Versatility: Adapting to the Pattern

Stick bait, popper, and buzzbait bass lures

It's the first few days of September. We had a couple of cooler nights here in north Georgia, but Summer is still hanging on. Hot days and evening storms. The water temp is still up, and the fish haven't started their Fall transition, at least in the shallow water that I tend to fish.

I started the morning throwing a Jigmasters Signature buzz bait in dark sunfish with a golden bream chartreuse Zoom Super Fluke trailer. Beating the bank and isolated patches of grass as I paddled my way up towards the creek. Heading towards cooler water running into the shallow flat I was planning on fishing. Within 5 minutes of launching, I had one swipe at the buzz bait and miss on the outside edge of a grass line. Then another and a third. As they say, "Once is a chance, twice is coincidence, the third time is a pattern.”

I decided to stick with the buzz bait, but speed up the retrieve. Hoping for a reaction strike that never came. Went the other direction and slowly worked a clear gill SPRO E-Pop 80 in the same area. The fish weren't willing to break the surface on a topwater. Stubbornly, I stuck to the top water lures for longer than I should as the sun began to get higher in the sky.

Although I hadn't landed a fish yet, the missed strikes on the buzz bait at least told me where the fish were located. I reluctantly grabbed my spinning rod from behind the seat and began to hit the outside edge of isolated grass with a green pumpkin wacky rig.

holding a largemouth bass

Within just a few minutes I landed a 16 1/2 largemouth. Caught a couple more and broke off on another. I continued up into the creek, looking for cooler water and a bigger bite. Ended up catching a few spots up in the creek, but that's not what I'm fishing for, so paddled back out to the main lake to work the grass. Landed a couple more largemouth before calling it a morning.

Even though the morning started off slowly, the missed strikes allowed me to establish a pattern and locate fish for the day. Once I knew where the fish were, I worked my way through the tackle box until figuring out what they were biting. Patterning the fish efficiently, early in the trip can quickly turn frustration into a fun day on the water!

Written by Jon Allred


Jon Allred is a kayak angler from Woodstock, GA. Primarily fishing several electric only lakes in north Georgia on a Vibe Shearwater 125. No electronics, no motor. Just the basics: a paddle, a few rods, and a passion for bass fishing. You can follow him on Instagram at @killbilly_outside.