Cool afternoon showers spur bass activity

By By Mike Giles / outdoors writer
July 23, 2004
When is the best time to go fishing? That is a question that I hear very often. There can be many answers to that question, but only one appropriate one. The answer is very simple, if not obvious any time you can. I had just such an opportunity last Friday afternoon. With the cooler temperatures brought on by the afternoon thundershowers, there was only one course of action for me and that was to head for the nearest lake. Since I had some pressing duties Saturday morning that would prevent me from going fishing, I advised anyone within earshot that I was going fishing. My 7-year-old daughter Mikayla quickly chimed in, "I'm going with Daddy."
It just so happened that I had a few fishing rods in the car in case of an emergency and one of them even fit Mikayla perfectly. Anytime is a good time to go fishing, but it's even better when you can take a youngster. They might not want to go next time, so just change your plans slightly to accommodate them. Before you know it they will be grown up and have other things to do, so don't squander the chance to introduce your children to a little fishing fun and excitement.
Yearling bass
and Bandit Crankbaits
The lake that we were fishing had quite a bit of moss growing up from the bottom and the bass were buried just under the surface waiting to attack any unsuspecting baitfish. Since Mikayla had fished mostly for bream, I tied on a Bandit Crankbait for her to cast. The small 200 series shad colored crankbait would run just above the grass line enticing many bites from the small bass. With the specially designed hooks that are turned slightly inward, hook ups are easy to come by and your chances of landing the bass are even better.
Mikayla and I were both casting crankbaits and the strikes were coming pretty regularly. In fact, she was getting more strikes, catching a few and losing a few. Of course Dad was more interested in her catching bass on this afternoon. As we made our way up the lake she continued to improve on her casting with each cast.
Monster bass
Most of the bass we were catching were in the pound to pound and a half range. That didn't matter in the least to this young angler or her dad either. On one particular cast near a brush top, a bass engulfed Mikayla's lure and shot out like a rocket. I knew that this wasn't a small bass like we had been catching. This bass quickly swam the 40-yard dash and soared majestically through the rarified air above the lake. At that moment I realized that the bass was huge.
This was the biggest bass that Mikayla had ever had on and I didn't know if she could handle it or not, but she had to try. I've caught more than my share and I wasn't about to spoil her battle with the lunker. As the fish turned towards the boat, she reeled feverishly trying to catch up. Just as the bass caught sight of the boat it turned and headed for deeper water, stripping out line as it went. After three more runs such as that, the old bass wore down and about gave up. Without a net, we had no choice but to let the fish tire.
What seemed like an eternity had taken only a few minutes and a magnificent battle had ended in triumph for the youngster. Sometimes you win some and sometimes you lose, but on this day a young angler had beaten the odds all by herself. In the process she had caught the biggest bass of her lifetime. After taking a few photos, the lunker bass was released to grow even bigger with the hope of providing even more excitement later on. If you get a chance to take a child fishing, don't hesitate, they might even catch the biggest fish of their life, and become hooked on fishing as well.

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