Monster Bass on the 5-weight Fly Rod DragonFly
In the Dog Days of summer in Central Florida a change occurs to the feeding behavior of largemouth bass. The water temperatures get too high, and the bass metabolisms rise too high, burning up too much energy to expend much effort at getting a meal. So, bass need a new strategy to get their nutrition more efficiently. They can no longer afford to jump for joy, trying to snatch dragonflies from mid air 2 feet over the water surface, or try to outsmart intelligent bluegills that watch their every move and eye roll, which is a loser’s game without some unexpected advantage. At this time of year, the bass cannot afford to violate the law of energy gained versus energy expended. I think everyone has experienced that big strike and listless fight from a large bass that has become emaciated during the summer heat. That fish has become threatened for survival by bad decisions or has an inability to compete for a strategic feeding position, during the most difficult time of the year. Grassy shoreline edges that border very deep water allow bass to quicky access possible food items that tumble onto the water surface, and return to the comfortable depths, spending a minimum of risky time and energy near the overly warm and dangerous surface waters.
The unexpected advantage: dragonFly down--- distracted bluegills at the surface along the grass line next to the deeper water, messng with the downed DragonFly. Big healthy fat bass rise up effortlessly at major feed periods to inspect the distracted bluegills and the tiny but tasty dragonfly. The bluegills panic---- what will the bass do ? The bsss have two easy choices. Eat the small group of distracted bluegills pecking at the dragonfly, or eat the weak, struggling dragonfly. It works all summer but late summer I go to the fly rod. Why ?