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Week of 1/12/01 #150
Question: You are fishing a southern river in mid January. The water is pretty clear with water temps in the low sixties. The river is about 150 feet, bank to bank and has quite a bit of depth variation and bends. You are trying to find some good concentrations of Smallmouth. What are you primary and secondary starting patterns going to be?
Winning Answer: Missing from the archives.

Week of 12/28.00 #149
Question: You are very late fall in a fairly shallow lake. The deepest spots are only 12-14 feet. You have located at point that drops off steeply that has some boulders and stumps in 8-12 feet of water. The water temperature is in the high forties. It is slightly off color and the day is sunny. The weather has been fairly stable for the past five or six days. You are not knocking them dead but have caught a few nice largemouth off this point and several others like it. What are you doing to put these fish in the boat?
Winning Answer: Because of the lower water temperature, a good tactic to use would be to fish a 3/8 to 1/2 oz. jig-and-pig, bouncing it down the point and making contact with the boulders. In fall, you would do best sticking with the colors black, brown, or green. There are also several good color combinations, including a black jig with a black pork chunk, black with a brown pork chunk, brown with a brown pork chunk, and so on. It would be wisest to experiment with the different color combinations until you find which one the bass want.

Week of 12/1/00 #148
Question: You are jigging a spoon in 30 feet of water. The wind is light and you are on a slow drift over an area that your LCD fishfinder says there are a lot of baitfish near the bottom. The water temperature is in the lower 50’s and the water is clear. You are letting your spoon hit the bottom and ripping it up quickly about four feet each time and letting it flutter back to the bottom. You have been at for some time now but no bites. What might be wrong?
Winning Answer: With 30' feet of line out, and your boat at a slow drift the jig is about 10' to 20' behind your target jigging zone. With the bait fish balled up at the bottom that tells me they are inactive, this could be a result of the big fish are already full or they are just laying around playing lambs and wolves. Now even if you do see baitfish on the bottom this does not mean big fish are around and the big fish are the ultimate anglers dream! Something we all dream about while fishing or sleeping.

Week of 11/10/00 #147
Question: You arrive at a large impoundment for a day of fishing. It’s fall and the water temperatures are falling into the sixties. Water clarity is fair to good. You and your fishing partners agree that you want to fish secondary points on the edge of creek channels. This large lake has several large creeks that you can avail yourselves of. One of the areas has lot of wood, another has an abundance of chunk rock and a third has large expansive weedbeds. Partner Bob says that you should head for the rocky areas. Bill says no, the best place to start is the weedy areas. You feel that wood is best during the fall of the year. Who is probably right and why?
Winning Answer: Cooling water temps bring a lot of changes to Bass. The rocks provide more warmth, the wood provides cover for the bass to hunker down next to and the weeds provide oxygen and a hiding place for bait fish. I prefer the wood during cooling trends unless the wind is blowing against the rocks. The bait fish being blown against the rocks "traps" them and gives the bass a good place to concentrate their feeding efforts.

Week of 10/19/00 #146
Question: You are fishing a large lake with good concentrations of Smallmouth bass. The pattern you have developed is running to channel marker buoys and keeping your boat 50 to 75 feet away and facing the wind. You have been able to pick up one or two Smallmouth on each buoy. You then run up lake to the next one and start again. What lure and presentation are you using and why is it that these smallies are there?
Winning Answer: Usually these marker buoys are held in place with piles of rock and they are sitting around the edge of the channel. They are a natural hiding place for baitfish and crayfish. I would use a small crayfish Crankbait.

Week of 10/15/00 #145
Question: You are fishing a large feeder creek that has schools of baitfish visibly near the surface. The water depth is about eight feet. You are located about 75 feet off a small secondary point that tapers off to the eight foot depth. A large school of shad is between your boat and the end of the point. You presume that the bass are under the baitfish at some point between you and the shoreline. How would you go about fishing this situation?
Winning Answer: I would pick a lipless Crankbait such as a Rattle-Trap that was the same size and color of the shad. Then I would present it all around the point counting it down to various depths until the Bass were located. Then, I would thoroughly fish the area at that depth.

The answers to these questions are very subjective. There certainly are more than one correct answer to each of these questions. The Bass Fishing USA staff's decision is final.
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