Angler: Alejandro Pérez-Arteaga
Fishery: Lake Zirahuen, a mountain lake near Morelia, Michoacán, central Mexico
Lure: Texas-rigged small watermelon craw on a 1/0 wide gap hook and ¼ oz tungsten weight
Catch and Pattern Description: Alejandro regularly catches up to 4-pound largemouth bass during the winter on rocky humps. He states that this is an established pattern in deep lakes with significant water temperature changes throughout the year. He describes the process of finding the right spots and working the lure, “I usually fish in deep lakes and reservoirs; I’ve found that a very clear established pattern is to present a slow-hopping craw along the slopes of rocky humps in deep water. I usually find them using a fishfinder, but they can also be found by dragging a free-hanging 2-lb dumbbell around the area and depth you expect the top of the hump to be. Once I have located the hump, if there is vegetation, I move on and look for another spot. I fish barren, rocky humps; they are devoid of vegetation usually due to type of substrate, current or water transparency. Once I have located a suitable site (usually the top of the hump reaching 10-20 feet), I anchor on top of the hump and cast to the sides, slowly hopping a Texas-rigged craw from around 45 feet deep all the way to the kayak. I choose any small craw (around 2” works best for me) with subdued movement and usually cut off the appendages if they provide much vibration. I want a muted action and not a lot of water displacement. Watermelon is my color of choice; I prefer purple or black flake on overcast days and red flake on bright days. I always use a 1/0 wide gap hook and a ¼ oz tungsten weight.
My rod of choice is a Kistler MH, 7-foot fast-action baitcaster, with 20-lb braid on a 12-lb fluorocarbon leader. This is really one of my go-to techniques when largemouth bass in big lakes start to move from deeper water up when water is starting to heat up a bit. It won’t give you many bites but it will save the day when nothing else works. I think the hopping motion and the nature of a Texas rig gives the appearance of a very natural fleeing crayfish, which is a staple diet during this time of year and is abundant in these humps. Other deep-water techniques such as a drop shot or shaky head do not work very well for me on these conditions, so I stick with the Texas rig. It is also a classic rig that everybody likes; it takes you to the basics of largemouth fishing. It is very enjoyable".