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    Baits designed to catch bass are made in a rainbow of colors, but you only need six or eight different color combinations you have confidence in to meet most fishing needs.

    Time to talk about the best colors for catching bass

    I did a few seminars at fishing and outdoor shows this winter, and one question that I heard quite a few times was, “What are the best colors for crankbaits?”

    April 15 at 9:00am
    Fishing clear water in the winter is important because most bass are going to be looking up, toward the surface, and they’ll come out of deep water to strike lures.

    Clear, deep and steep - For winter bass, remember those three words

    When you start talking about where to look for the first bass that begin biting late in the winter, three words should immediately come to mind: clear, deep, steep.

    February 15 at 9:00am
    Find a place where a creek channel or the river channel swings close to a bank, and you’ve found a great place to catch largemouth and striped bass in December.

    Double up in December bass

    December is a great month to fish for largemouth and striped bass in North Carolina.There are a lot of lakes around here where you can go out in December and find quality fish in that 10-foot depth range — there are other states where if you want to catch fish in the winter, you have to go in really deep water.

    December 15, 2015 at 9:00am
    Berkley’s Cutter is a jerkbait that comes in three different sizes.

    Try these 6 crankbaits for late October bass

    October is the best month of the year to fish a crankbait for bass. Fish will be on sharp drops, and a lot of them will have moved up into that 7- to 10-foot range, especially toward the end of the month. You need to make long casts with a crankbait that’s got a wide wobble.

    That’s why I’m so excited this month. On Oct. 6, six hard baits that I had a hand in designing will be available from Berkley. They were introduced at the ICAST show this past summer, and they’re already being shipped to retailers. You might not be able to put your hands on one until the latter part of the month, but you need to put them in front of a fish while they’re inclined to hit a plug.

    October 15, 2015 at 9:00am
    By August, bass in many lakes are actually in crankbait range after spending July in extremely deep water.

    Don’t let the heat win

    When it’s as hot as it has been this summer, and August has taken over from July, most fishermen think about limiting their trips to the first few hours in the morning and the hours around sundown.

    August 17, 2015 at 9:00am
    Recovered from the spawn, bass will get their appetites back in June.

    It doesn’t get any better

    Across North Carolina, I think June is the best month to fish for bass. When you wake up in the morning this month, you need to take all the vacation time you’ve got and go to the lake.

    June 15, 2015 at 9:00am
    A crankbait is often overlooked during the spring when fish are hitting so many different baits, but it can be a key bass-fishing lure.

    Spring is crankbait time

    Alot of fishermen don’t think about fishing a crankbait in the spring, but except for the time when they’re on the bed, bass will hit a crankbait about as good as anything — if you know how to fish them. If you fish anywhere in the South, it’s one of the tools that you have to have in your tackle box.

    April 16, 2015 at 9:00am
    Bass are keying on crawdads in February, so go with baits in crawdad colors: reds, browns and golds.

    Go slow, don’t stay home

    Lots of bass fishermen shy away from fishing in February, and that’s a big mistake. The fishing can be tremendous if you can get a little warming trend. You’ll need to break out your crankbaits, your jerkbaits and your jigs — and an Alabama rig, you can’t leave that out.

    February 23, 2015 at 9:00am
    When water temperatures get down to 50 degrees or below, a jig can be your best bet for winter bass.

    Be a weather watcher

    There are a lot of good reasons to fish in December, chief among them, most everybody else is deer hunting, and you’ve pretty much got the lake to yourself.

    December 25, 2014 at 9:00am
    A crankbait is the No. 1 tool to catch plenty of October bass.

    Crank up an October bass

    If you love to bass fish, especially if you love to throw a crankbait like I do, you can’t get enough of October. It is probably the best month of the year to have a big, diving plug tied on to the end of your line if you’re a North Carolina fisherman.

    October 27, 2014 at 9:00am
    Bass may move closer to the surface in August on some lakes, but you’re more likely to have success fishing in deep water.

    Pay attention to details

    August has always been a tough month for bass fishermen, because the fish start getting spread out — there aren’t nearly as many grouped up — and because you might find them anywhere from around shallow docks to 25 feet deep.

    August 26, 2014 at 9:00am
    On North Carolina lakes, June is a fantastic month to catch largemouth bass because they’re hungry and they’re not particular about the baits they’ll bite.

    June can be best month

    June has always been one of my favorite months to fish for bass in North Carolina, and not just because there’s usually a great crankbait bite. It’s a time when no matter how you like to fish, you can catch fish that way, and almost anywhere you go. You can catch fish shallow, at mid-depths and deeper. You can catch fish on topwater in the mornings, on soft-plastic baits, on spinnerbaits, on crankbaits. Nobody has a big advantage; it’s just a matter of what stage the bigger fish are in.

    June 26, 2014 at 9:00am
    Small crankbaits will likely play a big role in bass fishing this April, thanks to what appears to be a delayed spring.

    I might enjoy this April

    I have made no bones about having trouble catching bass in April, because I’m a crankbait fisherman and it’s probably the worst month in North Carolina to fish a crankbait.

    April 29, 2014 at 9:00am
    A jerkbait, retrieved with a slow, stop-and-go cadence, probably produces more February bass than any other bait.

    February: For slow jerks

    Not too many bass fishermen think about February as being a great month to get on the water, but if you’ve finished the boat shows and got all your tackle in order, you can catch some fish if you understand the problems involved.

    Fishing is better in the winter on certain lakes, lakes with clear water like Norman, Badin, Tillery or Buggs Island. The main thing is, in clear water, fish seem to be a little more aggressive than they are in colder, muddy water; you’ve almost got to hit the fish in the head when it’s like that.

    You can fish lakes that have hot holes like Norman and Wylie, where the water temperature around them can be seven, eight or 10 degrees warmer than anywhere else on those lakes. And at Norman, you’ve got spotted bass; they are more active, more aggressive in cold water, than largemouths. 

    February 28, 2014 at 9:00am
    Fishermen can handle an awfully big striped bass on the same tackle they use to fish crankbaits for largemouth bass.

    Take time out for stripers

    As long as I’ve been fishing bass tournaments, December has been one of just a couple of months when there really wasn’t much on the schedule, even on the local level. That’s one reason that I’ve spent a lot of my December days on the water fishing for striped bass.

    December 27, 2013 at 9:00am
    With lake levels higher and the water cooler than normal, will bass go all the way back in creeks this month? Maybe.

    What will October hold?

    October is one of my favorite months to catch bass on a crankbait in reservoirs around North Carolina. The fish are moving back into creeks, following baitfish, they relate to creek channels and they’ll get ganged up, so if you find a good spot, you can get well in a hurry.

    October 30, 2013 at 9:00am