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The Bass fishing has been outstanding all over the Vermont! I’ve had luck using various topwater flies at dusk which is a blast. However in calm clear water I’ve also had great success sight fishing for them. From small Ponds to
Lake Champlain and everything in between Bass are a fun fish target and they smash flies.

In the shallows bays of Lake Champlain among the Lilly Pads as I’m standing up in my Jackson Kayak Big Rig hunting Bowfin I’ll sometimes have shots at Bass that are in the same zones. I use the same flies for both. Normally it will be Largemouth Bass sharing the same zones with Bowfin. I’ll pitch a heavy fly through small pockets in the weeds right to the Bass. Usually without hesitation they inhale it.

For Smallmouths I look around Islands, points, ledge drops offs and rocky shore lines. If the wind is just right I can make long drifts and work these areas with ease. I’ll drop heavy Crayfish patterns, jig flies and streamers like the Meat Whistle and Drunk Dad right into them. I use a 9’ 20# leader. Always carry a hook file and sharpen flies after working them around the rocks. Nothing worse than losing a nice fish because of a dull hook.

I also will work around popular marinas as there is lots of docks to fish around. This is not at all my favorite as it’s a busy area with lots of boats and folks around. However as far as looking for big hungry fish these zones can sometimes be overlooked.

My favorite is to go out about 30
minutes before the sun sets and throw around topwater flies. I will fish till
about 11:00pm. Frogs, Bird/ Duck imitations, plastic poppers, Mice/ Rat patterns and all kinds of Deer Hair flies work well. As it gets darker the fish become much more active and daring. The bigger Bass also come out looking
for an easy meal. One tip is wait a few seconds after the fish grab the fly off from the surface. If you set the hook to soon sometimes you will pull the fly out of there mouth. After complete darkness don’t set the hook till you actually feel the weight of the fish. Seems simple but it can be easy to set the hook when you hear a crash around your fly. Be patient and wait. It could just be the biggest Bass of the Summer on the other end of your line. Of course be safe have a flashlight and headlamp. Always wear a life jacket. If your fishing at night solo in a kayak tell a friend or two your plan and check in with them as you get back to the dock. Fishing under the moon and stars is a wonderful change of pace and super fun. Remember this is also when bugs like the mosquitos are more active so be prepared!

For Bass leave the 4wt and 5wts at home. I use a 8wt most of the time. Especially in thick weeds and when using topwater flies. I need the extra strength to set the hook and pull them out of the slop. They tend to bulldog and wrap around Lilly Pads and anything they can.

The JK Big Rig is the ultimate kayak for chasing Bass. The amount of storage and being so stable is key.