Although only open for one year, Calling Panther Lake near Crystal Springs already is one of my favorite places for catching bass. Boat traffic will have decreased by this time of year, and I know I can bet on this 500-acre lake to produce bass weighing up to 7 pounds each.

The lake has been stocked with bass, is loaded with flooded bushes and timber and has a boat ramp.

I prefer fishing top-water lures or pitching jigs near cover, and this lake is ideal for anglers who use either of these tactics.

November is special on Calling Panther because you can catch bass from the top to the bottom of the water and at every depth in between. As the water temperature cools, bass become more active and feed heavily in preparation for the cold months ahead. This lake is so full of cover that there are plenty of places to run a buzz bait.

I like to start my day in the back ends of pockets, and continue fishing all the bank cover I can find. I'll fish my favorite bait, a homemade 1/4-ounce black buzz bait, near visible shallow-water cover first thing in the morning.

While many fishermen throw large buzz baits at this time of year, the 1/4-ounce buzz bait produces the most strikes for me. As the day progresses, I'll change to a white buzz bait.

Fish the frog

When the bass are feeding in shallow water with an abundance of cover, I like fishing Mann's HardNose Swim Toad with a No. 6 Gamakatsu hook. Often when a bass starts attacking many other kinds of frog baits, the frog will slide down the hook.

I don't have that problem with the Mann's HardNose Swim Toad. I also can get a much better hook set with the Mann's Toad than I can with other frogs.

I'll fish the Mann's Toad around the same type of cover as I've fished the buzz bait. But I'll throw the Toad on 30-pound-test Stren Superbraid line on a Quantum Signature Series Dean Rojas Frog Rod with a Quantum 1170 High Speed Reel, and pull it through the cover.

When fishing this hard-nosed frog in thick cover, your first instinct may be to set the hook as soon as the bass strikes and try to drag the fish out of heavy cover. However, if you'll practice patience, you'll catch more bass.

Many times, a bass will attack a frog bait and try to kill it instead of eating it. So don't set the hook until you know the bass has the frog in its mouth.

Hit 'em hard

On this lake, I hit the bass as hard as I can when setting the hook. I also try to bring the bass out of cover as fast as possible because there are numbers of logs and limbs on which the bass can hang up.

Most of the bass you'll catch on Panther Lake will weigh between 1 1/4 to 3 pounds. However, this lake holds a few quality 6- and 7-pound bass.

If I can't entice a topwater bite by the bass, I'll pitch a Mann's 1/2-ounce Stone Jig in black/blue with a green-pumpkin trailer or a green-pumpkin-colored Stone Jig with a green-pumpkin trailer.

When I fish the Stone Jig, I'll use 50-pound-test Stren Superbraid line on a Quantum Signature Series Greg Hackney Flippin' Stick with a Quantum 1160 Reel.

I'll pitch the Stone Jig into and around any type of cover I can find. Once again I'll fish in shallow water, but I'll locate the thickest brush and cover I can before pitching the jig.

I'll keep my boat in water 10-feet-deep or less, and I'll fish from the side of the boat all the way to the bank. Remember, this lake is only about 500 acres, so you can fish the entire lake in one day.

This lake receives heavy fishing pressure, which is why I enjoy fishing there in November. Many anglers are traveling to football games or hunting lands instead of going fishing then. So, you won't see nearly as much fishing traffic on Panther Lake at this time of year as you will in the spring and the summer.

On a good day, I expect to catch 25 or more bass at Panther Lake. I feel fortunate if I catch one that weighs more than 5 pounds.

On a rare occasion when the fishing is slow, I'll slow-roll a Mann's Legend Spinnerbait on 30-pound-test line near cover. The Mann's Legend is a signature bait of mine that has three heads. Although this spinnerbait has a 1-ounce head, heavy by most standards, it's easy to keep off the bottom, and it's easier to control than a spinnerbait with a lighter head. I can work this lure through, around or over any cover.

I prefer a chartreuse/white skirt, and the largest blade I'll fish with will be a No. 5 gold willowleaf blade, and the two smaller blades will be nickel-colored.