with Jordan Lee
I’m often asked, “How can you go to a new lake, find a bunch of big bass and catch them quickly?”
I’ve had a number of past experiences fishing on different kinds of lakes under various weather and water conditions all over the nation. But Florida has been my nemesis in bass fishing.
I’ve participated in what have been some very tough bass tournaments in Florida. However, I’ve learned something every time I’ve fished in Florida - even from the mistakes I've made. I learn as much if not more from my failures than I do from my successes, which gives me confidence to fish where I've never fished before.
There are certain keys on specific types of lakes that tend to indicate where bass should be holding at the time of year you’re fishing. For instance, any time you can find cleaner water than most of the lake has, you’ll usually be able to catch bass there. When you’re fishing a grass lake, you’ll soon learn that certain mixtures of different types of grass will be where the bass prefer to hold. Knowing that information tells you where you need to be fishing.
Another big advantage that bass anglers have today that fishermen in the past haven’t had is our side-scanning, down-scanning GPS electronics. I'm currently running the Lowrance HDS Live this year and using a C-Map chip. C-Map has made maps of just about every lake we fish on the professional bass fishing circuits. For instance, when I fished Florida’s Lake Garcia earlier in 2019, the chip actually showed me the hardness of the bottom in various sections of the lake. Then I could identify the parts of Lake Garcia that had the hardest bottoms.
I know from experience that when you’re fishing in Florida at the beginning of the tournament season, the people who pinpoint and fish the hard bottoms generally catch either the pre-spawn or the spawning female bass that tend to be the bigger bass. So, those keys are what I look for to tell me where to fish – clear water, the right mixture of grass for that time of year and the hard bottom. Then I spend the time fishing a region that should be the most productive. So, once I knew this information about Lake Garcia this year, I successfully used two different lures, the Berkley General and a chatterbait there.