It’s been a few weeks since my last report. I wanted to get back on the water after the shutdown to ensure I report accurate information so you can go out and catch ‘em.

Fish early and catch them on topwater before it gets hot and the gnats run you off the lake! The water temp is 88 degrees when we started this morning and 90.3 when we finished at 11am.

I have fished just about everyday since the lake opened back up on June 25th. I’m catching them on both live bait and artificial. There is still some really big fish prowling the flats and then they head for cover as the sun gets up late morning.

Top baits this week for me were the Whopper Ploppers, Storm Largo Shad 3.5”, Bass Assassin RSB worms and the Mike Bucca 6” Trick Shad Gizzard color.

I’m fishing some custom painted whopper ploppers in a new size (80mm) and the 110mm in a speck pattern. I’m having my clients pull (not reel) the bait a few inches so it makes a little noise then just let it sit. They reel up the slack and pull then pause and repeat. It works great!!! We are catching all the way up until noon on topwater with these baits and this technique.

I’m fishing the half ounce Bret’s Bluegill Jackhammer in areas with scattered hydrilla and in ditches. I use a 4.5” Hogfarmer Spunk Shad in green pumpkin magic or a Yamamoto Zako 4” Green Pumpkin. With the rising water temps a slower retrieve or a stop and go retrieve was the most successful method.

I’m fishing the Bass Assassin RSB worms weightless over the hydrilla or letting it drop in holes in the hydrilla. Gooseberry is still the best color. I’m using a 6/0 VMC EWG hook to give it just a little weight. These also work well reeling them slowly like you would a spinnerbait.

The Largo Shad is a fish catching machine. I’ve been rigging it with a 1/4oz Berkley 4/0 underspin. The 3.5” matches the hatch perfectly right now. The Pro Blue Red Pearl is my go to color but they have several to choose from. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite fish catching summertime baits.

The 6” Mike Bucca Trick Shad in gizzard color is my go to swimbait this week. I’m fishing these along thick grass edges near deep sharp drops. I have been testing this bait for a couple years and it was just released yesterday. If you have fished with me you have probably seen me fish this bait. It is a fish catcher and it will work all over the country because it is the perfect size and shape.

Get on the Bullshad email mailing list so you can get the bait drop info. The only way to get the Trick Shad and Glides are go to a bait show that Bullshad attends or through the bait drops. Sign up at

The live bait bite was great this week. The fish are moving into deeper water so the deeper canals and pits are my focus areas. As water temps continue to climb the bite will slow down as the fish go deeper. Freelining is definitely working better for big bites. We went through 6 dozen shiners before 9am yesterday morning.

The new 4 blades spinnerbait John Laurenza Jr. and I collaborated on is a fish catcher. I also have been catching them on a 1/2oz and 3/8oz Gold/Silverblades with a white skirt spinnerbait fishing in canals and ditches. I saw John at the ramp today after our trip and he caught a 7lber on one of his spinnerbaits.

Tight lines!