Photo is of Lake Charles angler, Ashley Soileau, with a 10.1 pound Toledo bass that hit a Carolina rig.
Hello, Anglers. Between storms the past week have seen several windows of opportunity for some very good fishing. There have been periods of comfortable weather with seldom seen moderate daytime mid-July temperatures where highs have only reached the mid-80s. Recent rains have resulted in the lake level moving upward and stands near 169.5 feet and rising slowly. Water temperatures have fallen slightly and are been running from 83 to 87 degrees. Most all of the major creeks have off-colored conditions due to rain/run-off with lots of fresh water entering the fishery both from the Sabine River as well as all major feeder creeks.
The shallow and mid-depths have continued to be productive with lots of cloudy, rainy days that have allowed a larger portion of the fish population to remain in shallow water. Top water, light weighted and weightless soft plastics, spinnerbaits and shallow-to-mid depth crankbaits all improving. My top producer continues to be a light weighted TX rigged Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper and Trick Worm worked in depths of 6 to 24 ft. We'll be back to a regular format in next week's column. Thanks for the many e-mails and questions/comments on our 1st portion of Joslin's Wacky Rig Chronicles. The second and final portion follows in today's edition.
WACKY WORM CHRONICLES PART TWO
Now that we have our rigs fish ready, lets get it in the water. I like to fish a wacky around submerged grass which is how I use it 90% of the time. I cast my wacky rig usually in depths from 6-16' and let it settle to the bottom. Note...it is very common for the bass to hit the bait 'on the fall' so be careful when you start to take up slack. To fish a wacky, you need to be a line watcher. If you feel a slight tap, lift the rod carefully and watch your line. A lot of the time you will see the line moving, while other times it will just feel tight with a slight movement.
When working the worm, I lift my wacky rod just slightly trying to keep the worm close to the grass or other structure. Remember, the worm is light and if you work it too fast you keep it out of the fish zone. Also, you do not have to rush if you get a bite but slowly lower you rod, take up slack and set your hook with a 'pull' instead of a hard jerk. Remember, you are using light line and if you set the hook like a weight-lifter, you will break off a lot of fish. Since your hook is exposed, the hook set is much easier than a TX and C.R. Get as much slack out of your line as possible before you set the hook.
REMOVING HOOKS FROM BASS: At times when wacky worming, a bass will get the hook down deep in the throat. Take great care on not hurting the fish. I have developed a technique where I turn the bass over on its back in my left hand/arm and take the trigger finger on my right hand, find the bend of the hook and push in the hook firmly with trigger finger while at the same time use thumb to push in the bottom (tie area). Most of the time, it will pop out. I have had the personal satisfaction of saving lots of bass with hooks deep in the throat.
Use a needle nose pliers ONLY as a last resort. I have followed many anglers down a bank finding several dead or dying bass on the surface. Also, when you unhook a bass, ease it back in the water instead of tossing it. We can all do a better job in taking care of our fishery. Like most fishing techniques, showing(hands on) is a lot easier than trying to put it in print. Hopefully, this will help to get your interest up if you have never tried Wacky. For a 'hands on' trip(with water) give me a shout. Until then, God Bless and spend lots of time with friends and family and some of it on the water! If you missed the Wacky Part One last week, you can go to our website http://www.joejoslinoutdoors.com/
and click on Fishing Articles and bring it up.
AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated outdoor columnist, tournament angler and pro guide on Toledo and Sam Rayburn. Website http://www.joejoslinoutdoors.com/.
Contact him at 337-463-3848 or firstname.lastname@example.org