Why Are You Fishing at Choke Canyon and Fayette County with Wade Middleton and Mike McClelland

– From CarecoTV,one of the
longest-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 Fayette
County Reservoir, Texas. But first, let’s
join Wade Middleton on a cloudy, windy,
cool, mid-February dayin South Texas on
Choke 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 that
during 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 baits
might 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 fortunate
and 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 will
hold water for a while, the potential is just amazing. Lettin’ him go. This lake is just fulla
hydrilla 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 now
what 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 gonna
be 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 dams
or something like that, and find a group of
fish that’s, you know,still really out deep that
hasn’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 blue
bird, high pressure day, which to me is one of
the hardest days to fish. And I’ve always said
Choke 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 was
falling, 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 caught
that’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 days
where 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 it
going 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 Voice
Over] 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, little
bitty 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 options
there 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’s
already included in it. Which is pretty
neat little feature. Regardless of which way you
go, lot of different colors,and you know that style
of 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 in
it, 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 Voice
Over] 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 United
States, 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 one
of the coolest thingsabout a crankbait to me
is just simply the fact that you can catch fish in
so many different situations. I mean you can catch ’em
up 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, he
doesn’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’s
just one of those deals you’ve gotta be aware
of what’s going on when you’re throwing
a crankbait. So many people make that
mistake 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 all
three 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 up
to a new body of water,I mean anywhere in the country,is what I can accomplish
with my Garmin units. One of the first things
that 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 same
colors 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 ’em
in 10, 12 foot of water,I can look around that
lake and I can duplicatethat pattern or that
type of off-shore coverthat I’m looking for throughout
the 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 water
and as soon as you startfeeling it lose contact
with 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 to
learn from major league fishing pro Mike McClelland. Stay tuned. – [Commercial Voice
Over] Americana Outdoorspresented by Garmin
has been brought to you by Sunline, the strength to
guarantee your confidence. Sawyer Products, Sawyer
we keep you outdoors. And by Yamaha’s
proven off-road ATV and side by side vehicles. – Welcome back
to Americana Outdoors. We’re fishing with
major league fishing pro Mike McClelland on Fayette
County Reservoir, Texas. – You know, probably one
of 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 got
to 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 off
the 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, seeing
what 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 that
bait down to that depth and a bigger profile. Good little fish. You know there’s a lotta
things 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 do
and 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’re
seeing 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 I
wanna see in the water. I mean I have decided to eat. You know probably the
biggest thing about throwinga crankbait is the fact
that 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 of
water, 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 start
talking about long lineand guys catch fish on
crankbaits 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 can
always 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’t
eat a big old bait? That’s about a six
pounder right there. – Americana Outdoors
is a Careco TV production.

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