May, 2017 fishing report;
2017 has been a crazy year so far. With bass bedding since January on Lake Jackson fishing has been pretty darn good. Hard to believe the full moon in April still had a wave of those left. This will make May bass fishing very stable as two major patterns will develop as water temperature will start in the low 80’s and be very close to 90 by months end.
Pattern #1 will include top water early and late in the day. With lots of open water compared to last year thanks to the involvement from Friends of Lake Jackson and their help to control invasive water plants bass can be found schooling on the edges of spray lines. My five favorite top water baits include Pop “R”, Baby Torpedo, Buzz Bait, Devils Horse and Popping Frog. Colors vary so I’m always trying different ones as conditions change. First two hours of the day and the last two work best.
Pattern #2 is flipping. Not so much with the super heavy weight yet as vegetation is still growing but ¾oz to 1oz and 17 to 20lb test flourocarbon line. Feeding bass will be hanging around the edges of lily pads and grass pods. I flip small creature baits and 3” to 4” Fighting Frogs or Beavers. The action on the latter is more left to right versus straight down. Again, this flipping pattern targets vegetation not fully grown but thick enough to create shade and a good ambush point.
Rain will also be a factor. Not so much in helping or hurting fishing but how and where to launch a boat. Recently the county completed construction of the new Hgwy 27 boat ramp located on the North West side of the lake. Small boats and kayaks have little problem getting in and out there but you may struggle with anything bigger.
Sunset Landing will probably be your best bet. Here you’ll find pavilions with tables, restrooms and parking. Conveniently located next to the ramp itself is Shucker’s Oyster Bar.
Bream fishing is also very very good throughout the summer months especially during the moon phases. Concentrate on the Crowder area using crickets or road runners for larger ones. If going on the weekend get out early as this is the pleasure side of the lake.
April fishing report,
March certainly didn’t disappoint with lots of big fish caught. And while looking back over the past several years this April’s fishing report for Lake Jackson will be quite a bit different.
With water temperatures already in the mid 70’s spring is pretty much over and we move dead into post spawn tactics to catch bass.
Besides April showers bringing May flowers it’s also a good month to fish fast. Lots of bedding bass from March have now moved to the thicker edges of grass and are actively guarding fry. This means obnoxious lures like buzz baits, frogs and paddle tail worms fished quickly near old spawning grounds will draw some very aggressive strikes.
Places to look are almost anywhere grass and pads meet deeper water. These vegetative edges create a buffer the bass fry use as a place to grow. Bass are cannibalistic and will eat their own recent hatch. Besides bass, other predators looking to feast on fry include crappie, brim, catfish, grennel, chain pickerel, gar, birds, lizards and frogs. This enables a plethora of different baits to be effective so make plenty of casts and keep moving.
As April moves along and temperatures rise bass will move to thicker cover. Morning bite will be very good and so will fishing on cloudy days. On bright sunny days keep the flipping stick ready for action. Depending on water clarity a good choice for a soft plastic flipping bait includes craws, creature baits and jigs in natural colors.
As for you brim fishermen and fisherwomen, April is a good month to find your fish shallow. Pretty much those same sandy areas you saw bedding bass on will have groups of saucer shaped holes, it is here where the brim are now calling home. The brim bite is definitely better around the two major moon phases which are full and new. Crickets, wigglers and or beetle spins for you that get bored with a cane pole.
One last thing, as the sun stays higher and the days get longer the water in Lake Jackson evaporates quickly. As water levels are normal at the time of this writing, we still need several inches of rain to maintain a good lake level during the summer. Without it, well you know what May happen…
Lake Jackson, March 2017
Looking back over the past several years March fishing reports for Lake Jackson in Tallahassee, FL I see this year, 2017 will be quite a bit different.
With water temperatures already in the mid 60’s in early February bass have been bedding for over one month. In years past March reports have read where bass are in three stages of the spawn. Pre, spawn, and post later in the month. This year with bass already bedding we will start March with only two stages. Spawn and post spawn.
Already there are hundreds of bass guarding small black balls of fry in the same areas you find bedding bass. This makes for some awesome fishing with vicious strikes.
Early in the mornings you’ll want to cover lots of shallow water. Look for any movement. Lots of different baits and techniques work when targeting post spawn bass but there are a couple I like when going after the big ones. This includes throwing a buzzbait or soft plastic frog with kicker or paddle tail legs. Fish these baits quickly around isolated cover on or near bedding areas and hold on. Again, any type of surface activity indicates fish in the area. As the sun rises and the ability to see into the water gets better you’ll want to slow down and look. This is where a good pair of polarized sun glasses comes into play. Even if you don’t spot bass actually sitting on their beds just finding bedding areas will help you catch more fish.
Over the years I’ve found bedding bass aren’t to particular when they are sitting on it keeping egg eating predators away. Some fishermen like to throw White soft plastic baits to bedding bass, others throw neutral colors and still others throw dark colors. For argument sake keep it simple. For Gin clear water try less aggressive colors like pumpkin or watermelon. Stained water will yield more strikes with darker colors like green pumpkin or Junebug. White is actually for the fishermen to see the bass moving or taking the bait. Texas rig all your soft plastics and a 1/4oz bullet weight is a great all around size. A couple other helpful tools include a shallow water anchor devise like a Power Pole or the affordable BOATSTICK. These are very helpful in maintaining boat control and to keep you positioned especially on windy days when targeting a specific fish or area.
I like to compare sight fishing for bedding bass to hunting. Find where they sit, study their habits, wait for the right moment then strike!
For those that prefer not to sight fish or just can’t see them you’ll still want to target bedding areas. Some male bass are using multiple beds so swimming a paddle tail worm or pitching soft plastics to light spots are very effective.
Whatever fishing style you may prefer, or what type of watercraft you may use the month of March is primed to be a very good one on Lake Jackson.
So until next month, be safe have fun and ALWAYS wear a life jacket while boating!
for more info visit www.fishtallahassee.com.