Pro Tips Weekly: Jonathan Newton

Catching schooling fish early

Pickwick Lake is one of my favorites for schooling bass in the summer and it’s pretty typical as far as how the fishing is likely to line up on any given day. Usually I’ll begin fishing on a break from 5- to 10-feet deep over a hump or river ledge. If they’re running current at the dam, the bass will be right up on top, though they’ll move on out over deeper water as the day progresses. I’ll start out with a Spook or a Zoom Super Fluke in pearl finish. At some point I’m probably going to downsize to a Texas-rigged Junior Fluke, and then a Sworming Hornet head with a Junior Fluke that I just cast out and reel back in at a steady retrieve. I try to follow the progression that the bass prefer – that is, they might be hitting on top first thing, but then move deeper as the sun gets up. If they’re getting a lot of fishing pressure, they’ll be harder to figure out. Usually, though, it’s all about dialing into the size of the lure and the depth of water where most of the bass want to see the bait. Trying to figure out what schooling bass want on a summer morning can be frustrating, but once you do, it’s worth the trouble.

—- National Guard pro Jonathan Newton, Rogersville, Ala.


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