You’ll know you are in the right areas around this time of year, you may find bass with their noses scuffed up from rooting in the rocks for craws. Also when fish are feeding heavily on crayfish, you can feel their stomachs and the hard edges of the crushed-up crayfish can feel like gravel in their stomachs. Those are good areas where you want to be.
A lot of guys are going to try to match the hatch with crayfish jigs or soft craw baits and so on.
Matching the hatch is great to do especially in a tournament or on a day when the fishing is slow or the fishing is tough, then matching the hatch is good to do. When things slow down on tougher days, you may need to fish slow-moving bottom contact baits.
But this time of year, most days you don’t have to do that because fish are typically concentrated, the competition is high, and they are very, very aggressive.
So despite the prevalence of crayfish which serves to aggregate bass in these areas, the real thing you’ve got to remember is a lot of fishing is just:
* covering water,
* keeping the bait in the strike zones to which fish will commit (surface, mid-depth and/or bottom) and
* throwing baits that don’t necessarily match any hatch but are nevertheless effective both in their action and have the right sound for a given area.
And that’s where the ima Skimmer (surface strike zone) and the ima Flit jerkbait (mid-depth strike zone) I think are very, very successful.
Keep in mind too that there are many baitfish running down the sides of points into the small run-off areas and sedimented, sun-warmed pockets that often exist at the shallow ends.
Use a run and gun technique. Look for those specific areas and look for the sides of the points where deep water butts up right next to it. Tune in to those transitions and just go after it. You could hit eight or nine of these areas with nothing and in the next one, load the boat.
You can cover water much more quickly this time of year by using things like the ima Skimmer topwater stickbait especially when that surface water is still warmer than 65 degrees. If it’s a little windier, the ima Roumba grabs more of the surface and throws a more visible wake on windier days. But most days, the Skimmer’s what I use this time of year when the water remains warm enough for bass to commit to a surface strike.
A lot of people put the Skimmer in the category of other walking baits. I think the Skimmer is much different. It’s kind of in its own category. It looks like other walking baits, but it doesn’t push water, it cuts through the water. To see the design of this bait, the body cross-section is a teardrop shape. And in fact the water will flow over its back and will create a swirl right behind it every time you jerk it, which a lot of baits won’t do that. Other walking baits will push water and splash but the Skimmer is one that actually creates a swirl behind it. If you look at the Skimmer on videos or when you are first working it, you’ll mistakenly think that fish are swirling at it – and that’s what it does, it creates the idea, the impression that there’s a fish trying to eat it. So a fish is more likely to become competitive when it thinks another fish is there (but really is not there). So it will see the surface swirl – and try to get the Skimmer before another fish gets it. That’s the beauty of this bait – that boil, that swirl behind the Skimmer.
If you’d like to see the Skimmer in action, there are ten short video clips that show the Skimmer’s action at
Also, people have got to remember that the preferred temperature range of the largemouth bass metabolism is roughly 72 degrees. With a 72 degree surface temperature, 20 feet down might be 60 degrees. So fish are obviously going to be active on the surface and chase for bait when the surface layer of water isn’t far from 72 degrees. And that’s when topwaters like the ima Skimmer are really effective – when the surface water temperature is anywhere above 65 degrees or so.