May has been a month of too many windy days which has kept the lake in a state of flux. Turbidity is a real issue when it comes to catching bass unless they have adapted to it. The bass in the Stick Marsh are certainly used to the Tannic staining of the water, but they are in no way adjusted to the extreme drop in visibility that occurs from the continuous stirring of the water from the wind.
As it was, the days that were calm were outstanding top water days with Chug Bugs being an excellent choice of bait. Working the bug to appeal to the fish varied from day, with some days a light subtle chugging working well and others calling for a loud and forceful chugging. We also had those days were the bug sitting still was the ticket.
On the days that were windy the Yamamoto SwimSenko really came to our rescue and provided many bass that would have otherwise not been caught. Working this bait, T-rigged and lightly weighted around the wood produced a lot of fish and some nice fish to boot. Of course colors of choice were anything dark, i.e. watermelons, blacks, blues, and pumpkin. The fish would tell us how they wanted the bait and with some retrieval variations it wouldn't take long to key into the best presentation.
We were still shy any rain during the month and water levels continued to drop. This made working the heavy wood of the south end of the Farm a challenge, but the bass in that area made the effort well worth while. The further south you get the shallow it got, and we found that the bass were concentrated in less than two feet of water. Although some were out on the fringes of the wood, more and larger bass were on the inside. If the wind came up tying off on a stump and then raking the area with baits was a good way to catch both numbers and quality. However, if the wind got up too much it was time to get out of the stumps and head for open water. Unfortunately, if the wind did get up the fishing would immediately go into a slump.
As we come into June there are two things to expect. Rising water as the rains start coming, and a strong continuation of top water fishing. Have a Chug Bug or other top water at the ready. If you haven't tried the SwimSenko I would strongly you pick some up. Texas rig them with 1/16th to 3/16th weight and then swim them along. Vary the retrieves in speed and depth and I think you will be quite happy with the results.
I have seen no evidence of grass yet, but I have only fished certain areas. If you find some work the area hard as I would imagine bait to be hiding in that grass. This is also the time of the year to start checking ditches on the Farm. Swimming Senkos, top water, spinner baits, rattle traps, T-rigged, and C-rigged plastics are all things to try on the edges of the ditches. If you fish the ditches usually the most productive method is the ride in the ditch and fish the levee on either side. However, sometimes it pays to move outside the ditch and throw back at it. Sometimes the bass are sitting just inside and on the rise of the levee.
Presently Garcia is really low so if headed that way keep in mind that the heavy grass is a bad place to run that big motor. The water pump is going to take a beating and overheating is a common problem. Obviously lack of depth can be quite detrimental as submerged hard cover and structure are present and the lower unit and prop don't like that.
On the Farm/Marsh take your time. Idling in wooded areas is wise. Presently we idle from the cut to the east ditch before getting on plane and are off plane well before the wood on the south end of the Farm.
See you out there. Say hi if you get the chance.