Bandits, dogs and Slither Worms mean big bass

By By Mike Giles / outdoors writer
June 25, 2004
When it comes to locating and catching hot weather bass, nothing beats a good hunting dog and a Bandit or two. As the temperature soars up into the nineties the lunker bass usually head for deeper, cooler water. When they do, you can be sure the bass are not going to chase those baitfish or lures too far. That's when I get my favorite dog out of the pen and start to work.
Now before you think that the hot weather has driven me crazy, think again. My hunting dog in this case is just a figure of speech, actually a pet name for my favorite crankbaits. While fishing on an area lake recently, I tied on a Bandit 500 series chartreuse and blue crankbait and went to work. Much like a bird hunter does, I sent that old Bandit dog out into the deeper water to search every nook and cranny for a lunker bass. It didn't take long to find what I was looking for. My first five casts with the Bandit crankbait produced four bass that weighed over four pounds each.
Rainy Saturday
With the regular afternoon thundershowers that we have been having, you might know that I got wet on this day also. Of course it cooled the water off and made the fish bite a little better. I did find a pattern on this wet afternoon, and it involved that Bandit crankbait and bass that were positioned along deep water drop offs. Most of the bass were positioned along points and drop off areas that went from four and five feet on top, to ten and fifteen feet at the deepest.
Dare I say that it was almost like taking candy from a baby? Well, it almost was. More often than not you could cast that big ole' Bandit up onto that shallow shelf and retrieve it back out towards deeper water and wham, the bass would crush the bait just as it came off the ledge. In fact, the bass almost tore the rod out of my hands several times. Each time we would engage in a battle of life and death. Except in this instance, the bass couldn't lose because we were releasing them as fast as we could get the hook out. We wanted to feel the thrill again and again. And of course, you can't do that if you don't throw them back in.
I normally use several different brands of deep diving crankbaits, but I usually can't find a shallow running big bodied bait like the 500 series. If I wanted to catch numbers of bass, then I would fish shallow running 200 series Bandits, or some equivalent like a Norman Middle N. However, since the big bass want large meals, I prefer casting the 500 series Bandits.
Since many of our smaller lakes and streams are shallow, shallow running lures are a necessity. If you want to catch numbers of bass then fish small crankbaits, but if you really want to catch the bass larger than four pounds, then you need to employ larger baits. Big bass may not feed as often, but when they do they aren't looking for a pimento cheese sandwich. They want the full meal deal, and preferably a big juicy steak.
Slither Worms
Once the action slowed down I switched to a Texas rigged worm and kept on catching bass. In this case my worm of choice was a Slither Worm. The Slither Worm has a little something extra that the bass haven't seen lately and it can really be the trick when it comes to catching lure-savvy bass. We would cast the bait out and let it fall on slack line. Sometimes the bites came on the fall, and sometimes they came after we started working the bait.
No matter where you are fishing, there's sure to be a bait that the fish will bite aggressively if they haven't seen a lot of them. The Slither Worm is a niche worm much like the Wing Worm. One thing is for sure, however, they both catch fish and not too many people use them anymore.
If you're ready to catch lots of bass during the hot weather, then tie on your favorite dog (crankbait) and go hunt up some bass. Once you locate them then give 'em a taste of the Slither Worm also. You will be glad you did, I guarantee. I still have only a few of those Slither Worms left. Now if I can just remember where I got them from?

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