Monte Knight studied his LCR intently and quickly pointed out a submerged ledge and shallow flat that held grass, baitfish and bass in the deep water off the dam in Archusa Creek Water Park.

With clouds and rain keeping the temperatures down, Knight started off working topwater baits, and drew a couple strikes pretty quickly.

The bass were striking short, so the seasoned angler picked up his finesse rig and promptly sailed a bubblegum trick worm onto the grassy flat. Knight twitched the lure in a herky jerky retrieve back toward the boat when he was stopped cold.

Wham!

A bass sucked in his offering, and almost tore the rod from his hands. In a split second, the accomplished veteran of many bass wars reared back and drove the hook deep into the fish's jaw.

After a short fight, Knight subdued and landed the bass before admiring and releasing it back into the lake.

"A lot of folks don't think much of the bubblegum-colored trick worms, but the bass dearly love them," he said.

As we worked the submerged grass line with trick worms, topwaters and Strike King Zeros, an old nemesis suddenly caught my ear's attention. Could I be hearing things out on this lake? Geeeooobbbbbbbblllllle, gobble, gobble.

Yes, it was for real - a nice gobbler had roosted just south of the dam in a wooded area, and was really greeting the new day. While turkey season had long been over, this old lovesick tom was lonely and was letting everybody know it.

For the next couple of hours, we caught and released Archusa Creek bass, and were serenaded by one of the most beautiful outdoor songs in nature, the romantic gobbling of a wild turkey.

FLW fisherman Monte Knight, of Quitman, treated me to a lesson in reading the lake bottom of Archusa and catching bass. Almost everywhere we stopped, we found prime areas for bass. And usually, we caught fish after Knight called the shot.

On our second stop off the dam in a deep-water area, Knight had numerous hits and caught several bass on the bubblegum trick worm.

"The key to catching fish in this lake is finding and fishing the submerged grass," he said.

After cutting his fishing teeth on Archusa Creek Reservoir, Knight has successfully competed in tournaments around the country while winning quite a few in the process.

"I've caught fish in submerged grass beds in lakes all around the country, but I learned to fish grass right here at home," he said.

After Knight pointed out the key locations of submerged grass beds, I was also able to catch a few as well.

As we continued working submerged ledges that held grass, I cast a Bass Pro Shops Stik-O onto a grassy flat, and let it lie there a few seconds. Picking up on the worm, I noticed my line moving steadily to the right. Reeling up slack, I set the hook, and a lunker bass quickly bore down toward deep water.

After a few minutes of fighting the fish, I finally wore him down. Knight lipped him and brought him in for a quick photo before releasing him.

Knight recommends putting in time on the water and really working the submerged grass beds thoroughly.

"Sometimes you've got to fish a lot of water and spend a lot of time locating the 'sweet spots' on each grass bed," he said. "On some trips, it has taken me quite some time before I located a school of bass, but when I did we really mopped up. You can catch a limit of 2- to 3-pounders in a hurry once you locate the right spot on this lake.

"If you like fishing vegetation, you'll love fishing Archusa Creek. The keys to fishing this lake in the summer are finding and fishing the grass lines and edges close to deep water. And many of those areas will be found along submerged humps and ledges beneath the surface."

Topwater lures such as Pop R's, Rattlin' Chug Bugs, Zara Spooks and soft-plastic trick worms, Flukes and swim baits are also proven winners on this lake. Berkley Jigger Craws and Netbait Paca Craws popped off of grass beds are also great producers, according to Knight.

"A Rat-L-Trap is always a good lure to throw around grass, and I'll throw it all day on this lake and catch bass as well," he said.

Although this lake has a lot of clear water, much of it is deep and dark and stays cooler from waters of Archusa Creek that continually flow through it in the hot summertime.

On the day of our trip to Archusa, the fishing pressure was minimal and the bass were very cooperative. We consistently caught or missed fish in the grass in almost every area of the lake that we fished, and we spent a minimum amount of time at each spot in order to cover a lot of water. One can only wonder what we might have caught if we'd taken our time and spent the entire day on the lake.

The following 10 locations are indicative of the kind of spots Knight searches out and where he catches bass this month.

 

No. 1: N32 02.015 x W88 42.650 - Leaving the boat ramp, take a hard left, head south toward the first point on the left and angle slightly toward the right of the point toward open water. There is a shallow submerged hump that holds bass almost year around. The hump will run from 2 or 3 feet right on top to 4 to 6 feet around the top edge.

"Early in the morning, I'll cast a topwater first, and then follow up with either a Zoom Trick Worm or Rat-L-Trap," said Knight. "I prefer a Pop-R but a Rattlin' Chug Bug will also do the trick."

Knight worked the hump for a short time with topwaters before switching to the bubblegum trick worm. He said anglers should start out in the deep, cast up onto the submerged hump and work the lure across and over the sides. Anglers should cover the area thoroughly before moving on, as it may take a little effort to find the "sweet" spot on the hump.

 

No. 2: N32 01.880 x W88 42.985 - Leaving No. 1, head toward the dam, and stop at the first prominent point on the right. This point has a pier that juts out right at the end of the wooded point.

"This is one of the best spots on the lake during the summertime when you hit it right," Knight said. "The main creek channel runs right up next to the point, and there's plenty of deep water to hold bass."

