– From CarecoTV,one of thelongest-running outdoor programs on television today. Exploring the country and the coastin search of adventures. From the mountains of the great Northwest to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. This is Americana Outdoors. Presented by Garmin. This week on Americana Outdoors, we’re tagging along with Major League Fishing pro, Mike McClelland on a fishing tripto the famous FayetteCounty Reservoir, Texas. But first, let’s join Wade Middleton on a cloudy, windy, cool, mid-February dayin South Texas onChoke Canyon Reservoir. And see what baits he chooses based on today’s fishing conditions, in an effort to locate bass and trigger bites on what’s know as a typically stingy lake at this time of the year. Well it’s no secret thatduring the springtime the weather’s always changing. One day it’s cold and then the next day it could be colder, or it could be warmer. Because of that, largemouth bass are always changing their moods. What depth they may be at, what cover they relate to,as well as what baitsmight trigger a strike. Savvy anglers know how to use that knowledge to their advantage to help them locate fish and catch fish, while others may never figure that out. – I have fished this so many timesI’ve seen it all the way to the, up there and all the way back out here. This lake really is effected by drought. And it’s been a while since I’ve been down here. Actually about one year. And we were fortunateand caught a lot of rainlate this summer and early fall. And it’s kind of maintained. It looks gorgeous down here right now, but I know the history of this lake enough to knowthere’s not a lot of fish in it. It’s bigger than it’s ever been, and there’s not as many fish. But, if this lake willhold water for a while, the potential is just amazing. Lettin’ him go. This lake is just fullahydrilla right now. Absolutely amazing, prettiest I’ve seen it for ever. You’ve gotta fish what you can, which can be frustrating if the fish are behind you and you can’t get to ’em. The good thing about it is in the future, eventually,that cover will die off, it will become accessible. You can get to it, or the lake will come down a little bit. And when it does it’ll be some of the best fishing you’ve ever seen. Come here buddy, oh yeah, it’s a pretty fish right there. I mean that bait just fell right out of his mouth right there, look at the dark colors on that thing. You know, there’s so much hydrilla back here in this brush right now. Or with marks, maybe, from cormorantsnailing him on the side. We’re gonna let him go. You know when you look right now what I’m dealing with on the electronics, whether it’s the panoptics, the traditional side clear, doesn’t matter, it is just solid cedar mixed with some hydrilla out there. And I mean when you see it, it’s just everywhere. There’s little cubby holes and places for a bass to hideand so for me right nowwhat I’m trying to do is think in my mind what these fish should be doing with a 50, upper 50 degrees water temperature and see what I can’t catch, see what kinda bites that I can get. My other option is gonnabe spend a lotta time out graffing and looking for bait along the old bank line, along some of these old main lake points,and some old pond damsor something like that, and find a group of fish that’s, you know,still really out deep thathasn’t moved up into this brush. Come here buddy, come here, you’re a nice little Chokey chunk. Oh that’s awesome. This is a high bluebird, high pressure day, which to me is one of the hardest days to fish. And I’ve always saidChoke after a North wind is a really tough lake, but I’m really excited and tickled with what I’ve seen, I mean, the lake to me, we’ve had quite a few bites, water quality just looks phenomenal, spawn outta be world class. Future might be pretty bright for old Choke Canyon here coming up pretty soon. Yes. Right as it wasfalling, not a big guy. Probably had him a big old red crawdad. Oh, we got him there! He may be moving up to spawn. The hook just falls out today. You know we had a big cold front last night. Temperatures got down to 39 and that really, that’s coldthis time of year for down here. And every fish that we’ve caughtthat’s barely been hooked, really hadn’t ate it, hadn’t taken it all the way down, and we had a lot of fish just slap at it which is, you know, kinda indicative of one of themhigh pressure dayswhere they’re not reallycommitting to the bait. Oh, look how fat that big girl is. Golly, look at that big old fat girl right there. That’s a nice Choke chunk. Whoo, bye bye girl. Golly!Boy that sucker had itgoing so far towards me, I thought