Hoosiers who fish for largemouth bass with artificial
lures generally agree that bass seek cover during bright days. They fish
for them accordingly.
Still, one aspect of this methodical kind of fishing
often is overlooked. It revolves around the fact that all anglers tend
to cast lures to large, obtrusive forms of cover (log jams, big rocks,
inundated root wads, weed beds, and other aquatic havens) while bypassing
smaller cover where fish may lurk.
I was subjected to my first lesson in this important
aspect of bassin’ as an early “teener” on White Oak Creek which entered
the Muscatatuck River from Scott County about two miles east of Crothersville,
my old hometown.
Due to physical changes in the creek over the
years, there is little remaining of the White Oak fishery, but it was great
bass water in the early 1900s.
I was fishing the creek upstream from its confluence
with the Muscatatuck when I came to the large, deep hole below a low-water
bridge used by bottomland farmers to get their truly horse-powered equipment
to the fields.
On my arrival three of Crothersville’s premier
anglers were whipping the clear water to a rich creamy lather with a minimum
of success. The three anglers were positioned in such a manner as to cover
the pool well without my intervention. So I just stood and watched.
All of the anglers were casting artificial lures
to the depths of the pool and to the inundated roots of a mammoth sycamore
tree, but soon the angler on the far bank made a cast parallel to the bank
and ran his lure (a No. 2 Hawaiian Wiggler, I believe) past a smattering
of small sticks that had accumulated in the shallow water next to the bank.
I chanced to be watching the angler’s line as
it cut through the water, and when the lure was passing close to the light
cover the whole pool seemed to explode.
A short time later the angler “wabashed” a husky
bass onto the bank while emphatically telling his friends: “I couldn’t
believe it . . . he (the bass) came from beneath that little bunch
For the record, the term “Wabash” is country lingo
for lifting a fish out of the water with a flouncing flourish rather than
slipping the thumb in the fish’s mouth and grasping the lower lip to land
it. It is a practice generally used by neophyte and tournament anglers
in their haste to land a fish.
It was a good lesson in bassin’. A lesson I still
Sure, I cast to deep water and to larger heavy
cover. But I still keep my eyes open for small cover, and it often pays
Why do bass--and other species--seek cover, however
light it may be?
Fish, like people, are sensitive to light. During
the hot part of the day, fish opt for the shady spot for two reasons. First,
such places are more comfortable. Secondly, a nice shady spot is a pretty
good place to wait for din-din to swim past.
HOW ABOUT MORELS--I
always know the spring morel season is nigh when people start asking: “When
will the morels be up? They are asking now.
There is, of course, no way to say the morels
will pop on such and such a date because conditions (especially dampness
in the earth, air temperatures and sunlight) vary greatly from spring to
I always say that the earliest I have found--or
heard of finds--of morels was March 27. That, of course, would have been
an early spring.
My best advice is to look seriously for little
gray morels when the forest floor is painted by the blossoms of spring
beauty. As the season progresses there will be many other indicators of
morel time. But I, like many other “morellers,” always start 10 days, or
two weeks, early.