Choosing the right lake and the right bait when taking your grandkids fishing

This is the time of year when many anglers start having trouble catching fish. Summer is upon us and there is enough food in our lakes to keep most fish happy.

In fact, there is more food in our water systems right now than at any other time of the year. Predatory fish can gorge themselves on small baitfish at any time. This can have a major impact on the willingness of predatory fish to accept our meager offers.

This fact was on my mind when our grandchildren arrived from California for a visit. I had to find the right combination of lake, fish species and presentation that was simple but productive enough to satisfy them.

The first decision was the lake. Once we hit July, weed development on most lakes is near its peak. This often means that predatory fish will move into the deep weed line. As I have already mentioned in my columns, the deep line of weeds becomes the interstate of underwater travel for many species of fish.

The second decision concerned fish species. Although panfish is always an option, my grandkids wanted to catch something that offered a little more fighting. For this reason, the largemouth bass became our target species.

The last decision was the presentation. Because bass are willful biters at this time of year and minnows are their target meal, I chose to fish live bait with floating jigheads and fathead minnows. Floating jig heads help keep the bait out of the weeds and also provide some color to attract fish.

Another great feature of the floating jighead is its ability to catch fish. There is no need to give line or play the bite with a floating jighead. When you feel a bite, you attach the hook.

It turned out that our outing was a great success. Although the basses were small in size, they were plentiful and kept everyone busy and entertained.

For our grandkids, a floating jighead and a minnow caught on the deep weed line was the perfect combination.

That’s the opinion of outdoor columnist Jerry Carlson. Contact him at [email protected]

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