I had done had me a 12 pounder. I hope she holds up. We can get back and this guy here, he’ll be a 12 pounder one of these days. – Well as we close out the day’s fishing trip, Wade is already planning a return trip to Choke Canyon three days later. And you say why is he coming back? Well stay tuned to find out. – [Commercial VoiceOver] Americana Outdoors presented by Garmin, is brought to you by Garmin. Fight your fish, not your fish finder. Bass Pros Shops and Cabela’s, your adventure starts here. Yamaha Marine,reliability starts here. And by Ranger Boats,still building legends, one at a time. – Welcome back to Americana Outdoors. Well we watched Wade Middleton on the water at Choke Canyon under cool windy conditions,trying to locate and catch fish. Now we fast forward three days to see where the weather has been warmer for three straight days, and see how he’ll decipher the puzzle to catch a few fish. – Come here chunk. Oh he choked on it too. You know every day’s a little different when you come out fishing. You know the lake’s high, we talked about that a lot. And I feel like I’d be catching’em way back in the bushes, I couldn’t get anything done. I got one little, littlebitty rat come out here where I knew there’s a huge bed of hydrilla. Find hydrilla, there’s generally bass. So sometimes you outsmart yourself. Big lizard. Keeping it real, mixing it up, this is a pretty good one right here. Look at that, golly. Come here buddy, oh yeah. Boy that’s a fat one right there, golly. Look at how fat that fish’s mouth is. Barely hooked in there. I mean you start throwing those soft plastic trick worms as a stuff around out there, it’ll trick stick, that can be the end result. Bye bye girl. You know when you take those little trick sticks, any of the soft plastic stick baits, you know, there’s tile use a bit offset hook like this, this is a Trokar three aught EWG right here and you just basically rig the bait through it and off you go. It’ll fish through any kind of cover. And when you’re on a flooded lake, being able to get it through cover is all the difference in the world. There’s actually a little channel in that bait, that you can push that hook down in on the other side as well, I’m actually going on the opposite side today just to keep it even more weedless. You can, so you got two optionsthere to be able to use it. It also helps with your bait life. They’ve even got one that has ring in the middle of it so if you wanna rig it wacky style, the ring’s already,little circle’salready included in it. Which is pretty neat little feature. Regardless of which way you go, lot of different colors,and you know that styleof bait as we all know has been proven to catch a lot of fish. Now they’re all the same. Just great, 10, 11 inches, super healthy, super fat. Likes a light kinda bite when you’re doing this kinda fishing, I mean I’m throwing Sunline Sniper and a 7’1″ Johnny Morris, Signature Series, the Platinum Series rod right here. And it, I mean, I’m hammering ’em, high speed reel when I hit ’em, get ’em into, under control in this brush. And you know, if these were five and six pounders we’d have our absolute hands full because these little pound and a half, two pounders and sometimes smaller,I mean they’re strong and green. I don’t even know if some of these fish have ever been hooked in their life, as green and strong as they are. That’s a good one there. That’s a biggun’. Nope, golly. I thought that was a four, five pounder. I don’t want a four, five pounder in here. Just got whooped. By a ten incher. These fish are so green . Let’s see how good our Sunline is. Get that guy outta that bush. The Choke is a lake that I’ve got a lotta history on, a lot of passion for, kind of a love hate relationship at times because of the water quality and the changes that it goes through, but I’ve always loved this lake. Really some of my best memories are coming down herein its heyday, shootin’shows, catching, you know, geez 50 to 100 fish. I remember Clark’s big, you know, fish weighed almost 13. Great tournament memories and you know, we even did some of the old Texas Oklahoma shootouts with the guys down here. But the lake went through some really, really hard times. No bass tournaments pretty much come down here anymore. The lake just really suffered for a good 10 years of low water level, poor, poor water quality, and subsequently bad fishing. But a few years back it caught some rain, and now it’s got another big flood,and there’s a lotta grass init, the lake really looks good. You know, we’ve been able to catch a lot of fish, doin’ a lot different things. The water clarity is