HIT THE SPOT

Call Out: Remember the fish aren't everywhere. You have to find the bait to find the fish. BAM hits the spot this summer with FLW Tour pro Cody Meyer as he fishes for spotted bass. During the warmth of this season, Meyer primarily has three lures tied on and uses each one for specific instances.

LOW LIGHT CONDITIONS As long as there is no to minimal wind, in the early mornings, evening time and other low light conditions, Meyer goes for a topwater bait. He likes the Jackall Bowstick. "I am going to start throwing this on main lake points or on bluff walls," said Meyer. "I start the day with this and usually stick with it until the sun comes up. His fishes the Bowstick with a 7'2" medium-heavy, Shimano Cumara rod with a 7.2:1 Shimano Curado. "I like the length of this rod for a getting a little more distance on my cast and because it has a really soft tip with a good backbone to work the bait properly," explained the California pro. "I like a high gear ratio reel, not only because I can get the fish in a little faster, but also because if I miss a bite, I can reel it in really quick and make another cast." Natural, transparent colors are his pick for the Bowstick. He fishes it on 30 lb braided line joined to a 15 lb monofilament leader that stretches about 7 feet. He marries his line with a Double Albright knot. "I think the fish don't see mono as well and I think that gets me a couple more bites, but I still want the braid because it lets me get the distance in my cast and a better hookset," said Meyer. "This line setup also floats better, so it allows me to work the bait better." When working the Bowstick, he casts out and uses a quick retrieve, popping and pausing to invoke a walk the dog action. Letting the fish dictate his cadence, Meyer varies the number and durations of pops between pauses. "You can mix up the pause, twitch action, but generally in the summer, you can work it pretty fast with minimal pauses," he said. "When they hit it, you don't have to set the hook, just keep crankin' 'em in."

A BAIT FOR THE BREEZE Meyer's next choice for a summer spotted bass lure is a crankbait. He opts for the Jackall Aska 60. Typically, he uses this square-billed crank in relation to mud lines. "I will fish this, if it is too windy for a topwater or a lot of time in the summer, we've got a lot of recreational boaters, skiers, swimmers and other things that create mud lines on the bank and I will fish it then also," said Meyer. "The mud line isn't usually muddy all the way to the bottom. It is kind of like a shadow to a fish so, I will position myself parallel, right up on the bank to make long casts." Maintaining bottom contact while reeling it in is a Meyer's focus. At times, he will deflect from the bottom and pause the bait with a stop and go motion, but most frequently for summertime, when the fish are active, he will use a faster retrieve, bouncing off the bottom and other cover to attract bites. Like with the Bowstick, when he gets a bite, he uses a reel set. His crankbait color choices will include some red on the belly, to represent a crawdad type bite in the mud lines. He ties his Aska 60 on a 7' Cumara Crankbait Rod with a Curado 5.1:1 gear ratio reel and 10 lb Seaguar fluorocarbon, for added depth. "This rod has a pretty soft tip, but enough backbone for the set," he said. "You can really control the fish while you're fighting it, without pulling the hooks because of how parabolic this rod is."

X MARKS THE SPOT Rounding out the trio of Meyer's baits is the Jackall Cross Tail Shad. This soft plastic is his go-to for most all conditions. "It is a big player for me, because I can use it under so many circumstances," he explained "The fish that don't go into a mudline are going to go deep and feed on the baitfish like a shad or a pond smelt and the Cross Tail shad mimics that forage perfectly." Meyer locates the areas he is going to target by idling over the points and looking for bait with his electronics. He puts his Cross Tail Shad on a dropshot rig, adding a teardrop-shaped, 1/4 oz River2Sea tungsten weight that hangs from 18 to 24 inches below his hook. The length depends on the depth of the bait that he has located. For the most part, he chooses shad shades for the color of his Cross Tail. "Purple Weenie and Purple Smoke are two of my favorites, but as a rule the clearer the water, the clearer the color that I will choose," said Meyer. He throws the dropshot rig on a medium light, 7'2" Cumara Dropshot spinning rod with a Shimano 2500 Sustain reel. He uses 10 lb PowerPro braid to a 6 to 8 lb fluorocarbon leader that runs about 10 ft. He revealed that the combination of these two types of line make his dropshot more effective. He explained, "They give a better hookset, reduces line twist and eliminate stretch, when you hook in to 'em." Positioning over fish that he has found on the graph, Meyer "video game" fishes for a catch, by sinking his dropshot rig directly down on them. When working it, he keeps the weight on the bottom and shakes the worm. Meyer advised, "You don't want to bounce the weight, you just want to shake the slack in the line to move the bait."

A SUMMER SECRET There are times in the summer, especially later in the day, when Meyer finds the spotted bass less active. To squeeze out an extra bite during this time, he will put on an extra-heavy weight, for a faster fall rate and drop it down through the fish to trigger an aggressive-type reaction strike. "I will tie on a 5/8 or 3/8 oz weight and try it," he revealed. "Normally, I would never throw a dropshot that heavy, but this is something different compared to what I'm usually doing with a dropshot- working it slowly in front of 'em and giving 'em a good look at it. There has been times this has really saved me." Meyer's last piece of advice was to remember the fish aren't everywhere. "You have to find the bait to find the fish," he added. "A lot of times, I won't even make a cast for a long time. I spend my time idling around to find them on the graph."

One of the favorite spotted bass fisheries of Jackall pro Cody Meyer is Lake Lanier in Georgia. Meyer's biggest spot, an 8.5 pounder came out of Whiskeytown a lake near his Northern California home. During his five years on the FLW Tour, Meyer has five Forrest Wood Cup qualifications and has earned three top-10 finishes, including a runner-up position in 2010. He has racked up over $600,000 in FLW career earnings. He holds the current FLW record of 50 for the most consecutive tournament days with a five fish limit.


This article can be found in Bass Angler's Summer 2014 Issue. To subscribe to Bass Angler Magazine Click Here

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