“Things are going to be much different up here this year,” said Cole 
Burnett while trying to thread a transducer wire through the maze under 
his console.”The “up here” he was referring to was Toledo Bend.

“Based on what’s happened so far, I think we are going to have a super 
spawn, but we are also going to see more fishing pressure than we have 
seen in years. I think everyone that owns a bass boat was up here last 
weekend and I attribute that to the word getting out about all of the 
new hydrilla.”

The little shot of warmer weather also had something to do with the 
crowded launches, but as a rule the majority of the bass fishing 
population usually misses the first few weeks of the spawn waiting on a 
good report.That, however, has not been the case thus far!

“The grass is absolutely a game changer for folks that don’t get to fish 
a lot as everything from major points to flats will now hold bass,” 
stated Burnett.“My next door neighbor doesn’t know a crappie from an 
alligator gar and he limited on bass up to six pounds yesterday.I am not 
complaining because I love his fried fish and his wife’s rum cake.”

I couldn’t help but entertain the thought that there is no mistaking rum 
cake, but he may be eating gar!

According to Burnett, the biggest surprise for him thus far is the 
number of bass being caught in shallow water.As a rule, the larger 
females are still staging in six to ten feet of water, but not this 
year.I know of two bass that were caught last weekend over seven pounds 
on Whacky worms fished around dock pilings in less than five feet of water.

I have no idea what patterns most of the fishermen participating in last 
weekend’s Bass Champs tournament fished, but they obviously found some 
very solid bass.Cole Brewer and Bob Richards anchored their winning 
33.15-pound stringer with a 9.29 lunker to edge out another 30-pound 
plus catch and net a $25,000 check.A pair of Orange anglers, Jonathan 
Simon and Corey Stanley, finished in the top ten and cashed a $2500 
check with a solid 19.55-pound bag.

Burnett has already caught and released two huge bass this month, but 
was not into sharing the area he was fishing.“I’ll guarantee you that a 
large percentage of the biggest bass caught every year on the Bend come 
out of Six Mile and Housen,” added Burnett “and that is due to super 
spawning structure and lots of casts.”

He was, however, willing to share a technique that he fishes that is yet 
another tweak when fishing the Whacky worm.“The fishing world owes you 
one for coming up with the Whacky worm back in the late 70’s,” said 
Burnett, “but the truth is that I’ve always fished it better than you do!”

The Whacky worm actually fishes itself, but I will readily admit that 
the technique has been greatly refined over the years.I started it with 
a gold 3.0 white perch hook and a 197 Crème Scoundrel.

Burnett’s latest improvement makes the technique more effective when 
fishing a little deep water simply because he gets to the magic depth a 
little quicker.“No more poking a piece of a finishing nail in the head 
of the worm,” he informed me with a sly grin.”

His latest tweak is to simply rig the worm Whacky style on a one-eighth 
ounce ball head jig.“The lead head doesn’t bother the fish at all and I 
think it is easier to jerk it free from the grass without tearing up the 
worm.I caught both of those big fish in eight feet of water using this 
technique with a watermelon black flake Scoundrel.”

The jig head he uses is not the typical head used for fishing plastics 
for saltwater fish all though the stronger hook may be a bonus when 
battling larger bass.He is using the same lead head with a 2/0 hook that 
we use when fishing a Gitzit or any four inch Tube jig.

“I like the longer hook because it allows the worm to slide up and down 
the shank,” says Burnett.“The one-eighth ounce lead head keeps the worm 
from sliding up the line and tearing up.”

He fishes the rig with a seven foot medium heavy spinning rod, 15 pound 
braid and two to three feet of fluorocarbon leader.He added that he 
still fishes the shallower inside moss line with the conventional rig.

How you choose to get it done is your business, but it is “game on” as 
far as the spawn is concerned!