By LENNY CRISPINO
© St. Petersburg Times, published June 2, 2001
Anyone can catch fish when they are active and feeding. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
During summer, a slow bite is normally caused by high water temperature and fishing pressure. Fish slowly, using baits fish are not accustomed to and look natural.
One of my favorite baits to use under low light when fish are suspended is a 5-foot soft plastic jerkworm in a shad or shiner color pattern. I rig this on a 3/0 offset hook, weedless. Cast around vegetation. Keep your tip low and work the bait with short twitches of the rod. The jerkworm will move side to side and when you pause or stop, it will fall slowly, imitating a dying minnow. When a fish hits, don't set the hook until you feel the weight of the fish.
My second choice is a Florida rigged plastic worm. This works best when the sun is high and bass are near the bottom. I rig the worm weedless and work it deliberately, feeling every piece of bottom structure. If you feel anything or see your line move, set the hook. The bite is often subtle.
A good way to get away from the pressure of other anglers is to fish ponds and small lakes. Often you can catch trophy bass in small ponds that you can cast across. Get permission and practice catch and release so these lakes will continue to be good fishing holes.
- Lenny Crispino guides on Lake Tarpon. Call (727) 938-2379.
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