phenomenal, best I’ve seen in a long time and so hopefully it’ll stay healthy, we’ll get us a couple of good spawns, we keep some water in here and that’s one of the things about the lakes in South Texas, they go up and down like your bathtub and when they go down for a long time we get that growth and when they come back up and hold water for awhile, we get a bass fishing bonanza. – Up next, we’ll follow pro Mike McClelland on a fishing trip at Fayette County Reservoir, Texas. He’ll show you how to pick up the right baitfor the right situation,and maximize the use of your electronics, so don’t go away. – [Commercial VoiceOver] Americana Outdoors presented by Garmin, has been brought to you by SPRO, sports professionals. Engel coolers, rugged, durable,high-performance marine coolers. And by Big Bite Baits, designed to bring the big bite to your line. – Welcome back to Americana Outdoors. It’s a cloudy day in early February. We meet up with major league fishing pro Mike McClelland on Fayette County Reservoir in Texas. A well-known lake for catching great large mouth bass. Time of year is not a big factor when it comes to crankbait fishing. Almost every month of the yearsomewhere in the UnitedStates, you’ll be able to catch fish on crankbaits, it’s just a matter of the action you choose, how deep the fish are, what you oughta be looking for when you’re cranking. – You know probably oneof the coolest thingsabout a crankbait to meis just simply the fact that you can catch fish in so many different situations. I mean you can catch ’emup cranking the bank, you can catch ’em offshore. I mean a crankbait’s one of those tools that as long as you’re getting the bait to the cover that you’re fishing, you can catch ’em at about any depth that you wanna catch ’em at. Pretty nice little fish, hedoesn’t have the bait very good, but a pretty nice one. Not bad at all. Little SPRO RkCrawler 50 got it done, that’s the Missouri craw colorand you know, it’sjust one of those deals you’ve gotta be aware of what’s going on when you’re throwing a crankbait. So many people make thatmistake of just chunking it out, winding it back to the boat, never putting any action, or any variance in their retrieve. You know probably one of the biggest things about being successful with a crankbait is making sure you’re throwing the right bait for the type of cover you’re throwing. You know, I mean just, for example, this SPRO Rk, I mean we’ve got the new Rk 50, you’ve got the Rk 55, the original model and then you’ve got the MD model. And a lot of it is the profile of the bait sometimes, and sometimes it’s actually, you know, the depth that the bait goes, or you know, the actionthat the bait has and allthree of the baits are similar, but they all come into play in certain situations. Like the little 50 in my mind, sometimes when these fish get real heavily pressured, you wanna step your profile down a little bit. So it’s all about picking the right baitfor the right situation. You know, probably for me one of the most importantthings when I show upto a new body of water,I mean anywhere in the country,is what I can accomplishwith my Garmin units. One of the first thingsthat I’m gonna do is I’m gonna set up my depth shades. When you look at this map, it may look like confusion to you, but it’s all about me understanding what depths I’m looking at. I generally use the samecolors year after year so I have a reference in my mind what every depth is. I generally go in five foot increments other than the first one to three foot. I always shade that in red just because that to me is danger. Red means danger. And when I figure out a bite, when I go to a lakeand I start catching ’emin 10, 12 foot of water,I can look around thatlake and I can duplicatethat pattern or thattype of off-shore coverthat I’m looking for throughoutthe course of the lake. ‘Nother real key to throwing a crankbait, especially if you’re trying to cover multiple depth zones with a bait that’s designed to dive you know three to five foot deep, is when you first start your retrieve you can actually hold your rod tip up when you’ve got that baitup in shallower waterand as soon as you startfeeling it lose contactwith the bottom, you can just then take your rod down toward the surface of the water, and you can get that extra foot or two of depth that you’re looking for. There’s one right there,that’s a good one. You know one of the biggest things about a crankbait fish is making sure that you don’t put too much pressure on ’em. I mean I can see that fish isn’t hooked very good. I mean I’m gonna a run a fairly light drag all the time when I’m fighting a fish