Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

December 6, 2013

GONE FISHING WITH JERRY MILLER

Big Bass Often Require A Slow Presentation

Jerry Miller
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE —

Frank Lusk is one of the most patient and thorough worm fishermen I have fished with. We live in a time when everybody is in a hurry. You’ve probably heard the statement, “Hurry up, I don’t have all minute!” That’s how a lot of fishermen fish – in a hurry.

Personally I like to chunk and wind, throw and go, and burn up the water with my lures. I’m in a hurry to catch bass. When bass are active these methods work. But what do you do when you are in an area that is known for holding good size bass but they are reluctant to bite? Simply put, you slow down and then slow down some more.

On November 20th Frank Lusk and I fished Lake Naconiche. This has become one of Lusk’s favorite lakes to fish in the fall. Last year in November Lusk caught 49 bass one day and 32 bass the next. He had several bass in the five-pound range and one that topped 10 pounds. He catches the majority of his bass on a black and blue Sienko type bait. He favors the Big Bite brand because they are a lot cheaper and catch lots of bass.

The day Lusk and I fished Naconiche the bass were very lethargic. It may have been because of the full moon period when bass feed mostly at night.

We began our fishing way back in Naconiche Creek. We started fishing a bend in the creek and gradually worked our way to old dirt road bed. The majority of the fish we caught were on a black and blue Texas rigged Sienko. We both were using 15-pound line and fishing very, very slow. Most of the time it would take me about 30 seconds to cut out a Sienko and hop it back to the boat. But not on this trip. On this day we spent two minutes or longer slowly crawling the Sienko over the bottom in about 10 feet of water. One of the key spots was an old inundated concrete bridge.

One other prime area was on the edge of a grass laden tree line that bordered the creek. The majority of the larger bass (4 to 5 lbs.) didn’t feed until mid-morning when the sun was bearing down on the water. I noticed the surface temperature ranged between 62 and 64 degrees F.

We caught about 14 bass in this area. This is not a very big area. We made numerous, repeated casts into certain spots. We hardly moved the boat once we located the bass.

Lusk didn’t get in a hurry. Once he gets into an area he believes holds nice size bass he camps on the spot and saturates it with cast after cast. He also fished the same spot from different directions.

Normally I don’t fish this slow. I would have probably fished the area for an hour or so and left. Lusk spent over two hours fishing the small area. And it paid off!

About noontime we changed locations and fished a road bed on Telescopic Creek that was 15 feet deep. We fished one small area for over an hour. After we had pulled about three small bass out of the area, I thought we wouldn’t catch any big fish, but we kept on saturating the area with our worms. Finally I got a decent bite and stuck a big bass. As the bass neared the boat he shot out of the water and spit out the lure. That bass looked to be about 6 pounds. Between us we had probably cast into that spot 40 times before the big bass would commit. We ended up with 18 bass. About four bass were over four pounds.

Lake Naconiche, off Highway 59 located east of Nacogdoches, Texas, is a small unusual lake. It is steep and deep, with lots of 20-foot depths near the bank. It is also full of decaying timber and is rimmed in thick hydrilla that grows out to about 20 feet deep. This lake fishes small. You will only find concentrations of bass in a few areas. We primarily fish roads and creek bends. It’s hard to fish the bank because of the thick brush. If you are a bank fisherman you will probably be disappointed.

I learned a good lesson that day. When you’re sure you are around big bass, slow down and make repeated casts into the area. It does take a lot of patience, but the reward is in big bass.

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Jerry Miller can be contacted at: gonefishing2@suddenlink.net