BASS & SLOP by Zebedidiah
Soon the shorelines and shallow sections of small bays and coves
will fill with slop and weeds. Don't avoid them because they seem so thick. This is the
under water forest for bass. The bass moves through the slop like a deer hunter through
the forest. Slop in shallow weed choked flats can hold some big bass.
Bass don't avoid the sunlight because "IT HURTS THEIR
EYES." This is an untrue old wives' tale. When the sun is high in the sky bass have
options. They can go deep, slide under some cover like a tree or under the slop. Under
slop they can wait in ambush next to vertical cover or under horizontal cover. During mid
day high skies some bass glide under the slop.
Bass are masters of ambush and the more visible they become to their prey the harder it
is to ambush their next meal. As with docks, stumps and other structure bass stay on the
shady side of the open holes in the slop. Also bass repeat themselves. This is where they
use slop as cover. Usually the water under the slop is cooler than the surface water
temperature. This gives the bass a cool, shaded, and oxygen rich water with plenty of food
on their menu. It's a feeding thing. Bass must eat more in hot weather to maintain energy
levels and growth rate. Bass are in the shallows for one reason- feeding.
TECHNIQUES- You must make the fish think something to eat is getting away. In open
water you bounce a crank bait off a rock, speed reel a spinner bait ticking the weeds, rip
a jerk bait or skitter a lure. These cause bass to have trigger a reflex action.
HOW TO TRIGGER A REFLEX ACTION FROM BASS IN THE SLOP.
Cast a Johnson's Silver Minnow close to shore, reel quickly skipping the lure across
the surface. This is the skittering action. Sometimes Darryl will add a trailer of a pork
eel, frog tails or curly tailed pork rind to the lure.
One problem with Johnson's spoon is that if you stop reeling it may sink into the slop
and get fouled with weeds. If this occurs switch to a tournament frog. You can still
skitter it like a spoon and when you stop reeling it won't sink. Cast onto the slop, let
the lure set a moment or two, point the tip of our rod at the lure and crank two or three
times, pause and repeat the process. There is always a bass watching and waiting to
strike. Work a lizard emulating lure slowly with its tail wriggling but continually over
slop. Continue reeling slowly while twitching the lure. Another excellent lure for slop
fishing is the buzz bait. It is noisy and rides high across the slop and for an added
advantage for the angler attach a pork frog tail and reel a bit slower.Where there is a
small open patch of water into the slop from the outer edge a popper can be deadly. Pop,
chug, skitter and stop this lure in these open areas. Always when the bass strikes don't
set the hook until the fish turns away. This is when the bass has the lure in his mouth,
not when he strikes.
Another trick while fishing slop is using a plastic Texas rigged worm. Cast past an
open hole in the slop. Twitch, retrieve the worm almost to the edge of the open hole,
wait. Then very slowly retrieve until the front of the worm hangs into the hole. Wait. Now
retrieve enough for the worm to fall into the hole. Wait. Eventually on one part of this
presentation and retrieve a bass will take your offering. Slop is not good fishing on over
cast or cloudy days. Fish for bass in the slop on high sky days in the middle of the day
and you'll have a day to remember and a positive entry in your journal.