John’s Note: Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Arkansas, long-time professional bass fisherman, is one of the quiet giants of professional bass fishing. Davis has won the BASS Angler-of-the-Year title three times and has combined earnings from the BASS and the FLW circuits of almost $2 million. He’s also the only angler to win BASS Angler of the Year and the Bassmaster Classic in the same year (1995). This week, Davis will tell us how he catches bass in really-hot weather, one of his specialties.
Davis: I like the Strike King (http://www.strikeking.com/) Sexy Spoon. The Sexy Spoon made its debut on the Tennessee River, which is why some fishermen think it’s just a Tennessee River lure. But it’s not. I’ve learned that the Sexy Spoon catches bass anywhere I fish it, especially if the lake homes 3- to 6-inch baitfish. In the summertime, baitfish can grow really big. That’s the reason this big spoon can be so deadly.
Question: How will you be fishing the Sexy Spoon?
Davis: I’ll fish it on either 15- or 17-pound-test fluorocarbon line with a medium- to heavy-action 7-foot casting rod. To successfully fish the Sexy Spoon, let it fall on a slack line without impeding the fall by putting tension on the line. In other words, you need enough slack in the line when the Sexy Spoon’s falling for it to flutter. If you try to keep your line tight while the Sexy Spoon’s falling, you’ll kill the action of the bait. I generally fish the spoon on humps, edges, points or some other type of structure. The Sexy Spoon is a structure tool. It can be fished in water from 10- to 30-feet deep. When I cast the spoon out, I let it hit the bottom, raise my rod tip up to lift the spoon off the bottom 4 to 5 feet, sometimes less, drop slack in my line, so the Spoon can flutter back down to the bottom, and then watch my line as the spoon falls. Once the Sexy Spoon hits the bottom, I’ll pull my rod tip up again to pull the spoon up off the bottom, and then I’ll put slack in my line to let it fall back. The strikes always will occur on the fall. If you hit something as you’re pulling the spoon up from the bottom, more than likely you’ve hit brush or stumps, or you’ve run into some other type of cover. Ninety-nine percent of the time, largemouth bass will hit that spoon as it falls back to the bottom. All you’ll see is a little tick or a hard peck on your line. Three-pound bass or larger will crush the Sexy Spoon and try to swallow it whole. So, hooking them won’t be a problem. The smaller bass will peck on the lure, but they won’t be able to eat it. Bass are really easy to catch on the Sexy Spoon.
Davis: I’ve been fishing spoons all my life, but the Sexy Spoon has only been out for a few years. The spoons we used in the past were 3-inches long. Now, we’ve got the Sexy Spoon that’s 5-1/2-inches long.
Question: Why did Strike King start producing such a big spoon?
Davis: Fishermen at Lake Fork in Texas figured that a big spoon would catch big bass, especially during the post-spawn and the summer. Spoon fishing is an old technique with a new twist. In the past, we used gold and silver spoons, but when the Sexy Shad color made such a big hit, Strike King decided to put it on this big spoon. Putting that color on that big spoon really worked and produced a number of big bass for a lot of people.
To learn more about bass fishing, get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks and print books on bass fishing, “How to Win a Bass Tournament,” “Catch the Most and Biggest Bass in Any Lake: 18 Pro Fishermen’s Best Tactics, “Hot Weather Bass Tactics” and “How to Become A Tournament Bass Fisherman” go to www.amazon.com/author/johnephillips or at www.barnesandnoble.com; or an audiobook on “How to Bass Fish Like a Pro” at http://amzn.to/YpoJvD.