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The Pros Talk Texas Bass
When it comes to lure color, shad is a logical choice for Cook at this time of the year, including pearl-colored models with a chartreuse back. When the water's a little stained, he'll try to coax a reaction strike with a brighter hue like chartreuse, blue-backed chartreuse, or mustard.
As for autumn bass angling gear, Cook uses an Abu Garcia baitcasting reel with a high-speed retrieve ratio of 6.2:1. When he's tossing a spinnerbait, he'll use a 7-foot Fenwick medium/heavy rod with a fast tip; with crankbaits he'll use a Ken Cook Signature Series in medium action.
In regard to fishing line, in the past Cook has spooled his reels with Berkley 20-pound-test for spinnerbait fishing and with Berkley lines in the 10- to 14-pound-test categories for crankbait fishing.
Cook isn't the only angler who can get revved up about fishing for autumn bass in Texas; his northeastern counterpart Edwin Evers loves to do the same.
Evers spent much of his free time away from college classes at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant fishing for bass on the pristine waters of nearby 89,000-acre Lake Texoma, which straddles the Texas-Oklahoma border -- and apparently Texoma taught Evers well, as is evidenced by his three BASS wins, seven Classic appearances, and more than $855,000 in tournament winnings in a relatively young career.
Though he's perhaps not quite ready to be a tenured bass fishing professor yet, Evers, as one of pro angling's best young guns, assuredly qualifies as a graduate assistant in the school of higher bassin' education. And in that capacity, he agreed with Cook that autumn is indeed a fabulous time for targeting Texas bass.
"Bar none, the best thing (about this time of year) is that the fish are really grouped up," he said. "On reservoirs like Rayburn and Toledo Bend you can catch big numbers of fish in a small area."
For Evers, one of the big keys to autumn angling success is found in locating and fishing deep structure that holds active fish. "They're really grouped up," he noted. "Maybe not so much in surface schooling activity, but in schooling groups around deep structure."
So how will this young pro approach typical Texas bass waters this season? Like Samsel, he'll find the major creek arms on a lake and start there.
"I'll probably try to find me a major creek arm," Evers said, "and I'll probably get about midway back in that creek arm looking at things like river ledges or points. I'll have some deep crankbaits tied on -- a Carolina rig tied on -- or maybe a Texas-rigged worm in a 9-inch red shad or green pumpkinseed color."
* * *
By now, you've probably figured out that all three of our bassin' experts are of the opinion that at both the hotspot lakes mentioned at the beginning of this story and all the other promising lakes, small waters, and even farm ponds all across the Lone Star State, few times are better for going after Texas bass than right now, during the cooling and schooling days of autumn -- when the action's red-hot, even if the temperatures are not!
"They're biting," Cook concluded. "Go fishing!"
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