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Lake life

There’s fishing, then there’s …

Fishing by definition is “the activity of trying to catch fish, primarily for pleasure and relaxation. ” And then there’s the next step, catching.

Right now, bass fishermen are enjoying some of the best fishing of the year, as fish move in and out of deeper water and try to fill up on shad and other bait fish for the winter. But a few of the really big ones are already finding spots to lay up deep, along the edges of channels and humps where they’ll hang out for the winter.

One thing, more than any other right now, involves finding the fish. And that is where fishermen actually turn from being fishermen to hunters to this time of year.

One of those guys is named aptly, Hunter Freeman. Hunter is a former member of the highly successful ULM fishing team and currently a touring pro. He fishes all over, but he calls Caney Lake home. I was lucky enough to spend some time with him there recently and get a lesson on both fishing and catching.

Today, success on finding the big one keys around successful hunting using electronics. And when you find the right spot, you put all your knowledge to use to catch one.

As show in these two photos, big bass show up as white dots scattered off the bottom in deeper water this time of year. The top photo shows a school of shad and then a group of big bass suspended just off the bottom on the edge of a creek. It doesn’t get any better than that. Another shot shows more bass (white dots) scattered along a deep ditch. Fish here.

Then it’s time to go fishing. Hunter likes using Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs and deep diving crankbaits for that. Perhaps his favorite is the 1/2 ounce Bryant’s Custom flipping jig (black and blue) with a trimmed down Zee Bait Co. bamboo bomber as the trailer fished on a Falcon bass rod.

And the results? Here comes another “boat flip” of a big bass over the side and into the BassCat. Hunting complete. Fishing complete. Catch and release complete. Just another day on the water.

You can keep up with Hunter on his Facebook page and he also offers guided trips when he isn’t on tour. Check him and and send him a message if you are interested in a trip.

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