Alton Jones’ 3 favorite bass lakes

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Alton Jones’ 3 favorite bass lakes

By Craig Lamb

Alton Jones Sr., Skeeter sponsored angler, has spent the past 27 years fishing his way across the country from East to West, and North to South. Currently, the Bassmaster®  Elite Series pro from Texas spends nine months of the year competing on the hottest bass lakes in the nation.

Which are his favorites? When are the best times to go? What patterns and baits are best? Find the answers, get inside tips, and plan your trip to his top three bass fisheries.

#1 Falcon Reservoir, Texas

What makes it special: “Years of drought followed by wet seasons make it cycle through and fish like a new lake,” says the 2008 Bassmaster Classic® winner. Drought exposes the bottom, vegetation sprouts on the dry ground, and then gets inundated when the water level returns to normal. The vegetation doubles as spawning habitat and a nursery for baby bass to protect them from predators. “The bass grow big and are easy to catch. There is no place else in the country you can go to potentially catch a double-digit largemouth on every cast.”

Best time to go: April through July. “The bass get so far back, hundreds of yards or even miles, that anglers cannot reach them during the spawn, which is also why the lake is so productive,” says Jones. Receding water during summer pulls the largemouth to deep dropoffs, where they school in large numbers and are easier to locate.

Favorite patterns and baits:  Deep diving crankbaits like the Norman DD22 and Bomber Fat-Free Shad. Also, Texas rigged 10-inch Yum® worms. Jones suggests flipping the rig into bushes and hanging on. “I can’t keep count of how many times a big bass got the better of me in the bushes on a Texas-rigged worm.

 

#2 Lake Champlain, Vermont and New York

What makes it special: Sheer size. The lake stretches 106 miles along the Vermont and New York borders and covers over 313,000 acres. “There are always untapped fishing areas, places you can go that are unpressured,” explains Jones. “The lake also supports habitat for largemouth and smallmouth, so you get the better of two worlds. Take your pick on any given day, largemouth or smallmouth, and bite on a good, consistent bite,” he adds.

Best time to go: Anytime except for winter. An ideal time is late summer, and Jones especially favors September. “The bass know the cold is coming and the shallow bite is phenomenal, a power fisherman’s dream,” he says.

Favorite patterns and baits:  Heddon Super Spook Jr., clear pattern, fished on shoals and rocky points near deeper water. “The smallmouth can see the lure on the bottom at 15, 20 feet, and will charge at it,” he says. “You cannot beat the exhilarating rush of a hard-charging smallmouth hitting a topwater lure.”

 

#3 Upper Mississippi River

What makes it special: “The quality in numbers of 2- to 4-pound largemouth, more so than anywhere else I fish,” he says. An abundance of habitat is the reason. “The only place that is not bass habitat is the main river, the navigation channel.” Envision acres of backwaters filled with fields of lily pads, lush hydrilla, milfoil and native vegetation. The vegetation doubles as a nursery for baitfish and ambush points for the bass.

Best time to go: July through September. “The water is more stable and not so flood-prone by then,” he says. “Plus, the vegetation is more lush and mature.”

Favorite patterns and baits:  Booyah Pad Crasher Frog. “You get the anticipation factor of watching the vegetation roll up behind the bait from an approaching bass,” says Jones. “Let the bass take the bait under before setting the hook.” Jones also likes a 1/2-ounce Booyah® Jig with soft plastic grub for a strike-enhancing trailer. “Slow roll it like a spinnerbait around the edges of thick, matted vegetation,” he adds. The bass awaits in ambush beneath the darkness of the vegetation until bait appears in open water.

 

Gaining access to all of the above requires a boat, but not just any rig.

“If you notice all my favorites are large bodies of water,” says the veteran pro. “My Skeeter FX21 is designed to handle any kind of water and is specially designed for making long runs across rough water.

It’s a wave tamer of a boat, and I feel safe, while not compromising performance at the same time,” he says.

Pros like Jones also carry a lot of gear. There is no going back home and getting what is needed for a given day on the water. The interior layout of the FX21 is what appeals the most to Jones.

“Even more importantly, the FX21 is the best-designed boat for tackle storage and organization,” he says. “I can organize all of my tackle for every bass fishing situation I encounter during the season.”

“The Skeeter is the best bass fishing platform out there for me,” he says.

Learn More at Skeeter Boats.com

 

This document contains many of Skeeter’s valuable trademarks. It may also contain trademarks belonging to other companies. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only and are not intended to be an endorsement.

 

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

 

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