on a crankbait. Even to the point where if that fish wants to run, I can just pull line a little bit. You can see right now I’m just feeding that fish some line. Generally if you don’t rush a fish on a crankbait, you’re not gonna lose ’em very often. But when you left ’em jump,that’s usually when they getcha. Now that isn’t a giant, but that is a Texas bass. Man I love to catch ’em on a RkCrawler. Get some more. – Well coming up there’s still a lot morefishing techniques tolearn from major league fishing pro Mike McClelland. Stay tuned. – [Commercial VoiceOver] Americana Outdoorspresented by Garminhas been brought to you by Sunline, the strength to guarantee your confidence. Sawyer Products, Sawyerwe keep you outdoors. And by Yamaha’s proven off-road ATV and side by side vehicles. – Welcome back to Americana Outdoors. We’re fishing withmajor league fishing pro Mike McClelland on Fayette County Reservoir, Texas. – You know, probably oneof the biggest things that any time I’m throwing a crankbaitone of the biggest keys,it isn’t necessarilythe layout of the bank,it isn’t necessarilyyou know the depth of the bank. It’s normally always gotto do with hard bottoms. You know, there’s all kinds of different things that you can be looking for. You know you can fish things like we’re fishing here, rip rap of the dam. You can fish out offthe end of a long point or just coverin’ a depth zone with a particular crankbait. Go, it’s another good one on that MD. You know I talked about earlier the difference in, you know, the depth versus the body size. Earlier I caught a few on that little RK 50,but I really felt like,you know, basicallyafter, you know, seeingwhat some of these fish are feeding on that I needed a little bit bigger body frame and that’s the reason I went to that MD 55. Basically I’m fishing the very same depth,but I’m able to get thatbait down to that depth and a bigger profile. Good little fish. You know there’s a lottathings when you look at what all these electronics will do today that you just kinda, there’s a fish right there. We kinda take it for granted, I mean they’re so good now that there’s not a ton of stuff that you have to do. But there’s one thing when it comes to settin’ up my sonarthat I still wanna doand that is I typically always wanna run my gain in manual. It’s just one of those things that to me,makes a huge difference. Nice fish. So getting back to the electronics, I mean I wanna run it in manual, and the other thing I always wanna do is I wanna have my A-scope on. When you look at this unit right here,anything that you’reseeing between this line and the beginning of the history is actually there. That is live sonar. Everything from here over is memory. So I always want my live scope, or my A-scope running, and I always wanna make sure I’m running my gain in manual. The reason I do that is when you get around other boats, you’re unit will actually try to start adjusting itself down automatically because of the interference. If I’m running mine in manual, I know I’m gonna seeevery target that Iwanna see in the water. I mean I have decided to eat. You know probably the biggest thing about throwinga crankbait is the factthat you can catch fish literally from you know, zero to 20, 25 foot of water even now with all of the differentvariations of crankbaits we got. I mean, the biggest thing you as an angler have gotta do is make sure you’re throwing the right crankbaitfor the right situation. I mean, when you’re talking about catching ’emin zero to three foot ofwater, you’re gonna be throwing a square bill of some kind. If you’re talking about catching ’em in that mid-depth range you gotta be throwing a bait that dives at that depth range and when you get out to that, you know, ultra deep stuff, I mean a baitlike the little John DD,the deepest diving DD and now he’s even got a deeper diving DD that, you know, will get 20, 22 foot deep. So, you know, you starttalking about long lineand guys catch fish oncrankbaits 25 and 30 foot deep. So a crankbait will catch ’em at about any depth if you can get the bait to where the fish are living. – Wow, there are a lotta tips and techniques to take in from Wade Middleton and Mike McClelland. You can rewatch this episode or any other episodes at any time on americanaoutdoors. com. Oh, and remember you canalways find all of these fishing tackle you’ve seen in the showat basspro. com and cabellas. com. – It’s a fish that’s got something stuck in its mouth. Tried to eat a little too big of a brin. You tell me a fish won’teat a big old bait? That’s about a six pounder right there. – Americana Outdoorsis a Careco TV production.