Go Fish with Chuck Martin
This has been a disappointing fall. What is usually a good time of year for fishing suffered from an abrupt change from too hot to cold and windy in early October and never recovered. I think there was one weekend day when I would have liked to get out, but I had to work.
Now my priority is just to get the boat far enough out of the garage to change the lower unit lubricant. There are other things to get done, but they can wait a bit.
Overall, this was a bad year for me. It seemed like cold fronts and wind were a constant problem in the spring and early summer, high heat baked us at times and rain kept lakes stirred up in the fall.
div class=”hide”>I caught some decent bass this year, but except for one day at Charles Mill, I had no good tournament days.
My most successful lures were a 1/2-ounce Chatterbait (a bladed jig) and my usual 5 1/2-inch straight-tailed worm.
The Chatterbait was a new addition to my regular arsenal this year. They’ve been out a number of years, but I’ve never used them enough to build confidence in them.
That changed this spring on a trip to Knox Lake when it was the only lure I caught a couple nice fish on, and it was followed with some success at Buckeye, Charles Mill and again at Knox.
I have tried several different versions of the bladed jigs and there is quite a bit of difference in how they work and feel and — so far — I like the original Chatterbait best.
I’m not ready to anoint it as the greatest thing since the invention of the spinnerbait (I was just slow in gaining confidence in it), but now it’s another tool I can use for catching bass.
Believing a lure will catch bass is essential or you’ll never use it (that seems obvious), so you need to take time to learn how to use different lures and techniques. It will pay off in the long run when your favorite technique isn’t producing and you have to make a change.
For example, one thing I want to do next season is spend some time using a drop shot rig (sinker on the bottom, hook some distance above, generally used to fish soft plastic lures off the bottom). I know they can work, (they’re an adaptation of an old live bait rig), but I’ve never been able to stick with one enough to do more than catch a few small fish on them.
But you can be sure my worm rod is always going to be available.