Extreme Close-up Angling
It’s the middle of the spring spawn and the hawgs are on the bank, problem is, you can’t see the bank.
- The banks on the south end of Toledo Bend are covered with buck brush, button brush, willow trees, cypress trees, & numerous other types’ vegetation.
- In fall the lake level is 7 ft. below normal pool, which is allowing more vegetation to grow.
- From late January through April, the spring rains will bring the water level back to and above normal.
Now all that new growth is in 7 to 10 ft of water and the bank is some 30 yards from the outside edge of the brush. Question how does one take these extreme amounts of cover and turn it into a productive pattern.
The approach is simple but methodical, start by selecting an area of brush that is thinner or where you can see openings/trails. At pitching distance from the outside edge, work any isolated brush. Work a 20-ft path on both sides of the selected point of entry, and then slowly work to within flipping distance. Once you worked the outside edge thoroughly, you can start flipping the first 10-ft into the cover. Target the outer branches first, then all the way to the trunk.
The next part is where the extreme fishing begins; use your trolling motor to pull you as far into the brush as it can. With you and a partner standing on the bow deck grab the branches and pull your boat forward. Look for openings in the brush and maneuver the boat in that direction but stopping every 10 yd. to flip the area.
Next let’s look at rod-n-reels, a 6’ or 6’6″ is all you’ll have room to maneuver. A heavy rod with a lot of backbone to move large fish off the bottom but with enough tip to feel light bites. A quality reel with a solid drag spooled with 50 lb. braided line.
Lastly the lures; Texas Rigged Rage Tail Lizard, Lobster, or Space Monkey, ¼ oz. pegged bullet weight, with a 4/0 hook or a 3/8 oz Jig. This is extreme close-up angling so be ready to set hook on any line movement, tap, light feeling, or heavy feeling. Set hook hard, straight up, & move the fish fast out of the cover. If the fish is too big to move on the hook set, your first concern is a solid hook, give no slack, and then go to the fish.