For those of you that by now have decided these are a little complex, I have a technique that will have sure fire success, simple to master and still have heart stopping explosions. Buzz baits. Using the same rod and reel as for the PopR, tie one on and make a long cast. When the buzz bait hits the water start winding, just fast enough so the lures runs on top of the water. The turning action of the winged blades will keep it on top of the water and will make a gurgling sound that will make bass go nuts.
Lake Champlain is very unique when it comes to topwater. Most topwater baits are used when there is overcast skies and a little ripple on the water. While this is a prime time to use topwater tactics, an even better time on Lake Champlain is following a front when the skies are high and blue, no wind and a slick surface. When the major tournament pros first started invading the North Country they found to their surprise that topwater baits worked on Champlain during what otherwise would be tough conditions. I’m not a fish and therefore can’t tell you why these techniques work, but believe me the first time you have a big-ole bass explode on your lure you’ll be hooked just like the fish!
While I don’t personally believe it’s in the best interest of the species to interfere with the bedding cycle, if you do fish for bass during this time please handle with care and return to the water immediately. Practice CPR: Catch, Photograph and Release.
Howard Hammonds is a guide and experienced bass fisherman living in Westport. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.