Patterning Largemouth Bass

This week on Americana Outdoors, Wade Middleton and his long time friend and multi tournament pro Mike Hawkes meet up on Choke Canyon Reservoir, where they’re taking a look at how this legendary body of water has recently been on the road to recovery after enduring an extended period of suffering low water levels. This reunion on the water comes on the tail of a ten year hiatus of not having any opportunities to fish with one another, so these two are in for a fun day of bass fishing and reminiscing over fond memories.

According to Mike, it’s common for lakes to go through cycles of varying water levels depending on rainfall roughly every ten years. As he puts it, “Choke Canyon is an anomaly because, we had twenty something inches of rain a year ago August, and the lake caught eighteen feet of water. Now it’s like a new lake.” With this new development, Choke Canyon boasts an area of fishing with lots of cover and fish populations replenishing, offering up plentiful fishing opportunities.

As they hit the water, their morning starts off with heavy overcast and windy conditions. Contrary to popular believe, these are ideal conditions for reeling in lots of catches, as fish seem to come out in droves on low pressure cloudy days. To start their day, they’re throwing tried and true spinner baits. As we accompany them on the water, we’ll hear several tips on how they make spinner baits attractive to the fish and why you always want to have this bait in your tackle box.

While their day carries on, they venture on over to a different area of the lake where they’re tasked with switching up their presentation styles in order to keep the fish biting. While you may be able to catch fish all day on the same bait, Wade Middleton will tell you, “You need to be able to fish what’s in front of you, at any given time, based on the conditions.” This trend of switching up their fishing style continues throughout the day, as the weather sees a gradual change from windy and cloudy in the morning, to warming up with the sun breaking through the clouds in the afternoon. By the end of the day, both Wade and Mike have a successful day of fishing and each reel in several large and healthy fish, shining a light on a bright future for Choke Canyon Reservoir as it continues to recover from drought conditions only a few years prior.