Indian Summer Bass
It seems the longer I live the less I understand about the weather. Even the local weather forecasters are about as dependable as an out-of-print almanac. But, there is one thing that's for sure, Indian Summer in Idaho means great bass fishing. This is a phenomenon that occurs in the fall, some where between the middle of October and the end of November.
by Dennis Udlinek
During average fall and winter transitions, the fall feeding frenzy (see Fall Feeding Frenzy article in October issue Idaho Rod & Reel) is all but over, and you can hang up your bass rod by mid-October. However, the reason you never put your gear too deep into the garage is the possibility of those bright blue-bird days of Indian Summer, and this looks like one of those years. Unless I miss my bet, even as I write this article, there are fellow bassers' out there "loading the boat" on some really terrific Indian Summer bass.
My last fishing experience with this fall treat was on the Snake River near my childhood home of Homedale, Idaho. It was during the heart of pheasant, duck and goose season and everyone seemed intent on jet boating up and down the river in pursuit of a weary foul. I, on the other hand, had some sense about me and recognized the sudden rise in air temperature that signal the blue, sun-shine days of Indian Summer. By noon I had shed my last layer of warm clothing and had already caught and released half my limit.
I was catching sizable smallmouth in the same places I found them during the earlier fall pattern. The bass were next to the wake in the eddies with the larger fish coming from the outside or upstream edge of the breaking water. The bass were not the least bit shy and immediately jumped on my offering. I was using a minnow imitation plastic curly tailed grub, Texas rigged, and weighted so it would drift slowly along the rocky bottom without getting hung up. Another rig that seemed to work well was a Texas rigged tub jig or "Gitzit" in a crawfish or minnow pattern. My good friend and long time fishing partner, Bill Pryor, was likewise having a great day.
As I said earlier, fishing seems the sensible thing to do during an Indian Summer. Actually, any bright blue sun-shiny day is a good excuse to dig out the ole' bassin' tackle. Heck, any excuse will do. Bill and I always go out on Veteran's Day, and once we even went out in the middle of January. Don't ask why? Can't say, only we had one of the best days we ever had catching crappie! We can always come up with a reason to go fishing; but, if you want to be assured of catching something, don't necessarily listen to the weather forecasters, and remember about Indian Summers. It's a sure bet for some great bass fishin'!