I went out into the yard one recent day to rig up a couple of rods and reels for a fishing trip. Within 15 minutes, I had sweat running down my brow and dripping off the end of my nose.
And this was in the shade of the old maple.
I have an aversion to sweat. I put the gear away and went back into the house.
It’s too hot to fish. The fish feel that way, too.
In the daytime, that is.
But when the sun goes down and the moon comes up, big bass go on the prowl in the lakes of southern Ohio and northeastern Kentucky.
It’s kind of eerie out there with just the hoot owls and the bullfrogs to keep you company. But big, hungry bass go on the move in search of food at night, and fishermen who can find time to fish from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. usually put some of them in the boat.
My introduction to night fishing came some years ago on Dale Hollow Lake, a 27,000-acre impoundment straddling the Kentucky-Tennessee border. The guide and I had plenty of action with the smallmouth by casting rubber worms, lizards and crawdads, usually attached to small lead jig heads, sometimes without the added weight of the jig, in toward steep bluffs and off rocky points.
“Black lights” hung over the side of the boat facing the shoreline illuminated our Shakespeare clear blue fluorescent lines, allowing us to see the slightest bump of the lure, or see when the bass picked up the lure and ran with it. When the line went tight, we set the hook, hard.
We cast right to the shoreline and, before we ever flipped the bail, we let the lure sink until the line went slack. Oftentimes, the smallmouth would take the lure on the way down or pick it up off the bottom.
If not, we lifted the rods to about 45 degrees, then dropped them, reeling in slack line as we did so. When four or five lifts like this didn’t produce a strike, we would reel in quickly and make another cast.
Some say a record largemouth swims in the waters of 182-acre Greenbo Lake. The best way to find out is with a plastic lizard, rigged Texas or Carolina style, bouncing down off the underwater slopes toward the boat, in the cool of the night.
It could work, too, on Cave Run, Yatesville and Paintsville lakes in Kentucky, as well as smaller Turkey Creek Lake in southern Ohio. That lake’s been around a long time. Surely some big largemouth swim there.
Nighttime provides some exciting fishing.
Reach G. SAM PIATT at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 932-3619.