makes them mad and they hit it. Nonetheless, give
it a try if the fishing gets tough.
Now the biggie, where do you fish? Where are the humps and
pond dams? Good question. The best I can offer is for you to
either hire a guide or buy a good map. If you hire a guide, tell
them what you want to learn. Make sure they are willing to show
you what you are paying them to teach you. If you go the map
route, get a good one and study it. Try to find a map that will
identify oil well humps, pond dams and other humps for you.
Ideally, you will find one with GPS coordinates on it to help you
locate them. If not, spend some time looking at the map and
planning out your day before you get to the lake. You only need
4-6 holes to fish, if you fish them correctly. Remember that the
key to catching fish on R-C this time of year is patience. Find a
spot to fish and fish it slowly.
Lastly, be extremely careful fishing in the summertime. The
weather can change in an instant. Summertime thunderstorms bring
dangerous lightening and often high winds with them. They can and
will pop up from nowhere and you can find yourself in serious
trouble, fast. Secondly, drink lots of water. Dehydration is a
serious problem for fishermen this time of year. Take along lots
of water, use sunscreen, wear light colored clothes and wear a
hat or cap. Give summertime bassin' a try. You might be surprised
just how rewarding it can be.
Until next time, enjoy the Texas outdoors.
Tom Lester owns and operates Four Seasons
Lawnscape, a landscape and lawn maintenance service, in
Corsicana, Texas. He has fished for most of his 36 years to
some degree or another. He fishes competitively in bass
tournaments and is beginning his professional bass fishing career
in the BASS invitational circuit and the Everstart Series.
Tom lives with his wife, Kelly, in Corsicana, Texas, only a
few miles from Richland-Chambers reservoir, one of the hottest
new bass lakes to open in Texas in the past ten years. He
formerly resided in Cleburne, Texas, where he guided part-time
for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Tom is currently on the
field staff for Abu Garcia, Norman Lures,
Inspiration Lures, and Bill Lewis Lures, and on the pro staff for
and Nuwave Products.
Tom enjoys fishing, hunting and writing his outdoor column for
the Corsicana Daily Sun and freelance writing. He is a
former high school Agricultural Science instructor and animal
health pharmaceutical sales rep. He graduated from Texas
A&M University with a B.S in Agricultural Education and a
Master of Education degree. Tom likes being his own boss so
he can take off to go fishing, whenever he likes, and leave his
wife in charge of the business.
Email Tom at email@example.com
Visit Tom at his web site: Fishing