Knight said bass could be caught on a variety of baits on this spot depending upon the time of day.

"During the early morning hours, you might catch them on topwater baits like Zara Spooks, Pop R's or trick worms," he said. "Later in the day, the bass may hold along the deeper channel edge, and that's when I'll use a Jigger Craw. You just pitch that bait out and let it fall to the edge of the ledge or point and just rip it off of the bottom."

More often than not, you'll catch a nice one or two with this presentation, and on occasions you might even limit out on a spot like this.

 

No. 3: N32 01.650 x W88 43.274 - Leaving No. 3; head south toward the dam and spillway area on the right side of the dam. You'll find an old ledge that is actually a temporary dam that was utilized while the lake was under construction. The ledge will run anywhere from 3 to 6 feet deep on top, and usually holds a lot of submerged grass during the warmer summertime months.

"Once the hot weather moves in, the bass will hold in that grass," said Knight. "I like to stay on the edge of the ledge, and cast parallel to the drop, as well as on top of the shallower portion."

Knight advised that this was a spot worth working thoroughly since schools of bass sometimes relate to the submerged dam and may take a little time to locate. Once you do find them, you may just load the boat and limit out really quickly.

 

No. 4: N32 01.568 x W88 43.131 - Leaving No. 4, head west until you get just north of Ski Island and the swimming area.

"There's another submerged island located about halfway between Ski Island and the emergency spillway," said Knight. "There may be only 2 to 3 feet of depth on some of the island, but there is also 6 feet of water around the edges falling into 10 to 15 feet of depth on the deeper sides."

Knight advised that anglers should also work this area thoroughly before leaving as the bass will also congregate in different areas of the ledge depending on the time of day and weather conditions.

"I like to cast a trick worm and work it over the grass," Knight said.

If he doesn't catch one on the trick worm or topwater, he may even try a Zoom Fluke or Senko-style soft plastic.

On the day of our trip, Knight caught some on this ledge with the trick worm, while I followed with a Bass Pro Shop's Stik-O and caught a 3-pounder.

 

No. 5: N32 01.799 x W88 43.342 - Leaving the area south of Ski Island, head west across the lake toward Hospital Cove, as the locals call it. This is a nice cove that runs back up into the woods toward the hospital. Work the right point thoroughly, and go into the cove and along either side of the bank.

"I'll start out with a trick worm or Pop R, and work it around these brushtops," Knight said.

No sooner had he gotten the words out of his mouth than a bass sucked in his tempting offering, and our first bass of the day was history. Once again, I followed up and stuck a nice bass on a Strike King Zero soft stickbait.

 

No. 6: N32 01.805 x W88 42.798 - This location is easily accessed by leaving No. 1, and heading north toward the next point on the left. In fact as you head toward Ski Island, stop short on the north side when you see a cove with two points about a hundred yards apart. There is a ledge that runs between the two points. This submerged ledge also holds bass, and should be worked thoroughly with a variety of lures as well. Run up into the cove and graph the area with an LCR to get the exact spot of the ledge and deeper water.

 

No. 7: N32 02.107 x W88 42.606 - This spot is located directly across from the boat ramp at the north side of the island just north of the ramp. There is a creek channel that runs right up to the south side of the island. The channel is 14 to 16 feet deep only a cast away from the bank.

"The key on this point is to hit the submerged stumps right off the bank," Knight said. "Cast up onto the shallow area next to the bank, and also work the lure back into the deeper water if you don't get bit."

Knight also recommended fishing the deeper creek channel with a drop shot or Carolina rig.

 

No. 8: N32 02.157 x W88 42.426 - Leaving No. 7 at the island, travel east back into the cove until you get to the shallow flats in 3 to 5 feet of water. Lily pads are located along the banks, and will provide excellent early morning action with frogs and a variety of soft plastics.

"During the early part of the day, you can hit the pads first, and then back off onto the flats and work the submerged grass with Zoom Trick worms and Rat-L-Traps," Knight said.

 

No. 9: N32 02.354 x W88 42.550 - This point may be accessed by leaving the landing or No. 9, and heading north until you get to the road that crosses over the upper end of the lake. When you get to the bridge, turn right and go east, staying on the south side of the road, and stop just about even with the east end of the railing that runs along the road.

As soon as you get to the GPS coordinates, start looking for the water bubbling up.

"This spring is usually good for a fish or two during the hot summer months as the cool spring water attracts both bass and baitfish," said Knight.

Simply work the area with a topwater during early morning hours, or try a soft plastic bait like a Fluke or Senko, and you're liable to get a bite from a big ole sow.

 

No. 10: N32 02.456 x W88 42.632 - Leaving No. 9, go back to the bridge on the roadway, travel north under the bridge and head to GPS coordinate 10. Head to the grass hump, or small island, sticking up right about the middle of the cove.

"There is an old railroad trestle that runs east and west right along the small island," Knight said. "Stay in the deeper water, and cast up onto the old submerged trestle with a Fluke or Trap."

The creek channel is about 16 feet deep right off of the trestle, and may also hold deep-water bass as well. In fact, the channel zigzags back and forth through the shallow flat, and bass may be picked up all along the channel as it winds its way back toward the woods. Crankbaits, Carolina rigs and drop-shots are also good bets when the bass relate to the deep channel.